Results tagged ‘ Taylor Thompson ’

8 Dash alums named SL All-Stars (EDIT: Now 9)

Dan Black and seven other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black and eight other Dash alums are Southern League All-Stars (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

UPDATE (2 p.m. Wednesday): Birmingham closer Taylor Thompson was added as a replacement to the roster, so the Barons now have nine Southern League All-Stars, all of whom played in Winston-Salem. Thompson, who suited up for the Dash from 2010 to 2012, is 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 11 saves in 28 appearances. The rest of the post from Tuesday is below.

Propelled by plenty of Winston-Salem alums, Double-A Birmingham rolled to a first-half Southern League North Division title.

Eight men who contributed to that postseason run, all of whom donned the Dash purple prior to their climb to Double-A, have been named SL All-Stars, the league’s office announced Tuesday afternoon.

Here are the players, followed by their year(s) with the Dash and their 2013 numbers with the Barons:

1B Dan Black (2012): .283, 8 HR, 52 RBIs in 78 games
C Mike Blanke (2012): .257, 5 HR, 33 RBIs in 52 games
RHP Erik Johnson (2012): 8-2, 2.23 ERA, 74 Ks in 14 appearances (all starts)
RHP Ryan Kussmaul (2010-11): 2-1, 2.20 ERA, 33 Ks in 19 appearances
RHP Nick McCully (2012): 7-2, 2.63 ERA, 45 Ks in 17 appearances (10 starts)
SS Marcus Semien (2012): .263, 7 HR, 29 RBIs in 80 games
LHP Scott Snodgress (2012): 8-7, 4.97 ERA in 16 appearances (all starts)
1B Andy Wilkins (2011): .288, 10 HR, 49 RBIs in 67 games

Both Johnson and Wilkins will not participate in the Southern League All-Star Game because they have been recently promoted to Triple-A Charlotte.

The 2013 Southern League All-Star Game will be played on July 17 at The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville, home of the Jacksonville Suns.

- Brian

Still plenty of positives

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dan Black is shining for Double-A Birmingham after a tremendous 2012 in the Triad (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Even though the Dash have dropped three in a row, there are plenty of positive notes to hit on during this Tuesday afternoon. How about an optimistic set of Dash Dots? Last time we did that, Winston-Salem mustered a sweep at Frederick (proof here). Here’s hoping for a similar result.

DASH DOTS:

  • Dating back to last season, Winston-Salem outfielder Adam Heisler has reached base in 34 straight games, which is tied for the second-longest current streak in Minor League Baseball. High Desert’s Jamal Austin has reached safely in 38 straight games, while Nashville’s Scooter Gennett also has a 34-game run.
  • Heisler made his way aboard in the final three contests of 2012 with rookie-level Great Falls before finding his way on base in all 31 games thus far this season (19 with Low-A Kannapolis and 12 with Winston-Salem). Heisler has hit safely in 27 of these 34 games, and he owns a .303 (40-for-132) average with 15 RBIs and 23 runs scored during this streak.
  • Winston-Salem leads the Carolina League in fielding percentage (.976), and the Dash are tied with Potomac for the fewest errors on the circuit (28). The Dash stumbled out of the gates defensively, amassing 10 errors in the first four games and 21 in the first 14. Since then, though, the Dash have only made seven defensive miscues in their last 17 games.
  • Dash alum Jordan Danks hit a game-winning home run in the eleventh inning against Kansas City Monday, helping the White Sox avoid a sweep against the surging Royals. It was Danks’ first homer of the season.
  • In that ballgame, Addison Reed, who shined with Winston in 2011, earned his 11th save. He also has a win, which means that Reed has had some factor in the decision in 12 of the White Sox first 13 wins.
  • How about the start for Double-A Birmingham? The Barons are a Southern League-best 20-10 on the season, including a 13-2 record at home. Birmingham just wrapped up a five-game sweep of Chattanooga over the weekend with a thrilling 16-14 win Sunday afternoon.
  • Multiple 2012 Dash alums are at or near the top of the SL in a handful of offensive categories. Dan Black is currently leading in batting average (.340) and RBIs (25) and sits second in hits (35). He is only two behind fellow Baron and former Winston-Salem player Marcus Semien, who tops the league in hits with 37. Trayce Thompson also has the second-most runs (24) on the circuit.
  • On the pitching side, Steve McCray and Scott Snodgress are two of five pitchers in the SL who have won four games this season, while Erik Johnson (third, 1.30) and Spencer Arroyo (ninth, 2.36) are in the top 10 on the circuit in earned run average. Taylor Thompson is tied for third with five saves thus far this season, too.
  • Vine is one of the newest social media platforms, and both Dash players and Dash fans are having fun with it. Check out Courtney Hawkins’ clips from the Dash’s MVP Education Day at BB&T Ballpark last Saturday. Plus, Dash fan Eric Martinez sums up a Saturday night game here.

