Results tagged ‘ Brian Omogrosso ’

Spring (training) is in the air

Josh Phegley has some work to do to be Chicago's Opening Day catcher (Saul McSween/W-S Dash).

Josh Phegley has some work to do to be Chicago’s Opening Day catcher (Saul McSween/W-S Dash).

While we gear up for another temperature dip in Winston-Salem, the White Sox are chugging along in warm Glendale, Ariz., with their first spring training game just three days away. Here are some news and notes from an exciting time of the baseball calendar.

  • The White Sox first spring training game is Friday against the Dodgers, but the club will suit up for an intrasquad game later today. While many fans will pay attention to Jose Abreu’s first trip to the plate as a member of the organization, Dash fans should keep their eyes on the men throwing the pitches. Per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago, Winston-Salem alumni Chris Bassitt, Chris Beck, Andre Rienzo and Scott Snodgress will pitch two innings Tuesday. Charlie Leesman, Brian Omogrosso and Jake Petricka are also expected to pitch in the game.
  • Speaking of Bassitt, Grantland’s Jonah Keri (one of the best baseball writers out there) offered up one non-roster spring invitee for each American League organization who intrigued him, and the 2013 Carolina League All-Star was the White Sox prospect. I encourage you to check out the full article here, but here was the most interesting line: The Sox hope Bassitt has the repertoire to eventually become a back-of-the-rotation starter, and at some point this season we could see his nasty sinker in the majors.”
  • Hayes also penned a story regarding the White Sox catching situation, and Tyler Flowers has the early advantage over 2010 Dash alum Josh Phegley. Phegley, in essence, replaced Flowers as the Sox catcher after thriving with Triple-A Charlotte during last season’s first half. However, Phegley did not light it up, and Flowers is likely to get the chance to bounce back from a tough 2013.
  • Micah Johnson led Minor League Baseball in stolen bases during his three-stop 2013 in Winston-Salem, Birmingham and Kannapolis, and Scott Merkin of MLB.com chatted with the likable infield prospect about the art of stealing a base. The best line? Johnson said this: “Really, it’s an art form, and it’s something you are born with. It’s an instinct you have.”
  • The Dash’s season begins in just 37 days! The schedule is set for every home and road game (along with first pitch times). I encourage you to check out our schedule downloads page, where you can equip yourself with our schedule for 2014.

We will keep you posted on the White Sox all spring long. Baseball is almost here!

- Brian

Brunch and baseball this morning

(precisionnutrition.com)

(precisionnutrition.com)

The Dash are less than two hours away from some baseball at BB&T Ballpark. Players normally have a love/hate relationship with games like today’s 11 a.m. contest. Baseball players are rarely awake this early on normal gamedays, but the chance to have a night off is a luxury for those in the minor leagues.

A current Dash hurler and a Winston-Salem alum, who is getting up early for a game with Triple-A Charlotte, weighed in on Twitter. They may have been enjoying a cup of coffee like the one you see to the right while tweeting:

 

My guess is that there will be much happier tweets from players while they are enjoying their evening away from the ballpark.

Now, without further ado, here are a few nuggets of information in advance of today’s matchup between the Dash and Lynchburg Hillcats.

DASH DOTS:

  • Righty Chris Beck, who will start this morning for the Dash, has dominated in his first three starts of 2013. The fourth-best pitching prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America, Beck has yet to allow an earned run in 18.2 innings.
  • Only John Gast of the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A, St. Louis) has thrown more innings to begin 2013 without surrendering an earned tally (24.2). Other than Beck, no qualifying pitcher in the CL has an ERA lower than 1.33 (Myrtle Beach’s Luke Jackson). Beck is one of six qualifying pitchers in the minors without an earned run on their résumé this year.
  • Winston-Salem’s recent history against Lynchburg has been incredibly even. Since the 2011 season, Winston-Salem and Lynchburg have played 46 regular season or playoff games, and the Dash own a slight 24-22 edge.
  • Of those 46 games, 27 of them, or 59 percent, have been decided by only one or two runs. With their win last night, the Dash now own a 14-13 advantage in those 27 contests. Dating back to last season, these two squads have played six straight games decided by two runs or less (also eight of the last 10).
  • The Dash’s defense has shined lately. Winston-Salem has not committed an error in four straight games. The Dash’s last error came in the fifth inning of the opener of Saturday’s double dip against Wilmington, a span of 36 straight innings without a defensive miscue.
  • How about this for a turnaround: the Dash surrendered a league-best 15 unearned runs in their first 10 games, but Winston-Salem has not given up an unearned tally in its last eight.

