Results tagged ‘ Myrtle Beach Pelicans ’

Game #32 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #32 – Home Game #14
Winston-Salem Dash (14-17) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (19-12)
Monday, May 11 – 11 a.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem scored three runs in the fifth inning to grab a 3-2 lead Sunday over Myrtle Beach, but the Pelicans scored a run in the sixth to tie the game and a run in the seventh to win 4-3. Monday’s contest will act as the rubber game of this five-game series.

Brad Goldberg worked two scoreless innings Sunday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Brad Goldberg worked two scoreless innings Sunday. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Chris Jacobs – DH
Nick Basto – LF
Omar Narvaez – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Ethan Wilson – 3B
Jake Cose – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem enjoyed its best offensive week of the month-old season, but the majority of the production took place during the early portion of the week. From Tuesday to Friday, the Dash amassed 40 runs, their best four-game offensive showing since April 28-May 1, 2012 (45 runs). However, in the last three games, Myrtle Beach has limited Winston-Salem to 11 runs and an average of .189 (17-for-90). Still, the Dash shot from worst to first in runs per game thanks to a run of 51 runs in seven games (from 3.5 to 4.4).
  • This series features the two best candidates to take home the Carolina League’s Player of the Week honor, which will be announced Monday. Dash infielder Trey Michalczewski recorded 15 RBIs, tied with El Paso’s Cody Decker for the most in the Minor Leagues this week. In eight games, Michalczewski hit .323 (10-for-31) with two homers and seven runs. He submitted three games of four or more RBIs and launched the CL’s second grand slam of 2015 on Tuesday at Frederick. Myrtle Beach’s Billy McKinney posted a .433 average (13-for-30) with one homer, 12 RBIs and nine runs in nine games.
  • Following Monday’s rubber match with Myrtle Beach, the Dash will get to know division rival Salem quite well. Winston and Salem will battle in 14 of the two club’s next 20 games. The Dash have not played the Red Sox yet in 2015.
  • For just the third time in 11 games this month, the Dash failed to steal a base in Sunday’s one-run loss. Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League with 27 stolen bases in May, which has thrust them into fourth place in Minor League Baseball with 53. Winston-Salem is trailing only three South Atlantic League teams–Charleston (70; NY Yankees), Asheville (67; Colorado), and Lexington (60; Kansas City). Within the Carolina League, Frederick is the closest competition, but the Keys have swiped 15 fewer bags.
  • Two Dash outfielders have accounted for 39 of the Dash’s 53 stolen bases (74%). Keenyn Walker collected two stolen bases in Saturday’s doubleheader to jump ahead of teammate Adam Engel at the top of the Carolina League. Walker’s 20 swipes are third in the Minors, while Engel is alone in fourth with 19. Charleston’s Jorge Mateo leads the way with 25. No other Carolina League player has more than 14 (Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer).
  • Monday starter Jake Cose pitched for the first time in 613 days on Wednesday at Frederick. He missed all of 2014 and the first month of 2015 with a significant back injury that forced him into surgery in the middle of last season. He worked three innings (51 pitches) and gave up just one run despite two hits and four walks.
  • Former Dash right-hander Mike Recchia, who pitched for Winston-Salem in 2013 and 2014, has retired from baseball. Recchia was with Double-A Birmingham.
  • The Dash have scored three or fewer runs in 15 of their first 31 games this season.
  • Myrtle Beach led off three straight innings with a triple on Sunday (sixth, seventh and eighth). Two of those three batters came around, with Brad Goldberg inducing a fielder’s choice at the plate in the eighth.
  • Myrtle Beach righty Daury Torrez has given up just one run in 12 innings over two starts against the Dash (2-0).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Monday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 10:45 a.m., with the first pitch at 11 a.m.

– Scott

Game #31 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #31 – Home Game #13
Winston-Salem Dash (14-16) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (18-12)
Sunday, May 10 – 2 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash and Pelicans split a doubleheader Saturday, with Myrtle Beach taking game one of the twin bill 3-2 in 10 innings. Winston-Salem won 6-1 in the second contest, meaning a win Sunday would give the Dash a series victory.

