Results tagged ‘ minor league baseball ’

Top 10 posts of 2013

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

It has been another successful year here with the Dash Board Blog. Thanks to all of you, our readers, the Dash Board Blog has been one of the most popular blogs in Minor League Baseball.

After compiling a “Dash Top 10” based on the team’s 2013 accomplishments back in September, why not share our list of the Top 10 blog posts of the 2013 season.

This list is based on hits, and I omitted the posts solely dedicated to transactions or game previews. Without further ado, here are the blog’s best posts from 2013.

1. “When a foul ball meets a computer screen” – July 22

The picture of the monitor is crazy, but the conversation in the broadcast booth before the damage was even crazier. I’m happy that my computer’s demise did have one positive impact.

2. “Breaking down the Dash…on Twitter” – May 20

Baseball players can send some unique tweets. A few Dash players discuss their different tweets.

3. “One millionth fan tribute” – May 10

BB&T Ballpark reached one million total fans quicker than any other facility in High-A history, so we put together a video tribute to our loyal fans.

4. “All-You-Can-Eat Night by the numbers” – April 19

The Dash hosted their first All-You-Can-Eat Night in April, and our fans left the game quite stuffed. The final numbers were very impressive.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

5. “Snow at BB&T Ballpark” – January 18

Snow covered the stadium early this year, and the photos are great.

6. “The shoes of MiLB’s stolen base leader” – August 2

Micah Johnson has style and speed. Both of those traits came together in his shoes.

7. “Smith’s unique journey to Pittsburgh” – June 9

Kevan Smith was a college football quarterback before he joined the White Sox system. How he arrived at the University of Pittsburgh is a fascinating story.

8. “Shagging baseballs at the Home Run Derby” – August 7

Josh Richmond played on a big league field at a young age. He was in uniform at the 1998 Home Run Derby.

9. “Dash to a million: BB&T Ballpark in pictures” – May 15

Before the millionth fan celebration, we took a look back at some of BB&T Ballpark’s best moments.

10. “Catching up with Tommy Thompson” – April 29

The Dash’s 2012 manager, who has a fascinating personality, reflected on his time in Winston-Salem and looked ahead.

Thanks again for following along with the Dash Board Blog throughout the 2013 season. Happy Holidays!

- Brian

Team CB does it again

Chris Beck and the Barons are one win away from a title (John Shadrick/Birmingham Barons).

Chris Beck and the Barons are one win away from a title (John Shadrick/Birmingham Barons).

Koufax and Drysdale. Maddux and Glavine. Johnson and Schilling. Bassitt and Beck?

OK, these comparisons may be a bit too lofty, but Winston-Salem alumni Chris Bassitt and Chris Beck have been two of the best pitchers in all of Minor League Baseball this postseason. As a result, Double-A Birmingham is one win away from a Southern League championship.

The Bassitt-Beck duo has started Game 1 and Game 2, respectively, of the Barons’ two playoff series this month. In the first round against Tennessee, Birmingham collected a pair of home wins because of these righties.

Bassitt in Game 1: 7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 9 K (Barons win 3-1)
Beck in Game 2: 5.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 K (Barons win 7-1)

Birmingham withstood a strong Tennessee rally to claim the Southern League’s North Division Series three games to two. Then, the CB duo did it again over the last two nights in the SL’s Championship Series to propel the Barons to the brink of a title.

Bassitt in Game 1: 5.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 6 H, 7 K (Barons win 8-3)
Beck in Game 2: 6.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K (Barons win 8-2)

Four starts. 23.2 innings. Two earned runs. 25 strikeouts.

Most importantly, four wins for both the CB tandem and the Barons.

Will the Barons get one more win and claim the franchise’s first championship in 11 years and its 14th crown all-time? Birmingham hosts Mobile tonight at 8:05 EDT. You can listen live here or follow along @BhamBarons on Twitter.

