Results tagged ‘ Chicago White Sox ’
The 2016 season is almost a week old in the Minor Leagues, while the White Sox season is into its second week. Let’s take a look at some of the storylines around the organization.
MLB: Chicago White Sox (5-2)
The parent club has gotten off to the best start in the organization. It’s extremely early (I’ll be saying that a lot), but the Sox lead the Central Division by a half-game. One of the biggest reasons for this has been pitching. Chicago has a team ERA of 2.76, good for the third-best mark in the American League.
Former Dash left-handers Chris Sale (2010) and Carlos Rodon (2014) have started strongly. Sale is 2-0 with a 3.86 ERA in his first two starts, while Rodon threw seven strong innings in a tough-luck loss against the A’s on Wednesday. This Fangraphs article details why Rodon is likely to break out this year.
On the position player front, it’s fair to say outfielder Adam Eaton has had a memorable start. Through seven games, he leads the team in batting average (.417), on-base percentage (.481), and hits (10). Also, his wife Kate just gave birth to the couple’s first child. In this Chicago Tribune article, Eaton discusses his new life as both a father and a professional baseball player.
Right-hander Michael Ynoa, who pitched for the Dash last season, was called up while Eaton was on paternity leave. He became the 32nd player in Dash era to reach the majors. He was sent back down to Double-A without making an appearance, but he seems to be on the precipice of his first big league appearance.
Meanwhile, designated hitter Jose Abreu continues to destroy baseballs. He leads the team with two home runs, along with new third baseman Todd Frazier.
Triple-A: Charlotte Knights (1-4)
Unlike the White Sox, pitching has been the Achilles heel for the Knights thus far. Charlotte gave up seven earned runs on Monday in a loss to Norfolk to balloon their team ERA to 6.14, the highest mark in the International League. The squad has smashed a league-tying five home runs, though, with former San Francisco Giants catcher Hector Sanchez crushing two of them.
Outfielder Jason Coats, who spent a majority of 2014 with Winston-Salem, leads the team with a .455 batting average. He also tops the IL with 10 hits.
Double-A: Birmingham Barons (1-4)
Outside of a extra-inning victory on April 9 against Jacksonville, it has been a rough go for the Barons to begin 2016. Like Triple-A Charlotte, Birmingham has the highest team ERA in its league.
Some of the players who had integral roles in the Dash’s trip to the postseason last year have gotten off to slow starts. Shortstop Eddy Alvarez, outfielder Adam Engel, third baseman Trey Michalczewski and catcher Omar Narvaez are a combined 14-for-72 to begin the season. No need to stress though. We have seen what these players can do as the year progresses.
One of the most noteworthy members of the 2015 Dash in Birmingham is right-hander Carson Fulmer. Even though his first start was a bit rocky, the White Sox 2015 first-round pick left a strong impression on the organization during spring training.
Low-A: Kannapolis Intimidators (2-3)
After dropping their first three contests, the Intimidators have won two straight. They collected 10 runs in their series finale against Hickory on Sunday and then followed that up with a 2-1 victory against Delmarva on Monday.
One of the standouts so far is outfielder Tyler Sullivan. Normally known for his defense, the Intimidators’ leadoff man has a .421/.542/.579 batting line with three stolen bases through the first five contests.
Thanks for reading! We’ll have preview of tonight’s game against Myrtle Beach coming very shortly.
The Winston-Salem Dash’s 2015 season is in the books, and Dash fans enjoyed many incredible moments. We whittled them down to this year’s Dash Top 10, which we will unveil over the next two weeks.
Moment #7 – August 29
Heidenreich named CL Pitcher of the Year
The Winston-Salem franchise is dripping with history. The lone charter member remaining in the Carolina League, Winston-Salem has won 11 Mills Cups, while almost 400 alumni have reached the Major Leagues.
However, the club had not produced a Pitcher of the Year since 1986. Winston-Salem only boasted a pair of pitching honorees in franchise history.
That is, until Matt Heidenreich returned to the Triad in 2015.
Before this season began, Heidenreich had embarked on a unique Minor League journey. The White Sox fourth-round pick in 2009, Heidenreich climbed to the Dash by the start of the 2012 season.
That season was a wild one for the California native, who was so strong in the first half that he started for the Carolina League in the All-Star Game here in the Triad. Few Minor Leaguers have had as cool of a moment as that–starting an All-Star Game in your own home ballpark.
A few weeks after his All-Star nod, Heidenreich moved to Double-A Birmingham, but his stint was a short one. Three starts into Heidenreich’s stint in Birmingham, the White Sox sent him, along with left-hander Blair Walters, to Houston for the services of big league righty Brett Myers.