Trey Michalczewski has driven in 15 runs over his last six games. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Trey Michalczewski has driven in 15 runs over his last six games. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Jeremy Dowdy – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Nolan Earley – DH
Robinson Leyer – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In Saturday’s second game, third baseman Trey Michalczewski continued his torrid stretch this week. Michalczewski finished a double short of a cycle in a 3-for-3 effort that included a game-tying, two-run triple in the third and a solo shot down the right field line in the fifth. Since Tuesday night, Michalczewski is hitting .391 (9-for-23) with two homers and a Minor League-leading 15 RBIs. No other hitter has more than 11 RBIs during this span. He has recorded three games of four or more RBIs after logging two such efforts in his first 214 Minor League games.
  • Through 24 games, Winston-Salem was at the bottom of the Carolina League in team batting average (.225) and runs per game (3.5). The Dash have drastically differed in their last six contests. Winston-Salem has amassed 48 runs, or 8.0 per game, in its last six games. Because of this surge, the Dash have jumped from worst to first in runs per game (4.4) within the CL.
  • The Dash’s bats have busted out in a big way over the last six games, and their team speed has contributed to the offense’s success. During this stretch, Winston-Salem has ripped off a remarkable 23 stolen bases, surging to the top spot in the Carolina League in swipes with 53. Second-place Frederick has just 39. Within Minor League Baseball, Winston is in fourth place, trailing only three South Atlantic League teams–Charleston (69; NY Yankees), Asheville (63; Colorado), and Lexington (58; Kansas City).
  • Two Dash outfielders have accounted for 39 of the Dash’s 53 stolen bases (74%). Keenyn Walker collected two stolen bases in Saturday’s doubleheader to jump ahead of teammate Adam Engel at the top of the Carolina League. Walker’s 20 swipes are third in the Minors, while Engel is alone in fourth with 19. Charleston’s Jorge Mateo leads the way with 25, including four on Saturday. No other CL player has more than 14 (Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer).
  • The rest of the White Sox organization enjoyed a tremendous day. During the White Sox twin bill finale against Cincinnati, Carlos Rodon made his first Major League start. Rodon posted a quality start in a winning effort (6.0 IP, 2 R-ER, 8 K), while former Dash right-hander Chris Beck earned his first promotion to the big leagues as the 26th man for the double dip finale. Triple-A Charlotte snapped a five-game skid at Toledo with an 8-4 win. Tim Anderson recorded a cycle in Double-A Birmingham’s 8-7 victory on the road in Montgomery. Low-A Kannapolis plated eight in the ninth to stun Lexington 13-8.
  • The Dash have won five of their last six games against Myrtle Beach after the Pelicans snagged wins in each of the first four matchups of 2015.
  • In the Carolina League, Adam Engel is seventh in average (.298), tied for first in hits (34) and alone in first in runs scored (24).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Television coverage of Sunday’s contest will be available on My48 at 2 p.m. For a channel guide please visit the Dash Broadcast Corner. The game will also be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 1:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 2 p.m.

– Scott

Games #29/30 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

UPDATE: 7:45 p.m.

Game two Dash lineup:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – DH
Chris Jacobs – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Jeremy Dowdy – C
Keenyn Walker – RF
Andre Wheeler – LHP

Games #29/30 – Home Games #11/12
Winston-Salem Dash (13-15) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (17-11)
Saturday, May 9 – 4:30 p.m. (doubleheader)
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash plated five in the second and five in the third to roar past the Pelicans 10-6 in Friday’s series opener. Trey Michalczewski ripped three doubles and drove in four. Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach tangle in a doubleheader Saturday that includes the makeup of Sunday, April 19’s contest.

Trey Michalczewski cranked three doubles and plated four Friday against Myrtle Beach. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Trey Michalczewski cranked three doubles and plated four Friday against Myrtle Beach. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP (Game 1):

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Chris Jacobs – DH
Nick Basto – LF
Omar Narvaez – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Keenyn Walker – RF
Jace Fry – LHP

DASH DOTS:

  • Through 24 games, Winston-Salem was at the bottom of the Carolina League in team batting average (.225) and runs per game (3.5). The Dash have drastically differed in their last four contests. Winston-Salem has amassed 40 runs in its last four games, the club’s best four-game offensive surge since plating 45 runs from April 28-May 1, 2012. That 45-run stretch came during the 10-game winning streak, while this current one has only netted two victories.
  • The Dash collected a season-high six doubles in the four-run win on Friday night, and all of these two-base knocks came in the game’s first three innings. This marks the highest single-game double total since July 30, 2014, when the Dash blasted Frederick 12-2. Trey Michalczewski recorded three of them, becoming the first Dash swinger to reach three doubles since Joey DeMichele on May 28, 2013 (17-5 W vs. FRE).
  • The three longest active hitting streaks in the Carolina League belong to Dash hitters. Chris Jacobs (9 G, 15-for-34, .441, HR, 8 RBI, 5 R) and Cleuluis Rondon (9 G, 11-for-33, .333, HR, 4 RBI, 6 R) have hit safely in nine consecutive games. These streaks are the longest by a Dash player thus far this season. Keon Barnum (7 G, 9-for-29, .310, HR, 6 RBI, 3 R) has also hit safely in seven straight games.
  • The Dash’s bats have busted out in a big way over the last four games, and their team speed has contributed to the offense’s success. During this stretch, Winston-Salem has ripped off a remarkable 20 stolen bases, surging to the top spot in the Carolina League in swipes with 50. Second-place Salem has just 37. In all of Minor League baseball, Winston is in fourth place, trailing only three South Atlantic League teams– Asheville (63; Colorado), Charleston (61; NY Yankees) and Lexington (54; Kansas City).
  • Two Dash outfielders have accounted for 37 of the Dash’s 50 stolen bases. With six stolen bases in his last three games, Adam Engel has jumped to the top spot in the Carolina League with 19, while Keenyn Walker is one behind him at 18. Within Minor League Baseball, Engel is in third place, two behind the first place duo of Charleston’s Jorge Mateo and Asheville’s Wes Rogers. Walker shares fourth place with two others. No other CL player has more than 14 (Lynchburg’s Bradley Zimmer), while Dash infielder Jake Peter is tied for fifth with eight.
  • The 2015 season began exactly one month ago, and the Dash have not spent much time in Winston-Salem thus far this year. In advance of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Dash have played only 10 games at BB&T Ballpark. Only Norfolk (Triple-A, Baltimore Orioles) and Tennessee (Double-A, Chicago Cubs) have played fewer home games than the Dash. Both the Tides and Smokies have suited up at home nine times.
  • Winston-Salem improved to 10-1 when either James Dykstra or Matt Heidenreich start the contest. On the flip side, the Dash are 3-14 when someone else gets the starting pitching assignment.
  • Winston-Salem native CJ Beatty asked for his release from the White Sox organization Saturday. He played in two games for the Dash before going on the DL on April 20.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Saturday’s twin bill will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 4:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 4:30 p.m.

– Scott

Game #28 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

Game #28 – Home Game #10
Winston-Salem Dash (12-15) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (17-10)
Friday, May 8 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem set a Dash-era record with nine runs in the seventh inning of their 14-2 blitz of Frederick to finish off a seven-game road trip. Matt Heidenreich became the first pitcher in the Carolina League to five wins. Winston begins a five-game, four-day series with Myrtle Beach Friday.

Keon Barnum smashed a two-run home run to cap a nine-run seventh. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Keon Barnum smashed a two-run home run to cap a nine-run seventh. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Chris Jacobs – DH
Nick Basto – LF
Omar Narvaez – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Keenyn Walker – RF
James Dykstra – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In the first 861 games of the Dash era, Winston-Salem had never exceeded eight runs in a single inning, even though that had hit the eight-run mark on 10 different occasions. The franchise had not experienced a nine-run offensive inning since August 23, 2006, when the Dash posted that figure in the fifth inning of a 14-9 win at Lynchburg. Remarkably, Frederick executed two great plays defensively, or the inning could have been worse. The Keys recorded a 9-6 fielder’s choice, and shortstop Jeff Kemp made a diving snag on a liner from Jake Peter.
  • The Dash recorded season highs in runs (14) and hits (16) in their 12-run win. All nine starters recorded at least one RBI, while eight different men posted one or more hits and scored at least once. During their series in Frederick, the Dash have amassed 30 runs, their best three-game stretch since May 26-28, 2013 (32). Winston managed just seven runs in its four-game set at Wilmington at the beginning of the road trip.
  • While the offense stole the headlines late on Thursday, righty Matt Heidenreich submitted yet another gem. Heidenreich held the Keys to just two runs over six innings for his fifth win in five starts. He is the first pitcher in the CL and the fourth in the Minors to reach five victories.
  • Heidenreich and Friday starter James Dykstra make up one of the toughest pitching duos in all of Minor League Baseball. Heidenreich’s 1.21 ERA is good for 15th among Minor League qualifiers, while Dykstra’s 1.29 mark checks in at 22nd. Also, Dykstra boasts a 0.68 WHIP, which is 4th-best in the Minors. Winston-Salem is 9-1 when one of these two talented righties take to the hill and 3-14 in all other contests.
  • Since 2010, Winston has had a stranglehold on the home run lead in the Carolina League. From 2010-2014, the Dash went yard 572 times (one every 1.2 games) and led the circuit in every individual season except for 2014. However, the Dash only hit four home runs in their first 24 games through Monday. At that time, Winston-Salem was tied for second-last in the Minors in homers (Rome, 3). In their last three games, though, the Dash have blasted five homers, including three in Tuesday’s 12-10 loss. As a result, the Dash are no longer alone in last place in the CL in the long ball category (Wilmington).
  • Winston-Salem boasts the Carolina League lead in stolen bases (43), while Keenyn Walker (17) and Adam Engel (16) are first and second within the circuit. In the Minors, Walker and Engel are fifth and tied for sixth, respectively. The Dash have done the majority of their thievery against Frederick. Winston-Salem has swiped 24 bases in its seven games against the Keys (3.4/game) and 19 in its other 20 games.
  • Dykstra defeated Myrtle Beach in his High-A debut on July 17, 2014, at BB&T Ballpark (6.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 8 K).
  • Myrtle Beach enters with the Carolina League’s best record (17-10). The Pelicans claimed a 2-1, series-clinching win over Salem on Thursday via Billy McKinney’s walk-off homer in the 10th inning. The Dash have won three consecutive games over the Pelicans, all of which came in Myrtle Beach (April 24-26).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Friday’s game will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:45 p.m., with the first pitch at 7 p.m.

