Results tagged ‘ Charlotte Knights ’
Minor League Baseball is hosting a #foodfight here in 2013. Some of the most unique concession items throughout the minors are vying for the claim as the best food in Minor League Baseball.
Three White Sox affiliates are trying to win the #foodfight, and they need your help! Let’s take a look at these unique items.
Charlotte Knights – Fried Moon Pies
Moon Pies have been spotted on the Dash’s bus during road trips, thanks to Wayne Davis and the Dash’s Booster Club. The Knights decided to make the popular dessert even more, um, nutritious? It is quite a delicious treat for those taking in baseball at Knights Stadium.
Charlotte’s Fried Moon Pies are in the “Gut Busters” category. My other favorites in that grouping are the Homewrecker (Lake Elsinore) and the Helmet Nachos (Lakewood).
Great Falls Voyagers – The Orbit Burger
Apparently, Montana boasts some delicious burgers. Named after the Voyagers’ mascot, the Orbit Burger is a slider that includes a collection of toppings that are up to you to choose. It’s like an all-you-can-eat salad bar, except with burger toppings. Sign me up!
The Orbit Burger is in the “Scrumptious Sandwiches” category. I believe that its toughest competition will come from the Aloha Burger (Montgomery) and the Surf and Turf Burger (Delmarva).
Bristol White Sox – Grand Slam Pie
The Appalachian League is known for its lack of “outside noise.” It is Minor League Baseball in its purest form. If you attend an Appy League game in Bristol, you could enjoy quite a unique concession item in the Grand Slam Pie, which is corn chips and includes chili, salsa, cheese, sour cream and jalapenos all together on one plate.
Bristol’s Grand Slam Pie will try to win the “Local Legends” category. Watch out for the Waffle Sundae (Inland Empire), the Curverogie (Altoona), Chicken Bog Balls (Myrtle Beach) and the Scrapple Sandwich (Wilmington). This may be the most loaded grouping in the competition.
Good luck to our White Sox brethren. We hope they can make it into the #foodfight Final Four! Be sure to vote for your favorites here.
The Dash and Mudcats conclude their weekend series this afternoon at 2. Pregame coverage begins at 1:45 here. Talk to you then.
One perk of my job is having the opportunity to chat with scouts throughout the summer. At least a few scouts attend every Dash game, and all big league teams keep an eye on the minor leaguers in their competitors’ system.
Bernie Pleskoff, who is a great baseball follow on Twitter, has spent time as a scout for the Astros and Mariners. Pleskoff now writes for MLB.com, and he wrote a long feature on 2012 Dash alum Carlos Sanchez.
Sanchez, who will fight for an infield spot in spring training, had a banner year last season. The 20-year-old led the Carolina League with a .315 batting average before shining in Double-A Birmingham (.370 in 30 games). This late-season surge earned Sanchez a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte, where he held his own (.256 in 11 games).
I encourage you to read the full article from Pleskoff, which is available here. Here are a few snippets that caught my attention:
On Sanchez’s spot in a big league infield:
I have no doubt Sanchez can play either third base or shortstop. But the club may want more power from their third baseman. As a shortstop, Sanchez would succeed, but he really fits well at second. As noted above, his range is good, but it may be better at second than shortstop.
On Sanchez’s ceiling and floor as a player:
As I look ahead at his future, I see a versatile infielder capable of playing as an everyday regular. In the worst case, Sanchez could come off the bench as a utility player. But I project him beyond that limited role.
On Sanchez’s defensive strengths:
I particularly liked his movements making the double play. His footwork was virtually flawless. He fed the shortstop with throws that were accurate and easy to handle. He has enough arm strength and accuracy to make plays from behind the bag at second, or from anywhere he plays on the infield. His soft hands play well.
Why Sanchez will surprise some White Sox fans:
While he may be known for his dependable defense, Sanchez will likely surprise with his ability to hit for a high average and move runners along.
