Results tagged ‘ minor league baseball ’
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.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) September 13, 2013
Awesome team win!! One more to go baby!!! Coming home to Birmingham to finish this thing off! Lets pack at Regions field! @BhamBarons
— Chris Beck (@WatchurBeck) September 13, 2013
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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
- 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.
The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m. and features a chat with Winston-Salem manager Ryan Newman. Fans can listen live here.
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.
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…
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.
The news made its way around Twitter, with Kannapolis’ account coming up with the best tweet of the night.
— K-town Intimidators (@Intimidators) July 21, 2013
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.
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.
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…
Cannot sleep on this bus.. 5 more hours for my pleasure
— Jeremy Dowdy (@Dowdy413) July 20, 2013
Just arrived in West Virginia after a 10+ hour bus ride. About to go to bed. How was your evening?
— Bradley Goldberg (@B_Gumbo30) July 20, 2013
— Stew Brase (@sbrase12) July 20, 2013
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.
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.
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.
It was a tough Monday for the Dash in the Roanoke Valley. Winston-Salem dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Salem, and designated hitter Mark Tracy left the opener with an ankle sprain. He suffered this injury while advancing to second on a wild pitch in the game’s third inning.
As a result, Tracy was placed on the seven-day disabled list in between games of the doubleheader, and outfielder Adam Heisler was activated after a knee injury kept him out for two weeks.
As the two-hole hitter in game two, Heisler went 1-for-4 with a run scored to extend his on-base streak, which we have been keeping tabs on here, here and here. It now sits at 42 games dating back to the 2012 season, and Heisler’s time on the shelf did not cost him Minor League Baseball’s top spot in this category.
In fact, Heisler has a significant lead on second place in the minors among active on-base streaks. Take a look:
1. Winston-Salem’s Adam Heisler – 42
2. Toledo’s Jordan Lennerton – 35
3. Greenville’s Mookie Betts – 27
4. Norfolk’s Travis Ishikawa – 26
Among active on-base streaks longer than 20 games, Heisler’s is the only one that spans the entire 2013 season. He has reached safely in all 20 games with Winston-Salem after finding his way aboard at least once in his 19 games with Low-A Kannapolis. The Mobile, Ala., native also finished the 2012 campaign with three games of at least one trip on the bases while in Great Falls.
The Dash and Salem Red Sox continue their five-game, four-day series with a 7:05 clash tonight. Listen live beginning at 6:50 here. Talk to you then.