– Scott

Games #9/10 Preview – Dash vs. Myrtle Beach

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.)

Dash game two lineup:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Chris Jacobs – DH
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Keenyn Walker – RF
Sean O’Connell – C
Sean Hagan – LHP

Games #9/10 – Home Games #2/3
Winston-Salem Dash (3-5) vs. Myrtle Beach Pelicans (4-3)
Saturday, April 17 – 4:30 p.m. (doubleheader)
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem put the tying run in scoring position in both the eighth and ninth innings against Myrtle Beach last night, but were unable to overcome a three-run Pelicans third to drop their home opener 3-2. The Dash and Pelicans tangle in a doubleheader today that includes a makeup of Thursday’s postponement between the two clubs.

Keon Barnum drove in his league-leading eighth RBI last night (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Keon Barnum drove in his league-leading eighth RBI last night (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Jake Peter – 2B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – LF
Chris Jacobs – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Keenyn Walker – RF
Robinson Leyer – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • In front of an Opening Night crowd of 5,671 fans at BB&T Ballpark, Myrtle Beach plated three in the second and held on from there for a 3-2 win over Winston-Salem on Friday night. The Dash could not come up with a big hit; they went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on the bases. In the eighth and ninth, Winston could not push a runner home from scoring position. The Dash’s two tallies came on sacrifice flies–Jake Peter in the first and Keon Barnum in the eighth.
  • Winston-Salem’s offense is in the upper half of the Carolina League in runs per game (3.8, fourth). However, the Dash have squandered some great chances to score since their season-opening outburst at Frederick. That night, the Dash collected 13 runs, but they have only come up with 17 over the last seven contests. A big reason why is the struggles with men in scoring position. The Dash are hitting .191 (13-for-68) on the season in those spots. No other CL club is hitting under .200 in this category. Omit the season-opening 6-for-16 showing, and the Dash are 7-for-52 over the last seven games (.135).
  • Despite falling Friday night, the Dash did receive strong and timely pitching from a quartet of arms. In his second High-A outing, southpaw Jace Fry bounced back from the three-run second to work through the fifth. Then, Brian Clark (2IP), Jefferson Olacio (1IP) and Zach Isler (1IP) combined to blank the Pelicans over the final four frames. Myrtle Beach stranded 12 and was 3-for-14 with men in scoring position.
  • Catcher Omar Narvaez extended his season-opening hitting streak to six games on Friday. His .391 batting average (9-for-23) paces all qualifying CL hitters. The Dash boast three of the top 10 marks: Narvaez, Chris Jacobs (.333, fifth) and Keon Barnum (.310, 10th).
  • Dating back to last season, the Dash have dropped six consecutive home games. This marks the longest losing streak since the franchise moved into BB&T Ballpark in April of 2010. It is also the longest home skid since at least 2004. In the first three-plus seasons of the BB&T Ballpark era, the Dash had only dropped four straight games once. However, since August of 2013, Winston-Salem has endured three skids of five or more games, with this current one being the longest. Still, the Dash’s 205-146 (.584) home record since 2010 remains the best in the league over that time period.
  • The Dash are now 2-4 in the lid-lifter of the home slate at BB&T Ballpark. The club has dropped three consecutive home openers–9-7 to Carolina in 2013, 3-1 to Wilmington in 2014 and 3-2 on Friday night to Myrtle Beach.
  • Left-hander Sean Hagan, the Dash’s scheduled game two starter, will make his first professional start. This marks his 60th Minor League outing since the White Sox made him their 31st-round pick in 2013.
  • Keon Barnum leads the league in RBIs (8) in the season’s early going.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Today’s twinbill will be broadcast live on wsdash.com/broadcast and the TuneIn Radio app. The Pregame Dash will begin at 4:15 p.m., with the first pitch at 4:30.