It is obvious that Pleskoff likes Sanchez’s game. Scouts (and former scouts) are as honest as anyone in sports, so this scouting report bodes well for the former Dash infielder.
The full squad reports in 10 days, and that is when Sanchez will try to live up to these beliefs. It will be fascinating to watch the youthful, aggressive Sanchez vie for a spot on a Central Division contender.
Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Wednesday, September 12 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 4 — Hillcats lead series 2-1
GAME 4 BACKGROUND:
After more than five months of baseball in the Carolina League, the Mills Cup could be awarded to Lynchburg tonight. However, the Dash are hoping to force a winner-take-all Game 5 Thursday after dropping Game 3 1-0 at Lynchburg City Stadium Tuesday night.
The Mills Cup Championship Series has not seen a Game 5 since 2005, when Frederick bested Kinston to claim the CL championship. The Hillcats last won it all in 2009, while Winston-Salem has not claimed the Cup since 2003.
Winston-Salem — LHP Scott Snodgress (4-0, 1.50 ERA): Snodgress takes to the mound for the second time this postseason, and he is in familiar territory. With the Dash trailing by a game in the best-of-three Southern Division Championship Series, Snodgress worked into the seventh inning for the first time in his Dash career and allowed three runs, only one of which was earned, on three hits. During the regular season, the former Stanford star surrendered just seven earned runs in eight starts. In his only effort against Lynchburg during the regular season, Snodgress blanked the ‘Cats over four innings August 21.
Lynchburg — RHP Aaron Northcraft (10-11, 3.98 ERA): With a chance at a championship, Lynchburg turns to Northcraft after he allowed just one run in six and two-thirds innings Friday in the NDCS-clinching win over Wilmington. Northcraft has twirled four straight quality starts dating back to August 22. The Tucson, Ariz., native has faced off with the Dash five times. He is 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA in those efforts.
- Winston-Salem has not played in a winner-take-all game in the championship set since 1973. Winston defeated Lynchburg in that series to claim the Mills Cup. Winston’s last MCCS win also came against Lynchburg back in 2003.
- Lynchburg handed the Dash their sixth shutout of the season Tuesday, but it was the first since June 24 (7-0 v. Salem at home), a span of 70 games.
- With last night’s shutout, the Dash have only mustered a run in 10 of their 51 offensive innings. Winston has been very dependent on the long ball, too. The Dash have needed the home run for 10 of their 21 postseason runs.
- Terance Marin’s two scoreless innings in Game 3 lowered the bullpen’s ERA to 0.49 during the postseason. Winston-Salem relievers have only surrendered one earned run in 18.1 frames in the playoffs.
- Lynchburg starters have befuddled the Dash thus far in the Mills Cup Finals. The trio of Michael Lee, Ryan Weber and Gus Schlosser combined to give up just two runs, one of which was earned, in 18.1 innings.
- The Dash have scored only six runs over the last three games, which is the lowest number of tallies over a three-game span since May 16-18. This three-game offensive output is tied for the second-lowest this season for Winston-Salem.
- Despite the loss, Chris Curley continued his hitting streak to begin his Dash career. Curley has hit safely in nine in a row (three regular season and six postseason games). While wearing the Dash purple, Curley is 14-for-29 (.483) with eight runs scored.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
The only other White Sox affiliate still alive lost last night, too. Triple-A Charlotte dropped Game 1 of the Governors’ Cup Finals at Pawtucket. Charlotte starter Charlie Leesman left in the first inning due to an undisclosed injury, and the PawSox took advantage by homering three times. Game 2 of this set is set for 7:05 p.m. from Rhode Island before shifting to Charlotte for the final three possible games.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look ahead to the biggest game of the season.
Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Tuesday, September 11 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1
GAME 3 BACKGROUND:
For the first time this postseason, the Dash will play away from BB&T Ballpark. During the regular season, Winston-Salem went 4-6 against the Hillcats inside Lynchburg City Stadium, which is one of two places (Salem’s LewisGale Field the other) where the Dash had a record below .500 this season. Because of the split at BB&T Ballpark, Winston and Lynchburg are down to a best-of-three for the Mills Cup Championship. The Dash led the circuit with 16 three-game series victories.
