Results tagged ‘ Spring Training ’
As we near the halfway point of spring training, many Dash alums are grabbing the headlines at White Sox camp in Glendale, Ariz.
Sale dominates in first outing since signing extension: Late last week, Chris Sale signed a $32.5 million contract extension that will keep him with the White Sox until at least 2017 and includes team options for 2018 and 2019. Sale followed that up with a win in his second outing of the spring Monday against Colorado.
The southpaw was efficient, allowing just one run on three hits, while needing only 58 pitches to get through five plus innings. The longest at-bat of the day was a seven pitch duel with catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who hit the seventh pitch out of the yard. Despite the home run, Torrealba had a lot of praise for the young lefty, telling MLB.com’s Scott Merkin:
“He throws almost sidearm, and his delivery is kind of weird, too. You’ve got to give credit to the guy. He’s got a good changeup and a nasty slider. The ball’s moving a lot, especially when he goes away to righties. It seems the ball keeps running away.”
Through two starts this spring, Sale is now 1-0 with a 1.23 earned run average.
White Sox make 10 roster moves on busy Monday: Following yesterday’s 3-1 win over Colorado, the White Sox made 10 roster moves. Among the moves, Winston-Salem alums Stefan Gartrell, Erik Johnson, Seth Loman, Marcus Semien, Scott Snodgress, Trayce Thompson and Keenyn Walker were all reassigned to minor league camp. Here are their stats with the White Sox in spring training:
- Gartrell: 3-13 (.231), 1 HR, 3RBIs
- Johnson: 3 outings, 6.1 IP,4 Ks, 8.53 ERA
- Loman: 7-20 (.350), 2 HRs, 9 RBIs
- Semien: 5-11 (.455), 1 HR, 4RBIs
- Snodgress: 3 outings, 5.0 IP, 3 Ks, 5.40 ERA
- Thompson: 0-14 (.000), 1 RBI, 1 SB
- Walker: 5-20 (.250), 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SB
The White Sox also optioned RHP Nestor Molina to Double-A Birmingham and RHP Simon Castro and LHP Santos Rodriguez to Triple-A Charlotte. Rodriguez, a member of the Dash in both 2010 and 2011, appeared in four games and tossed two and two-thirds innings for the White Sox this spring.
Mitchell standing out for White Sox: In 11 games for the White Sox this spring, outfielder Jared Mitchell is hitting .393 with one home run and five RBIs. His speed his also been a major weapon, notes White Sox insider Dan Hayes:
Jared Mitchell with a triple. He ended last inning with a diving catch. #WhiteSox have liked what they’ve seen from his this spring.
— Dan Hayes (@DanHayesCSN) March 9, 2013
Despite his impressive play this spring, Mitchell will be starting the season with Triple-A Charlotte, according to new White Sox General Manager Rick Hahn. Hahn did tell CBS Chicago’s Adam Hoge he doesn’t believe Mitchell’s time is too far away:
“The key for him will be when he gets to Charlotte to keep doing what he’s doing here. And if he’s able to put together a solid first half, it’s conceivable he could help us in the second half of this year and certainly he’s on track to help us in 2014.”
Whether or not Mitchell does make it to the South Side this summer, it certainly will not be too long before the Dash can count him among their big league alums.
The White Sox squared off with Team USA in an exhibition game yesterday, and a 2012 Dash alum had the unique opportunity to suit up for United States.
Right-handed reliever Kevin Vance was an emergency pitcher for Team USA, just in case something happened to any of the club’s pitchers as Joe Torre’s crew prepares for the World Baseball Classic. Vance did not pitch in the game, but he was decked out in Red, White and Blue…
— Kevin Vance (@SorryBoutIt10) March 6, 2013
The Sox and Team USA ended up finishing the game at a 4-4 tie, and no major injuries were suffered in the game. Thus, it was a success. The experience will also be one that Vance never forgets. The squad even trusted him with an important job during batting practice…the bucket (gathering all of the baseballs hit into the outfield).