– Scott

Carolina Countdown – Myrtle Beach Pelicans

The Carolina Countdown previews the rest of the Carolina League in advance of the season. We will take a look at each club, both on and off the field. The countdown will progress alphabetically, and a new post will go up every weekday until it is over.

March 26: Carolina Mudcats
March 27: Frederick Keys
March 28: Lynchburg Hillcats

Introduction: The Myrtle Beach Pelicans have been members of the Carolina League since their 1999 inaugural season. Myrtle Beach split the 1999 Mills Cup with Wilmington but won the 2000 championship outright. Since then though, the team has yet to win a title, although they are the only Carolina League team to have made a postseason appearance in four straight seasons. The 2015 season is Myrtle Beach’s first in affiliation with the Chicago Cubs, after four seasons with Texas.

Last Season: Myrtle Beach dominated throughout the 2014 campaign, finishing a full 13.0 games better than any other Southern Division team with an 82-56 overall record. The Pelicans scored the most runs (683) and allowed the second-fewest tallies (550) in the Carolina League. Myrtle boasted a circuit-high 13 players on the Midseason and/or Year-End All-Star teams en route winning the Southern Division in both the first half (44-24) and second half (38-32). In the postseason, the Pelicans took the final two games of a Best-of-3 to knock off Salem in the SDCS and won Game 1 of the MCCS against Potomac before the Nationals won the next three to win the Carolina League championship.

Joey Gallo drove in 50 runs in 58 games with Myrtle Beach in 2014. (Robert Gurganus/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

Joey Gallo drove in 50 runs in 58 games with Myrtle Beach in 2014. (Robert Gurganus/Myrtle Beach Pelicans)

Chicks likely dug the Pelicans in 2014. Myrtle Beach slammed 111 home runs; no team was within 24 bombs. Infielder Joey Gallo won the Carolina League’s Most Valuable Player award, smashing a circuit-high 21 home runs and posting a .463 on-base percentage and .735 slugging percentage for a ridiculous 1.199 OPS in 58 games before getting promoted to Double-A Frisco. Outfielder Nick Williams added a .292/.343/.491 line with 28 doubles, 13 home runs and 68 RBIs. On the pitching side, Andrew Faulkner went 10-1 with a 2.07 ERA, 100 strikeouts and 31 walks in 104.1 innings.

Manager: In conjunction with Myrtle Beach’s move to the Cubs organization, Mark Johnson will become the Pelicans’ sixth manager in team history in 2015. Johnson spent the previous two campaigns with Low-A Kane County, earning Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year and Midwest League Manager of the Year honors last year after guiding the Cougars to a circuit-best 91-49 record and a Midwest League championship after sweeping the postseason with a 7-0 record.

Entering his fifth season with the Cubs, Johnson began managing in the minors immediately after concluding a 17-year professional playing career. Johnson was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (26th overall) of the 1994 draft and spent the 1997 season with Winston-Salem, batting .253/.420/.379 with four homers and 46 RBIs in 120 games. The Perry, Ga. native reached The Show with the White Sox in 1998 and served as the team’s backup catcher through the 2002 season before getting packaged with RHP Keith Foulke and others in a trade that brought Oakland Athletics RHP Billy Koch to Chicago.

Johnson played 13 games with Oakland in 2003, seven with Milwaukee in 2004 and then spent time in the Cubs, Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis organizations until his retirement in 2010, only returning to the big leagues for a 10-game cameo with the Cardinals in 2008. Johnson will be joined in the dugout by pitching coach David Rosario and hitting coach Mariano Duncan.

System: The Cubs haven’t had a winning campaign in seven years and have not won a playoff series since 2003. They have finished no higher than fifth in the National League Central in each of the past five seasons. Amazingly, they haven’t had consecutive 90-win campaigns since 1930. You also might have heard they have the longest championship drought in American professional sports, with their last World Series title coming in 1908.