Winston-Salem — RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 2.74 ERA): The Dash send Johnson to the mound after he lost Game 1 of the SDCS. Johnson was one strike away from six no-hit innings before surrendering four runs and exiting the contest before the sixth came to an end. During the regular season, the former California Golden Bear recorded a quality start in all but one of his High-A appearances. That start came against Lynchburg August 23 (5IP, 6R).
Lynchburg — RHP Gus Schlosser (13-7, 3.38 ERA): Schlosser claimed the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year award after finishing first in the league in wins (13) and innings (165.1), tied for first in starts (27), second in strikeouts (139), and third in earned run average (3.38) and WHIP (1.14). Winston held its own against the righty, mustering five runs on 11 hits in 13 innings of work. He did whiff 18 Dash swingers in those two efforts.
- Since 2005, the MCCS has been tied at one game apiece four times, and the road team for the final three games has won the series twice. In all four instances, the winner of Game 3 went on to take the series in four games.
- Frederick won back-to-back games in Kinston last year, while the Keys also won consecutive games at Salem in 2007 for the crown. The Dash lost two straight at Potomac two years ago, while the P-Nats claimed the title with two wins at home over Myrtle in 2008.
- The Dash’s bullpen has allowed only one earned run in 16.1 innings this postseason. Lynchburg’s only earned tally against a Dash reliever came in the ninth inning Sunday during Taylor Thompson’s six-out save. Thompson had not surrendered an earned run since July 8, a span of 18 appearances.
- Winston-Salem third baseman Chris Curley has hit safely in eight games with the Dash since a promotion from Low-A Kannapolis August 31. The former Florence Freedom star is a combined 13-for-28 (.464) with eight runs between the regular season and playoffs.
- In its first five playoffs games, Winston-Salem has only scored in 10 of a possible 42 innings. However, four of those 10 frames have brought about three or more runs.
- Winston has hit six homers in the playoffs, while the rest of the league has combined for the same number of long balls. Three Dash swingers–Courtney Hawkins, Marcus Semien and Kevan Smith–each have two apiece.
- The Dash’s 4-6 regular season mark in Lynchburg included a pair of two-out-of-three series losses and a four-game split. Despite owning a two-game gap in the 10 meetings, the Hillcats only outscored Winston-Salem 49-44 at home.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
Since the Dash last played Sunday afternoon, one White Sox affiliate advanced to a championship series, while another fell two runs short. Triple-A Charlotte took down Indianapolis three games to one to clinch a spot in the Governors’ Cup Finals against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Game 1 of this best-of-five series is tonight at 7:05 in Rhode Island. On the flip side, rookie-level Great Falls fell short in its bid to repeat as Pioneer League champions. The Voyagers lost a deciding Game 3 of a PL semifinal to Missoula 4-2 Sunday.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and an audio look into the Dash’s offensive bounce back Sunday afternoon.
Mills Cup Championship Series
Lynchburg Hillcats at Winston-Salem Dash
Sunday, September 9 — 2:00 p.m.
Game 2 — Hillcats lead series 1-0
GAME 2 BACKGROUND:
The Dash could not parlay their momentum from consecutive wins to claim the Southern Division Championship Series. Winston-Salem dropped Game 1 of the best-of-five Mills Cup Championship Series to Lynchburg 3-1 Saturday night at BB&T Ballpark. Winston only managed three base runners against Hillcats hurler Michael Lee, who spun six and a third scoreless innings for the victory.
As a result, the Dash will aim to even the series in the final game at BB&T Ballpark this season. Winston boasted the best home regular season record in full-season minor league baseball (48-23), but the Dash are just 2-2 in the Triad in the playoffs.
