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.

White Sox Minor League Update: September 1, 2019

High-quality performance: Starter Tanner Banks pitched six and one-third scoreless innings to propel the Barons to victory. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Norfolk Tides 11, Charlotte Knights 2

Kyle Kubat (SP): 3 1/3 IP, 6 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB, 3 K (5.63 ERA)
Danny Mendick (SS): 1-for-3, 2B (.282 BA, .820 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, (.301 BA, .984 OPS) *MVP*
Nick Madrigal (2B): 1-for-4 (.301 BA, .773 OPS)
Zack Collins (DH): 0-for-4, 3 K (.285 BA, .956 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF): 0-for-4 (.262 BA, .901 OPS)

In a game with playoff implications, this one was born under a bad star. It got off to a rocky beginning, as Knights starter Kyle Kubat ran into trouble in the first. After a dreaded leadoff walk, Tides second baseman Christopher Bostick hit a triple to drive in the first run of the game. An RBI ground out scored Bostick, so the Tides led 2-0 after one inning. The Tides added to their lead in the third and fourth innings on an RBI single and an RBI double, respectively. Those hits put them up, 4-0.

Things were looking hopeless, but in the top of the fifth, White Sox outfielder Knights outfielder Luis Robert hit a two-run shot to cut the deficit in half. Why Luis Robert is not in the majors right now is beyond me. The extra service time factor should not be taken nearly as seriously as the front office is taking it, but I’m at peace with it. It will be exciting to watch Robert in Chicago next season.

Unfortunately, the Knights would never get any closer than they were after Robert’s home run. The Tides had a monster fifth inning, as they scored six runs to go up by a score of 10-2. Thanks to the Tides rally that inning, in which eight hitters reached base safely, this game got ugly. Onward.


Birmingham Barons 3, Biloxi Shuckers 0

Tanner Banks (SP) 6 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K (4.23 ERA) *MVP*
Zach Remillard (3B): 1-for-3, 2B, BB (.231 BA, .654 OPS)
Blake Rutherford (DH): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI (.245 BA, .685 OPS)
Luis Basabe (RF): 2-for-5, RBI (.250 BA, .670 OPS)
Gavin Sheets (1B): 0-for-2, 2 BB, (.267 BA, .759 OPS)
Joel Booker (LF): 2-for-4 (.257 BA, .647 OPS)

After a scoreless first inning, a two-out rally by the Barons put them on the board and gave them an early lead. With a runner on first and two outs, Luis González got hit by a pitch, which set up Luis Basabe for a single that drove in the first run of the game for either team. The next hitter, Blake Rutherford, crushed a two-run double to give the Barons a pair of insurance runs. The inning finally ended one batter later, but not before the Barons had scored three.

Meanwhile, starter Tanner Banks had an excellent game. Banks’ control was terrific, and the Shuckers struggled to make sharp contact against him. Banks made very few mistakes and earned a well-deserved victory. Also on the defensive side, Basabe had an outfield assist, as he threw out a runner trying to score. Overall, despite three strikeouts, Basabe provided a ton of value for the Barons in this one.


Winston-Salem Dash 10, Lynchburg Hillcats 3

Jorge Cavanerio (SP): 7 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), 0 BB, 5 K (3.13 ERA)
Andrew Vaughn (DH): 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI (.243 BA, .742 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B): 2-for-5, RBI (.195 BA, .581 OPS)
Steele Walker (CF): 2-for-5, 2 2B (.271 BA, .774 OPS)
Jonathan Allen (CF): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI (.600 BA, 2.400 OPS) *MVP*

This was an outstanding game all-around for the Dash, as they jumped out to a lead in the top of the first and never looked back. Jonathan Allen made his debut in High-A ball, and mercy, it went well for him. In 38 games with the Great Falls Voyagers and the AZL White Sox, Allen’s combined slash line was .241/.296/.369, but he was terrific today. Allen had three hits, two of which were home runs, and he set the tone for the offense.

