Deep Dive: Charlotte and Birmingham left-handed starters

Do-over: Bernardo Flores is the second-rated southpaw pitching prospect in the White Sox organization, according to MLB Pipeline. (@Bham Barons)


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

Ages listed below are as of April 1, 2020.

Although the majority of players on this list are essentially organizational depth, there are a couple pitchers who could turn out to be something more.


Charlotte Knights

Matt Tomshaw
6´1´´
205 pounds
Age: 31

How long has Tomshaw been around? Well, he was pitching in college back when George W. Bush was President. Tomshaw pitched all four years of college ball (2008-11) with Jacksonville University, and enjoyed his best season as a senior starter by posting a 3.69 ERA and 1.32 WHIP 17 starts (102 innings). Being a college senior who lacked overwhelming stuff, Tomshaw lacked leverage and was ultimately selected in the 42nd round of the 2011 draft by the Minnesota Twins. The first four years of his minor-league career were spent with the Twins, reaching as high as High-A ball.

The Miami Marlins claimed him off of waivers, and though he reached Triple-A a couple of times, Tomshaw never received the ultimate promotion. His best year in their organization was his last one, 2017, in which he spent the full season with Triple-A Jacksonville. In 27 starts spanning 163 innings, he posted a solid 3.48 ERA and 1.26 WHIP by relinquishing 170 hits and 36 walks while striking out 114.

The White Sox claimed him as a minor league free-agent prior to the 2018 season, and he struggled badly with both Birmingham and Charlotte (combined 5.75 ERA, 1.54 WHIP , .320 OBP, 4.4 BB%, 17.8 K% in 148.2 IP).

The White Sox re-signed Tomshaw for the 2019 season, and the second time was a charm. For Birmingham in 15 appearances (12 starts) totaling 75 innings, he compiled a 2.40 ERA and 0.95 WHIP by allowing 62 hits (.218 OBA) and just nine walks (3.0%) while fanning 86 (28.8%). He also pitched well for Charlotte in 11 outings (five starts) over 36.2 IP by posting a 3.93 ERA and 1.34 WHIP by ceding 38 hits (.271 OBA) and 11 walks (7.2%) while striking out 32 (20.9%). Tomshaw finished the year strong, as he posted an amazing 1.57 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in four August starts.

By no means is Tomshaw considered a true prospect at this point in his career. However, as a southpaw without overpowering stuff, he’s managed to stick around because of his ability to throw strikes, durability and flexibility as a swingman-type. It’s possible the White Sox will re-sign him for 2020 and keep him in Charlotte, with the possibility of inserting him into an emergency role if the situation should arise. For this veteran hurler, a major league debut would be a long-awaited dream come true.

Kyle Kubat
6´1´´
195 pounds
Age: 27

Kubat ended his four-year career with the University of Nebraska on a high note, as he posted a superb 2.97 ERA and 1.24 WHIP over 15 starts spanning 94 innings. However, because he only struck out 63 batters and he was a fourth-year senior, he wasn’t selected in the 2015 draft. He ultimately signed as a UDFA with the Kansas City Royals, and pitched well for the AZL Royals that year in 12 relief outings; he posted a spectacular 0.76 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in 35 1/3 innings by surrendering 26 hits (.202 OBA) and just three walks (2.2%) while fanning 26 (19.4%). After another solid campaign in 2016 split between Low-A Lexington and High-A Wilmington, Kubat was traded in March 2017 to the White Sox for cash considerations.

Kubat split the 2017 season among three White Sox affiliates (Kannapolis, Winston-Salem and Birmingham) and excelled at each stop. In 35 outings (three starts) totaling 74 2/3 innings, he surrendered just 50 hits (.184 OBA) and 12 walks (4.1%) while striking out 77 (26.5%) in posting a combined 1.69 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. Despite that work, Kubat returned to Winston-Salem in 2018 and basically pitched there the entire year and did quite well despite some regression (3.55 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, .279 OBA, 3.5 BB%, 20.7 K%).

