The Glendale Desert Dogs opened up Arizona Fall League play this afternoon with a match-up against the Peoria Javelinas. Despite the Desert Dogs losing this one by a score of 8-7 and losing in walk-off fashion, I was still impressed with how the White Sox prospects performed in the opening game.
Outfielder Luis Robert played center field and hit cleanup for the Desert Dogs this afternoon. At the plate he was not overly aggressive, and didn’t chase much out of the strike zone. However, there was one at-bat that ended in a strikeout where he had a hard time touching a curveball. Aside from that, he put the ball in play three times and drew a walk. He had one very impressive at-bat where he was down 1-2 in the count with two outs, and he roped a RBI single to left field. He also showed off his speed and base running instincts by going from first to third on a soft line drive to right field. Luis Robert would finish 1-4 at the plate with a single, RBI, walk, and a strikeout.
— Sean Williams (@TLS_Sean) October 9, 2018
Defensively, Luis Robert had a tough time with the sun in center field. However, he wasn’t the only outfielder to have that same problem today. There was one deep fly ball that he misjudged and took a long route to, but he probably would not have been able to catch it even if he tracked it perfectly off the bat. Aside from that, he had an error-less day in center field and to no surprise, looked athletic out there.
Laz Rivera hit ninth in the lineup and played second-base today for the Desert Dogs. He had a fantastic day at the plate, and had what was easily the most impressive at-bat out of anyone in the lineup this afternoon. In his first at-bat of the day and sitting in a 2-1 count, Rivera would foul off the next five pitches. He would go on to work a full count in what was an eleven pitch at-bat and he won the battle by picking up a single. In his other at-bats, he would be hit by a pitch, ground out, and double on a ball to deep center field that barely stayed in the park. He finished his day going 2-3 with a single, double, RBI, and HBP. He didn’t see much action at second-base, but there was one instance where he got a nice read on a pop up that was headed towards foul territory and came down with the catch.
— Sean Williams (@TLS_Sean) October 9, 2018
It was a very active day for White Sox pitchers on the Glendale Desert Dogs roster. Everyone besides Tanner Banks saw action in the opening game. Right-hander Zack Burdi looked great on the mound, even if the box score doesn’t reflect it. He threw two-thirds of an inning and produced ground balls only, along with one strikeout. He commanded the strike zone well and the only deep count he got into did not end in a walk. Unfortunately for Burdi, a couple of errors led to three unearned runs and chased him out of the game early. Final line: 0.2 IP, 3 R, 0 ER, H, 0 BB, K.
Zach Thompson also threw two-thirds of an inning this afternoon. He was ahead or even in every count, and the highlight of his day occurred when he rung up Keston Hiura, the Milwaukee Brewers top prospect, after falling behind 2-0 to him. He gave up one extra base hit, but the scoring threat was quickly eliminated with a fly out. Final line: 0.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 0 BB, K.
Right-hander Danny Dopico took the mound for one inning as well. Unfortunately, his day went a little differently than the other White Sox pitchers. Initially, he looked like he was going to have a quick inning of work when he retired the first two batters he faced. However, he started struggling with command as he hit a batter, had a wild pitch, and gave up two consecutive hits as the Javelinas tagged him for two runs. Dopico is coming off a very strong season with the Dash and this was hist first game in over a month. Once he shakes the rust off, he will start turning things around. Final line: 1.0 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 K.
Even though the Glendale Desert Dogs left Peoria, AZ with a loss today, I still liked what I saw out of the White Sox prospects. Luis Alexander Basabe joined Banks as the only two White Sox prospects who did not see any action today. However, I would be very surprised if Basabe was not in the lineup tomorrow.
Up next: The Glendale Desert Dogs will head back to Camelback Ranch to host the Peoria Javelinas on Wednesday, October 9. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 CT.
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