- Brian

Notes from around the system

Former Dash shortstop Marcus Semien was named a Double-A Year-End All-Star (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Former Dash shortstop Marcus Semien was named a Double-A Year-End All-Star (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The minor league regular season wraps up Monday, so playoff races are winding down while All-Star teams are announced. It is no surprise, then, that there has been plenty of activity within the White Sox system. Here are some notes:

  • Triple-A Charlotte concludes its 24-year run at Knights Stadium in Fort Mill, S.C., this weekend. The Knights will move to the second BB&T Ballpark in Minor League Baseball for next season. The new facility will be in downtown Charlotte, and the organization is already gearing up for the big opening.
  • At the Double-A level, a pair of 2012 Winston-Salem alumni were honored earlier today. First baseman Dan Black and shortstop Marcus Semien have earned spots on the Southern League’s Year-End All-Star team. The 2012 Carolina League MVP, Black is hitting .289 with 17 homers and 81 RBIs, numbers that are very similar to his efforts here in the Triad last year (.315, 17 HR, 88 RBIs).
  • Prior to his promotion to Triple-A earlier this month, Semien was an MVP candidate in the SL. The former California star hit .290 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 105 games with the Barons. Since joining the Knights, Semien is a .246 hitter with four long balls and 14 RBIs.
  • Plus, Semien’s 108 total runs between Birmingham (90) and Charlotte (18) are good for a share of the top spot in all of Minor League Baseball. He is tied with highly-touted prospects Byron Buxton (Minnesota) and Chris Taylor (Seattle) in this category.
  • In short-season baseball, Great Falls continued their impressive playoff streak Friday night. In their regular season home finale, the Voyagers clinched a postseason berth for the seventh consecutive season with an 8-7 victory over Billings.
  • Thus, Great Falls will join Birmingham as White Sox affiliates in the playoffs. Like the Dash, Charlotte, Kannapolis and Bristol will not be vying for a league crown next week.

Winston-Salem will open a three-game set in Wilmington tonight at 6:05. Stay tuned for a preview of the Dash’s final series opener of the season.

- Brian

Can Winston-Salem stop this year’s Dash?

Can the Dash prevent the P-Nats from besting what Winston did in 2012? (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

Can the Dash prevent the P-Nats from besting what Winston did in 2012? (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

Last season, Winston-Salem was the class of the Carolina League in the regular season. The Dash’s 87-51-1 record was the best mark among the 120 teams in full-season Minor League Baseball.

Winston-Salem finished with the best winning percentage in the Carolina League since 2008 (.630), while the Dash registered the franchise’s second-best record overall. Only the 1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals, who won 106 games, had a better season than the Dash did a year ago.

This season, Potomac is on a similar path. Despite the Dash’s win last night, the P-Nats own the league’s best record at 79-48 (.622). The club needs to win nine of its last 12 games to surpass the Dash’s record from last year, while Potomac trails only Cedar Rapids (Low-A, Twins) for the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball (80-46, .635).

While the Dash’s playoff hopes are fading down the stretch, they can still be the only team to solve the puzzle that is the Potomac Nationals. Excepting Winston-Salem, The P-Nats have defeated every team in the Carolina League at least 12 times.

The Dash, on the other hand, own an 8-6 mark in the season series, which still includes six games. Four of those contests, one of which will be the completion of a suspended game from July, are set for next week at BB&T Ballpark.

The P-Nats of 2013 are very similar to the Dash of 2012. Potomac is likely to win both division titles this season in the Northern Division, an accomplishment Winston-Salem earned last year in the Southern Division. Both clubs will have dealt with a hot Lynchburg squad in the postseason, barring a late-season collapse by the Hillcats. Plus, both squads dominated at home, with the Dash finishing last season with full-season Minor League Baseball’s best home mark (48-23) and Potomac near the top this season (45-20).

Since Winston-Salem became the Dash prior to the 2009 season, no team has been better in the regular season than last year’s Winston club. The Dash of 2013 can assure that this is still true after 2013 with a few more wins against Potomac.

- Brian

Game 128 Preview – Dash at Potomac

Game #128 – Road Game #65
Winston-Salem Dash (24-33, 62-65) at Potomac Nationals (37-20, 79-47)
Wednesday, August 21 – 7:05 p.m.
Pfitzner Stadium (Woodbridge, Va.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash won back-to-back games at Frederick to earn a series split. Now, Winston-Salem heads to Potomac for the first of three against a Nationals squad that has won 10 in a row.