The 2019 season was the first time Kubat started more than he relieved, and he acquitted himself exceptionally well. In four starts for the Dash spanning 22 innings, he posted a 1.23 ERA and 0.73 WHIP by relinquishing just 11 hits (.145 OBA) and five walks (6.0%) while striking out 19 (22.6%). He then started eight games for Birmingham, and in his 48 1/3 innings for the Barons, he compiled a 2.42 ERA and 1.03 WHIP by ceding 43 hits (.239 OBA) and seven walks (3.7%) while fanning 35 (18.4%). He did meet his match, however, due to the different baseball and the favorable hitting dimensions of BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte: Kubat posted a 5.63 ERA and 1.38 WHIP for the Knights in 12 starts totaling 56 innings, as he allowed 60 hits (.278 OBA) and 17 walks (7.1%) while striking out 35 (14.7%). All nine homers he served up this year were with the Knights.

Kubat succeeds despite not having exceptional stuff because he throws strikes, keeps the ball down (47% ground ball rate), and isn’t afraid to use any of his four pitches (upper-80s fastball, curveball, slider, changeup) at any given time. While he succeeded against righties as a whole, he dominated lefties so it’s possible to see him in something of a Hector Santiago role for the White Sox if given the opportunity. In the meantime, expect him to begin the 2020 season in Charlotte if he goes unselected in this year’s Rule 5 draft.

Justin Nicolino
6´3´´
195 pounds
Age: 28

It’s hard to believe now, but Nicolino was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the second round of the 2010 draft out of University High School in Orlando. He didn’t pitch professionally until the 2011 season, but Nicolino pitched well for two seasons, ending the 2012 campaign in Low-A. Then, in November of that year, Nicolino was traded along with Henderson Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria, Jeff Mathis, Anthony DeSciafani and Jake Marisnick in a blockbuster deal to the Marlins for Emilio Bonifacio, John Buck, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and Jose Reyes.

Nicolino continued to pitch well in the Marlins organization, and earned his first promotion to the majors in 2015. For the Marlins that year in 12 starts spanning 74 innings, he posted a respectable 4.01 ERA and 1.24 WHIP by relinquishing 72 hits (.267 OBA) and 20 walks (6.6%) but striking out a miniscule 23 (7.6%). From 2015 to 2017, Nicolino has compiled a 4.65 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 50 outings (33 starts) totaling 201 1/3 innings, allowing 234 hits (.297 OBA) and 60 walks (6.8%) while fanning 86 (9.8%). Since then, Nicolino has spent time in both the Reds and Twins organizations but didn’t get a call-up to the majors.

After the Twins released him on May 1, 2019, the White Sox picked him up four days later. In 24 appearances for Charlotte this year, Nicolino posted an unsightly 6.28 ERA and 1.44 WHIP covering 116 innings as he surrendered 134 hits (.290 OBA), 33 walks (5.6%), 84 strikeouts (14.5%) and a whopping 34 homers for the Knights. Nicolino serves up a marginal fastball with a curve and changeup, and he does provide decent control numbers. However, he has been way too hittable, as the numbers in Charlotte suggest. Lefties hit him even harder this year (.326) than righties (.276), so a situational role seems out of the question for now.

If Nicolino remains in the organization for 2020, it would be likely as a return to Charlotte for organizational depth — at least until the arms in Birmingham are ready for promotion.


Birmingham Barons

Bernardo Flores
6´2´´
190 pounds
Age: 24

Flores, a California native, spent his three years of college ball with the USC Trojans, and aside from a decent sophomore campaign, struggled in primarily a bullpen role. For his three years spanning 37 outings (eight starts) totaling 90 innings, Flores posted a pedestrian 5.32 ERA and 1.46 WHIP as he relinquished 98 hits and 35 walks while fanning 85. Yet the White Sox were intrigued enough to select him in the seventh round of the 2016 draft. Flores immediately made an impression that year with the AZL White Sox and Great Falls, as he combined to post a 3.46 ERA and 1.22 WHIP as he surrendered just 67 hits (.270 OBA) and 12 walks (4.5%) while striking out 55 (20.8%).

