White Sox Minor League Update: August 20, 2019

Monster effort: Luis Robert, barely able to raise his arms for high-fives in the dugout after hitting his 13th homer this week, is gonna go full Rumpelstiltskin “any day now.” (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)

Charlotte Knights 9, Durham Bulls 3

Luis Robert (CF): 2-for-4, HR (13), 1 RBI (32), 3 R, 1 BB (.310 BA, 1.025 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 3-for-5, 2B (3), 2 R, 0 K (.311 BA, .733 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (3B): 3-for-5, 2B (1), 1 RBI (6), 3 R, 0 K (.409 BA, 1.136 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 1-for-2, HR (26), 3 RBI (69, nice), 3 BB, 0 K (.274 BA, .942 OPS) *MVP*
Justin Nicolino (SP): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (W, 8-6)

In a shocking turn of events, fatigued center fielder Luis Robert was able to overcome the need of a fainting couch and hit another danged homer over that sweet LED Monster in Left Field out in Durham. The top three hitters of Madrigal, Moncada, and Pantera (aka the first-inning batting order of the next White Sox championship team) combined to go 8-for-14 with 2 2B, 2 HR (YoYo is ret-to-go), and eight runs scored. It’s a damn shame the weary burdens of dominating Triple-A weigh heavy on the bodies and minds of our prospects, cheating Sox fans of … hmm … I feel I’ve lost track of the narrative.

Oh, yes! MVP honors go to Palkamania because he mashed a tasty three-run tater and reached base three times via the free pass. Also, because the poor guy needs it, dammit. The Knights are 71-56, control their destiny in the IL wild card chase, and at this point are a slight underdog in a straight-up matchup with Ricky’s Boys.

(South Side Hit Pen has confirmed where Luis Robert’s Home Run from Monday landed, seen here in this undoctored photo. Can you imagine if Robert wasn’t so fatigued!)

Birmingham Barons 9, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 3

Laz Rivera (2B): 3-for-4, 2 HR (2), 4 RBI (36), 3 R, 1 SB (9) (.259 BA, .605 OPS) *MVP*
Blake Rutherford (DH): 2-for-4, 2B (13), 2 R (.263 BA, .669 OPS)
Damek Tomscha (LF): 3-for-4, 2B (5), 1 RBI (24) (.287 BA, .767 OPS)
John Parke (SP): 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K (2.55 ERA)

Just like their Triple-A compadres, the Barons defeated their opponent 9-3, sautéing the Jumbo Shrimp in butter, lemon juice, and some parsley. That’s about all the interesting bits, but MVP honors go to Laz Rivera, who is no longer listed as missing on the side of a milk carton, with two dingers and four ribbies tonight. 57-67 is the Barons record and [Forrest Gump voice] that’s all I have to say about that.

Winston-Salem Dash 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 2

Steele Walker (DH): 1-for-4, 2B (24), 1 BB (.284 BA, .802 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (1B): 0-for-5, 1 RBI (15) (.250 BA, .765 OPS)
Zach Lewis (SP): 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (W, 6-6, 5.85 ERA) *MVP*

The Dash didn’t have to do much offensively (see: five hits) to maximize their run efficiency, with five runs in their victory over the Hillcats. A big thank-you to Hillcat Jodd Carter (yes, that’s his name, no matter how hard autocorrect wants to make it Jody) for the throwing error leading to the rare two-run sac fly, giving the Dash a 2-1 lead. A lead that Zach Lewis would hold up, only getting touched for two unearned runs in six innings, with six Ks. The Dash are 66-54.

Rome Braves 14, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Ramon Beltre (3B,P[!]): 2-for-4, 2 RBI (33) (.218 BA, .577 OPS); .1 IP, 1 H (0.00 ERA) *MVP*
Alex Destino (RF): 2-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K (.302 BA, .861 OPS)
Davis Martin (SP): 4 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (L, 7-9, 5.26 ERA)

Not much slugging from the Intimidators bats tonight, as 12 hits equaled just 13 total bases. Starter Davis Martin (already worthy of a wary eye as a Two Last Names guy) didn’t have it, nor received much help, with two errors behind him. Ramon Beltre gets begrudging MVP honors for knocking in 50% of Kanny’s four runs and committing 50% of its four errors, while also pitching (!) one out of the game. The Intimidators record slip-slides down to 55-70.

