Results tagged ‘ Tommy Thompson ’

Around the White Sox system – April

On Friday, we reviewed the first month of the season for the Dash (they did lead the Carolina League in ERA). Today, we will examine the rest of the Chicago White Sox system to see how their Aprils went, starting from the top:

Chicago White Sox (MLB): An offseason that saw the White Sox acquire RHPs Jeff Samardzija and David Robertson, LHP Zach Duke, 1B Adam LaRoche, OF Melky Cabrera and UTL Emilio Bonafacio led to some believing that Chicago would contend in the American League. However, the White Sox struggled in the season’s first month and the rumbling has already begun about rebuilding around this core for 2016.

Jose Abreu has crushed five homers this season.  (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)

Jose Abreu has crushed five homers this season. (Jesse Johnson/USA Today Sports)

That being said, the core is the envy of nearly every team in baseball. Jose Abreu has mashed to a 126 wRC+, while Avisail Garcia has been a surprise to match that production so far. Meanwhile, the White Sox lineup has seen LaRoche (87 wRC+), Cabrera (75 wRC+), Alexei Ramirez (46 wRC+) and Adam Eaton (36 wRC+) get off to slow starts, meaning this talented lineup should start to turn things around and get hot at any moment.

The same could be said about the Chicago pitching staff. Both Chris Sale and Jose Quintana have posted ERAs above 5.00, with Samardzija currently at 4.78. The White Sox have also brought up top prospect and former Dash LHP Carlos Rodon, who has pitched to a 2.76 ERA in 6.1 innings thus far.

Although the White Sox are currently 7.0 games behind the Tigers, nearly everything has gone wrong for them so far, and turnarounds from what was supposed to be one of the deepest lineups and best starting pitching trios in baseball could make Chicago a team that makes a run later in the year.

Carlos Sanchez is off to a torrid start in 2015. (Buren Foster/Charlotte Knights)

Carlos Sanchez is off to a torrid start in 2015. (Buren Foster/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights (AAA): April saw Charlotte storm to a 13-7 start to take the early lead in the International League South division. Former Dash INF Carlos Sanchez has put together one of the best performances in all of Minor League Baseball. The 10th-ranked prospect in the White Sox system according to MLB.com, Sanchez is batting .407/.432/.582 with 10 doubles, two home runs and 15 RBIs. Nearly half of those RBIs came in a May 2 game against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, when Sanchez went 4-for-4 with two homers and a double to drive in seven runs. That capped a run that saw Sanchez reach base in 10 straight plate appearances, recording a hit in nine of those.

Former Dash OF Trayce Thompson, the No. 19 White Sox prospect, has raked to a .326/.365/.517 tune with three triples, two home runs and 11 RBIs thus far. On the mound, RHP Erik Johnson, who pitched for Winston-Salem in 2012, leads the club with a 3-1 record and 2.04 ERA, fanning 19 in 17.2 innings.

The flip of the calendar to May also saw the White Sox release OF Jared Mitchell. The 2010 first-round pick was batting just .050 this season for Charlotte and was a .205 hitter with 10 homers in 144 Triple-A games.

With a record of 14-9, the Knights are enjoying the perch of the division by one game over the Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay Rays).

Tim Anderson has stolen the most bases in the Southern League. (Buren Foster)

Tim Anderson has stolen the most bases in the Southern League. (Buren Foster)

Birmingham Barons (AA): Like the Dash, the Barons had an up-and-down opening month of the season, finishing an even 10-10. Former Dash INF Tim Anderson, who is now the top-ranked prospect in the Chicago system with Rodon in the bigs, has stolen 11 bases and batted .309 with 13 RBIs in the early going. Meanwhile, 2014 Dash members Jacob May (.337/.378/.424, 10 SB) and Jason Coats (.340/.354/.532, 9 2B) reinforced an offense that ranks in the top half of the league in both batting average and slugging percentage. Coats did earn a late-April bump to Charlotte thanks to his strong production.

In the rotation, Frankie Montas and Myles Jaye, who both pitched in Winston-Salem last year, have helped lead a pitching staff that is just four off the lead for most strikeouts in the Southern League. Montas has a 2.63 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 13.2 frames, while Jaye is 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA and 20 punchouts against six free passes in 20.1 innings.