Kris Bryant has the highest slugging percentage of any minor league over the last 30 years. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

Kris Bryant has the highest slugging percentage of any minor league over the last 30 years. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

But the future appears to be bright for the Cubs. Infielder Javier Baez (2014 MLB.com No. 7 overall prospect) and outfielders Jorge Soler (No. 49) and Arismendy Alcantara (No. 89) made up the first wave of a talented battalion of prospects to trickle through Wrigley Field last summer. But knowing that the levee on Baseball Prospectus‘ top farm system will break in 2015, president Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer spent the winter making sure that the time for baseball’s perennially hibernating bear is right now.

First, the Cubs hired manager Joe Maddon, who had led the Tampa Bay Rays to 90+ wins in four of the last six seasons and the 2008 American League pennant. That gave the Cubs the relevance they needed to convince LHP Jon Lester to come to the north side of The Windy City and lead the starting rotation.

Epstein and Hoyer then went out and made two key trades to shore up the middle of the defense, acquiring switch-hitting catcher Miguel Montero from Arizona and centerfielder Dexter Fouler from Houston. Combine all that activity with the expected MLB debuts of infielder/outfielder Kris Bryant (MLB.com’s No. 2 overall prospect), who led all of Minor League Baseball with 43 home runs in 2014 and who’s .666 slugging percentage as a pro is higher than any minor league of the last 30 years, and infielder Addison Russell (No. 5 overall), who batted .295/.350/.508 last year in Double-A, this season, even more talented prospects are on the way.

Best Promotion: When Winston-Salem visits Myrtle Beach for a four-game series from April 23-26, the Dash will witness the Pelicans’ first-ever “Geekend.” The Dash will battle the Pelicans on Hunger Games Night to open the series on the 23rd before the two teams try to use the Force to bring them victory on Star Wars Night on Friday, the 23rd. Myrtle Beach will host Superhero Night with special jerseys auctioned off to benefit the Special Olympics of South Carolina on Saturday before Retro Game Night will close out the series on Sunday the 24th.

Adam Wainwright was traded to the Cardinals on the same day he got engaged. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Adam Wainwright was traded to the Cardinals on the same day he got engaged. (Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Fun Fact: Future St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright pitched for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in 2002, going 9-6 with a 3.31 ERA. In 2003, Wainwright advanced to Double-A Greenville and, following the season, decided to propose to his longtime girlfriend Jenny Curry. However, on that fateful day in December, every time Wainwright was about to get down on one knee to pop the question, his phone would ring. Wainwright kept ignoring multiple calls from the unknown number until finally his mother’s number came up. He answered it, only for his mother to inform him that he had been traded from the Atlanta organization to St. Louis. Wainwright, slightly stunned, hung up the phone, got down on one knee and finally completed his proposal, to which Curry said, “Yes.” The two were married in 2004.

Pelicans in Winston-Salem: The Dash will host Myrtle Beach for a record 17 home games in 2015. Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach will open up the sixth season of BB&T Ballpark on April 16 to start a four-game series. The Pelicans will come back to Winston-Salem for another four-game series from May 8-11 before returning for a pair of three-game sets in June (15-18 and 28-30). The Dash’s penultimate homestand of the 2015 campaign begins with three games against Myrtle Beach from August 18-20.

Thanks so much for reading! We’ll get to the defending champion Potomac Nationals tomorrow.

– Scott

Game #136 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #136 – Road Game #67
Winston-Salem Dash (29-37, 59-76) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (35-31, 79-55)
Friday, August 29 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 4-1 win in 11 innings at Myrtle Beach on Thursday night. Winston-Salem will try to earn a split in the four-game series against the Pelicans.

Michael Marjama is batting .378 during his last nine games. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Michael Marjama is batting .378 during his last nine games. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Keenyn Walker – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Nick Basto – DH
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
C.J. Beatty – RF
Zach Voight – 3B
Nick Blount – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• The Dash are at the brink of postseason elimination. With four regular season contests remaining, Winston-Salem stands four-and-a-half games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot. One Dash loss, Red Sox win or Carolina Mudcats win would end their postseason hopes.

• Catcher Michael Marjama went 2-for-5 with two singles and scored the go-ahead run in the 11th inning on Thursday. During his last nine games, the California native is batting .378 (14-for-37) with six runs scored.

• Outfielder Nick Basto’s bunt single in the eighth inning extended his hitting streak to six games. It’s the fourth time this season that the 20-year-old has recorded a hitting streak of at least six games.

• First baseman Keon Barnum tallied a double and an RBI in Thursday’s contest. The 21-year-old is now on a six-game hitting streak and has amassed at least one hit in 12 of his last 13 games.