The Dash try to avoid losing their fourth straight home game, something they have only done once in BB&T Ballpark history, tonight at 7 against Frederick. Pregame coverage begins at 6:45 here.

- Erika, Rob and Brian

Dotting the diamond

Chris Bassitt will look to continue his success against Myrtle tonight. (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Chris Bassitt will look to continue his success against Myrtle tonight at the Beach (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The Dash are getting ready to wrap up a three-game series at Myrtle Beach tonight, but before that let’s check out some notes in a Wednesday edition of Dash Dots:

DASH DOTS:

  • Tonight’s starter Chris Bassitt did not give up a run in any of his four appearances (one start and three relief outings) against Myrtle Beach last season. In total, Bassitt gave up just four hits and four walks while striking out seven in nine and a third innings against the Pelicans in 2012. These numbers do not include his seven scoreless frames against Myrtle in the deciding third game of the SDCS last September.
  • Mark Haddow is currently on a nine-game hitting streak, the longest in the Carolina League this season. He has picked up at least one hit in every game he has played so far this season, except for Opening Day. Haddow received his first day off yesterday.
  • Chris Curley has a six-game hitting streak of his own going, including four straight multi-hit efforts. This streak has bumped his season average to .361, putting him sixth in the Carolina League. The infielder is also tied for fourth on the circuit with three homers and tied for third with 10 RBIs.
  • Despite not having a home run in either of the first two games of their series against the Pelicans, the Dash still lead the circuit with 12 long balls on the season. Winston-Salem did not homer in the first two games of the season either and is now 0-4 when they don’t go deep at least once.
Addison Reed had a 1.59 ERA with the Dash in 2011 (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

Addison Reed had a 1.59 ERA with the Dash in 2011 (Kevin Hartley/W-S Dash).

  • Dash alum Addison Reed has been crucial to the White Sox this season. Coming into today, the South Siders are 6-8, with Reed picking up either the save or the win in all six of their victories. 
  • Double-A Birmingham was down by one last night to Chattanooga and down to their final strike when Dash alum Michael Blanke doubled in two runs to give the Barons the lead. Fellow Dash alum Taylor Thompson finished things off with a scoreless ninth to pickup the win in relief. Today, Michael Earley hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to knot the score, but the Lookouts did prevail with a 5-4 win.

The Dash wrap up their series with the Pelicans tonight at 7:05 from TicketReturn.com Field. A win puts Winston-Salem and Myrtle Beach in a tie atop the Southern Division. Catch Brian here with the Pregame Dash at 6:50.

- Rob

Another Division Title?

Taylor Thompson and six other Dash alums will play for a title Saturday (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

The Dash claimed the first-half and second-half division championships in the Carolina League’s Southern Division, and a few contributors to those crowns finished up another division title run last night.

The Salt River Rafters, a club that has featured seven former Winston-Salem stars, claimed the Arizona Fall League’s East Division title with a 6-4 win over Peoria yesterday.

As a result, the Rafters, who wrap up their regular season this afternoon, will play in the AFL Championship Game Saturday at 3 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on MLB Network, and live stats will be available here.

Congrats to Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Carlos Sanchez, Salvador Sanchez, Taylor Thompson, Trayce Thompson and Andy Wilkins, all of whom contributed to the Rafters’ run. Every member of this group will be in uniform except for Rienzo, who left the team to pitch for Team Brazil in a World Baseball Classic qualifier.

We’ll have a full recap of all seven players’ efforts in the AFL on the blog in the coming days. Dash fans are Rafters fans this weekend!

- Brian

All’s Well In Arizona

Taylor Thompson and the rest of the Dash contingent are off to a 2-0 start with Salt River in the Arizona Fall League (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Through two games in the Arizona Fall League, a handful of prospects have represented the Dash and White Sox well.

The Salt River Rafters are off to a 2-0 start in AFL play, and Dash alumni have played a key role.

In Salt River’s season-opening 6-5 win Tuesday, Trayce Thompson went 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI. Thompson has reached base in five of his nine plate appearances during the season’s first two games.

Also in the opener, Carlos Sanchez went 1-for-3 with a run scored, and Andy Wilkins hit a solo shot in the sixth for his lone knock.