Flores has been consistently good since his draft season. In a 2017 split between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, he combined for a 3.42 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 118 1/3 innings as he allowed 116 hits (.257 OBA), 32 walks (6.5%) and 103 strikeouts (20.8%). Flores fared even better the following year with Winston-Salem and Birmingham, as he posted a combined 2.65 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in a career-high 156 innings by relinquishing 154 hits (.261 OBA) and 31 walks (4.9%) as opposed to 105 strikeouts (16.5%).

This year, Flores was sidelined from late May through early August (not including some rehab stints in the interim) due to a strained oblique. He did do quite well, however, in his 15 starts this year for the Barons as he posted a solid 3.33 ERA and 1.14 WHIP over 78 1/3 innings by ceding 74 hits (.243 OBA) and 15 walks (4.7%) while fanning 69 (21.5%). In fact, in 156 2/3 innings for the Barons spanning 28 starts since 2018, Flores has compiled a 3.04 ERA and 1.16 WHIP by surrendering 153 hits (.256 OBA) and just 29 walks (4.6%) while fanning 116 (18.2%)

MLB Pipeline ranks Flores 28th among White Sox prospects, and second (behind only Konnor Pilkington) among all the system’s southpaws. According to MLB, Flores’ fastball typically runs 89-92 mph with a peak of 94, while also displaying an adequate curve and slider. His changeup, with a 55 grade, is considered his best pitch although righties hit him better this year (.264) than lefties (.198).

Despite lacking an overwhelming fastball or out pitch, Flores succeeds by throwing strikes, keeping the ball down (as evidenced by this year’s 53.3% ground ball rate), fielding his position well and controlling the running game. Of all the starters who finished this season with Birmingham, Flores seems the likeliest to begin the 2020 season with Charlotte. He is eligible for the upcoming Rule 5 draft, so there would be a possibility he could be drafted away unless the White Sox add him to the 40-man roster.

John Parke
6´4´´
205 pounds
Age: 25

Parke was a recent subject of an Under the Radar article. He is likely to return to Birmingham for 2020, with an opportunity for early promotion if he does well.

Tanner Banks
6´1´´
210 pounds
Age: 28

Banks pitched for Salt Lake Community College for two years before transferring to the University of Utah for his junior and senior seasons. His draft stock fell after a difficult senior campaign for the Utes, however, as he posted a 5.71 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in 18 outings (eight starts) totaling 52 innings, ceding 65 hits and 19 walks while striking out 39. As a result, he slipped to the 18th round of the 2014 draft, where the White Sox gladly snatched him up. He pitched well for the AZL White Sox that year, and certainly held his own with Great Falls and Kannapolis the following season.

The 2016 season saw Banks split time with Kannapolis and Winston-Salem, combining for a respectable 3.50 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 159 1/3 innings by surrendering 164 hits (.265 OBA) and 31 walks (4.7%) while striking out 116 (17.6%). Parke pitched well for Winston-Salem in 2017 but struggled badly for Birmingham, which explains why he returned to Winston-Salem for the 2018 season. In 2018, however, Banks pitched exemplary baseball for both the Dash and the Barons as he combined to post a 2.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 146 innings by allowing 140 hits (.255 OBA) and 32 walks (5.4%) while fanning 100 (16.8%). Banks received the honor of pitching in the Arizona Fall League at the conclusion of the season, but finished with a 5.64 ERA and 1.57 WHIP.

Though Banks appeared in two relief outings for Charlotte, he spent the vast majority of the 2019 season as a starter for the Barons. In 30 outings altogether this year (21 starts), he combined for a 4.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 126 2/3 innings as he surrendered 136 hits (.274 OBA) and 22 walks (4.2%) while striking out 88 (16.6%). According to FutureSox, Banks’ repertoire includes an upper-80s fastball, an 85-to-87 mph cutter, seldom-used changeup and above-average curveball. He’s been able to succeed because he keeps the ball down (his ground ball rate has never fallen below 40% at the professional level) and he throws strikes. However, because he was a four-year senior without a blazing heater, it seems he’s considered as organizational depth.