Winston-Salem — RHP Justin Collop (9-4, 4.17 ERA): In his playoff debut, Collop will face the Hillcats for the fifth time in 2012 today. The righty owns a 5.56 earned run average over 22 and a third innings against Lynchburg. His best outing against the Northern Division champs came July 3 when the former Toledo Rocket turned in six and two-thirds scoreless frames, but the Hillcats roughed up Collop five days later to the tune of eight runs on 12 hits.
Lynchburg — RHP Ryan Weber (2-4, 3.38 ERA): Weber spent much of the regular season in the bullpen, amassing 14 relief appearances and five starts. The former 17th round pick pitched out of the bullpen in Game 2 of the Northern Division Championship Series three days ago. Weber surrendered three runs on six hits over three innings during the Hillcats’ lone loss thus far in the postseason.
- Over the last seven seasons, the team to win Game 1 of the Mills Cup Championship Series has gone on to win the Carolina League crown five times. However, in each of the last two seasons, the winner of the series opener has lost the next three and, thus, the series. Frederick overtook Kinston last year after the K-Tribe won Game 1, while Winston bested Potomac in the opener of the 2010 title set before the P-Nats won three straight.
- Winston-Salem’s bullpen has yet to allow an earned run in the 2012 playoffs. The Dash have tossed 11 and two-thirds of scoreless relief, and every reliever has thrown at least one inning except for Kevin Vance, who boasts the bullpen’s lone win of the playoffs after working two-thirds of an inning Thursday night in Game 2 of the SDCS.
- Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins has driven in a run in each of the first four playoff games. Hawkins hit a solo shot in the fifth inning Wednesday and the seventh frame Thursday before an RBI fielder’s choice in the SDCS-clinching win Friday. Last night, the White Sox top pick in this year’s draft plated a run with a single. In his nine games with Winston-Salem, the Corpus Christi, Texas, native is 9-for-32 (.281) with three homers, six RBI and six runs scored.
- Since moving into BB&T Ballpark facility prior to the 2010 campaign, Winston is a CL-best 134-77 (.635) inside the gem of the Carolina League. With a win today, the Dash would claim their 51st home win overall, which would surpass the 2010 squad. That team went 50-23 at home in the regular season and playoffs combined.
- For what it’s worth, Winston-Salem is 13-6 on Sundays and 15-12 in day games this season. This will be the final Sunday contest and afternoon affair this season.
- Keep in mind that the Dash and Hillcats have played six extra-inning games this season, which is more than Winston-Salem played against the rest of the circuit combined. Seven of the other 21 games between the division champions have been decided by one or two runs, so these two teams play some great games. This one is more important than all of them.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
Outside Winston-Salem, it was a great day for Chicago’s minor league system. Triple-A Charlotte punched its ticket to the International League Finals with a 6-4 win over Indianapolis Saturday night. The Knights will play the Pawtucket Red Sox in Game 1 Tuesday night in Rhode Island. Also, rookie-level Great Falls sneaked past Missoula 5-4 thanks to Adam Heisler’s two-run, walk-off home run to force a deciding Game 3 in the Pioneer League semifinals.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 1:40 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look back at the Dash’s thrilling home season.
Mills Cup Championship Series
Lynchburg Hillcats at Winston-Salem Dash
Saturday, September 8 — 7:00 p.m.
Game 1 — Series tied 0-0
GAME 1 BACKGROUND:
Both the Dash and the Hillcats won winner-take-all games Friday night in the Division Championship Series. Winston-Salem plated four in the second and five more in the third en route to a 9-0 win over Myrtle Beach at BB&T Ballpark. Lynchburg nipped Wilmington 2-1 in the NDCS finale thanks to Braeden Schlehuber’s solo shot in the bottom of the eighth inning.
As a result, these two franchises will meet for the Carolina League title for the first time since 2003, when Winston swept Lynchburg in three games for what is the club’s most recent championship. The Dash were last in the Mills Cup Championship Series in 2010 when Potomac won three games to one. The Hillcats’ last trip resulted in a sweep of Salem in 2009.