• Right-hander Raul Fernandez tossed three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to earn the win on Thursday. The 24-year-old hasn’t allowed a run in any of his last four outings, spanning nine innings.

• The Dash won for the 11th time in their last at-bat this season and improved to 4-6 in extra-inning games. That includes a 3-2 mark away from BB&T Ballpark.

• Tonight marks the final meeting of the season between the Dash and Pelicans. Myrtle Beach captured 12 of the first 19 matchups and went 7-2 against Winston-Salem at home.

• Right-hander Nick Blount will toe the rubber for the Dash tonight. During his first High-A start against Carolina last Sunday, the Georgia native allowed two runs and five hits in four innings, finishing with a no-decision in the 7-5 setback against the Mudcats. In three appearances with the Dash, the 23-year-old has a 2.25 ERA in eight innings.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.

– Dave

Game #135 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #135 – Road Game #66
Winston-Salem Dash (28-37, 58-76) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (35-30, 79-54)
Thursday, August 28 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash suffered their seventh straight setback, losing 16-5 at Myrtle Beach on Wednesday night. Winston-Salem has dropped their last three games at TicketReturn.com Field and seven of eight on the Pelicans’ home turf this year.

Nick Basto is currently on a five-game hitting streak. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Nick Basto is currently on a five-game hitting streak. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – DH
Keenyn Walker – CF
Nick Basto – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Michael Marjama – C
Jake Peter – 2B
C.J. Beatty – RF
Zach Voight – SS
James Dykstra – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• The Dash are at the brink of postseason elimination. With five regular season contests remaining, Winston-Salem stands five-and-a-half games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot. One Dash loss, Red Sox win or Carolina Mudcats win would end their postseason hopes.

• Wednesday matched the single-game record for runs allowed in a game during the Dash era (since 2009). Winston-Salem also gave up 16 runs in a six-run loss to Salem on August 31, 2011.

• Outfielder Nick Basto went 1-for-3 with a single and two runs scored on Wednesday. The 20-year-old is now riding a five-game hitting streak.

• Outfielder Keenyn Walker registered a single and an RBI in Wednesday’s contest. The Utah native has hits in four of his last five games, during which he is batting .333 (6-for-18).

• The Dash are 7-17 this month and as a result, have fallen into the Southern Division basement. Nine of those 17 losses have come during the opponent’s last at-bat. Winston-Salem is also 1-10 on the road in August.

• Outfielders Jason Coats and Courtney Hawkins were named to the Carolina League Year-End All-Star team today. You can read more about their 2014 accomplishments here.

• The Dash made a roster move prior to Tuesday’s contest, adding right-hander Brandon Hardin from Double-A Birmingham. It will be the Illinois native’s third stint with Winston-Salem this season. To make room for Hardin on the roster, righty Dave Putman was placed on the disabled list.

• Right-hander James Dykstra will take the mound for the Dash tonight. During his most recent outing against Carolina last Saturday, the California native allowed five runs (four earned) in five and two-third innings, suffering the loss in the 7-4 setback against the Mudcats. Overall, the 23-year-old is 3-3 with a 5.10 ERA in eight starts at the High-A level.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game will be broadcast live on 600 AM-WSJS in the Winston-Salem area, as is the case with every Thursday game throughout the season. The Pregame Dash will begin at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch at 7:05.

– Dave

Game #134 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #134 – Road Game #65
Winston-Salem Dash (28-36, 58-75) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (34-30, 78-54)
Wednesday, August 27 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash were dealt their sixth consecutive loss on Tuesday, falling 7-2 at Myrtle Beach. Winston-Salem had a 2-1 lead when the Pelicans exploded for five runs in the sixth inning.

J.B. Wendelken is fourth in the Carolina League in innings pitched. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

J.B. Wendelken is fourth in the Carolina League in innings pitched. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – RF
Omar Narvaez – C
Jake Peter – 2B
Keenyn Walker – DH
J.B. Wendelken – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• The Dash are nearing the brink of postseason elimination. With six regular season contests remaining, Winston-Salem stands five games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot.

• Catcher Michael Marjama went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run on Tuesday. During his last eight games, the California native is batting .375 (12-for-32) with five runs scored.

• Outfielder Keenyn Walker tallied two hits and an RBI in Tuesday’s contest. The Utah native has hits in three of his last four games, during which he is batting .313 (5-for-16).