Billings Mustangs 10, Great Falls Voyagers 6

Caberea Weaver (CF): 2-for-5, HR (2), 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K (.260 BA, .707 OPS)
Joshua Rivera (2B): 1-for-4, HR (2), 3 RBI (3), 1 R (.200 BA, .603 OPS)
Dan Metzdorf (SP): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K (3.38 ERA) *MVP*

Things started off swimmingly for the Voyagers, as they scored five runs in the second inning, highlighted by a three-run homer by Joshua Rivera! Ramon Pineda pitched the fourth inning with a 5-0 cushion and boy howdy, did those wheels came off in a hurry.

A leadoff error by SS Lency Delgado set an ominous tone for the rest of Pineda’s outing, as he loaded the bases on walks and a HBP. A sac fly cut the lead to 4-1, and Pineda would have gotten away with minimal damage if it weren’t for that meddling Connor Reich who, coming in after Pineda left with the bases loaded, promptly unloaded three more runs on his bill by giving up a first-pitch grand slam to Renal Ozuna. A five-run lead suddenly became a brand-new ballgame.

Caberea Weaver gave the Voyagers a brief reclaiming of the lead in the fifth inning with a solo homer, but Great Falls’ bullpen would continue the leakage by giving up five more runs, and the Voyagers record fell to 23-33.

AZL White Sox 8, AZL Brewers (Gold) 7

Micker Adolfo (DH): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.306 BA, 1.016 OPS)
Logan Glass (CF): 3-for-4, 2B (4), 1 RBI, 1 R (.226 BA, .583 OPS)
Mac Welsh (P): 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 K (SV 3, 0.00 ERA) *MVP*

Down 7-1 after four innings of ungood pitching from starter Luis Rodriguez, the AZL Sox chipped away at the deficit until busting thru in the sixth inning with five straight two-out hits. That added up to four runs and a 8-7 lead, a lead that held up thanks to four scoreless innings from the Sox bullpen (one hit, five Ks). I’m giving MVP honors to Mac for getting 2 Ks in the ninth with the tying run on for the save! Bless those baby Chisox hearts, as the win shoots their record up to a scintillating 14-37.

DSL White Sox 8, DSL Orioles 3

Yolbert Sánchez (SS) *Co-MVP* – 5-for-5, 2B (13), 1 RBI, 1 R (.283 BA, .766 OPS)
Richard García (C) – 2-for-2, 2 RBI (11) (.286 BA, .724 OPS)
Elijah Tatís (SS): 2-for-4, 2 R (.203 BA, .545 OPS)
Homer Cruz (SP): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K (W, 5-4, 3.86 ERA) *Co-MVP*

The DSL Sox jumped out to a first-inning, three-run lead over the Orioles in a way that would make the 1906 “Hitless Wonders” White Sox blush with pride, scoring three runs without the benefit of a batter striking a ball with his bat so that it lands in fair territory that is not the result of an error or fielder’s choice … otherwise known as a hit!  OK, Yolbert got a single, but the runs came in the forms of an RBI groundout, throwing error on a stolen base attempt, and some #wildpitchoffense!

Starter Homer Cruz was dominant, with six strikeouts in five innings of shutout ball. He certainly did not live up to his first namesake down in the DSL today.

Meet the Players: Leonard Gore

Pretty much a spitting image: Power 60 Bat Tool 20. (Leonard Gore)

Leonard Gore, aka Lenny G, is a mild-mannered state gubmint worker by trade, proud father/husband, and occasionally insane White Sox enthusiast making his debut on our pages today, on the same day South Side Hit Pen itself makes its debut. It’s like he’s Baby New Year and Sexy Santa all wrapped up in one!