Winston-Salem — RHP Steve McCray (9-3, 3.30 ERA): McCray faced the Hillcats six times during the regular season. In a team-high 27.2 innings against Lynchburg, McCray boasts a 3-1 mark and a 3.58 ERA. In his final start of the regular season August 31, the former Tennessee star blanked the ‘Cats over seven innings for the victory. McCray, who makes his first playoff start tonight, is currently riding a four-game win streak dating back to August 9, a run that matches a career high.
Lynchburg — RHP Michael Lee (3-3, 3.93 ERA): A former Red Sox farmhand, Lee has made 11 appearances and nine starts for the Hillcats this season. Lee has allowed a run in every game since his scoreless Lynchburg debut, but he did turn in a very solid start against Winston-Salem August 21 in Virginia. He matched a season high with seven innings of work and surrendered three runs, only one of which was earned, on five hits.
- Winston-Salem has won a record 11 Mills Cup titles since joining the Carolina League as a charter member in 1945. The franchise’s last crown came in 2003 when the Warthogs swept Lynchburg in the championship set. This is Winston’s second trip to the Mills Cup Championship Series since becoming the Dash prior to the 2009 campaign. Potomac downed the Dash three games to one in 2010.
- The Dash outscored Myrtle Beach 12-1 in the final 12 innings of the Southern Division Championship Series, and Winston only needed three scoring frames to post that crooked number.
- Winston-Salem’s pitching staff did not need all that support. The Dash posted a 1.67 earned run average in the SDCS. Starter Chris Bassitt was the story Friday because of a career-high seven scoreless innings. Bassitt, who only allowed four Pelicans to reach base, twirled the second-longest start for any hurler thus far in the CL postseason.
- With his grand slam Friday night, Kevan Smith has plated 27 runs in his 24 High-A games. Between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, Smith has 83 RBI in 108 efforts. Smith also hit the Dash’s seventh grand slam, which leads the CL. Smith, who hit a grand slam in his High-A debut July 26, is the only CL hitter with two grand slams in 2012.
- A couple of key Dash swingers bounced back from a rough start to the playoffs with big games Friday. Both Keenyn Walker and Dan Black went 0-for-8 in Game 1 and Game 2, but the duo combined for four hits Friday. Walker drove in three runs, while Black scored once and reached three times.
- The Dash and Hillcats split their 20-game season series, with Winston owning the 6-4 edge inside BB&T Ballpark. Winston had the slight advantage in average (.254 to .246), but Lynchburg outscored the Dash 102-96. The Dash won their season set against every other team in the Carolina League.
- Chris Curley, who joined the Dash eight days ago, went 6-for-10 with three runs scored. Since his promotion from Kannapolis, Curley is 11-for-22 in the CL.
AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:
Two other teams are in the playoffs within Chicago’s minor league system. Triple-A Charlotte missed out on a chance to sweep Indianapolis last night. The Indians won Game 3 8-0, but the Knights still lead the best-of-five two games to one. Also, rookie-level Great Falls dropped Game 1 of a best-of-three Pioneer League semifinal to Missoula 8-3.
Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and a look back at the Dash’s SDCS comeback.
Less than five months ago, infielder Carlos Sanchez was a 19-year-old gearing up for his first go-around in the Carolina League. Today, Sanchez, a year older and much more advanced as a baseball player, learned he has earned a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte for the first time.
Sanchez was on Winston-Salem’s opening day roster and thrived in the CL. In 92 games with the Dash, Sanchez hit .315 with 42 RBI and 58 runs scored. He still sits second to teammate Dan Black on this circuit in batting average.
One month ago yesterday, Sanchez jumped to Double-A Birmingham for the first time, and his 30 games in the Southern League could not have gone much better. The switch hitter hit .370 with 13 RBI and 17 runs scored for the Barons.
Between the CL and the SL, Sanchez hit .329, which is good for ninth among all minor league players who have appeared in at least 100 games thus far this season. In overall hits, Sanchez places fourth overall with 159, or 1.3 per game.