Banks will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft this year, and if unselected, he may begin the season with Charlotte. However, because of injuries to Dane Dunning and Jimmy Lambert to begin the season, a return to Birmingham wouldn’t be out of the question either.

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White Sox Minor League Update: August 30, 2019

Timely hitting: Luis Basabe got three hits and drove in a pair to help the Barons squeeze out a tight victory. (Michael Wade/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 2, Charlotte Knights 0

Matt Tomshaw (SP): 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 2 K (3.93 ERA) *MVP*
Danny Mendick (3B): 0-for-3 (.280 BA, .815 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-4 (.299 BA, .982 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-4, (.292 BA, .763 OPS)
Zack Collins (C): 0-for-2, 2 BB (.291 BA, .972 OPS)
Daniel Palka (DH): 0-for-3, BB (.265 BA, .912 OPS)

There was very little offense to be found in this game. Only Luis Robert, Damek Tomscha, and Ramon Torres got hits for the Knights, and all of them were singles. The Knights reached base a few more times via walk (one by Daniel Palka, one by Yermín Mercedes, and two by Zack Collins). But, the Knights finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, as they failed to cash in on any of the few scoring opportunities they had.

Knights starter Matt Tomshaw was the losing pitcher, but he pitched well enough to earn MVP. Tomshaw put the Knights in a good position to win, as he induced a lot of weak contact in his four innings of work, and he only issued one walk. However, his start went to waste, as the bats could not provide run support. One of the few highlights was this great catch by Danny Mendick in short left field.

Charlotte’s four-game lead in the wild-card race just … four days ago … has evaporated, and with three games left in the season the Knights have fallen back into a tie with the Durham Bulls.


Birmingham Barons 6, Biloxi Shuckers 5

John Parke (SP): 1 IP, 5 H, 5 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 1 K (2.70 ERA)
Luis Basabe (CF): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS (.244 BA, .663 OPS) *MVP*
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI, (.262 BA, .676 OPS)
Luis González (DH): 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, 2 SB, 0 CS (.253 BA, .686 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-4, HBP (.271 BA, .765 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-3, BB, RBI, 1 SB, 0 CS (.255 BA, .646 OPS)

The first inning was quite chaotic, with both teams putting up a big, crooked number. In the top half, after the Shuckers had a runner on first (due to a fielding error by Laz Rivera) and two outs, the floodgates opened. The next six Shuckers reached base safely, as they scored five runs to take a big lead early on. However, the Barons answered in the bottom half. The Barons got three runs after two hits, a hit by pitch, and three walks. Two of those walks occurred with the bases loaded and two outs, and Joel Booker and Alfredo González drew those walks.

After his RBI double put the Barons on the board in the first, Luis Basabe had an RBI single in the fourth to reduce the Barons’ deficit to one. The following inning, Alfredo González tied it with a sacrifice fly to drive in Zach Remillard. In the sixth, an RBI groundout by Gavin Sheets put the Barons in front, 6-5. Despite finishing the night 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position, the Barons escaped with a close victory. The bullpen allowed zero hits and issued only one walk in eight innings of work. Hats off to relievers Kodi Medeiros, Tyler Johnson, and Danny Dopico, who did their jobs and then some.


Winston-Salem Dash 5, Lynchburg Hillcats 1

Taylor Varnell (SP): 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 1 R (1 ER), 3 BB, 5 K (3.38 ERA)
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-4, HR (.246 BA, .749 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-4, (.272 BA, .777 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-4, HR (.241 BA, .716 OPS)
Johan Cruz (SS): 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI (.242 BA, .632 OPS) *MVP*
Mitch Roman (LF): 2-for-4, 2 SB, 0 CS (.280 BA, .681 OPS)

This game got off to a fast start, as Craig Dedelow hit an inside-the-park home run in the top of the first to give the Dash a 1-0 lead. The home run was Dedelow’s 18th of the year, all with the Dash. It also gave the Dash a lead that would remain until the bottom of the sixth.

