It was a dark and gloomy week throughout the farm. No, I’m not talking about any negative events that occurred. I’m talking about how almost every White Sox minor league affiliate had at least one game postponed this week due to rain.
Congratulations to the Great Falls Voyagers for being the only affiliate to have a full week of work that went according to their set schedule. Aside from the postponed games, there was a lot player movement throughout the system and Luis Robert made his highly anticipated return to the field.
First, let’s take a look at all the roster moves that occurred this week:
The White Sox announced a plethora of promotions, releases, etc. on Thursday afternoon. The headlining move involved Nick Madrigal being promoted from Kannapolis to Winston-Salem. Joining Madrigal will be Alec Hansen, who has transferred from Birmingham to Winston-Salem to work on mechanics and other things.
Brett Austin was promoted from Birmingham to Charlotte. Both Ian Clarkin and Mitch Roman have been promoted from Winston-Salem to Birmingham. Steele Walker and Ramon Beltre were both promoted from Great Falls to Kannapolis. Last but not least, Bryce Bush was promoted from the Arizona Rookie League to Great Falls.
Now, let’s take a look at all of the action from this week throughout the farm:
The Charlotte Knights got two games in this week, with both being against the Norfolk Tides. The Knights went 1-1 this week, giving them an overall record of 50-57. Despite not playing a full slate of games, it was still an exciting week for the Knights with Eloy Jimenez being named Minor League Player of the Month for his July performance and they had Michael Kopech on the mound.
On Monday, Eloy Jimenez put together another fantastic day at the plate, going 2-2 with a home run, RBI, and two walks. Ryan Cordell picked up an extra base hit with a double and went 1-5 at the plate. Dustin Garneau had a two-run home run and a walk, going 1-3 on the day.
Newly acquired left-hander Caleb Frare made his Charlotte Knights debut on Monday, throwing two scoreless innings where he gave up two hits, one walk, and struck out three. The Knights came out victorious in this one, beating Norfolk 5-3.
Tuesday was Michael Kopech Day for White Sox fans and he gave us another strong performance on the mound. Aside from giving up two homers to Pedro Alvarez, Kopech did a great job keeping the Tides offense quiet. He threw seven innings, giving up four hits, two earned runs, two walks, and struck out eight. Oh, and to top that off, he made an absolutely beautiful defensive play on the mound.
— Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball) August 1, 2018
It was an uncharacteristic day for Eloy Jimenez on Tuesday as he was hitless, ending his 10-game hitting streak. Both Patrick Leonard and Jake Elmore collected two hits each in this one. Seby Zavala also had a hit in what was a tough loss for the Knights. Norfolk came out on top, 4-3 in an 11 inning game.
The Knights are set to open up a three game home series against the Durham Bulls starting tonight.
The Barons went 1-3 this week, giving them a 54-55 overall record. However, they also had some exciting events throughout the week. For starters, Dylan Cease was also named Minor League Player of the Month for July and he took the mound on Monday. We also got a quick glimpse of Kodi Medeiros in his rain shortened Barons debut.
Dylan Cease put together another great performance on Monday, shutting the Mississippi Braves down. Cease threw six scoreless inning, allowing five hits, two walks, and he struck out seven. He had everything on display that night, blowing his electric fastball right by the Braves and dropping his mean hook in the zone, keeping hitters off-balance.
Unfortunately for the Barons, as soon as Cease was removed from the game, the Braves took advantage of it and quickly put three runs on the board. The Barons were struggling offensively that night, so the three runs were more than enough for the Braves to earn a 3-0 win.
On Tuesday, Kodi Medeiros made his Barons debut and that quickly came to an end as rain started pouring down right before the third inning. Medeiros threw 2.2 innings, giving up one hit, no runs, three walks, and picked up one strikeout. He struggled with command a bit, but he never allowed the Braves to capitalize on it.
He put together an impressive sequence in the second inning. After he walked the bases loaded with only one out, he registered a strikeout and ground out to strand the runners. He relied on his change-up quite a bit to help him get out of the jam.
.@kodi_medeiros gets into and out of trouble in the 2nd. Mississippi loads the bases with one out, but the newest Baron records his first strikeout then gets a ground out to strand the runners. End-2: 0-0 #NextSox pic.twitter.com/CbDBmW0A9P
— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 1, 2018
The Barons would play a double header on Wednesday, with the first game being a continuation from Tuesday. They would beat the Braves 2-1 with the help of Jameson Fisher and Joel Booker who both had a hit and drove in a run. Zach Thompson threw 3.1 innings, giving up one hit, no runs, one walk, and striking out four.
In the second game of the night, the Barons would lose 1-0 to the Braves in a nail-biter. Bernardo Flores tossed a six inning gem, giving up five hits, one earned run, one walk, and striking out five. Trey Michalczewski had two hits, which was nearly half of the total the Barons had in the game.
On Thursday, the Barons returned home to open up a five game home series against the Mobile BayBears. The series opener didn’t go as planned and the Barons lost this one by a score of 8-4.
Trey Michalczewski collected two hits and drove in a run, making that his second multi-hit game this week. Bryant Flete and Jameson Fisher also collected two hits each. Ian Clarkin threw two innings, giving up one hit, no runs, two walks, and had three strikeouts.
The Barons will look to bounce back as they continue their home series against the Mobile BayBears tonight.
The Dash fell victim to mother nature as well and were only able to get one game in this week. They picked up a win, beating the Carolina Mudcats 3-1 and improved their overall record to 64-44.