Rob and I will join you at 10:45 a.m. for the Pregame Dash. Hope you can spend your morning and afternoon with us here. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Dashing Through the Madness

March Madness is finally here, with 16 games today and tomorrow. By now, I’m sure you have made all your picks. Here in the Dash front office, we are having a pool, with the winner earning a free date with Bolt.

Here are some of my favorite predictions from fellow Dash front office team members:
– Gerri Brommer, our VP of Sponsor Services and a strong supporter of the Dash Board, is quite daring. She is one of two people with Indiana in the Final Four out of the South, and she has 6th seeded UNLV and 5th seeded Temple in the Elite Eight.
– The most popular significant upset is Long Beach State over New Mexico in a 12-5 game. Six people (out of 13) have “The Beach” advancing to the weekend, and two have LBSU heading to the Sweet 16.
– Sales superstar Jay Andrews and stadium ops czar Corey Bugno have Harvard in the Sweet 16 even though their first-round opponent (Vanderbilt) is a popular Elite Eight/Final Four pick nationwide. I happen to think the Crimson will beat Vandy, but Jay and Corey take it to another level.
– Nikki Caldwell, my new best friend, is the only one other than me to advance my alma mater, Ohio, past Michigan, the program that calls Ohio State “Ohio.” I have the Bobcats in the Sweet 16. Maybe that is a bit biased.

So here is how the Final Four shapes out in our 13-person pool:
South: 11-Kentucky; 2-Indiana
West: 6-Michigan State; 5-Missouri; 1-Marquette; 1-Louisville
East: 7-Ohio State; 4-Florida State; 1-Vanderbilt; 1-Cincinnati
Midwest: 7-North Carolina; 6-Kansas

Good luck in your brackets! Here are a few Dots on this gorgeous Thursday.

DASH DOTS:

  • It was a tough and early end to Spring Training for 2010 Dash alum Brandon Short. Short, a non-roster invitee to Camelback Ranch, crashed into the center-field wall in the White Sox’s March 8 game against Texas. He dislocated his left shoulder and tore his left labrum. Short will likely miss the 2012 season after playing all of 2011 with Double-A Birmingham.
  • Things are going much better for a Dash infielder from a year ago. Tyler Saladino was moved into big league camp yesterday. A seventh-round selection in ’10, Saladino hit .270 in 102 games in Winston-Salem last summer. Good for him.
  • Also yesterday, three Dash alums moved around the White Sox’s system. Right-hander Gregory Infante was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte, and Brian Omogrosso and Jake Petricka were reassigned to minor league camp. Still, this trio gained some invaluable experience and learned some fantastic lessons while with the big leaguers.
  • I am actually heading back home to Ohio to complete my official move to the Winston-Salem area, so the blog will be a little quiet over the weekend. I will be back in town late Monday, so I’ll rejoin you then. Mike will step in for a post or two in my absence.

I keep my bracket in my back pocket until it is no longer relevant. Here’s hoping I still have it when I talk to you again next week. Enjoy the games.

- Brian

Early Measuring Stick

The American League is absolutely loaded this season. The American League East’s trio in New York, Boston and Tampa Bay is as strong as ever. The Tigers made one of the biggest splashes in free agency by picking up former Brewer basher Prince Fielder, and they still have that Justin Verlander guy. The Angels went from a “darkhorse” team to the team for Albert Pujols. And don’t forget about possible sleepers like Toronto, Kansas City and Cleveland.

However, the team to beat for the second straight season is the Texas Rangers, and the White Sox play them today at 3:05 p.m. ET in Surprise. We hit on that and more in today’s Dots.

DASH DOTS:

  • Spring training games normally lack the widespread star power of regular season showdowns, but the Rangers will be fairly close to their typical lineup. Per Richard Durrett, the Rangers’ tremendous beat writer on ESPNDallas.com, eight everyday players on Texas’ 2011 pennant-winning club will be in the lineup today, including sluggers Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and Josh Hamilton. The only minor leaguer is Mike Olt, who played in the Carolina League last year with Myrtle Beach. Winston-Salem fans will be glad to know Olt, one of the minors’ best prospects, should start in Double-A this year.