True confession: I’ve been having fun interacting with Leonard on Twitter (Leonard42) for quite awhile now, and thought I’d invited him onto the team some time earlier. In fact, I asked another guy named Leonard, who never responded. You’d think there might only be one ace writer named Leonard out there ripe for contributing to South Side Hit Pen, no? Maybe, maybe not. LG, you got a name doppelganger out there somewhere, my friend.

At any rate, Leonard has already made debuts both at South Side Sox and now South Side Hit Pen. In just under the wire. Give his Angels series preview a read today and you’ll agree, he’s bringing some bite and fun to the crew.

Please, South Side Hit Pen people, give a hearty welcome to the newest member of the lineup, Leonard Gore!

Hometown Chicago’s South Side (the best of all sides IMHO)

White Sox fan since Christmas Eve 1983 (aka Day 1 on Planet Earth)

First White Sox memory Glumly watching Paul Molitor and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays celebrate at Comiskey on CBS.

Although my parents tell me this story of taking me to a game at Old Comiskey (#RIP) sometime in 1984, people down the row wanted to see the cute lil baby boy so my father (the dumb Cubs fan that he is) passes me down to be oohed and ahhed over. I’m passed down like a jumbo hot dog by a vendor too lazy to come around to the other side of the section, and I make it about two sections over before my dad finally realizes I’m gone! 

I like to tell that story because although I wasn’t actually abducted or confined to a life as a Baby Peanut Vendor, the Sox abducted my heart that night and I’ve been a devoted cultist ever since.

Favorite White Sox memory “URIBE! THROWS! OUT! AND THE WHITE SOX HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES!”  Non-2005 Memory: Sox erase 8-0 deficit against the Cubs, Paul Konerko hits two Homers and gets beaned in the head, the thrill of watching my Cubs fan father wallow in sadness.

Favorite White Sox player Big Hurt

Next White Sox statue Hawk Harrelson (Joe West and Mark Wegner invited to unveiling, Wegner declines and a furious Hawkeroo calls him screaming “WHAT ARE YOU DOING WEGNER?! … Oh?  Oh my god, is that what I’ve sounded like all these years? I’m so sorry, everyone.” Hawk leaves the ceremony, ashamed. Joe West laughs, belches, then thunderously bellows out “HE GONE!” 

Next White Sox retired number The Cold War will have truly come to an end when Kenny Williams announces Ozzie Guillen’s No. 13 will be retired at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the 2005 championship team!

Go-to concession food at Sox Park I’m a simple man, I only require a bratwurst slathered in mustard and extra sauerkraut.

Favorite Baseball Movie This is so hard … [insert Michael Scott gif here] … but I will bite the bullet and go with The Naked Gun. What’s that, you say?  Not a baseball movie? I’m sorry, but if your film climaxes at Dodger Stadium, your lead character impersonates Enrico Pallazzo and a MLB umpire, a blooper reel including players being hit by cars and mauled by tigers, Reggie Jackson attempts to assassinate Queen Elizabeth, calls made by umpires that even Angel Hernandez would have a hard time believing are right, that film SIR/MADAM is a baseball movie!

Oh, OK, fine. It’s Major League 2 (don’t @ me) Reasons: Parkman’s shimmy and the White Sox portion of his career except that last bit; the fact that the White Sox were a successful enough franchise to have made the World Series the year before and actually be villains to be conquered (sigh, if only … ); Cerrano Dorn taking that HBP; all of Bob Uecker’s lines; Mahbles; learning not to get too high on your own supply and just be yourself.

Hall of Fame speed round

Mark Buehrle Yes (Vets vote him in)
Joe Jackson Yes (because Barry Bonds and the other steroid guys will get in, and there will be no reason to keep Joe out)
Paul Konerko No
Minnie Miñoso Yes
Omar Vizquel Yes
Chris Sale Ugggghh … Yes (but he lives for petty, so he wears a Red Sox hat on his bust)

South Side Hit Pen on the field I’m the beefy, seemingly too-big third baseman. Can be moved over to first in late innings to cover pinch runner substitutions, great picker of balls (er … wait)

True or false: Every jumbled pile of person has a thinking part that wonders what the part that isn’t thinking isn’t thinking of. Truth hurts, donut?