The Barons are currently 2.5 games behind the Tennessee Smokies (Chicago Cubs) in the Southern League’s North Division.

Jordan Guerrero's 0.69 ERA is the sixth-best in MiLB. (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators)

Jordan Guerrero’s 0.69 ERA is the sixth-best in MiLB. (Ray Marsden/Kannapolis Intimidators)

Kannapolis Intimidators (A): Former Dash manager Tommy Thompson and his Intimidators did not have a winning or losing streak of more than two games throughout April. LHP Jordan Guerrero (No. 29 White Sox prospect) has gotten off to a ridiculous start to the campaign. Guerrero has the sixth-best ERA (0.69) in all of Minor League Baseball, while his 0.77 WHIP ranks 18th. The southpaw is 3-0, has given up just 15 hits in 26.0 innings and fanned 26 against only five walks.

The Kannapolis offense has posted the third-best average and slugging percentage in the South Atlantic League. INF Chris Curley’s 20 RBIs lead the club, and he has hit .281/.326/.551 while smashing a team-high nine doubles and five roundtrippers. C Brett Austin, Rodon’s roommate at NC State, is batting .333/.453/.548 with three triples, and former Olympic silver medalist Eddy Alvarez has slashed .301/.396/.422 with six steals.

The Intimidators’ 10-13 record has them at the bottom of the SAL Northern Division, 6.0 games behind the Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers).

Stay tuned for our Dash game preview as they wrap up a four-game set Monday with the Wilmington Blue Rocks.

-Scott

Dash Top 10 – #4: “Big Kev” named team MVP

The 2014 season is in the books, and there were many great moments throughout the summer. Over the next few weeks, we will count down the Dash Top 10 of 2014.

Previous moments:
#10 – Shortest MiLB game in 2014
#9 – DeMichele’s five-hit, five-run effort
#8 – Buckner’s controversial walk-off blast
#7 – Narvaez’s two-homer Dash debut
#6 – Danish tosses six no-hit innings
#5 – Anderson rescues Dash with walk-off homer

Moment #4 – August 22
Kevin Pearman honored as team MVP

Pearman1We have shared some exciting on-field moments from the 2014 season, and all of them deserve to be here. However, Minor League Baseball, and sports in general, is about more than the game. The people you meet and the relationships you form make these “games” so meaningful, and they should trump the scores at the end of the day.

It does not matter what role you play in the sport. Whether you are a fan, player, coach, reporter or employee, relationships begin and grow thanks to the game of baseball, and BB&T Ballpark is a great place to experience all of this.

Rarely does an individual connect with people in all walks of a field or a sport. One who accomplished this feat during the Dash’s 2014 season was Kevin Pearman.

“Big Kev” was an outstanding bat boy and clubhouse assistant at BB&T Ballpark. He always showed up with a smile on his face, and he was willing and able to contribute at a high level. His presence made everyone better.

Thanks to his stellar efforts this summer, Kevin earned the Dash’s BB&T Employee of the Year from the front office. The men in the clubhouse also wanted to recognize his work.

Before a critical game against Carolina on August 22, manager Tommy Thompson gathered the entire team together before summoning Big Kev to the middle of the clubhouse. Tommy discussed what he looks for in a Most Valuable Player–work ethic, determination, passion, intelligence, timeliness, flexibility, production.

Kevin fulfilled all of those qualities, and Tommy gave him the award he deserved.

Many people weighed in on Facebook (too many likes to count) and Twitter.

It was an honor working with Big Kev throughout the 2014 season, and I know many players felt the same. Big Kev could not have been more excited about both of his awards, and few deserve praise as much as him.

Stay tuned for our top three moments, which will be released next week. Have a great weekend.

– Brian

Bucciferro’s near no-no, a day later

The near miss still stings after an evening to digest what happened on Sunday in Frederick. Tony Bucciferro was two outs away from a no-hitter against the Keys. Here is the full ninth inning from Sunday’s broadcast.

Bucciferro talked about the outing shortly after the game.

Skipper Tommy Thompson beamed about Bucciferro’s showing, too.