On the other side of the ball, Jorge Cavanerio displayed excellent control, issuing zero walks in seven quality innings. Cavanerio had plenty of run support, but he barely needed any, as his quality start was more than enough for him to earn the victory.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Delmarva Shorebirds 2

Johan Dominguez (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K (2.98 ERA) *co-MVP*
Corey Zangari (1B): 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI (.204 BA, .748 OPS) *co-MVP*
Michael Hickman (C): 1-for-3, RBI (.209 BA, .619 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-4, BB (.299 BA, .755 OPS)
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI (.294 BA, .841 OPS)

The Intimidators’ bats got off to a fast start in this one, and strong pitching throughout allowed the offense to coast in the latter innings in this victory. Michael Hickman hit a sacrifice fly in the second, and the Intimidators led from that point onward. A Corey Zangari two-run blast in the fourth put the Intimidators up by a score of 3-0. In the fifth, Alex Destino added an insurance run, as he hit an RBI double.

The pitchers were excellent, especially starter Johan Dominguez, who got the victory. Delmarva’s only runs crossed the plate on a two-run homer by Adley Rutschman, who was the first overall pick in the draft this year. Despite that homer, this was a great team effort all-around against a strong Delmarva squad.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Billings Mustangs 3

Avery Weems (SP): 5 IP, 2 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 BB, 4 K (2.14 ERA)
Harvin Mendoza (1B): 0-for-4 (.281 BA, .835 OPS)
Sam Abbott (DH): 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, RBI (.227 BA, .793 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (2B): 1-for-4, 2B (.255 BA, .603 OPS)
Luis Curbelo (3B): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 HR (.268 BA, .789 OPS) *MVP*
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-4, RBI (.200 BA, .607 OPS)

The Voyagers jumped out to an early lead in the first. Luis Curbelo set the table with a one-out double, and Lency Delgado drove him in with a two-out base knock. The Mustangs got that run back in the second, and the teams traded solo home runs in the third, as the score was 2-2 after three. The Voyagers’ second run of the game crossed the plate on a Curbelo home run.

The score remained 2-2 until the bottom of the sixth, when Curbelo (who else?) hit a two-run homer to break the tie. Curbelo’s two homers increased his home run total to eight with the Voyagers and 13 overall on the season. Though the Mustangs got one of those runs back in the seventh, Yoelvin Silven closed the door by pitching two scoreless innings to protect a one-run lead.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 27, 2019

Starting force: Tanner Banks threw seven strikeouts in just five innings, pacing Tuesday’s runaway win for the Barons. (Hannah Stone/Birmingham Barons)


Durham Bulls 10, Charlotte Knights 6

MVP
Zack Collins (DH) 3-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI (73), K (.297 BA, .897 OPS)

Runner-Up
Nick Madrigal (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (6), HBP, CS (3) (.316 BA, .822 OPS)

Notables
Luis Robert (CF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (36), K (.302 BA, .987 OPS)
Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, BB, 2 K, 3 HR, L (0-1), HB, 53-of-82 strikes (15.75 ERA)
Yermín Mercedes (C) 0-for-2, RBI (55), BB (.290 BA, .978 OPS)

Very strange, what we have going on here in the stretch run to the IL playoffs. First, of course, neither Durham nor Charlotte want to seize control of the race. Second, each team is dominating on the other’s home field. The Knights were done no favors by a horrible outing from Bañuelos, as the Bulls were up 9-1 by mid-game. Collins did everything he could to keep the Knights in it, and Charlotte did rally for four in the eighth, courtesy of Collins and Robert singles, and a Mercedes sac fly. But the entire Knights pitching staff spit the bit tonight. Charlotte’s lead in the wild-card race is back down to just two games.


Birmingham Barons 11, Tennessee Smokies 3

MVP
Joel Booker (RF) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B (10), 2 RBI (32), 2 BB (.254 BA, .643 OPS)

Runner-Up
Gavin Sheets (DH) 2-for-5, R, 2B (18), 2 RBI (81), BB, 2 K (.275 BA, .744 OPS)

Notables
Luis González (LF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (59), 2 BB, K (.253 BA, .686 OPS)
Tanner Banks (SP) 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R/2ER, BB, 7 K, W (4-7), 2 HB, 67-of-91 strikes (4.46 ERA)
Luis Basabe (CF) 2-for-5, R, 2 K, SB (8) (.235 BA, .645 OPS)
Alec Hansen (RP) 2 IP, 4 BB, 4 K, 25-of-51 strikes (5.73 ERA)

A nice laffer for the Barons, a team who has needed one all year. This win was sparked by Booker at the No. 9 slot, reaching base all five times in the game. Check out Hansen’s odd line, a hitless and scoreless outing, but, whoo boy, more balls than strikes thrown. Birmingham scored in every frame but the first, eighth and ninth, putting his one away early.


