White Sox Minor League Update: September 2, 2019

A heroic effort falls short: Yermin Mercedes accounted for seven total bases, but it was not enough in the Knights’ 7-6 loss. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Norfolk Tides 7, Charlotte Knights 6 (10)

Dylan Covey (SP): 6 2/3 IP, 8 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (2.82 ERA)
Danny Mendick (3B): 0-for-5, 2 E (.279 BA, .812 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-6, 3B, 3 K (.297 BA, .975 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 5-for-5, 2 RBI (.331 BA, .822 OPS) *MVP*
Zack Collins (1B): 0-for-3, 2 BB, 3 K (.282 BA, .951 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-5 (.263 BA, .901 OPS)
Yermin Mercedes (DH): 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI (.310 BA, 1.033 OPS) *MVP*

Due to this heartbreaking defeat, the Knights fell just short of a postseason appearance. Heading into today, the Knights needed to win, and they needed a loss by the Durham Bulls to make the playoffs. The Bulls lost by a score of 8-5, but the Knights could not get it done.

One Knight who was on top of his game was second baseman Nick Madrigal, who singled in all five of his plate appearances. Madrigal drove in two runs, including the first one of the game. That two-out single drove in Seby Zavala to give the Knights a 1-0 lead. In the following inning, Yermin Mercedes hit a solo homer to double the Knights’ lead. That home run was the 23th of the season for Mercedes and his 17th with the Knights.

Thanks to another RBI single by Madrigal and a two-run double by Mercedes, the Knights led 5-2 after seven innings, but the bullpen could not close the deal. Starter Dylan Covey pitched well, but all three relievers who appeared in this game for the Knights allowed noteworthy damage. Matt Foster and José Ruiz combined to allow four runs (all earned) in a disastrous eighth inning. Foster was charged for three of those runs, and Ruiz got a blown save as the Knights fell behind, 6-5.

The Knights stuck their noses back into this game, as they rallied to tie it in the top of the ninth. Mercedes drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly to score Madrigal. After a scoreless bottom half, this game headed to extras. In the bottom of the 10th, the Tides started the inning with old friend José Rondon on second base, and he scored the winning run on a single by Tides second baseman Jack Reinheimer. With that base hit, the Knights’ season came to a close, and they finished with a 75-64 record. Since the Knights will not be heading to the postseason, one might wonder what Hahn’s excuse will be for not promoting Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal. Stay tuned.

Biloxi Shuckers 6, Birmingham Barons 1

John Parke (SP) 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K (2.59 ERA)
Zach Remillard (1B): 1-for-4 (.232 BA, .647 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-4 (.265 BA, .684 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela (3B): 1-for-2, HR, BB (.202 BA, .526 OPS) *MVP*
Luis Basabe (CF): 0-for-4 (.246 BA, .660 OPS)
Joel Booker (DH): 1-for-4 (.257 BA, .645 OPS)

The Barons’ season ended with a disappointing performance against a talented Biloxi (82-57) squad. Barons starter John Parke carried his weight, as his three scoreless innings put the Barons in a good position to pull off an upset. However, the upset was not in the cards this afternoon.

Reliever Vince Arobio had a rough outing, as although he missed a lot of bats (five strikeouts in two and two-thirds innings), he also allowed quite a bit of sharp contact. Arobio issued two walks, and he allowed four runs (all earned). As a result, he picked up the loss.

One of the few highlights came from third baseman Luis Valenzuela. His solo home run in the sixth inning put the Barons on the board. The home run also broke up a no-hitter.

As it turned out, Valenzuela’s home run would be the only run that the Barons would score. Due to today’s loss, the Barons fell to 64-72 on the season.

Winston-Salem Dash 3, Lynchburg Hillcats 0

Konnor Pilkington (SP): 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K (4.99 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 2-for-4, 2B (.252 BA, .760 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (RF): 1-for-3, BB (.246 BA, .752 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 0-for-3, 2 BB (.280 BA, .792 OPS)
Jonathan Allen (LF): 2-for-4, RBI (.556 BA, 1.778 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B): 3-for-3, BB, 2 RBI (.242 BA, .718 OPS) *MVP*

Excellent pitching throughout this matchup highlighted the Dash’s victory this afternoon. The Dash got on the board in the top of the first, and the one run they scored that inning was enough. Today’s MVP, Jameson Fisher, drove in the first run of the game with a single. Fisher reached base safely in all four of his plate appearances, as he singled three times and walked once.