Here are a few notes on the near miss:

  • Bucciferro was on the precipice of the first no-hitter by a Winston-Salem hurler since June 19, 2009, when Levi Maxwell tossed a seven-inning no-no in the opener of a twin bill at Wilmington. Winston-Salem has not twirled a nine-inning no-hitter since four pitchers combined on the gem against Myrtle Beach on April 15, 2001.

  • With just two more outs, Bucciferro would have earned the franchise’s first solo, nine-inning no-hitter since May 20, 1988 (Bill Kazmierczak versus Virginia). In 101 seasons of baseball in Winston-Salem, the franchise has thrown 14 no-hitters.

  • Though he fell short of history, Bucciferro did notch the fifth nine-inning complete game shutout of the Dash era (2009-present) and the second this year (Myles Jaye, May 28 vs. Potomac). 

  • Bucciferro also engineered Winston’s first one-hit shutout in a nine-inning contest since August 10, 2012, at Potomac. In the process, the former Michigan State star snapped a personal four-game skid, during which he owned an 8.18 ERA.

  • With his career-high nine frames on Sunday, Bucciferro is now third in the Minor Leagues with 123.1 innings in 2014. He trails Montgomery’s Dylan Floro (128.2) and Charlotte’s Chien-Ming Wang (125.1), while Bucciferro enjoys a 2.1-inning cushion on Visalia’s Spencer Arroyo for the top spot among High-A pitchers.

Something special can happen at any baseball game, which makes this the greatest sport in the world. Even though Bucciferro did not finish the no-hitter, few who watched or followed this outing will forget it.

– Brian

Anderson activated from disabled list

Tim Anderson spent 11 days on the disabled list before Saturday's activation (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Tim Anderson spent 12 days on the DL before Sunday’s activation (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

As anticipated by manager Tommy Thompson on Friday, Winston-Salem shortstop Tim Anderson has been activated from the disabled list in advance of Sunday’s action.

Anderson has not played since April 28 at Salem, during which he injured his left shoulder. With a runner at second, Nick Basto completed a 5-3 putout, and Anderson went to cover third base. The runner charged toward third after Basto’s throw, and Anderson slipped after reaching back for an errant throw from first baseman Keon Barnum.

The White Sox first-round pick in 2013, Anderson has played 22 games with Winston-Salem thus far this season. He is hitting .250 with one homer, six RBIs and 16 runs scored. He still owns a share of second place in the Carolina League in triples with four.

To make room for Anderson, fellow infielder Justin Jirschele has been placed on the seven-day disabled list. Jirschele was also on the DL throughout the month of April. He made his 2014 and High-A debut on May 1 and hit 8-for-15, including 2-for-2 in the game that will be completed on Sunday.

Anderson takes Jirschele’s spot in the order in this contest. He will be in the seven slot and act as the Dash’s designated hitter.

Tune into Sunday’s de facto doubleheader at wsdash.com/broadcast.

– Brian

Anderson placed on disabled list

Tim Anderson is on the disabled list for the first time as a professional (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Tim Anderson is on the disabled list for the first time as a professional (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

The White Sox announced that Winston-Salem shortstop Tim Anderson has been placed on the seven-day disabled list, retroactive to Tuesday. According to manager Tommy Thompson, it is a left shoulder injury for Anderson, and it was suffered during the Dash’s 11-8 loss at Salem on Monday.

Anderson remained in the lineup throughout the Monday contest, but he was not in the Dash’s Tuesday lineup that was posted a few hours before the game was postponed due to rain in the Salem area.

The White Sox first-round pick last June, Anderson is off to a tremendous start in his High-A career. The Tuscaloosa, Ala., native is hitting .250 (23-for-92) with one home run and six RBIs. His four triples are tied for the most in the Carolina League, while he shares fifth place on the circuit with 11 extra-base hits.

Anderson will be eligible to return to the active roster on Tuesday when the Dash take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the middle match of their three-game set at BB&T Ballpark.

As a result, fellow infielder Justin Jirschele has been activated off the disabled list and will be eligible to play for the first time this season in the Dash’s homestand opener against Potomac on Thursday night. Jirschele hit .304 in 65 games with rookie-level Great Falls a year ago. He also played 15 games with Low-A Kannapolis, hitting .137 with six RBIs.

The Dash’s roster sits at 25 active players, along with three men on the disabled list. Stay tuned to the blog for a full preview of Thursday’s clash with Potomac.