Heidenreich did not experience much success with the Astros’ organization. At the end of the 2014 season, the Astros released him, and the White Sox called soon thereafter.
It was an easy decision for Heidenreich, who regularly referred to the White Sox organization as “home.” His return home was a special one.
Heidenreich paced the CL with 12 victories. He also placed in the top five on the circuit in earned run average (2.76, 2nd) and WHIP (1.16, 4th). The Dash were 16-5 in games that Heidenreich started.
Even beyond his statistics, Heidenreich’s leadership and competitiveness aided the entire staff. He was an innings eater, even if he did not possess his best stuff. Though he earned a well-deserved promotion to Double-A in mid-August, Heidenreich became a Dash fan down the stretch. He kept in touch with players and followed each of Winston’s postseason games.
After a few years of unique twists and turns, everything seemed to click in 2015 for Heidenreich, who helped the Winston-Salem franchise do something that was long overdue.
The sixth-best moment of 2015 is on the horizon for Friday, and it involves a non-Dash player. Stay tuned.
Game #92 – Road Game #47
Winston-Salem Dash (11-8, 41-48) at Carolina Mudcats (10-11, 44-46)
Friday, July 17 – 7 p.m.
Five County Stadium (Zebulon, N.C.)
Winston-Salem’s lead on all three Southern Division foes shrank to two games Thursday with a 4-2 loss at Carolina. The Mudcats also snapped the Dash’s five-game road winning streak.
Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Jeremy Dowdy – C
T.J. Williams – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Nolan Earley – RF
Jordan Guerrero – LHP
- Before Thursday’s narrow defeat, the Dash had not lost on the road since July 2. The Dash’s five-game road surge matched the second-longest in the Dash era (2009-present). Winston also claimed five in a row away from the Triad from August 19-23, 2013. The Dash’s longest road surge was a six-gamer from April 18 to May 1 of 2012. On June 12, the Dash were 11-22 away from BB&T Ballpark, a mark that includes an eight-game skid from May 23 to June 12. Since that rocky 33-game start on the road, Winston-Salem has won nine of its last 12.
- Five of the Dash’s seven hits on Thursday came from the club’s two hottest hitters, both of whom are in the midst of impressive hitting streaks. Trey Michalczewski was a perfect 3-for-3 to advance his streak to nine, four more than his previous high-water mark in 2015. During this surge, which began July 6, Michalczewski is hitting .455 (15-for-33). Adam Engel pushed his streak to seven games with a two-hit game. Engel, the CL’s stolen base leader (34), is 11-for-27 (.407) with six runs during the surge.
- Michalczewski has also collected an RBI in six consecutive contests, which is tied for the best such streak by a Winston-Salem hitter in 2015 (Keon Barnum, April 15-20). Michalczewski is third on the circuit with 51 RBIs in 81 games.
- Former Dash right-hander Frankie Montas was promoted to the White Sox as their 26th man for Friday’s doubleheader against Kansas City. Montas is the 30th Winston-Salem alumnus to reach the Major Leagues since the franchise’s nickname change to Dash before the 2009 season. Of those 30 men, 29 have suited up for the White Sox in their big league debut. Montas, the top pitching prospect in the White Sox system according to MLB.com, was 4-0 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 starts with the Dash a year ago. This season with Double-A Birmingham, the flamethrower was 2-1 with a 2.47 ERA. Montas was one of four men the White Sox acquired in the 2013 deadline deal involving Jake Peavy.
- Montas is leaving a red-hot Birmingham squad, one that features 17 Dash alumni on its 25-man roster. The Barons have won eight straight and 13 of their last 14 games. On the same day he was promoted to Double-A for the first time, reigning CL Pitcher of the Week and former Dash righty Robinson Leyer earned a win in his Birmingham debut on Thursday. Leyer worked five shutout frames in the Barons’ 4-2 win.
- The Dash have enjoyed at least a share of first place in 20 of the second half’s first 22 days. Winston was in first for just 31 days in all of 2013 and 2014.
- The Dash are 36-35 all-time against Carolina, who joined the league in 2012.
Friday’s game will be available on wsdash.com/broadcast, along with the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at approximately 7 p.m.
The second half is upon us! During the Dash’s three-day break, a few Winston-Salem alumni shined. Let’s take a look back:
SALE’S STRIKEOUT STREAK
For the seventh consecutive outing, Chris Sale posted a double-digit strikeout title on Wednesday at Minnesota. Sale became the fourth Major League hurler since 1914 to accomplish this remarkable feat, joining Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan (1977), Pedro Martinez (1999) and Randy Johnson (2001).