In the sixth, the Hillcats got back-to-back hits to open their half of the inning, and a sacrifice fly by designated hitter Gavin Collins drove in the tying run. Fortunately, that was the only run the Hillcats scored against starter Taylor Varnell, or any Dash pitcher, for that matter.

The Dash took the lead for good in the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, shortstop Johan Cruz sliced a double to right field that cleared the bases and put the Dash up, 4-1. The Dash would tack on one more in the ninth on a solo home run by Jameson Fisher. That was Fisher’s ninth home run of the season, all with the Dash.


Kannapolis Intimidators 4, Delmarva Shorebirds 3

Davis Martin (SP): 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 6 K (5.04 ERA)
Michael Hickman (C): 2-for-4, 2B (.208 BA, .620 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 0-for-4, BB (.298 BA, .756 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-5, (.295 BA, .843 OPS)
Cameron Simmons (LF): 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI (.253 BA, .726 OPS) *MVP*
Tyler Osik (DH): 1-for-4, 2B (.271 BA, .888 OPS)

The Shorebirds put a big, crooked number on the board in the fourth to break a scoreless tie. In that innings, Intimidators starter gave up four hits (three singles and a triple), as the Shorebirds took a 3-0 lead. During the earlier part of this game, the Intimidators squandered a few scoring opportunities, and it appeared to be one of those games. However, things changed in a big way in the sixth inning.

After hits by Lenyn Sosa and Tyler Osik, Corey Zangari drew a walk to load the bases with two outs. That brought Cameron Simmons to the plate in a high-leverage situation, and Simmons delivered in a huge way. He launched a grand slam to put the Intimidators in front by a score of 4-3, and the score remained that way for the rest of the game. Relievers Lane Ramsey and Austin Conway pitched very well to shut things down in the latter part of this game.


Great Falls Voyagers 6, Billings Mustangs 4

Jason Morgan (SP): 8 1/3 IP, 4 H, 4 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (4.58 ERA)
Lency Delgado (3B): 1-for-5, RBI (.277 BA, .723 OPS)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 0-for-3, BB (.252 BA, .689 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS): 0-for-4, 3 K, 2 E (.260 BA, .611 OPS)
Sam Abbott (1B): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI (.230 BA, .809 OPS) *MVP*

Both teams’ starting pitchers got off to very strong starts, as there was a scoreless tie entering the bottom of the fourth. That ended when Sam Abbott launched a two-run homer to break the ice. The home run was Abbott’s ninth of the season, and all nine have been with the Voyagers. Abbott had the only multi-RBI performance for the Voyagers in this close victory. This is also Abbott’s second straight MVP award from SSHP.

With the game tied at two in the sixth, the Voyagers put together a huge, four-run inning to take the lead for good. They used three hits, a hit by pitch, and an error to put themselves up, 6-2.

After an excellent performance through eight innings, Voyagers starter Jason Morgan ran into some trouble in the ninth, though his defense did him no favors. Two unearned runs crossed the plate, and Morgan missed out on a complete game, but he got the victory. Reliever Allan Beer came on in relief and shut the door, as he struck out Mustangs second baseman Jonathan Willems to end the game.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 24, 2019

Unbreakable: Tomshaw has been outstanding for the Knights in the stretch run. (Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights)


Charlotte Knights 5, Norfolk Tides 3 (Game 1)

MVP
Matt Tomshaw (SP) 6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 11 K, W (4-1) 60-of-84 strikes (4.13 ERA)

Runner-Up
Danny Mendick (3B) 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI (61) (.284 BA, .826 OPS)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 0-for-3, BB, K (.297 BA, .987 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-3, BB (.318 BA, .822 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (C) 0-for-2, R, BB, K (.293 BA, .990 OPS)
Zack Collins (DH) 1-for-2, R, BB, K (.295 BA, .975 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-2, RBI (45), BB, 2 K (.228 BA, .801 OPS)

Yet another win for the Knights here in this doubleheader opener. The offense was efficient, scoring five on the wings of just seven hits and one for extra bases (a Ryan Cordell double); seven walks against eight Ks sure helped. What didn’t help was some rough baserunning: Cordell had a steal but was also caught once, and Madrigal was thrown out at home plate to end the first inning. But the story of the game was the starter, Matt Tomshaw, who has been nothing but aces since taking the pill for Charlotte. Today Tomshaw squeezed a career-high 11 Ks into just six innings, in a masterful performance that all but ensured the Knights a win.