Tuesday was their only game and it wasn’t even a full one. It was shortened by rain and they were only able to get five innings in. Gavin Sheets went 2-2 with a double and Luis Gonzalez went 1-3 with a double and two RBIs, providing majority of the Dash’s offense.
Kyle Kubat was on the mound for the Dash and he went the distance in this one. He gave up five hits, one earned run, walked none, and struck out three in five innings of work. His one run gave the Mudcats a 1-0 lead, but the Dash would fight back and give him enough run support to earn the victory on the mound.
In case you missed it, the White Sox acquired another arm in Hunter Schryver. They acquired Schryver from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for international bonus pool money. He has joined the Dash as a left-handed bullpen option, but has not made his debut yet.
The @whitesox have announced the following roster moves affecting the Winston-Salem Dash:
Welcome to the team, Hunter! pic.twitter.com/znS541ta7F
— Winston-Salem Dash (@WSDashBaseball) August 1, 2018
The Winston-Salem Dash are already one of the more enjoyable minor league affiliates to watch. They have a very powerful offense that often lights up the scoreboard. Now, they are adding Nick Madrigal to that offense and will be getting Luis Robert back after he completes his rehab assignment in the AZL. This team has the potential to make a lot of noise come playoff time.
The Winston-Salem Dash are set to hit the road for a three game series against the Down East Wood Ducks starting tonight.
The Kannapolis Intimidators got two games in this week, ending with a split 1-1 record against the Augusta GreenJackets. The Intimidators finish their week with an overall record of 60-45.
On Monday, Drew Harrington was on the winning end of a pitchers duel as the Intimidators pulled off a 2-1 victory. Harrington went for five innings, giving up four hits, one run, two walks, and striking out four.
Nick Madrigal went 1-4 with a single in what would be his final hit as a member of the Intimidators. Craig Dedelow went 2-4 with a double, collecting two of the five total hits for the Intimidators. Will Kincanon picked up the save, going for 1.2 perfect innings with three strikeouts.
The Intimidators were scheduled to have a double header on Wednesday, however, they would only be able to get one game in. The GreenJackets would come out on top in this one, beating the Intimidators 5-2. Tyler Frost put together a solid game, going 1-2 at the plate with a double and two walks.
The Intimidators will be getting a big boost to their lineup with the addition of White Sox 2018 second-round draft pick, Steele Walker. Joining Steele will be Ramon Beltre who has also been promoted from Great Falls to Kannapolis.
Congratulations to Steele Walker and Ramon Beltre on getting promoted to Kannapolis!
Intimidators fans, give a warm welcome to Steele and Ramon! pic.twitter.com/9rs5LCcgmO
— Kannapolis Intimidators (@Intimidators) August 2, 2018
The Intimidators will begin a four game home series against the Greensboro Grasshoppers. They will open up the series with a double header beginning this afternoon.
Great Falls Voyagers
The Great Falls Voyagers were the only affiliate that had a normal schedule this week. However, things didn’t go they way they planned. The Voyagers were swept in a four game series this week against the Billings Mustangs, giving them an even 23-23 record on the season.
Steele Walker made sure he left Voyagers fans with a lasting impression before being promoted. On Monday, he went deep for his second professional home run. Logan Sowers and Jhoandro Alfaro both had two hits in a 7-2 loss to the Mustangs.
On Tuesday, Walker continued to produce at the plate, going 1-4 and driving in another run. Logan Sowers had two more hits, giving him a streak of two hits in back-to-back games. Codi Heuer started the game on the mound and gave up two hits, one walk, and struck out two in three shutout innings. Devon Perez also tossed three shutout innings with a similar line to Heuer’s, but Perez struck out four batters.
The Voyagers lost in heart breaking fashion on Wednesday, falling 6-4 in 12 innings. Amado Nunez and Jhoandro Alfaro both had three hits in the game and Ramon Beltre had two hits while driving in a run. Nick Johnson threw two solid innings, giving up two hits and one run.
Thursday’s match up was a slightly different story. The Mustangs attacked early and often, eventually beating the Voyagers 10-2. Lenyn Sosa went 1-5 at the plate and drove in a run. Gunnar Troutwine went 3-4, collecting a trio of singles. Jason Bilous was the starting pitcher and went three innings, giving up two runs (one earned), three hits, one walk, and registered two strikeouts.
The Voyagers have lost four games in a row and will look to end that skid as they head to Missoula for a three game series against the Osprey.
The AZL White Sox had a quiet week, only getting one game in. Both Monday and Friday were postponed due to weather, and Wednesday they had a scheduled day off. They won their only game this week and White Sox fans finally got to see Luis Robert back in action as he rehabs in the AZL.
The AZL White Sox beat the AZL Padres 7-5 on Tuesday. Luis Robert smacked a double in his first at-bat and would come around to score. He was in the lead-off spot and was the designated hitter in the lineup. Lency Delgado had a productive night at the plate, going 1-5 with two RBIs. Brayan Herrera, Yordi Rosario, and Rigo Fernandez all combined to throw six shutout innings, helping the AZL White Sox get the win.
The most impressive hitter of the night, however, was Bryce Bush. Bryce went 2-3 with two doubles, two walks, and three RBIs. Bryce Bush has torn up AZL pitching since he signed with the White Sox. He’s quickly making a name for himself and has already seen one promotion in just one month of playing professional baseball.
The AZL White Sox will host the AZL Angels in a double header tonight, making up for the postponed game on Thursday.
Follow Sean Williams on Twitter-Feature Photo Credit: Winston-Salem Dash/Twitter