Here’s a look back from some tweets last night:
Meanwhile, in Minnesota, Chris Sale’s strikeout streak ends after 38 IP, the most since Johan Santana went 39 in ’02. pic.twitter.com/pX5CLxJZdA
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) June 24, 2015
How good is Chris Sale? Torii Hunter just swung at a pitch that HIT him for strike three.
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) June 24, 2015
ANDERSON’S AMAZING BIRTHDAY
Infielder Tim Anderson, the White Sox top prospect, celebrated his 22nd birthday in style. With plenty of family in attendance, Anderson claimed the Most Valuable Player award in Tuesday’s Southern League All-Star Game.
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) June 24, 2015
— Comcast SportsNet (@CSNChicago) June 24, 2015
— Jason Patterson (@jpatsc) June 24, 2015
MONTAS NAMED TO FUTURES GAME
Former Dash right-hander Frankie Montas, who shined in the Carolina League a year ago, will represent the White Sox in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Montas boasts a 2.55 earned run average in 12 starts with Double-A Birmingham.
— Futures Game (@futuresgame) June 25, 2015
Frankie Montas will rep the @whitesox in the 2015 Futures Game. In one inning he could hit 102 a few times.
— Adam Sager (@AdamGSager) June 25, 2015
MARIN DOMINANT IN TRIPLE-A
The White Sox released Terance Marin last April. Since then, he went to independent baseball, rejoined the White Sox, pitched in the Mexican League and earned a jump to Triple-A. With Charlotte, Marin has been incredible. In his four outings, Marin has not permitted a run in 22 innings. No Minor League hurler has logged more innings since June 5 without giving up a run than Marin, who was promoted to the Knights on that day.
Since joining AAA @KnightsBaseball from his loan-time in Mexico, RHP Terance Marin has thrown 22 innings and given up zero runs.
— FutureSox.com (@FutureSox) June 25, 2015
— PSI Sports (@PSISports) June 25, 2015
It’s always great to see so many Dash alumni perform well at higher levels. Here’s hoping this continues! Stay tuned for our preview of the Dash’s second-half opener in Lynchburg.
The Chicago White Sox announced Tuesday that Justin Jirschele, who was a member of the Dash’s 2015 Opening Day roster, will serve as the hitting coach for rookie-level Great Falls for the 2015 season. The Clintonville, Wis., native replaces 2014 Voyagers hitting coach Greg Briley, who will miss the campaign due to back surgery.
Jirschele signed with the White Sox as an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point University in June of 2012 and played in the club’s system through this season, reaching as high as Triple-A Charlotte.
He played in two games with Winston-Salem in 2015 and 40 games with the Dash last season, during which he batted .315/.361/.363 with six doubles and nine walks against seven strikeouts.
The 25-year-old Jirschele decided to end his playing career in May after being released with Double-A Birmingham before Chicago brought him on as a coach. Jirschele will try to follow in the footsteps of his father Mike Jirschele, who spent 36 years coaching in the Minors (including 17 years as a manager) before rising in 2014 to his current position as the third base coach of the Kansas City Royals. The younger Jirschele will begin his coaching career in the same place his minor league playing career started in 2012. He also spent part of the 2013 campaign in Great Falls.
Great Falls begins its season on Thursday, June 18, on the road at Billings. As part of the Pioneer League, the Voyagers play a 76-game schedule.
Check back later for our preview of Wednesday’s series finale between Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach.
On Friday, we reviewed the first month of the season for the Dash (they did lead the Carolina League in ERA). Today, we will examine the rest of the Chicago White Sox system to see how their Aprils went, starting from the top:
Chicago White Sox (MLB): An offseason that saw the White Sox acquire RHPs Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, LHP Zach Duke, 1B Adam LaRoche, OF Melky Cabrera and UTL Emilio Bonafacio led to some believing that Chicago would contend in the American League. However, the White Sox struggled in the season’s first month and the rumbling has already begun about rebuilding around this core for 2016.
That being said, the core is the envy of nearly every team in baseball. Jose Abreu has mashed to a 126 wRC+, while Avisail Garcia has been a surprise to match that production so far. Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup has seen LaRoche (87 wRC+), Cabrera (75 wRC+), Alexei Ramirez (46 wRC+) and Adam Eaton (36 wRC+) get off to slow starts, meaning this talented lineup should start to turn things around and get hot at any moment.
The same could be said about the Chicago pitching staff. Both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have posted ERAs above 5.00, with Samardzija currently at 4.78. The White Sox have also brought up top prospect and former Dash LHP Carlos Rodon, who has pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 6.1 innings thus far.