Last night, the Rafters rolled to an 11-3 triumph. While the offense was the story for Salt River, a pair of former Dash righties shined out of the bullpen. Salvador Sanchez, a late addition to the AFL roster, tossed an inning and a third of scoreless relief. Taylor Thompson, who finished the season as the Dash’s best option in the back-end of the bullpen, twirled an easy eighth inning, whiffing two and walking one.

Salt River, the AFL’s lone remaining unbeaten squad, takes to the diamond again tonight at 9:35 EST against Scottsdale.

- Brian

Track Dash Alums In Arizona

The Dash’s season may be over, but there are a handful of Winston-Salem alumni who will be playing for the Salt River Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, and their season begins tonight at 9:35 p.m. EST against the Mesa Solar Sox.

The AFL features some of minor league baseball’s top prospects, and each of the six teams on the circuit consists of representatives from five different MLB organizations. The Rafters boast prospects from the White Sox, Astros, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Tigers.

The White Sox have sent seven players to Salt River for the 2012 AFL season, and all of them made a stop in Winston-Salem en route to this opportunity. Pitchers Andre Rienzo, Santos Rodriguez, Salvador Sanchez and Taylor Thompson are with the Rafters, along with infielders Carlos Sanchez and Andy Wilkins and outfielder Trayce Thompson.

The Rafters will play 32 games over the next few weeks, and fans can track all of the AFL action here.

And if you have never heard of the AFL before, check out this list of AFL Hall of Famers. What a group.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 4

It’s a day late, but here is our final analysis of the Dash’s Game 4 loss to Lynchburg last night.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • First off, congratulations to the Lynchburg Hillcats. Over the last four days, Lynchburg was the better team after the Dash posted an incredible regular season. All the fans in attendance were treated to one heck of a championship-clinching victory.
  • Also, big time props must go out to the 50-plus Dash fans who made the trip to Lynchburg and added to the atmosphere. It was a great minor league baseball game yesterday, even if the result did not go the way of Winston-Salem.
  • There were so many twists and turns during last night’s game, and I’m not going to go through all of them. However, it is never easy to lose a game when your opposition loads the bases with an infield single, an error and a bunt single in the deciding inning. Winston would love to have the 11th inning back.
  • You have to feel for Taylor Thompson, who was the Carolina League’s best reliever during the second half of the season. He didn’t have his best stuff in the ninth inning, and Lynchburg took advantage to tie the game. That will likely be Thompson’s final High-A appearance because he is overdue for a trip to Double-A Birmingham.
  • If the Dash could have forced a Game 5, especially based on the way last night’s game played out, I would have felt really good about their chances. Alas, Lynchburg closed the deal with a dramatic win.
  • This is my fifth season of calling baseball, and this Dash team was, by far, my favorite team to deal with. It was such a privilege to get to know these guys as baseball players and human beings. The White Sox run their minor league system very well, and fans in Winston-Salem, Chicago and across the country should be proud of these players. This team accomplished so much, and it was an incredible journey.
  • Finally, Daniel Wagner summed it up perfectly last night on Twitter: “What a year. Proud to say I was apart of the 2012 @WSDashBaseball team. Great run boys. Got nothing to hang our heads about.”

Thanks for following along all season long. We will continue our coverage throughout the offseason. It has been an honor. Go Dash!

- Brian

Game 3 Preview – Winston-Salem at Lynchburg

Mills Cup Championship Series
Winston-Salem Dash at Lynchburg Hillcats
Tuesday, September 11 — 6:05 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 BACKGROUND:

For the first time this postseason, the Dash will play away from BB&T Ballpark. During the regular season, Winston-Salem went 4-6 against the Hillcats inside Lynchburg City Stadium, which is one of two places (Salem’s LewisGale Field the other) where the Dash had a record below .500 this season. Because of the split at BB&T Ballpark, Winston and Lynchburg are down to a best-of-three for the Mills Cup Championship. The Dash led the circuit with 16 three-game series victories.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — RHP Erik Johnson (4-3, 2.74 ERA): The Dash send Johnson to the mound after he lost Game 1 of the SDCS. Johnson was one strike away from six no-hit innings before surrendering four runs and exiting the contest before the sixth came to an end. During the regular season, the former California Golden Bear recorded a quality start in all but one of his High-A appearances. That start came against Lynchburg August 23 (5IP, 6R).

Lynchburg — RHP Gus Schlosser (13-7, 3.38 ERA): Schlosser claimed the Carolina League Pitcher of the Year award after finishing first in the league in wins (13) and innings (165.1), tied for first in starts (27), second in strikeouts (139), and third in earned run average (3.38) and WHIP (1.14). Winston held its own against the righty, mustering five runs on 11 hits in 13 innings of work. He did whiff 18 Dash swingers in those two efforts.

