Results tagged ‘ Nick McCully ’
The Dash are back in Wilmington for the first of three against the Blue Rocks at Frawley Stadium. While walking from the clubhouse to the broadcast booth, I couldn’t help but reminisce back to the Dash’s last trip to Delaware.
Winston-Salem arrived June 14 with a three-game cushion on Salem with four days left in the first half. The Dash’s magic number was two. After a series-opening loss Thursday night, the Dash corralled a thrilling 2-1 victory Friday to set up a clinch chance on a Saturday night in Wilmington.
That night was 52 days ago, and it was a memorable one for the Dash. Despite spoiling an early five-run advantage, Winston-Salem pulled away for a 9-5 victory that officially punched the Dash’s ticket to the Carolina League playoffs for the 25th time in franchise history.
Since that euphoric Saturday night in the First State, nine of the 24 players have left the active roster. The White Sox plan is working well because seven of those nine have advanced to Double-A Birmingham (Spencer Arroyo, Miguel Gonzalez, Nick McCully, Jake Oester, Jake Petricka, Carlos Sanchez and Brady Shoemaker), while another (Matt Heidenreich) is in Double-A with Houston’s organization after a deadline deal.
Check out some of the links below that take us all back to that incredible final weekend of the first half:
The Dash won’t be clinching anything over the next three days, but today begins a long stretch of mostly road games. Winston-Salem will play 14 of its next 17 away from home. Once this run is over, more clinching opportunities will present themselves with the playoffs on the horizon.
A new month brings another promotion. This call up will be a tough one to stomach though for Dash fans. Carolina League All-Star Brady Shoemaker moves up to Double-A Birmingham for the first time in his career. It is an inevitable part of minor league baseball when a player does well at a lower level he moves up through the system. It is great to see Shoemaker get rewarded for a spectacular season, but the Dash will have to find a way to replicate the solid offense he brought to the team.
In a corresponding roster move Ross Wilson was recalled from Kannapolis. Wilson started the season with the Dash and played eight games in the infield, hitting just .167 before being sent down. However, in Kannapolis he prospered while developing into a multi-faceted infield and outfield player.
Wilson also found his power in Kannapolis. In his eighth game with the Intimidators Wilson drove in a career-high eight runs and slugged three home runs. He played in 64 games, finishing with a .277 average, seven HR and 33 RBI.
Brady Shoemaker leaves Winston-Salem after playing in 78 games with the Dash, compiling a .331 batting average, 13 HR and 59 RBI. He departs the Carolina League as the league leader in batting average, RBI, runs (61) and total bases (156). Shoemaker was also in the top five in a number of offensive categories, including home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and extra-base hits.
Shoemaker was named to an All-Star team for the second straight season after being named to the South Atlantic All-Star team in 2011. This year, Shoemaker represented the hometown Dash in the All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark and won the Home Run Derby, beating former Winston-Salem Warthog C.J. Retherford in the final round.
The Dash will miss and possibly struggle to replace the offensive output Shoemaker contributed to the team, but what will be impossible to duplicate is his presence in the clubhouse. Shoemaker was well-respected by everyone on the team and essentially a de facto leader on the field. Shoemaker played in left field for 68 of his 78 games with the Dash. That stability and consistent production can be hard to find in the minors.
Shoemaker joins fellow position players Daniel Wagner and Jake Oester in Birmingham. Kyle Bellamy, Andre Rienzo, Spencer Arroyo, Nick McCully and Jon Bachanov comprise the Dash pitching that was promoted to the Double-A level during June.
A new month kicks off with more changes, and the Dash will move forward with a new look in left field.
The White Sox announced a roster move Saturday that sends a familiar face with a new role back to Winston-Salem. Salvador Sanchez arrives after pitching in three games last week, two appearances for Bristol and one with Kannapolis. In a corresponding move, the Dash have released Jake Wilson.
Sanchez hit .241 with five home runs and 58 RBI in 115 games as an outfielder for the Warthogs in 2008. He returned to the High-A level in 2009 and was a member of the inaugural Dash roster. Sanchez recorded similar numbers to his previous season, hitting .246 in 114 games. His power did increase; Sanchez upped his home run total to 16 and finished with 63 RBI.