Although the White Sox are currently 7.0 games behind the Tigers, nearly everything has gone wrong for them so far, and turnarounds from what was supposed to be one of the deepest lineups and best starting pitching trios in baseball could make Chicago a team that makes a run later in the year.
Charlotte Knights (AAA): April saw Charlotte storm to a 13-7 start to take the early lead in the International League South division. Former Dash INF Carlos Sanchez has put together one of the best performances in all of Minor League Baseball. The 10th-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to MLB.com, Sanchez is batting .407/.432/.582 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Nearly half of those RBIs came in a May 2 game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when Sanchez went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double to drive in seven runs. That capped a run that saw Sanchez reach base in 10 straight plate appearances, recording a hit in nine of those.
Former Dash OF Trayce Thompson, the No. 19 White Sox prospect, has raked to a .326/.365/.517 tune with three triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs thus far. On the mound, RHP Erik Johnson, who pitched for Winston-Salem in 2012, leads the club with a 3-1 record and 2.04 ERA, fanning 19 in 17.2 innings.
The flip of the calendar to May also saw the White Sox release OF Jared Mitchell. The 2010 first-round pick was batting just .050 this season for Charlotte and was a .205 hitter with 10 homers in 144 Triple-A games.
With a record of 14-9, the Knights are enjoying the perch of the division by one game over the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).
Birmingham Barons (AA): Like the Dash, the Barons had an up-and-down opening month of the season, finishing an even 10-10. Former Dash INF Tim Anderson, who is now the top-ranked prospect in the Chicago system with Rodon in the bigs, has stolen 11 bases and batted .309 with 13 RBIs in the early going. Meanwhile, 2014 Dash members Jacob May (.337/.378/.424, 10 SB) and Jason Coats (.340/.354/.532, 9 2B) reinforced an offense that ranks in the top half of the league in both batting average and slugging percentage. Coats did earn a late-April bump to Charlotte thanks to his strong production.
In the rotation, Frankie Montas and Myles Jaye, who both pitched in Winston-Salem last year, have helped lead a pitching staff that is just four off the lead for most strikeouts in the Southern League. Montas has a 2.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13.2 frames, while Jaye is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 20 punchouts against six free passes in 20.1 innings.
The Barons are currently 2.5 games behind the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs) in the Southern League’s North Division.
Kannapolis Intimidators (A): Former Dash manager Tommy Thompson and his Intimidators did not have a winning or losing streak of more than two games throughout April. LHP Jordan Guerrero (No. 29 White Sox prospect) has gotten off to a ridiculous start to the campaign. Guerrero has the sixth-best ERA (0.69) in all of Minor League Baseball, while his 0.77 WHIP ranks 18th. The southpaw is 3-0, has given up just 15 hits in 26.0 innings and fanned 26 against only five walks.
The Kannapolis offense has posted the third-best average and slugging percentage in the South Atlantic League. INF Chris Curley’s 20 RBIs lead the club, and he has hit .281/.326/.551 while smashing a team-high nine doubles and five roundtrippers. C Brett Austin, Rodon’s roommate at NC State, is batting .333/.453/.548 with three triples, and former Olympic silver medalist Eddy Alvarez has slashed .301/.396/.422 with six steals.
The Intimidators’ 10-13 record has them at the bottom of the SAL Northern Division, 6.0 games behind the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers).
Stay tuned for our Dash game preview as they wrap up a four-game set Monday with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.
The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.
Moment #6 – August 9
Danish holds Hillcats hitless over six sensational innings
The Dash turned in some tremendous pitching performances this season, but no hurler was as consistently dominant as right-hander Tyler Danish. In his 25 starts between Winston-Salem and Low-A Kannapolis, the 19-year-old finished 2014 with a 2.08 earned run average, which was eighth-lowest among full-season Minor League qualifiers.
Within the top 15 in that category, Danish was not only the youngest of the group. He was at least a full year younger than everyone else. Few pitchers enjoyed more success than Danish, no matter the age.
Many of his outings down the stretch were stellar, but one stands above the rest. The Dash began their first road trip of August in sole possession of first place in the Southern Division’s second half standings, with Danish winning the final game of the previous homestand.
However, Winston-Salem dropped the first four of this six-game swing to Potomac and Lynchburg. The Dash’s playoff hopes were dwindling, and the club desperately needed a momentum shift. Danish did everything he could to offer exactly that.
The former second-round pick, who became Winston’s ace after the All-Star break, buzzed through six no-hit innings. After a long fly out by Will Skinner to end the first, Lynchburg never mustered a hard-hit ball against Danish, let alone a knock.