DASH DOTS:

  • Since 2005, the MCCS has been tied at one game apiece four times, and the road team for the final three games has won the series twice. In all four instances, the winner of Game 3 went on to take the series in four games.
  • Frederick won back-to-back games in Kinston last year, while the Keys also won consecutive games at Salem in 2007 for the crown. The Dash lost two straight at Potomac two years ago, while the P-Nats claimed the title with two wins at home over Myrtle in 2008.
  • The Dash’s bullpen has allowed only one earned run in 16.1 innings this postseason. Lynchburg’s only earned tally against a Dash reliever came in the ninth inning Sunday during Taylor Thompson’s six-out save. Thompson had not surrendered an earned run since July 8, a span of 18 appearances.
  • Winston-Salem third baseman Chris Curley has hit safely in eight games with the Dash since a promotion from Low-A Kannapolis August 31. The former Florence Freedom star is a combined 13-for-28 (.464) with eight runs between the regular season and playoffs.
  • In its first five playoffs games, Winston-Salem has only scored in 10 of a possible 42 innings. However, four of those 10 frames have brought about three or more runs.
  • Winston has hit six homers in the playoffs, while the rest of the league has combined for the same number of long balls. Three Dash swingers–Courtney Hawkins, Marcus Semien and Kevan Smith–each have two apiece.
  • The Dash’s 4-6 regular season mark in Lynchburg included a pair of two-out-of-three series losses and a four-game split. Despite owning a two-game gap in the 10 meetings, the Hillcats only outscored Winston-Salem 49-44 at home.

AN EYE ON THE WHITE SOX FARM:

Since the Dash last played Sunday afternoon, one White Sox affiliate advanced to a championship series, while another fell two runs short. Triple-A Charlotte took down Indianapolis three games to one to clinch a spot in the Governors’ Cup Finals against the Pawtucket Red Sox. Game 1 of this best-of-five series is tonight at 7:05 in Rhode Island. On the flip side, rookie-level Great Falls fell short in its bid to repeat as Pioneer League champions. The Voyagers lost a deciding Game 3 of a PL semifinal to Missoula 4-2 Sunday.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 5:45 p.m. and features a chat with manager Tommy Thompson and an audio look into the Dash’s offensive bounce back Sunday afternoon.

- Brian

Playoff Perspective – Game 2

Winston-Salem rallied for a thrilling 5-4 victory over Lynchburg in Game 2 of the Mills Cup Championship Series Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark. First off, hear from the man who gave the Dash their first lead in the series–catcher Kevan Smith.

Now, it’s time for our postgame analysis.

PLAYOFF PERSPECTIVE:

  • Wow. Once again, the Dash’s collective back was against the wall in a Game 2, and this offense found a way to battle back for a narrow win. After five frustrating innings of offense, Smith, Daniel Wagner and Keenyn Walker came up with huge hits in the sixth, and Marcus Semien’s solo shot in the eighth proved to be the difference in the game. This offense, despite struggling at times in the playoffs, is so good.
  • Everyone knew Dash skipper Tommy Thompson was going to be the Carolina League’s Manager of the Year, and he pushed the right button today when he submitted his lineup card. Winston’s catcher had hit in the seven hole in all four previous postseason contests, but Thompson switched Smith with Cyle Hankerd. Sure enough, Smith’s turn came around when the Dash needed a hit, and the former Pittsburgh star came through in a big way.
  • As for Semien’s homer, credit the former sixth-round pick for coming up with the first run scored against Lynchburg reliever John Cornely at the High-A level. Semien is only 3-for-18 in the playoffs, but those three hits have been huge: solo homer in the first inning of Game 2 of the SDCS, game-winning two-run double in that same game and this homer today. Semien is a clutch player.
  • How important has Chris Curley been to this playoff run? He is 8-for-16 with four runs scored, and the late-season acquisition made the defensive play of the game in the seventh. Curley, who was playing in on the grass, stabbed a Nick Ahmed liner and doubled off a runner at second to end the threat.
  • Starter Justin Collop and reliever Taylor Thompson turned in gritty efforts Sunday, and both Max Peterson and Kevin Vance continued to pitch well out of the bullpen. All in all, a solid day for Winston’s pitching staff.
  • Thank goodness Andrelton Simmons will be heading back to Atlanta tomorrow, according to multiple reports. It is incredible that this young man played in the CL last year. His ninth-inning double was one of the hardest-hit balls I’ve seen this year.
  • Series tied at one game apiece. Momentum-shifting Game 3 on the horizon. Erik Johnson versus Gus Schlosser. It doesn’t get much better than that, and it’s 47 hours away.