Bryan Blough leads all of High-A baseball in innings pitched (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Bryan Blough leads all of High-A baseball in innings pitched (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Micah Johnson – 2B
Joey DeMichele – SS
Chris Curley – 3B
Kevan Smith – C
Courtney Hawkins – CF
Mark Haddow – DH
Josh Richmond – RF
Jeremy Farrell – 1B
Grant Buckner – LF
Bryan Blough – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Bryan Blough leads the Carolina League and High-A baseball with 151.2 innings pitched thus far this season. Blough has a 14-inning lead on Frederick’s Zach Davies for the top spot in the CL, while he is three and a third innings better than Stockton’s Tanner Peters for the lead among High-A hurlers.
  • Chris Curley paces the CL in home runs (23) and RBIs (89), hits (140) and runs scored (83). He also leads Salem’s Keury De La Cruz by 43 for the league lead in total bases with 238. Curley is trying to become the third straight Dash slugger to earn the league MVP honors, joining Ian Gac (2011) and Dan Black (2012).
  • Winston-Salem has a stranglehold over the RBIs leaderboard in the Carolina League. Four of the top eight run producers on the circuit play for the Dash: Curley (89, 1st), Jeremy Farrell (67, 6th), Kevan Smith (63, 7th) and Courtney Hawkins (62, 8th).
  • The only season series battle that is still up for grabs for the Dash is their 20-game season set with Potomac. Thus far in 2013, Winston-Salem is 7-6 against the P-Nats, who have won 10 in a row entering Wednesday. However, Potomac has claimed five of the first seven meetings at Pfitzner Stadium.
  • The P-Nats have a .627 winning percentage, which is just shy of the Dash’s mark from last season (.630). It proved to be the best winning percentage among the 120 full-season Minor League Baseball teams.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m. and features a chat with Winston-Salem manager Ryan Newman. Fans can listen live here.

- Brian

Cose-ing through August

Jake Cose's August efforts have been the best in the minors (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

Jake Cose’s August efforts have been the best in the minor leagues (Laura Marshall/W-S Dash).

The month of August has been a tough one for the Dash, but Jake Cose is quite a bright spot. The right-hander earned another victory Tuesday with seven shutout innings in a split-clinching win at Frederick.

Just how good has Cose been this month? Among minor league hurlers with at least 20 innings in August, Cose boasts the lowest earned run average. He has allowed one earned run in 28 innings, which calculates to a 0.32 ERA.

Plus, those 28 innings are good for fourth-most in the minors this month, so he has been an innings eater while dominating the opposition.

Here is a look at Cose’s efforts this month in a game-by-game format:

August 5 vs. Lynchburg: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 5 K (W)
August 10 at Salem: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 3 K (W)
August 15 vs. Salem: 7.0 IP, 1 R/ER, 2 H, 8 K (ND)
August 20 at Frederick: 7.0 IP, 0 R, 6 H, 5 K (W)

Cose has earned a win in three of those four starts despite only receiving a total of 15 runs of support in his four August outings. The Stockton, Calif., native has steadily improved during his High-A career. He reached Winston-Salem thanks to his 1.72 ERA in 10 starts for Low-A Kannapolis, but the righty struggled to the tune of a 7.09 ERA in June.

Once July rolled around, Cose found his form here in the Carolina League. He posted a 3.93 ERA in July, which was simply a precursor to his huge month of August.

If everything pans out from a starting pitching standpoint, Cose is slated to make his final two starts of the season here in August. He would be the probable starter for Sunday’s game at home against Myrtle Beach before wrapping up his 2013 efforts August 31 at Wilmington.

So far, Cose has owned August. Even in a rough month for Winston-Salem, he has been quite a bright spot–arguably the brightest pitcher in Minor League Baseball.

- Brian

When a foul ball meets a computer screen

The Dash’s series finale at Carolina was quite an interesting contest. Winston-Salem jumped out to an 8-2 lead before holding on for an 8-7 victory. The key play of the game came in the top of the seventh when Adam Heisler launched a three-run blast to right, giving the Dash their six-run cushion.

The pitch immediately before Heisler’s homer was pretty important in the visiting radio booth. Heisler fouled off a tough 0-2 pitch, and the ball came screaming back toward our perch at Five County Stadium. My personal computer had no chance…

ComputerScreen

I tried to reach around the monitor to make the catch, but my lack of athleticism and poor reaction time cost me once again.