Because of Danish’s youth, the White Sox put him on a six-inning limit during the final two months of the season, which is why he did not have a chance to continue his no-hit bid. Danish still accomplished his personal goal.
“Around the fourth or fifth inning, I looked up there and saw that I had no hits,” Danish said. “I knew I could only go six, so that was my goal–go six and give up no hits.”
Unfortunately, Danish’s departure doomed the Dash on that night. Lynchburg rallied with back-to-back two-run frames en route to a 4-1 win over Winston-Salem. It was one of the more deflating losses of the 2014 season, but a big reason for that was because Danish was so dominant.
The Dash could not come up with a big hit in this contest, but one of the biggest hits of the 2014 season is up next on our Dash Top 10. Hope you can join us for #5 on Thursday!
The newest member of the Dash summed up the news pretty well on Twitter.
2nd times a charm… 😉
— Terance Marin™ (@tero89) June 18, 2014
Indeed, right-hander Terance Marin is back with Winston-Salem, the White Sox announced Friday morning. Originally signed by Chicago as a non-drafted free agent in 2010, Marin was in the system until April 9 when he was released from the Dash’s roster. Less than three months later, Marin is back in the system and in the Dash’s rotation. He will start for Winston in its middle match against Salem on Friday.
Marin did not give up on his professional aspirations. The Newman, Calif., native signed with the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League, and he dominated to the tune of a 4-1 record and a 2.05 earned run average in six starts.
His short stint in Evansville was stellar. Check out some of these numbers, courtesy of Evansville broadcaster Mike Radomski:
- Marin took a no-hitter into the fifth inning in three of his six outings with the Otters.
- The righty whiffed 11 batters in back-to-back outings on May 24 and May 30.
- Marin averaged more than six and a half innings per start. His affiliated career high is 6.2 frames, though he did not start many games in the Minors.
With Marin’s addition, the Dash’s roster is at the Carolina League maximum of 25. He will be the 11th hurler to start a game for Winston-Salem this season.
Stay tuned for a full preview of Friday’s clash against Salem here on the Dash Board.
The Dash’s rotation will look a bit different moving forward. Right-hander Francellis Montas, who joined the White Sox organization via the Jake Peavy deal last July, has been activated from Low-A Kannapolis’ disabled list and promoted to Winston-Salem.
Montas will make his High-A debut on Monday night when the Dash kick off a three-game set with the Myrtle Beach Pelicans at BB&T Ballpark. In a corresponding move, the White Sox released left-handed reliever Sean Bierman, who was 0-1 with a 3.38 earned run average in five appearances with Winston-Salem this season.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Montas split last season between the Red Sox and White Sox Low-A clubs in the South Atlantic League. He was 2-9 with a 5.70 ERA with the Greenville Drive before the deadline deal. The righty capped off the campaign with five strong starts in Kannapolis, going 3-2 with a 4.56 ERA.
In 49 outings with the Red Sox system, Montas went 3-18 with a 5.54 ERA. He amassed 181 strikeouts in 164 innings during that span. Baseball America tabbed Montas as the 20th-best prospect in the Gulf Coast League after the 2011 season.
Montas claims the rotation spot of Brad Goldberg, who returned to the bullpen after five starts to kick off the season. Montas’ High-A debut will not be easy. Myrtle Beach boasts the Carolina League’s best average at .276, which is 21 points better than second place.
We’ll have more on the first 2014 meeting between Winston and Myrtle here on the blog. Stay tuned.
The White Sox announced that Winston-Salem shortstop Tim Anderson has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday. According to manager Tommy Thompson, it is a left shoulder injury for Anderson, and it was suffered during the Dash’s 11-8 loss at Salem on Monday.
Anderson remained in the lineup throughout the Monday contest, but he was not in the Dash’s Tuesday lineup that was posted a few hours before the game was postponed due to rain in the Salem area.
The White Sox first-round pick last June, Anderson is off to a tremendous start in his High-A career. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native is hitting .250 (23-for-92) with one home run and six RBIs. His four triples are tied for the most in the Carolina League, while he shares fifth place on the circuit with 11 extra-base hits.
Anderson will be eligible to return to the active roster on Tuesday when the Dash take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the middle match of their three-game set at BB&T Ballpark.
As a result, fellow infielder Justin Jirschele has been activated off the disabled list and will be eligible to play for the first time this season in the Dash’s homestand opener against Potomac on Thursday night. Jirschele hit .304 in 65 games with rookie-level Great Falls a year ago. He also played 15 games with Low-A Kannapolis, hitting .137 with six RBIs.
The Dash’s roster sits at 25 active players, along with three men on the disabled list. Stay tuned to the blog for a full preview of Thursday’s clash with Potomac.