– Brian

Game #1 Preview – Dash vs. Wilmington

Game #1 – Home Game #1
Winston-Salem Dash (0-0) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (0-0)
Thursday, April 3 – 7 p.m.
BB&T Ballpark (Winston-Salem, NC)

GAME BACKGROUND:

The Dash will open the 2014 season against Wilmington, the same team they played in the final game of 2013. Since becoming the Dash in 2009, Winston-Salem is 1-4 on Opening Day, including consecutive nine-run losses during the last two seasons.

Courtney Hawkins is one of three Top 10 prospects in Winston-Salem (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Courtney Hawkins is one of three Top 10 prospects in Winston-Salem (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Jacob May – CF
Tim Anderson – SS
Courtney Hawkins – RF
Keon Barnum – 1B
Jason Coats – RF
Joey DeMichele – 2B
Martin Medina – C
Nick Basto – 3B
Grant Buckner – DH
J.B. Wendelken – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • This is the first time a Winston-Salem team has opened a season at home since 2007, when the Warthogs fell to the now-defunct Kinston Indians 5-3 at Ernie Shore Field.
  • Veteran minor league manager Tommy Thompson returns for his second stint as Dash skipper. In 2012, he led Winston-Salem to the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball: 87-51-1. That squad also reached the Mills Cup Finals.
  • The Dash Opening Day roster features three of the top 10 prospects in the White Sox system, according to Baseball America. Infielder Tim Anderson is ranked third, outfielder Courtney Hawkins is rated seventh, and outfielder Jacob May checks in at 10th.
  • The Dash dominated the Blue Rocks last season, winning 15 of 20 games against the northern-most team in the Carolina League. That includes an 8-2 mark at BB&T Ballpark.
  • Probable starting pitcher J.B. Wendelken will be making his first career professional start, after 49 previous outings as a reliever in the Red Sox and White Sox organizations. The 21-year-old has a 4-2 career record, with a 2.96 ERA in 100.1 innings.

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 game is also available on wsdash.com/broadcast and MiLB.tv.

– Dave

PHOTOS: Coaches Luncheon, “Home Run,” Players

Tuesday was a huge day at BB&T Ballpark. In case you missed anything, here is what happened:

Dash unveil “Home Run” statue
Howard West, Senior Services honored at Coaches Luncheon
White Sox announce Winston-Salem’s Opening Day roster

There were some great moments from the event, and some of them are captured below. Thanks to Rebecca McNeely, Kristin DiSanti and Dave Polaski for the photos.

Statue_1

“Home Run” is unveiled for the first time.

Statue_2

Mayor Allen Joines speaks to the crowd at the statue unveiling.

Statue_3

Artist Tom Ogburn discusses and admires his incredible piece of art.

CL2

Dash manager Tommy Thompson addresses the record crowd at the Coaches Luncheon.

CL1

Longtime high school basketball coach Howard West accepts this year’s Service Through Sports Award.

CL3

Attendees were treated to a delicious cookie cake from Great American Cookie.

MD 1

Most local news outlets attended the festivities and talked to Dash players and coaches. Here, WXII, Fox 8 and News 2 reporters chat with Courtney Hawkins.

Photo1_May

The Dash also held Photo Day on Tuesday. Here, Jacob May poses for the camera.

Photo2_Heisler

Adam Heisler gets his motion headshot taken by our crew.

Photo3_Wendelken

A great shot of Dash hurler J.B. Wendelken.

MD Workout 1

The day wrapped up with the Dash’s first workout at BB&T Ballpark in 2014.

MD Workout 2

Joey DeMichele takes some swings in the cage.

It was a great day at BB&T Ballpark, and the community cannot wait to get the season going. We can’t wait to get it going tomorrow night!

– Brian

Some sights from Spring Training

The White Sox are currently playing their first exhibition game of the season, and three of the Dash’s owners–Billy Prim, Jimmy Strickland and Bryan Andrews–are in Glendale taking in the sights and sounds of Spring Training.

The view from Camelback Ranch. This is Jose Abreu’s first plate appearance as a member of the White Sox organization.

ST4

Tommy Thompson will return to Winston-Salem to lead the Dash in April. From left to right: Strickland, Thompson, Prim and Andrews.