• Outfielder Adam Engel extended his hitting streak to five games with a first-inning single. The 22-year-old has at least one hit in 12 of his 16 games at the High-A level.

• The Dash have fallen into the Southern Division basement due to a tough-luck August. In 16 losses this month, nine have occurred in the opponent’s last at-bat.

• The Dash made a roster move prior to Tuesday’s contest, adding right-hander Tyler Barnette from Triple-A Charlotte. The Hickory native and UNC-Charlotte product made three appearances for the Knights after 25 outings (11 starts) with Low-A Kannapolis. To make room for Barnette, left-hander Ben Brewster was placed on the disabled list.

• Winston-Salem has only won one of the first seven matchups with Myrtle Beach at TicketReturn.com Field. The Dash have only mustered 13 runs in those seven contests. Overall this season, Winston-Salem is 6-11 against the Pelicans.

• Right-hander J.B. Wendelken will try to get the Dash back on track tonight. During his most recent outing against Carolina last Friday, the 21-year-old gave up seven runs (six earned) in five and one-third innings. He finished with a no-decision in the 8-7 setback against the Mudcats.

• In his first year as a starter, Wendelken ranks fourth in the Carolina League with 137.2 innings pitched. The Georgia native is 16.2 innings behind circuit leader Ryan Merritt of Carolina. Wendelken is 6-9 with a 5.03 ERA in 25 starts with the Dash this season.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.

– Dave

Game #133 Preview – Dash at Myrtle Beach

Game #133 – Road Game #64
Winston-Salem Dash (28-35, 58-74) at Myrtle Beach Pelicans (33-30, 77-54)
Tuesday, August 26 – 7:05 p.m.
TicketReturn.com Field (Myrtle Beach, SC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash dropped their fifth straight game on Monday, falling 6-5 against Carolina in 12 innings. Winston-Salem wraps up the regular season slate with a seven-game road trip, beginning tonight in Myrtle Beach.

Tyler Danish tossed six scoreless innings against Myrtle Beach on July 7. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

Tyler Danish tossed six scoreless innings against Myrtle Beach on July 7. (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash)

STARTING LINEUP:

Adam Engel – CF
Cleuluis Rondon – SS
Courtney Hawkins – LF
Trey Michalczewski – 3B
Nick Basto – RF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Jake Peter – 2B
Michael Marjama – C
Keenyn Walker – DH
Tyler Danish – RHP

DASH DOTS:

• The Dash are now in dire straits for potential postseason action. With seven regular season contests remaining, Winston-Salem stands five games behind Salem for the final Southern Division playoff spot.

• Monday marked only the third time that the Dash have been swept at BB&T Ballpark since the downtown facility opened in 2010. Salem captured all three games against Winston-Salem from August 14-16, 2013, while Frederick swept a rain-altered three-game series from April 16-17 of this season.

• Monday was also the first time the Winston-Salem franchise was swept in a four-game series at home since August 25-28, 2006. The Warthogs lost all four games against Salem at Ernie Shore Field.

• Winston-Salem finished 2014 with a losing record at home for the first time since 2007, when the Warthogs went 32-37 at Ernie Shore Field. The Dash posted a 34-35 record at BB&T Ballpark this season.

• Catcher Omar Narvaez went 3-for-5 with two singles, a double, an RBI and a run scored on Monday. The 22-year-old has at least one hit in five of his last six games, during which he is batting .409 (9-for-22).

• Second baseman Jake Peter collected two singles and an RBI in Monday’s game. The 21-year-old has recorded three straight multi-hit efforts and is batting .444 (12-for-27) during his last six games.

• The Dash made a roster move prior to Tuesday’s contest, activating left-hander Ben Brewster from the disabled list. The Maryland native has made three appearances with Winston-Salem, posting a 1.80 ERA in five innings.

• Winston-Salem has struggled against Myrtle Beach this season, having won only six of 16 matchups. The Dash are 1-5 at TicketReturn.com Field.

• Right-hander Tyler Danish will try to snap the Dash skid tonight. During his most recent outing against Salem last Thursday, the 19-year-old allowed two runs in six and two-third innings, suffering the tough-luck loss in a 2-1 setback against the Red Sox.

• During a combined 23 starts with Low-A Kannapolis and Winston-Salem this season, Danish has posted a 2.03 ERA, which is sixth-lowest among full-season Minor League qualifiers. The Florida native sports a 5-3 record and 2.64 ERA while with the Dash.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Tonight’s game is available live on wsdash.com/broadcast. The Pregame Dash begins at 6:50 p.m., with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05.

– Dave

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