Results tagged ‘ minor league baseball ’

Unlucky 15 for Dash, Keys

Trends are an important part of baseball. Managers and coaches rely on them to set up strategy, while players use them to determine their approach on the mound, in the field or at the plate.

Generally speaking, weather can be extremely unpredictable. Forecasts can change from hour-to-hour, giving meteorologists nightmares whenever their predictions are wrong. But a trend has even emerged among Mother Nature during this baseball season: the Winston-Salem Dash and Frederick Keys will have their game postponed if it is scheduled on the 15th of the month at BB&T Ballpark.

Tarp covers the field at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, May 15.

Tarp covers the field at BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, May 15.

On Tuesday, April 15, the Dash and Keys were slated to begin a three-game series in the Triad, but rain disrupted those plans, causing a doubleheader for that Wednesday. It was the first of three times in April where weather altered Winston-Salem’s schedule.

Fast-forward to Thursday, May 15, with the Dash and Keys set to begin a four-game series at BB&T Ballpark. Once again, Mother Nature got in the way, leading to this evening’s doubleheader.

It’s purely coincidence that Frederick was the scheduled opponent on both occasions, and that both postponements were on the 15th of the month. Still, we couldn’t help but look at the remaining schedule to see if the Dash and Keys will play on the 15th during the rest of the season.

Thankfully, they don’t. All of the remaining series with Frederick occur after the All-Star Break: June 25-27 and July 19-21 in Maryland, as well as July 29-31 at BB&T Ballpark.

Even with something as volatile and unpredictable as weather, baseball has a strange and fascinating way of producing trends. Remember last year when we discovered the key to quick baseball games? Simply offer all-you-can-eat food!

Since it’s the 16th of the month, the Dash and Keys will be able to play baseball. Two games, in fact. Stay tuned later for a preview of Friday’s doubleheader.

- Dave

Finally, some bonus baseball

For the first time this season, the Dash spent some extra time in the dugout on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

For the first time this season, the Dash spent some extra time in the dugout on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

If you are a fan of free baseball, then the Winston-Salem Dash are not for you. For the second time in three years, Dash fans had to wait a long time for the club’s first extra-inning affair.

In fact, both Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach had not needed more than nine innings in a game until Wednesday’s rubber match. Entering Wednesday’s action, the Dash and Pelicans were two of the seven teams among the 120 in full-season Minor League Baseball without an extra-inning game on their résumé thus far in 2014.

Only five teams remain in the chase for the longest wait before an extra-inning contest:

- Erie SeaWolves (Double-A, Detroit)
– Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A, St. Louis)
– Modesto Nuts (High-A, Colorado)
– West Virginia Power (Low-A, Pittsburgh)
– Wilmington Blue Rocks (High-A, Kansas City)

For comparison’s sake, the West Michigan Whitecaps (Low-A, Detroit) have needed extra innings EIGHT times in 33 games. Four other teams are tied for second in the Minors with six extra-inning tilts.

Two years ago, the Dash rattled off 37 games that ended in regulation before finally needed extra innings. Sure enough, it was a home game against Myrtle Beach that ultimately ended the lengthy string.

That season, Winston-Salem was the second-to-last club in full-season Minor League Baseball to go to extra innings. Only the Midland RockHounds (Double-A, Oakland) waited longer than the Dash.

Unfortunately, this statistically-interesting occurrence is not the top story in the Minor Leagues today. Check out what the Clinton LumberKings (Low-A, Seattle) did on Wednesday night at Burlington in Midwest League action.

You can catch all of the runs via their play-by-play broadcaster Cheyne Reiter on Deadspin here. Pretty neat stuff.

Stay tuned for a preview of the Dash’s series opener at Frederick. It will be here on the blog later today.

- Brian

Game #30 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #30 – Home Game #18
Winston-Salem Dash (11-18) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (18-12)
Wednesday, May 7 – 11 a.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC) 

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash fell to Myrtle Beach 11-2 at BB&T Ballpark Tuesday night. It was the most lopsided loss of the season for Winston-Salem, as the Pelicans banged out 15 hits in the contest.