— Kevin Vance (@SorryBoutIt10) March 6, 2013
Vance shined with Winston-Salem in 2012, and he will have quite a story to tell around the Triad if he returns for the start of the 2013 campaign.
UPDATE: Also in this game, Dan Black, Brandon Short and Daniel Wagner appeared for Team USA. Wagner tweeted out this photo of it:
— Daniel Wagner (@danwag06) March 5, 2013
Congratulations to everyone involved!
For many minor league players, spring training is an opportunity to get a taste of a big league atmosphere and pick the brains of those at higher levels. As camp progresses, some of these players are sent back to minor league camp for their own good (more at bats or innings to prepare for the season) and the team’s own good (big league players are gearing up for the season, too).
Today, the White Sox announced that five non-roster invitees to spring training, all of whom are Dash alums, have been reassigned to minor league camp: C Mike Blanke, RHP Jake Petricka, INF Tyler Saladino, C Kevan Smith and INF Andy Wilkins.
Here are their’ stats from big league spring training:
- Blanke: 3 games played, 0-for-1
- Petricka: 2 appearances, 2.0 innings, 3 hits, 0 runs
- Saladino: 6 games played, 2-for-6, 1 run, 1 RBI
- Smith: 2 games played, 1-for-1, 1 run
- Wilkins: 4 games played, 3-for-9, 2 runs, 3 RBI
Obviously, statistics from a small sample size during spring training are not incredibly important, but these Dash alums performed well with many White Sox decision makers watching them. Congratulations to them.
The White Sox made one other move today: LHP Charlie Leesman was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. Leesman, a 2010 Winston-Salem alum, did not appear in a game with Chicago in spring training.
The Sox still have 55 players remaining in big league camp, and many of them are Dash alums. We will keep you posted on any spring training transactions that take place.
One perk of my job is having the opportunity to chat with scouts throughout the summer. At least a few scouts attend every Dash game, and all big league teams keep an eye on the minor leaguers in their competitors’ system.
Bernie Pleskoff, who is a great baseball follow on Twitter, has spent time as a scout for the Astros and Mariners. Pleskoff now writes for MLB.com, and he wrote a long feature on 2012 Dash alum Carlos Sanchez.
Sanchez, who will fight for an infield spot in spring training, had a banner year last season. The 20-year-old led the Carolina League with a .315 batting average before shining in Double-A Birmingham (.370 in 30 games). This late-season surge earned Sanchez a promotion to Triple-A Charlotte, where he held his own (.256 in 11 games).
I encourage you to read the full article from Pleskoff, which is available here. Here are a few snippets that caught my attention:
On Sanchez’s spot in a big league infield:
I have no doubt Sanchez can play either third base or shortstop. But the club may want more power from their third baseman. As a shortstop, Sanchez would succeed, but he really fits well at second. As noted above, his range is good, but it may be better at second than shortstop.
On Sanchez’s ceiling and floor as a player:
As I look ahead at his future, I see a versatile infielder capable of playing as an everyday regular. In the worst case, Sanchez could come off the bench as a utility player. But I project him beyond that limited role.
On Sanchez’s defensive strengths:
I particularly liked his movements making the double play. His footwork was virtually flawless. He fed the shortstop with throws that were accurate and easy to handle. He has enough arm strength and accuracy to make plays from behind the bag at second, or from anywhere he plays on the infield. His soft hands play well.
Why Sanchez will surprise some White Sox fans:
While he may be known for his dependable defense, Sanchez will likely surprise with his ability to hit for a high average and move runners along.
It is obvious that Pleskoff likes Sanchez’s game. Scouts (and former scouts) are as honest as anyone in sports, so this scouting report bodes well for the former Dash infielder.
The full squad reports in 10 days, and that is when Sanchez will try to live up to these beliefs. It will be fascinating to watch the youthful, aggressive Sanchez vie for a spot on a Central Division contender.
Pitchers and catchers may not report for a couple of weeks, and the spring training opener follows toward the end of February. However, tomorrow is the true beginning of spring training.
Tomorrow afternoon, the White Sox equipment truck departs for Glendale, Ariz.