The Dash and Hillcats have tomorrow off, but the Dash Board blog will be packed with more #Dash12 coverage in advance of Game 3 Tuesday. Talk to you then.

- Brian

Game 3 Preview – Myrtle Beach at Winston-Salem

Southern Division Championship Series
Myrtle Beach Pelicans at Winston-Salem Dash
Friday, September 7  — 7:00 p.m.
Game 3 — Series tied 1-1

GAME 3 BACKGROUND:

Winston-Salem stayed alive in the best-of-three SDCS with a 5-3 victory over Myrtle Beach in Game 2 Thursday night at BB&T Ballpark. Winston rallied with three in the home half of the seventh to take the lead for good. Courtney Hawkins’ leadoff long ball evened the score, and Marcus Semien’s two-run double four batters later proved to be the game-winning knock. As a result, the Dash and Pelicans will play for a Mills Cup Championship Series ticket tonight.

STARTING PITCHERS:

Winston-Salem — RHP Chris Bassitt (5-4, 3.66 ERA): Bassitt, a converted reliever, takes to the hill tonight with the Dash’s season on the line. Bassitt had not been a regular member of a rotation since high school before his 10 starts in 2012. As a starter, Bassitt finished the regular season with a 4-2 record and a 4.25 ERA. The former Akron Zip had success against the Pelicans, amassing nine and a third scoreless frames over four efforts, only one of which was a start.

Myrtle Beach — RHP Nick McBride (2-3, 3.76 ERA): Myrtle Beach counters with McBride, a Lewisville, N.C., native and a Ragsdale High School product. The Dash beat McBride August 25 in Winston-Salem, his only appearance back in the Triad. McBride surrendered five runs on eight hits in six and a third innings in what was a Dash victory.

DASH DOTS:

  • Winston-Salem has had success when playing for a series victory in 2012. Winston went 9-3 in rubber matches this season, which includes a 5-1 mark at home in such situations.
  • Since Winston-Salem won the 2003 Carolina League crown, the franchise was 0-4 in playoff elimination games until Thursday. As a result, the Dash will play in Winston’s seventh winner-take-all in franchise history. Winston-Salem is 3-3 in its previous six affairs. This is the first deciding playoff game for the franchise since 2004, when Kinston defeated Winston in the SDCS.
  • The Dash had not scored more than one run in an inning during the postseason until the seventh inning of Game 2. Winston-Salem has not played consecutive games without a multi-run inning since July 2-3 during a series in Frederick, a span of 58 games which is still in progress thanks to the Dash’s three-run seventh.
  • Dash outfielder Courtney Hawkins went yard for the second straight playoff game Thursday. His homer in the fifth inning of Game 1 broke a scoreless tie, while his bomb less than 24 hours ago knotted the score. Including his regular season work, Chicago’s top pick in June is 8-for-25 (.320) with three home runs and four RBI at the High-A level.
  • Winston-Salem slugger Dan Black took home the Carolina League’s MVP award, but he is 0-for-8 in the playoffs and just 1-for-20 in his last five games since August 31. During the regular season, Black only posted back-to-back hitless games four different times. He placed second in the CL with a .315 average. It is safe to say the Big Black Bear is due.
  • Dash reliever Taylor Thompson needed 34 pitches to get five outs last night, so his availability for tonight’s winner-take-all clash is certainly up in the air. Thompson had a 0.55 ERA during the second half of the season, and he earned the save last night after escaping jams in the eighth and ninth. He is this team’s best reliever, but can he pitch in the biggest game of the season?
  • The Dash posted the best overall record (87-51-1) and home mark (48-23) during the regular season among the 120 full-season minor league teams. Don’t underestimate the fight of a highly-successful squad. The Dash certainly proved their battle-back mentality last night.

AN EYE ON THE NDCS:

The Northern Division Championship Series will also come down to a Game 3 tonight in Lynchburg. The road team has posted a blowout victory in each of the series’ first two contests. After the Hillcats blew out the Blue Rocks in Delaware in Game 1, Wilmington got revenge in Lynchburg with a 12-3 win, which included three innings of three or more runs, to keep its season alive. Tonight, the Blue Crew sends Leondy Perez (5-4, 3.74 ERA) to the mound against fellow right-hander Aaron Northcraft (10-11, 3.98 ERA).

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

Dash fans can catch the club’s quest for a 12th Mills Cup by tuning in here. Fans are encouraged to tweet @WSDashBaseball and use the Dash’s official playoff hashtag: #Dash12. The Pre-Game Dash begins at 6:40 p.m. and features a chat with Marcus Semien and a look back at the Dash’s huge seventh inning last night.

- Brian

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