Tommy Thompson and the Dash wrap up their seven-game homestand Wednesday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Manager Tommy Thompson and the Dash wrap up a seven-game homestand on Wednesday afternoon (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Heisler – CF
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Jason Coats – RF
Grant Buckner – 1B
Nick Basto – 3B
Martin Medina – C
Justin Jirschele – DH
Michael Johnson – SS
Braulio Ortiz – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Tuesday marked the first time that Myrtle Beach defeated the Dash in the last seven meetings. Previously, the Pelicans’ most recent win over Winston-Salem was in the first game of a doubleheader at Myrtle Beach on July 30, 2010, a seven-inning 5-4 contest.
  • The Dash are still seeking their first series win at BB&T Ballpark in 2014 and their second series victory overall. The Dash took two-of-three at Salem from April 26-28. The last time Winston-Salem won a series at home was August 28-30, 2013, against Potomac.
  • Outfielder Courtney Hawkins and Myrtle Beach’s Joey Gallo are expected to continue their slugging showdown Wednesday. Both men tallied two RBIs each during the first two games of the series, with Hawkins holding the Carolina League lead over Gallo in that category, 30 to 26. Gallo has the most home runs in the circuit with 10, while Hawkins is tied for second with seven.
  • With his first inning triple on Tuesday, outfielder Adam Heisler extended his hitting streak to six games. The Alabama native has compiled hits in 10 of his last 11 contests.
  • Following Wednesday’s homestand finale, the Dash will hit the road on a seven-game trip. Winston-Salem will be in Frederick for a four-game series with the Keys before heading to Myrtle Beach for a three-game set.
  • Probable starting pitcher Braulio Ortiz is still seeking his first win of the season. The 22-year-old has yet to pitch into the sixth inning this season. In his last outing, Ortiz allowed two runs, five hits and five walks in four and one-third innings, ending up with a no-decision in a 4-3 setback to Potomac on May 2. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.15 ERA.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Today’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 10:45 a.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 11 a.m. Every Dash home game is also available on MiLB.tv.

- Dave

DeMichele leads offensive barrage

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday's win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Joey DeMichele scored a remarkable five times in Sunday’s win (Erik Weasenforth/W-S Dash).

Over the course of three-and-a-half hours, the Dash flexed their offensive muscles on Sunday in Salem. It was a coming-out party for Winston-Salem’s lineup, which produced season highs in runs (15) and hits (17).

The star of the show was Joey DeMichele, who made some history in the six-run victory:

- DeMichele became the first player in the Dash era (2009-present) to score five runs in one game. He fell one run short of the Carolina League record.
– He was the first player with four or more runs in a game since Nick Ciolli scored five times at Salem on August 25, 2011.
– The former Arizona State star collected a career-high five hits, which matches a Dash record. Brady Shoemaker was the last Winston-Salem hitter to accomplish this feat (May 13, 2012 at Lynchburg).

DeMichele is the latest example of the problem with overreacting to early returns in a baseball season. He raised his batting average 64 points from .167 to .231 with his 5-for-5 effort. One game in the month of April can drastically change things, and DeMichele proved exactly that.

In addition to DeMichele’s dominance, Courtney Hawkins clubbed his seventh home run of the season in Sunday’s triumph. That two-run blast pushed his RBI total to 27, which leads Minor League Baseball. Here is the pecking order entering Monday’s action:

1. Winston-Salem’s Courtney Hawkins – 27
T-2. High Desert’s Patrick Kivlehan (High-A, Seattle) – 26
T-2. Oklahoma City’s Jon Singleton (Triple-A, Houston) – 26
4. St. Lucie’s Aderlin Rodriguez (High-A, New York Mets) – 25
5. Six players tied – 24

Hawkins is also tied for seventh in the Minors with those seven long balls. And how about this stat: Hawkins’ RBI total against Salem (19) is greater than the overall RBI mark for all but 38 Minor Leaguers.

In our game preview, we will have more on the tremendous offensive showing on Sunday in the Roanoke Valley. We’ll see if the bats can continue their surge tonight at 7:05.

- Brian

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

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