Sure, this event is not quite the same as team workouts or exhibition games, but this 1,800-mile journey signals that baseball is not just a distant memory. It is on the horizon.
However, baseball is a 12-month responsibility for the players, and many Dash alums have been preparing since the fall. Here are some spring training-related tweets from the last few weeks.
— Courtney Hawkins (@CHawkins10) January 12, 2013
1 month away! Spring training cannot come any sooner! I’m dyin to get back on the field! #Ambition
— Keenyn Walker (@Keenyn_Walker) January 19, 2013
Anxious to see everyone at spring training…if I go by the tweets a lot of guys supposedly look like bodybuilders
— Michael Earley (@MoneyMikeEarley) January 23, 2013
— Cyle Hankerd (@hankerd) January 24, 2013
Last years struggles are paying off in big ways. Crazy how you gotta take 1 step back to go 2 steps forward. Pumped for 2013.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) January 27, 2013
The players have been gearing up to use the equipment that will begin the trip to spring training tomorrow. It’s a bit of a stretch, but baseball fans are happy about any signs that our national pastime is almost here. We’ll take it!
The White Sox first spring training game is in 30 days. Robin Ventura’s crew will suit up for the first time Saturday, February 23, at 3:05 p.m. EST against the Dodgers, their stadium-mates at Camelback Ranch.
As Winston-Salem prepares for another winter storm tomorrow, it is nice to know that baseball is within grasp, even if the first true taste will be more than 2,000 miles away from the Triad.
Here are a few more notes to appease your baseball craving:
- BB&T Ballpark is the home of Winston-Salem State University baseball in 2013, so the first game at the stadium this season will be February 8. The Rams will play all 26 home games at BB&T Ballpark.
- Winston-Salem will not have a chance to watch a former five-star football recruit play for the Dash in 2013. Mitch Mustain, who played college football for Arkansas and USC before trying out pitching, was released by the White Sox, that according to Baseball America. Mustain climbed as high as Low-A Kannapolis after Chicago inked him to a deal last February. Between his time with the Intimidators and rookie-level Bristol, the righty was 2-2 with a 4.63 earned run average in 19 relief appearances.
- We all saw speedster Billy Hamilton in last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark. Hamilton, who set the single-season stolen base record in minor league baseball, will start 2013 with Triple-A Louisville. If he is still in the International League, Hamilton will be in Charlotte to take on the White Sox Triple-A affiliate May 14-17.
- The Braves traded for Arizona outfielder Justin Upton earlier today, and the Diamondbacks received 2012 Lynchburg shortstop Nick Ahmed. A midseason All-Star, Ahmed paced the Carolina League with 40 stolen bases.
- Finally, some CL flavor is officially reaching the NBA. New Orleans will unveil its new Pelicans nickname, along with the logo and color scheme, at a press conference later today. How will Myrtle Beach respond?
The home opener is getting closer and closer! Can’t wait for baseball.
The White Sox announced their non-roster invitees to spring training yesterday, and 13 of the 20 players heading to Glendale are former Dash players.
Of those 13 players, nine contributed to the Dash’s 2012 run to full-season minor league baseball’s best record and a Mills Cup Championship Series appearance.
It is an honor for these players to receive an invitation to spring training, and the goal is to impress while with the “big boys.” However, it is important to note that highly-touted prospects who go to spring training are not normally true contenders to make a roster unless they have significant experience in Double-A or Triple-A.
The flurry of invitations still bring about a question: can any of these 2012 Dash alums wow the Sox enough to break camp with the big league squad?
First off, any player who ended the season with the Dash would need to make a three-level jump in order to crack the roster, which means C Mike Blanke, RHP Erik Johnson, SS Marcus Semien, C Kevan Smith, LHP Scott Snodgress and OF Keenyn Walker will be long shots.
This leaves three other 2012 Dash alums: RHP Jake Petricka, INF Carlos Sanchez and OF Trayce Thompson.
Petricka has been a highly-ranked prospect in the White Sox system for the last few years, but he did struggle a bit with both Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. The Minnesota native has plenty of potential, but additional minor league seasoning is almost certainly necessary.