Salem Red Sox 5, Winston-Salem Dash 1

MVP
Craig Dedelow (RF) 1-for-4, R, RBI (60), HR (16) (.246 BA, .744 OPS)

Runner-Up
J.J. Muno (LF) 1-for-2, BB (.238 BA, .728 OPS)

Notable
Andrew Vaughn (1B) 1-for-4, K (.227 BA, .702 OPS)

Just a bad game … does it seem like the Dash have had an ugly stretch here, as they’re supposed to be making their playoff push? W-S drops to 30-33 in the second half, and its elimination number now stands at one.


Kannapolis Intimidators 5, Hagerstown Suns 4

MVP
Amado Nuñez (2B) 1-for-3, R, 2B (8), 2 RBI (33), K (.209 BA, .588 OPS)

Runner-Up
Austin Conway (RP) 1.2 IP, 2 K, Sv (11), 18-of-29 strikes (1.69 ERA)

Notables
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 2-for-4, 2 RBI (48), E (13) (.244 BA, .637 OPS)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 2-for-4 (.303 BA, .765 OPS)

Another big effort from the nine-spot in the order, with Nuñez doing damage for the I’s. He contributed a one-out, ground-rule double that drove in two and put Kannapolis up, 3-1, in the fourth. The Intimidators scored all they needed to in that fourth inning, with a crooked number that would hold up for the win. Conway pitched a superb eighth and ninth, walking the tightrope for his 11th save.


Great Falls Voyagers 4, Idaho Falls Chukars 3

MVP
Avery Weems (SP) 5 IP, 5 H, ER, 6 K, W (4-2), HB, 53-of-69 strikes (1.96 ERA)

Runner-Up
Sammy Peralta (RP) 2 IP, 4 K, Sv (3), 16-of-21 strikes (2.73 ERA)

Notables
Caberea Weaver (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (12), 3B (5), R, RBI (17), 2 K (.261 BA, .710 OPS)
Kelvin Maldonado (SS) 3-for-5, R, RBI (17), K (.270 BA, .635 OPS)

Hate to be hyperbolic, but the story of the 2019 draft to date for the White Sox has been Avery Weems. The sixth-rounder out of Arizona quickly earned a ticket from the AZL to the Pioneer League, and he’s been aces as a Voyager. I’ll have the numbers next month, but I wouldn’t be surprised if every one of his starts has earned him an MVP … amazing. Aside from Trey Jeans, the GFV pitching staff was killer tonight, with 13 Ks and no walks! I’d left the Voyagers for dead this season, looking at the crummy 28-36 overall record, but Great Falls improves to 13-14 in the second half and hold an elimination number of 3; closer to the postseason than Winston-Salem! This win moved the Voyagers ahead of the Chukars and out of last place overall in the Pioneer League South.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 22, 2019

Solid start: Matthew Thompson had another short, strong outing in Arizona tonight. (Sean Williams/South Side Hit Pen)

Charlotte Knights 4, Durham Bulls 2

Nick Madrigal: 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 0 K (.317 BA, .821 OPS) **MVP**
Luis Robert: 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.302 BA, .1002 OPS)
Zack Collins: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 BB, 0 K (.293 BA, .974 OPS)
Dylan Covey: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K (3.05 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)

A four-game sweep for the Knights puts them in a solid wild card lead. Just four games ago, the Knights and Durham Bulls were tied, and now Charlotte is up by four games. All the bats needed to do was score in one inning to get that sweep. In the third inning, they scored all four of their runs. Nick Madrigal started the scoring with a two-run double into left field. Luis Robert would drive him in with a sacrifice fly a batter later, and Zack Collins hit his 17th homer of the season to punctuate it all (hopefully, I’m writing about all of these guys next season when they are in Chicago). After that, it was all up to the pitching. Dylan Covey threw five shutout innings and the bullpen was mostly good. Caleb Frare got in trouble and allowed two runs, but Matt Foster came in for the four-out save.