When Charlotte opens up a homestand with Pawtucket tomorrow night, Sanchez will suit up for the same franchise that his baseball hero, fellow Venezuelan Omar Vizquel, played for while with Cleveland in 1994. When Vizquel played a handful of games with Charlotte that year, Sanchez was two years old.
Incredibly, 18 years later, Sanchez is one step away from big league baseball, where Vizquel is still hanging around with a very legitimate Hall of Fame case. At 20 years old, Sanchez certainly has the chance to carve out quite a career, too. Today was a huge step in that process.
Brent Morel’s time in Winston-Salem has come to an end. The three-year big league veteran is heading to Triple-A Charlotte to continue his recovery from a lower back injury that sent him to the disabled list May 22.
Morel played in seven games with Winston and hit .227 (5-for-22), but this average is a bit misleading. After mustering only one hit in his first five games, Morel went a combined 4-for-9 Wednesday and Thursday. It was obvious that Morel was taking it easy with his back during the first few days of his rehab stint in Winston. Once he felt comfortable, Morel rarely disappointed when putting the ball in play.
Defensively, the third baseman played in the field in five of those seven games. He was Winston’s designated hitter in his first game and last game with the Dash. However, he did not have many chances to work on his glove. The Bakersfield, Calif., native only had five total chances in 31 innings.
Now, Morel joins the Knights, who are home through Tuesday. He is scheduled to play this evening. We wish Morel, who just completed the first big league rehab assignment in Dash history, luck in his recovery.
Over the last two months, the Dash have had many roster moves. One of the busiest travelers has been J.R. Ballinger, and the right-handed reliever is on the move once again.
Ballinger will return to Winston-Salem after spending four days with Triple-A Charlotte, the White Sox announced Sunday afternoon.
In his two appearances with the Knights, Ballinger surrendered six runs, four of which were earned, in four and two-thirds innings. The Moss Point, Miss., native has made 16 appearances with the Dash, going 0-2 with an ERA of 4.70 over 23 innings.
Ballinger also made one appearance for Low-A Kannapolis during the first half. He retired both men he faced.
Now, Ballinger just needs to head to Double-A Birmingham for the full-season affiliate sweep.
The White Sox made three roster moves affecting the Dash Tuesday. Nick McCully was promoted to Double-A Birmingham, Kyle Shelton was sent back to Triple-A Charlotte, and Kannapolis infielder David Herbek moved up to the Dash. Both McCully and Herbek advance to a new level in minor league baseball for the first time, while Shelton is back with Charlotte after spending a brief stint with the Dash for the second time this season.
McCully’s departure continues the exodus of talented arms from the Dash bullpen as he joins fellow relievers Leroy Hunt and Kyle Bellamy in Birmingham. McCully made 24 relief appearances for Winston-Salem and compiled a 4-3 record with a 2.89 ERA. He also converted five of his seven save opportunities.
This is McCully’s second year in the White Sox organization after being signed before the 2011 season. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted McCully in the ninth round of the 2009 draft and used him as a starting pitcher, but he was released after the 2010 season. Chicago’s idea to turn McCully into a reliever seems to have paid off.
Shelton played in one game for the Dash in his second stint with the team. He started at third on June 22 against Potomac and finished the night 1-for-3. The versatile Shelton, who can play almost every position in the field, took a few reps behind the plate as a catcher before batting practice on Monday.
Herbek joins the Dash after playing 43 games with Kannapolis this season. He batted .214 with 31 hits, nine RBI and 28 runs. Herbek was drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of James Madison University and spent last season playing for rookie-level Great Falls. Herbek hit .262 in 70 games and led the team in runs scored (52) and doubles (19). Baseball America also ranked him as the best defensive player in the White Sox 2011 draft class.
The Dash continue to lose pieces from their first-half Southern Division title, but such is the double-edged sword of minor league teams: good teams are going to lose their good players. With young talent in Kannapolis and the 2012 draft picks beginning their journey through the minors, Winston-Salem should be fine moving forward as the second half progresses.