The craziest part of the story is that Rob and I were discussing foul balls flying into radio booths DURING THIS AT-BAT! The clip is hysterical and eerie at the same time.

Here is a clearer view of our radio booth in Zebulon. Heisler’s foul ball barely arched over the net and darted toward the right side of my computer monitor.

VFTBCarolina

The news made its way around Twitter, with Kannapolis’ account coming up with the best tweet of the night.

Fortunately, my computer’s hard drive survived the impact, and I’m already working with another computer. Plus, I gained quite a unique souvenir, and I had to make sure that Heisler took credit for it.

SignedBall

Heisler was such a great sport about the incident, and we shared some laughs during our pregame conversation Sunday. I promise you, though, that I will be much more alert when Heisler is at the plate, especially in two-strike counts.

- Brian

Minor league road trips through TV, Twitter

Double-A Birmingham’s roster boasts plenty of Dash alums, and a handful of them were featured in a great video piece by WVTM-TV, the NBC affiliate in Birmingham. A reporter tagged along with the Barons on a road trip to Huntsville, the shortest trip for the Barons in the Southern League.

You can view the insightful story here, with thoughts from former Winston-Salem stars Dan Black, Mike Blanke, Salvador Sanchez and Trayce Thompson.

Speaking of travel stories, Low-A Kannapolis enjoyed quite a journey last night and through much of this morning. The Intimidators made one of their longer trips of the season from Delmarva, Md., to Charleston, W.Va. According to Google Maps, the trip is about seven hours, but it seems like it took a bit longer than expected…

As a veteran of driving through the West Virginia mountains, I can relate to their tribulations. They will try to overcome their bumpy ride tonight against the West Virginia Power, Pittsburgh’s Low-A club.

Fortunately, Winston-Salem’s return trip from Zebulon is only a journey of two hours and 15 minutes. Based on some of these stories, we are very thankful for that. The Dash aim for a win in the finale of their eight-game, nine-day road trip tonight at 6:15. Stay tuned to the blog for a preview.

- Brian

MiLB’s stolen base, runs leader joins Dash

Micah Johnson, who leads MiLB with 61 stolen bases, has been promoted to Winston-Salem (photo via Kannapolis Intimidators).

Micah Johnson, who leads MiLB with 61 stolen bases, has been promoted to Winston-Salem (photo via Kannapolis Intimidators).

In addition to the postgame fireworks display, the Fourth of July will bring about some fireworks on the bases at BB&T Ballpark. Infielder Micah Johnson, who leads Minor League Baseball with 61 stolen bases and 76 runs scored, has been promoted to Winston-Salem from Low-A Kannapolis, the White Sox announced Wednesday afternoon.

Entering Wednesday’s action, Johnson has 12 more stolen bases than any other player in the minor leagues. Both Louisville’s Billy Hamilton and Lake Elsinore’s Travis Jankowski have swiped 49 bases. A year ago, Hamilton set the single-season minor league record with 155 stolen bases, a total that does not include his two swipes during the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark.

His run total is four better than Byron Buxton, a highly-touted Minnesota farmhand who recently jumped to High-A Fort Myers in the Florida State League.

In addition to his stolen base exploits, Johnson boasts the third-best batting average in the South Atlantic League (.342) to go along with six homers and 42 RBIs. Chicago’s ninth-round pick in 2012, Johnson was a midseason All-Star in the SAL.

Johnson, who primarily plays second base, will join the Dash in advance of Thursday’s series opener against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. He takes the roster spot of outfielder Josh Richmond, who was placed on the disabled list late last night with a blister on his left foot.

- Brian

Happy Father’s Day from the Dash

Father’s Day is incredibly meaningful in the baseball world. Many players fell in love with the game because of their fathers. A few Dash players took the time to wish their Dads a Happy Father’s Day, and you can check that out below.

There is no doubt that I am here in Minor League Baseball because of my Dad. He is the strongest person I know, and I am incredibly fortunate to have him in my life. Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you.

Winston-Salem concludes the first half with a 1:35 p.m. game against Wilmington. Join us at 1:20 p.m. for the Pregame Dash here.

- Brian

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