Birmingham Barons 6, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp 0

Luis González: 4-for-5, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 SB (.256 BA, .691 OPS)
Luis Basabe: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K (.230 BA, .620 OPS)
Blake Rutherford: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K (.263 BA, .672 OPS)
Gavin Sheets: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.271 BA, .760 OPS)
Tanner Banks: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (4.50 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) **MVP**

A shutout win for the Barons was keyed by a brilliant performance from Tanner Banks. He went seven shutout innings and could have gone more, throwing only 84 pitches and attacking the zone (61 strikes, 23 balls). He allowed no walks and was able to get out of trouble with ease on the two doubles he allowed. On the hitting side, it was all about Luis González. He had four hits and added a stolen base for good measure. With those four hits, he scored twice. Laz Rivera was the only other batter with multiple hits (two doubles).


Winston-Salem 9, Lynchburg Hillcats 4

Steele Walker: 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 SB (.284 BA, .807 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K (.250 BA, .787 OPS) **MVP**
Manny Bañuelos: 4 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K (4.15 ERA, 2.08 WHIP)

It took awhile to get going, but the Winston-Salem Dash finally got their offense in gear by the end to win. Manny Bañuelos continued his rehab assignment and did fine. He only allowed two runs in four innings, but he also let 12 batters reach base. Jake Elliott was not much better in his two innings, and the Dash found themselves down late in the game. Andrew Vaughn did most of his work before that, though. He hit his second home run with the Dash in the fourth inning, tying the game at one. The big inning didn’t come until the eighth, though, with a little help from the opposing pitcher. In total W-S scored six runs that inning, two of which came on bases-loaded walks. After Elliott, the bullpen was fantastic. José Nin and Will Kincanon combined for three shutout innings to preserve the win.


Rome Braves 14, Kannapolis Intimidators 4

Ian Dawkins: 1-for-5, 0 BB, 1 K (.305 BA, .771 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-5, 0 BB, 0 K (.235 BA, .618 OPS)
Tyler Osik: 3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.296 BA, .934 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Dominguez: 4 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (3.05 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

It was just not Kannapolis’ day today. They grabbed the lead right in the top of the first, and then gave it right back in the bottom half. Tyler Osik gave the team that 2-0 lead with his first home run with Kannapolis. The I’s grabbed the lead again in the third inning, as Tyler Osik homered and the very next batter, Corey Zangari, added a homer of his own. Again, the I’s gave away the lead quickly, though this time, it took a whole inning, not a half. Then the wheels fell apart in the seventh. The offense was scuffling and not really threatening. The pitching ended up not helping, either. In the seventh inning, two Kannapolis pitchers combined to allow nine runs in the inning to give the Braves a 10-run lead, and that is where it would stay.


Great Falls Voyagers 7, Missoula Osprey 6 (10)

Harvin Mendoza: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.310 BA, .906 OPS)
Lency Delgado: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (.272 BA, .719 OPS)
Luis Mieses: 0-for-5, 1 R, 0 BB, 2 K (.251 BA, .653 OPS)
Anderson Comas: 4-for-5, 1 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (.233 BA, .646 OPS) **MVP**
Sean Thompson: 6 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K (6.62 ERA, 1.45 WHIP)

A walk-off winner for the Voyagers! It was a back-and-forth affair, whenever the offenses actually scored. The Osprey started out the scoring with a four-run third inning, but the Voyagers scored five in the next two innings, including a four-run inning of their own. Anderson Comas helped propel the first of the four runs with an RBI triple, his sixth triple of the season. The Osprey came back in the eighth inning to tie the game, and it went into extra innings. After Missoula took the lead in the 10th inning, the Voyagers came back to win it in the bottom half, as Luis Curbelo hit a single for the walk-off hit.