Hector Santiago spent 3 years in Winston-Salem. Now, he's getting his chance in big league camp.

  • Four former Winston-Salem hurlers are slated to face off against this lineup today. Anthony Carter, Gregory Infante, Brian Omogrosso and Hector Santiago will toe the rubber at some point this afternoon. A positive showing could go a long way in them making an impression in camp.
  • Former Dash hurler Chris Sale was the White Sox’s representative on a CBS 30-for-30 countdown of young players in the big leagues. In the article, writer David Heck discusses the transition by former pitchers from the bullpen to the rotation. It worked out well for guys like C.J. Wilson or Alexi Ogando, and Sale certainly has plenty of potential.
  • Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune had a brief piece on Jared Mitchell, who spent 2011 in Winston-Salem. From the story, Chicago skipper Robin Ventura said, “You just look at him as an athlete. You see a lot of potential.” Gonzales says that Mitchell impressed Ventura during the 2009 College World Series, when Mitchell was with LSU and Ventura was working as an analyst.

Here's some true documentation of a championship (Chicago Tribune).

  • There are some baseball games closer to home in the month of March. High school baseball is back at BB&T Ballpark, and one game is already in the books. Congrats to Carver, who defeated Forsyth Country Day 7-5 Tuesday. The star of the show was Chris Hutchins, who had the game-winning two-run double and picked up the win on the mound. Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m., Forsyth Home Educators and Asheville take to the field.
  • Finally, this may not appeal to folks in Winston-Salem, but it will put a smile on many Chicago readers’ faces. Derrick Rose is good at basketball. Enjoy the final play by Rose and the final call by Bulls radio voice Chuck Swirsky, one of the best and nicest in the broadcasting business (plus, he’s a fellow Ohio University alum).

Thanks for reading, and enjoy all the basketball this week! We’ll talk tomorrow.

- Brian

160 Days

Let’s rewind to September 28, 2011. It was 160 days ago, and the White Sox’s 2011 season came to an end with a 3-2 loss at home against the Blue Jays.

Since then, the White Sox lost their most recognizable face–manager Ozzie Guillen–to the Miami Marlins. Arguably their most consistent player in the last decade–left-handed starter Mark Buehrle–followed Guillen to South Beach.

This afternoon at 3:05 ET, the Sox begin a new era under first-time skipper Robin Ventura. 160 days after the 2011 season ended, the White Sox are back on the field against their Camelback Ranch buddies, the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The White Sox have 59 players in Spring Training at this point, and 19 of them made a stop at some point in Winston-Salem. Here’s a list:

Chris Sale is one of the most notable Dash alums in White Sox camp this year.

PITCHERS:
– Dylan Axelrod (2009 and 2010)
– Anthony Carter (2008 and 2009)
– Gregory Infante (2009 and 2010)
– Nate Jones (2008, 2009, and 2010)
– Charles Leesman (2010)
– Brian Omogrosso (2007)*
– Jake Petricka (2011)*
– Addison Reed (2011)
– Chris Sale (2010)
– Hector Santiago (2009, 2010, and 2011)

CATCHERS:
– Mike Blanke (2011)*
– Josh Phegley (2010)*

INFIELDERS:
– Eduardo Escobar (2010)
– Jim Gallagher (2009)*
– Tyler Kuhn (2009)*
– Brent Morel (2009)

OUTFIELDERS:
– Jordan Danks (2009)*
– Jared Mitchell (2011)*
– Brandon Short (2010)*
* = non-roster invitee

So, what’s the take away from this? Only three of the 19 players on this list played in Winston-Salem as Warthogs. It means that the 40-man roster is largely made up of free agent signings or trade acquisitions.

For example, seven of the nine offensive players above are non-roster invitees. The White Sox’s 40-man roster is loaded with offensive pieces that were developed, to some extent, outside the organization.

However, this is an exciting time for the prospects in White Sox camp. With the change in scenery, this could be a new era, and any production from the organization’s youth will be a huge bonus. The Dash have provided a solid chunk of that youth in the Chicago’s system.

Over the next few days, we will take a look at these 19 players and what their expectations are during camp. Let us know in the comments which former Winston-Salem players you think will make the 25-man roster when the big league club heads to Arlington for Opening Day against the Rangers April 6. It’s 32 days away!

- Brian

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