Sanchez’s journey through the minors has been unique. He was signed by the White Sox in 2004 as an outfielder and reached as high as Double-A Birmingham, even making the Southern League All-Star team in 2010. He never got higher than Double-A and signed as a free agent with the Rangers organization in 2010. Texas converted Sanchez to a pitcher but cut him before the season began. The White Sox resigned Sanchez and decided to keep him as a pitcher.
Sanchez’s path as a pitcher is slowly progressing. The Dominican Republic native appeared in just two games last season for rookie Great Falls, throwing an inning of work in both appearances and allowing one hit.
This season, Sanchez began in rookie Bristol where he pitched two perfect innings, one on June 21 and another on June 23. Sanchez made one appearance for Kannapolis, recording a scoreless inning of relief.
It has been a busy month for transactions for the Dash. There were 25 transactions over the course of April and May, while June has seen 29 moves made affecting Winston-Salem. The flurry of activity began on June 8 when Kyle Bellamy was promoted to Double-A Birmingham. Six other Dash players followed him to Double-A over the course of this month.
Andre Rienzo returned from his 50-game suspension on June 14 and was sent up after being reinstated. Daniel Wagner and Spencer Arroyo were promoted two days after the All-Star break, with Jake Oester right behind a day later. This week Nick McCully and Jon Bachanov continued the exodus of talent from the Dash bullpen to Birmingham.
The White Sox made three roster moves affecting the Dash Tuesday. Nick McCully was promoted to Double-A Birmingham, Kyle Shelton was sent back to Triple-A Charlotte, and Kannapolis infielder David Herbek moved up to the Dash. Both McCully and Herbek advance to a new level in minor league baseball for the first time, while Shelton is back with Charlotte after spending a brief stint with the Dash for the second time this season.
McCully’s departure continues the exodus of talented arms from the Dash bullpen as he joins fellow relievers Leroy Hunt and Kyle Bellamy in Birmingham. McCully made 24 relief appearances for Winston-Salem and compiled a 4-3 record with a 2.89 ERA. He also converted five of his seven save opportunities.
This is McCully’s second year in the White Sox organization after being signed before the 2011 season. The St. Louis Cardinals drafted McCully in the ninth round of the 2009 draft and used him as a starting pitcher, but he was released after the 2010 season. Chicago’s idea to turn McCully into a reliever seems to have paid off.
Shelton played in one game for the Dash in his second stint with the team. He started at third on June 22 against Potomac and finished the night 1-for-3. The versatile Shelton, who can play almost every position in the field, took a few reps behind the plate as a catcher before batting practice on Monday.
Herbek joins the Dash after playing 43 games with Kannapolis this season. He batted .214 with 31 hits, nine RBI and 28 runs. Herbek was drafted in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of James Madison University and spent last season playing for rookie-level Great Falls. Herbek hit .262 in 70 games and led the team in runs scored (52) and doubles (19). Baseball America also ranked him as the best defensive player in the White Sox 2011 draft class.
The Dash continue to lose pieces from their first-half Southern Division title, but such is the double-edged sword of minor league teams: good teams are going to lose their good players. With young talent in Kannapolis and the 2012 draft picks beginning their journey through the minors, Winston-Salem should be fine moving forward as the second half progresses.
A group of Dash players had an interesting lunch this afternoon before coming to the ballpark. Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers, who is signing autographs here in Woodbridge during tonight’s game, was at the same local barbeque restaurant. Not only did he chat with the players, but he picked up the tab for all of them. Check it out:
By the way, Fingers still has his famous mustache. He will be hanging out with fans tonight after kicking it with minor leaguers this afternoon. It sounds like Rollie gets it.
Finally, for your pleasure, here is Fingers. What a ‘stache.
We are less than an hour away from Winston-Salem’s biggest game of the season. The Dash clinch the first-half championship with a victory over the Wilmington Blue Rocks. First, we give you the lineups, with a few thoughts below that.