ST1

Tim Anderson could very well start the season in the Triad. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, Anderson and Strickland.

ST2

A blast from the past! Former Dash manager Joe McEwing and pitching coach Bobby Thigpen are now with the White Sox. From left to right: Andrews, Prim, McEwing, Thigpen and Strickland.

ST3

We’ll keep you posted on the start of the White Sox exhibition slate. Have a great weekend.

– Brian

A 2012 encore?

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The 2012 season was a special one in Winston-Salem. Thanks to the White Sox 2014 field staff assignments, the three leaders of that squad are back for another go-around this summer.

Tommy Thompson will lead the Dash this season, with pitching coach J.R. Perdew and hitting coach Gary Ward also returning to the Triad.

The Dash’s 2012 season was one for the record books. Here are some of my favorite stats from that season:

  • The Dash finished with the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1), narrowly edging out the Asheville Tourists (Low-A, Colorado) and the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A, Pittsburgh) for the top mark.
  • This record is good for the second-best mark in the 110-year history of the franchise. Only the 1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals (106-47) had a better record. That team is the best in the history of the Carolina League.
  • Thompson won the circuit’s Manager of the Year Award, which was Winston’s third in the previous four years. Dan Black collected the club’s second straight Most Valuable Player honor.
  • The Dash went 15-3-3 in home series and never suffered a sweep at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem’s 48-23 home record was the best in full-season Minor League Baseball.
  • Five players from that squad have already advanced to the big leagues, while 14 others have made it to Triple-A since appearing on that team.
  • These three men led the Carolina League past the California League 9-1 in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game. That victory snapped the Carolina League’s three-game losing streak in the series.

There is no question that Tommy, J.R. and Gary will have a tough time replicating the success they shared during the 2012 season. However, Winston-Salem fans have to be excited about what their reunion could mean for the Dash in 2014.

– Brian

Top 10 posts of 2013

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

The top blog post from 2013 stemmed from one of my worst moments.

It has been another successful year here with the Dash Board Blog. Thanks to all of you, our readers, the Dash Board Blog has been one of the most popular blogs in Minor League Baseball.

After compiling a “Dash Top 10” based on the team’s 2013 accomplishments back in September, why not share our list of the Top 10 blog posts of the 2013 season.

This list is based on hits, and I omitted the posts solely dedicated to transactions or game previews. Without further ado, here are the blog’s best posts from 2013.

1. “When a foul ball meets a computer screen” – July 22

The picture of the monitor is crazy, but the conversation in the broadcast booth before the damage was even crazier. I’m happy that my computer’s demise did have one positive impact.

2. “Breaking down the Dash…on Twitter” – May 20

Baseball players can send some unique tweets. A few Dash players discuss their different tweets.

3. “One millionth fan tribute” – May 10

BB&T Ballpark reached one million total fans quicker than any other facility in High-A history, so we put together a video tribute to our loyal fans.

4. “All-You-Can-Eat Night by the numbers” – April 19

The Dash hosted their first All-You-Can-Eat Night in April, and our fans left the game quite stuffed. The final numbers were very impressive.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

Seeing snow at a baseball field is always strange.

5. “Snow at BB&T Ballpark” – January 18

Snow covered the stadium early this year, and the photos are great.

6. “The shoes of MiLB’s stolen base leader” – August 2

Micah Johnson has style and speed. Both of those traits came together in his shoes.

7. “Smith’s unique journey to Pittsburgh” – June 9

Kevan Smith was a college football quarterback before he joined the White Sox system. How he arrived at the University of Pittsburgh is a fascinating story.

8. “Shagging baseballs at the Home Run Derby” – August 7

Josh Richmond played on a big league field at a young age. He was in uniform at the 1998 Home Run Derby.

9. “Dash to a million: BB&T Ballpark in pictures” – May 15

Before the millionth fan celebration, we took a look back at some of BB&T Ballpark’s best moments.

10. “Catching up with Tommy Thompson” – April 29

The Dash’s 2012 manager, who has a fascinating personality, reflected on his time in Winston-Salem and looked ahead.

Thanks again for following along with the Dash Board Blog throughout the 2013 season. Happy Holidays!

– Brian

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