The score remained 1-0 until the eighth, when the Dash got a pair of insurance runs to extend the lead to three. The first of those runs scored on another single by Fisher, and a single on a great bunt by Jonathan Allen scored the final run.

Meanwhile, starter Konnor Pilkington pitched three excellent, scoreless innings, and the relievers picked up where he left off. Six more pitchers appeared in this game for the Dash, and all of them pitched exactly one scoreless inning. Thanks to this victory, the Dash finished the season with a 72-61 record.

Delmarva Shorebirds 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 5

Kevin Folman (SP): 4 2/3 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 4 K (5.04 ERA)
Tyler Osik (LF): 2-for-5, HR (.278 BA, .909 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4, 2B (.298 BA, .757 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI (.298 BA, .852 OPS) *MVP*
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (.251 BA, .663 OPS)

The Intimidators came up short in a high-scoring matchup this afternoon. Starter Kevin Folman had a decent performance, allowing three runs (two earned) in four and two-thirds. When Folman left the game, the Intimidators trailed by a score of 3-1, but they did not go down easy.

After a three-run top of the seventh, the game was tied at four. That three-run rally was capped off by a solo home run by outfielder Tyler Osik to tie the game. The Intimidators also got solo home runs by Lenyn Sosa and MVP Alex Destino, who had three hits. However, due to an implosion in the bottom of the seventh, the power-hitting went to waste. The Shorebirds’ five-run rally that inning was too much to overcome. As a result, the Intimidators fell to 64-74.

Great Falls Voyagers 4, Billings Mustangs 1

Sean Thompson (SP): 8 1/3 IP, 7 H, 1 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 6 K (6.08 ERA) *MVP*
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 3-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI (.290 BA, .854 OPS) *MVP*
Luis Mieses (LF): 2-for-3, BB, RBI, E (.249 BA, .637 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 2-for-4, BB, E (.259 BA, .612 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (3B): 2-for-4 (.273 BA, .793 OPS)

The Voyagers ended their season on a high note, as seven players in their starting lineup had multi-hit games. I cannot remember the last time I saw that. If a team manages to combine that kind of contact hitting with reliable pitching, that team normally does well, and today was no exception.

Starter Sean Thompson was terrific from start to finish. Thompson did not issue any walks, and he limited sharp contact to a minimum. Largely thanks to Thompson’s strong control, he fell only two outs shy of a complete game. Pauly Milto was the only other Voyagers pitcher to make an appearance. Milto inherited runners on first and second with one out in the ninth in a save situation. On his first and only pitch, Milto forced a ground ball that resulted in a game-ending double play.

On the offensive side, despite 17 total hits, Harvin Mendoza was surprisingly the only Voyager with three hits. Mendoza’s double was also the only extra-base hit by the Voyagers. So, even though quite a few Voyagers had good days offensively, Mendoza separated himself from the pack to earn MVP. With this victory, the Voyagers improved to 33-37.

4 thoughts on “White Sox Minor League Update: September 2, 2019

  1. If I were GM, I would say thank you and release Castillo and Jay. They aren’t coming back anyway. I would also thank Santiago, Banuelos, and Skole for their service and release them as well.

    For call-ups, Collins is already on the 40 man and ready to come north. With the five addition spaces freed-up on the roster, I would add and call-up Robert, Madrigal, Mercedes, Mendick, and Kubat.

    As Pito said, next year starts in September and Hahn & Renteria should listen. Service time means nothing, as the clock is already ticking on core pieces like Giolitto, Bummer, Lopez, Anderson, Jimenez, Kopech, and Moncada. The window is officially open and knowing that Robert & Madrigal will have growing pains before stardom, (just ask Anderson, Moncada, Giolitto, and Lopez if success is instant) it is imperative to give Robert and Madrigal a taste of the big leagues so they will know what they need to focus on this off-season to be successful at the MLB level.

    As for the off season, I really don’t want the Sox to go after Cole, as exciting as it would be. I’d rather they keep the payroll flexibility to retain this core, rather than overpaying for past performance and watching our young talent leave in free agency. I would rather sign Bumgarner to help balance our righty-heavy rotation and provide playoff-tested experience. I would also try to ink Puig to a prove it contract (one year guaranteed / one year mutual option) and let him have the opportunity to bet on himself and reset his career with a clubhouse full of countrymen.


    1. I totally agree with your players released and call ups, but I would add Thompson to the list. At this point we need to see what these young ‘uns look like.


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