Norfolk Tides 8, Charlotte Knights 2 (Game 2)

MVP
Luis Robert (CF) 2-for-3, 2B (10), HR (14), R, RBI (34), K (.304 BA, 1.017 OPS)

Runner-Up
Charlie Tilson (LF) 1-for-3, R, 2 K, outfield assist (José Rondón at second base) (.290 BA, .758 OPS)

Notables
Zack Collins (C) 0-for-3 (.292 BA, .965 OPS)
A.J. Reed (1B) 0-for-3, 2 K (.194 BA, .562 OPS)
Kyle Kubat (SP) 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R/5 ER, BB, 2 K, 2 HR, L (5-2), 50-of-71 strikes (5.30 ERA)

In the nightcap, which was a makeup of Friday’s postponed game, it was pretty much all Robert, who provided both extra-base hits for Charlotte in the game. Robert’s homer was his 14th with the Knights and 30th on the season. He seems a bit tired and peakish, though. The long ball was Charlotte’s 200th of the season, smashing its all-time HR record of 185. Really, nothing much else good in this one, which featured five runs late from Norfolk, sealing in the juices of a gutting loss for the postseason-desperate Knights.  


Tennessee Smokies 8, Birmingham Barons 2

MVP
Damek Tomscha (1B) 0-for-2, 2 BB (.281 BA, .770 OPS)

Runner-Up
Blake Rutherford (RF) 1-for-4, 2B (15), R (.261 BA, .668 OPS)

Notables
Bernardo Flores (SP) 6 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 5 K, L (3-8), 66-of-88 strikes (3.36 ERA)
Alec Hansen (RP) IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, HR, E (3) (6.06 ERA)
Joel Booker (LF) 0-for-5, 3 K (.244 BA, .609 OPS)

The Barons blowout leads off a number of terribly-uninspiring losses from the affiliates today. Just seven hits, offset by three errors, from Birmingham today. Flores wasn’t exactly sharp, but he’s been a hard-luck pitcher all season. I mean, the MVP today is a guy who was hitless, with two walks — that’s a crappy game. Hansen had another rough outing as well.


Potomac Nationals 1, Winston-Salem Dash 0

MVP
Jonathan Stiever (SP) 6 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K (2.22 ERA)

Runner-Up
Carlos Perez (C) 1-for-3 (.267 BA, .655 OPS)

Notables
Jacob Lindgren (RP) 2 IP, H, ER, BB, L (1-2) (1.72 ERA)
Johan Cruz (SS) 0-for-4, 3 K, E (10) (.239 BA, .636 OPS)

Yuck. Stiever was brilliant once again, but there was no O in W-S on this day: three hits, all singles, no walks, and two errors.


Kannapolis Intimidators 2, Charleston RiverDogs 1

MVP
Sam Long (SP) 7 IP, 2 H, 6 K, WP, W (8-5) 58-of-82 strikes (3.07 ERA)

Runner-Up
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, RBI (45), 3B (2) (.239 BA, .629 OPS)

Notables
Amado Nuñez (2B) 0-for-1, R, RBI (31), HBP, SB (4) (.214 BA, .600 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (3B) 1-for-3, R, 2B (23) (.215 BA, .568 OPS)

Sam Long was masterful once again, pitching Kanny to a win despite just three hits (and no walks) on the I’s offensive side. How’d Kannapolis win the game, with such a set of licorice bats? The third inning began with a Beltre double, and successive fly balls from Michael Hickman and Nuñez got Beltre home. After Nuñez was hit by a pitch in the top of the ninth, Sosa came through with a crucial, two-out triple to bring him home; the two-run cushion proved crucial because with two outs in the bottom half, Devon Perez was touched for a solo homer.