Thompson has all the tools, but he has taken some time to adjust to every level. In 2011, the former second-round pick started crushing Low-A pitching, and his ascension to the top of the home run and RBI totem poles in the Carolina League this season stemmed from his surge after the All-Star break.
While Thompson reached Triple-A for the postseason, he still likely needs some time in the International League to figure out how to hit at that level. Thompson will be in the big leagues at some point, but Opening Day 2013 seems a bit too early.
This leaves Sanchez, who jumped up prospect rankings with a tremendous 2012 showing. The 20-year-old led the CL in batting average among qualifiers before going to Birmingham, where he hit .370 in 30 games. This prompted a late-season bump to Charlotte.
In 18 games with the Knights (regular season and playoffs), Sanchez hit .237 (14-for-59) with seven runs scored. These numbers are not eye-popping, but the Venezuelan most certainly held his own at the minors’ highest level.
Sanchez’s name even came up in Scott Merkin’s story about the non-roster invitees on whitesox.com yesterday.
“Carlos Sanchez also could be a long shot in consideration for that utility infield job. But with the 20-year-old phenom having just two years of professional experience and 991 Minor League at-bats to his credit, the White Sox goal is to get Sanchez a full season of at-bats at Triple-A Charlotte during the 2013 campaign. He topped all White Sox Minor Leaguers with a .323 average and 169 hits in 2012.”
A “goal” can always be changed, and Sanchez certainly has plenty of momentum from last season. He is an underdog in the race for one of the elusive 25 spots on Robin Ventura’s Opening Day roster, but he appears to be in the running.
You never know. A great spring could open the door for a 2012 Dash alum to reach The Show in 2013. Good luck to Carlos and the rest of the former Dash players heading to Arizona next month.
Let’s rewind to September 28, 2011. It was 160 days ago, and the White Sox’s 2011 season came to an end with a 3-2 loss at home against the Blue Jays.
Since then, the White Sox lost their most recognizable face–manager Ozzie Guillen–to the Miami Marlins. Arguably their most consistent player in the last decade–left-handed starter Mark Buehrle–followed Guillen to South Beach.
This afternoon at 3:05 ET, the Sox begin a new era under first-time skipper Robin Ventura. 160 days after the 2011 season ended, the White Sox are back on the field against their Camelback Ranch buddies, the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The White Sox have 59 players in Spring Training at this point, and 19 of them made a stop at some point in Winston-Salem. Here’s a list:
- Dylan Axelrod (2009 and 2010)
- Anthony Carter (2008 and 2009)
- Gregory Infante (2009 and 2010)
- Nate Jones (2008, 2009, and 2010)
- Charles Leesman (2010)
- Brian Omogrosso (2007)*
- Jake Petricka (2011)*
- Addison Reed (2011)
- Chris Sale (2010)
- Hector Santiago (2009, 2010, and 2011)
- Mike Blanke (2011)*
- Josh Phegley (2010)*
- Eduardo Escobar (2010)
- Jim Gallagher (2009)*
- Tyler Kuhn (2009)*
- Brent Morel (2009)
- Jordan Danks (2009)*
- Jared Mitchell (2011)*
- Brandon Short (2010)*
* = non-roster invitee
So, what’s the take away from this? Only three of the 19 players on this list played in Winston-Salem as Warthogs. It means that the 40-man roster is largely made up of free agent signings or trade acquisitions.
For example, seven of the nine offensive players above are non-roster invitees. The White Sox’s 40-man roster is loaded with offensive pieces that were developed, to some extent, outside the organization.
However, this is an exciting time for the prospects in White Sox camp. With the change in scenery, this could be a new era, and any production from the organization’s youth will be a huge bonus. The Dash have provided a solid chunk of that youth in the Chicago’s system.
Over the next few days, we will take a look at these 19 players and what their expectations are during camp. Let us know in the comments which former Winston-Salem players you think will make the 25-man roster when the big league club heads to Arlington for Opening Day against the Rangers April 6. It’s 32 days away!