RF Michael Earley
SS Carlos Sanchez
LF Brady Shoemaker
1B Dan Black
CF Trayce Thompson
DH Cyle Hankerd
C Mike Blanke
3B Juan Silverio
2B Daniel Wagner
- I love Dash skipper Tommy Thompson’s decision to move Michael Earley to the leadoff spot. With Marcus Semien on the disabled list, Earley is the best option at the top of the order. His seventh-inning double sparked the Dash’s lone scoring frame less than 24 hours ago.
- Winston-Salem starter Jon Bachanov needs to have his command early. The righty has walked 31 batters this season, which somewhat balances out the fact that opponents are hitting just .201 against him. Bachanov has been a huge asset in the rotation since he joined it more than a month ago, and limiting walks will make him even more successful.
- Behind Bachanov, expect to see Chris Bassitt out of the bullpen at some point tonight. Bassitt, who has been a late-inning option for much of the season, has not pitched since Wednesday and was warming up in the ninth yesterday. My guess is that Nick McCully will also appear in this ballgame if it is close.
- Thompson told me yesterday that his managing style is winning this weekend. He is not acting with just a developmental approach with the Dash’s magic number at one. Don’t be surprised if he takes a few more risks and makes a substitution or two that wouldn’t normally take place during April or May.
- The Dash are loose prior to this contest. Last night’s victory was huge for a number of reasons, including this team’s mental makeup. This should be a dandy tonight.
Pre-game coverage begins at 5:50 p.m., with first pitch shortly after the top of the hour. I would love to have you join me here. Talk to you then.
Winston-Salem’s magic number is one with two games remaining. The Dash can clinch the Southern Division’s first half championship with a win tonight in Wilmington. With the magic number on our mind, let’s look at some other relevant numbers:
- 68 games
- 42 wins
- 36 players
- 373 runs scored
- 300 runs allowed
- 64 home runs
- 596 innings
- 2,269 at bats
- 56 days in first place
- 6 series sweeps
- 4,374 Tommy Thompson jokes
- 1 Juan Silverio bus ride concert (it happened last night)
- 147,403 fans at BB&T Ballpark
- 3,823 Chris Bassitt tweets (+/- 2,000)
- 374 Nick McCully energy drinks (+/- 300)
- 1 really, really fun first half
And the key number is 1.
Then, the Dash are number 1.
Facing a drop to second place in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, the Dash turned in one of their most complete efforts in a 6-4 victory over the Salem Red Sox Tuesday night. Many players had a significant effect on the game, which was one of Winston-Salem’s most important in 2012.
Here’s to Dan Black, who doubled home two runs in the first inning to establish the game’s momentum before Salem could swing a bat.
Here’s to Spencer Arroyo, who posted the ninth five-plus inning effort in his last 10 games and held the Sox’s strong lineup to just one run in five and two-thirds innings.
Here’s to Chris Bassitt, who struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. (the owner of the Carolina League’s best batting average) in the sixth inning with two on and two down in a one-run game.
Here’s to Trayce Thompson, who shrugged off a recent slump by crushing a three-run homer in the top of the eighth to give Winston-Salem some much-needed insurance.
Here’s to Brady Shoemaker, who continued his all-around season with a pair of hard-earned walks that later turned into runs.
Here’s to Nick McCully, who earned the toughest five outs of the game to earn his fourth save of the season.
Here’s to this Dash club, which now leads the Southern Division by a game and a half with 13 to go.
This is fun.
People have asked if the Dash’s pitching staff dresses better than any other in minor league baseball? We’ve already seen the Dash sport some awesome outfits this season.
If you missed it, Nick McCully, Justin Collop and Kyle Bellamy started the trend with these outfits in Lynchburg. A few days later, J.R. Ballinger, Jake Petricka and Chris Bassitt tried their luck with a new wardrobe.
Today, five hurlers may have set a new standard in baseball fashion.
Please give the guys some critiques in the comments section, and we will pass them along. The Dash are looking good on and off the field, that’s for sure.
Last week, Kyle Bellamy, Justin Collop and Nick McCully started a very unique trend among Dash pitchers with these incredibly attractive outfits.
Today, three new pitchers raised the ante. Check out (from left to right) J.R. Ballinger, Jake Petricka and Chris Bassitt.
Which trio is better? Let us know in the comments.