Missoula Osprey 7, Great Falls Voyagers 5

MVP
Caberea Weaver (CF) 3-for-5, 3B (4), R, RBI (16), K (.258 BA, .697 OPS)

Runner-Up
Joshua Rivera (2B) 1-for-4, 3B (3), R, 2 RBI (11) (.202 BA, .629 OPS)

Notables
Jason Morgan (SP) 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R/2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, HR, E (2), 57-of-90 strikes (4.91 ERA)
Kyle Abbott (1B) 2-for-4, R, 2 K (.228 BA, .776 OPS)
Kleyder Sanchez (C) 2-for-4, 2B (4), R, RBI (9), K, PB (6) (.208 BA, .508 OPS)

A plus here is that Great Falls put up some offense today; the bad is that the Voyagers blew a 5-1 lead in the second inning. Jason Morgan pitched another solid game, but the offense sputtered out after the second. No walks against 10 Ks for GFV.

AZL White Sox 6, AZL Dodgers Lasorda 5 (11)

MVP
Josue Guerrero (LF) 2-for-4, R, HR (5), 2 RBI (19), game-winning RBI bunt (.227 BA, .694 OPS)

Runner-Up
Samil Polanco (SS) 2-for-4, R, HR (1), 2 RBI (12), SB (11), BB, K (.290 BA, .682 OPS)

Notables
Andrew Dalquist (SP) IP, H, BB, 2 K (0.00 ERA)
Mac Welsh (RP) 2 IP, H, 4 K (0.00 ERA)
Jeremiah Burke (RP) 5 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR (4.33 ERA)
Trey Jeans (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, R, K (1.99 ERA)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 0-for-5, 4 K (.267 BA, .876 OPS)

No truth whatsoever to the rumors that AZL L.A. Lasorda gave out late in this extra-inning game due to heavy plates of pregame, mid-game and pre-extras spaghetti, with garlic bread. But I’m not saying it didn’t happen. Dalquist was the “opener” here, pitching another pretty perfect inning, before giving way to Jeremiah Burke, who did not have it against the Dodgers Pastateers. But for once, and as has been the pattern late, the AZL Sox brought the bats, clubbing three extra-base hits in the game — all homers (Polanco, Guerrero and Bryan Ramos). That coupled with yeoman relief work from Welsh and Jeans after Burke forced the game into extras, and the L.A. stringbean youngsters back to one more run at the pasta bowl. Well, that last run paid off for our generic AZL Sox, as both clubs scored in the 10th, and the Sox clinching it in the 11th on a one-out, walk-off bunt (safety or suicide squeeze, the box score does not reveal) from MVP Josue Guerrero.


DSL Blue Jays 3, DSL White Sox 2

MVP
Daneuris Lagrange (RP) 2 IP, 3 K (4.02 ERA)

Runner-Up
Roberth Gutierrez (CF) 1-for-3, RBI (15), 2 BB, SB (7) (.274 BA, .743 OPS)

Notables
Elijah Tatís (SS) 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 SB (5), E (7) (.187 BA, .513 OPS)
Lazaro Leal (RF) 1-for-3, R, 2 BB (.225 BA, .729 OPS)

A very typical DSL game, in that it featured seven SBs without a CS, and the White Sox scoring two runs on two hits but none for extra bases. And not the best game from the DSL affiliate, who may be coasting on the clinch of a winning season (currently 36-34). The pitching was OK, the hitting was atrocious. The Blue Jays scored two runs early, the White Sox scored two late, but after Cesar Jiménez walked to drive in the second White Sox run, the eighth-inning rally fizzled. Toronto pitcher Gerardo Santana had the distinction of walking the only three batters he faced in the game; the White Sox took 11 free passes, all told.