AZL White Sox 16, AZL Brewers 15

James Beard: 2-for-7, 2 R, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (.195 BA, .523 OPS)
Jose Rodriguez: 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K(.277 BA, .808 OPS)
DJ Gladney: 3-for-6, 2 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K (.265 BA, .746 OPS) **MVP**
Matthew Thompson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

Another walk-off in the rookie leagues, this time to end an offensive barrage. The AZL White Sox combined for 24 hits and 16 runs scored in their win, and all but one hitter from the starting lineup had multiple hits. The most amazing part of this game were the type of hits, or lack thereof. The AZL Sox only hit two extra-base hits and 22 singles. Bryan Ramos and Samil Polanco led the way with the offense with four hits apiece, and several others had three. The pitching though, was not good. Matthew Thompson did get some action on the mound, his second game as a pro, but it was just one inning. The defense didn’t help at all, either. Seven of the 15 runs scored by the AZL Brewers were unearned, though one of those errors was by a pitcher.


DSL Dbacks 6, DSL White Sox 2

Yolbert Sánchez: 3-for-5, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (.306 BA, .839 OPS) **MVP**
Carlos Mola: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K (5.31 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

It was not a great game for the DSL Sox today, though, there were two notable performances. Yolbert Sánchez took the MVP in this game, leading the way with three hits. Two of those hits were doubles, as his hot streak continues. He is even hitting better than .300 now. Carlos Mola, who started today’s game, was almost as good from the pitching side. He went five very good innings, with no walks and nine strikeouts. It was one of his better outings of the year and probably his last of the season. Obviously, after Mola left the game things got out of hand. The bullpen quickly coughed up five runs the next two innings and couldn’t put anything together.

White Sox Minor League Update: August 17, 2019

Money in the bank: Tanner Banks held down the Mississippi Braves led the Barons to a one-hit shutout. Hannah Stone | @Bham Barons

Charlotte Knights 7, Columbus Clippers 6, Game 1

Dylan Covey (SP) W (1-1) 5 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 HR (3.51 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Hunter Schryver (RP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K (9.64 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
Jose Ruiz (RP) SV (4) 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.17 ERA, 0.91 WHIP)
Nick Madrigal (2B) 1-for-4, RBI (8) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (3B) 2-for-4, RBI (1) (.333 BA, .666 OPS)
Luis Robert (CF) 0-for-4 (.303 BA, .963 OPS)
Daniel Palka (RF) 1-4, 2 R, HR (25), RBI (66), K (.273 BA, .935 OPS)
Zack Collins (C) 2-3, 2 R, 2B (18), BB (.294 BA, .968 OPS)
Yermín Mercedes (DH) 1-2, R, HR (13), 3 RBI (49), BB (.317 BA, 1.049 OPS) **MVP**
Charlie Tilson (LF) 1-for-3, R, 2B (10), CS (3) (.310 BA, .787 OPS)
A.J. Reed (1B) 1-for-3, R, RBI (2), K (.158 BA, .589 OPS)
Danny Mendick (SS) 1-for-3, K (.279 BA, .814 OPS)

It was a scoreless game until the bottom of the second, thanks in part due to the outstanding 6-4-3 double play seen below.

Daniel Palka decided he had enough of this scoreless game, and took it out on old friend Jordan Stephens to give his team an early 1-0 lead.

The Clippers scored a run in the top half of the third off Dylan Covey to even the score, 1-1. Covey had difficulties the second time through the lineup (where have we heard this before?), as a Bobby Bradley solo bomb (his 30th), RBI double by Daniel Johnson and RBI single by Eric Stamets gave Columbus a 4-1 lead in the fourth. The Knights answered back in the bottom of the fourth with RBI singles by A.J. Reed, Nick Madrigal and the rehabbing Yoán Moncada to even the game 4-4. Gotta love those fours!

Alas, a solo shot by Ka’ai Tom in the top of the fifth returned the lead to Columbus. Needless to say on this night, leads didn’t last long. After Palka grounded into an error by Bradley to lead off the bottom half of the fifth followed by a patented Zack Collins walk, Yermín Mercedes did this, as is his wont, to give the Knights a 7-5 lead:

Unfortunately for Stephens, his start tonight finished about the same as his other starts had this year at BB&T Ballpark. Now the question of the day: Will Charlottes small lead hold up? The Clippers added a run in the top of the sixth off of struggling southpaw Hunter Schryver to narrow the gap to 7-6, and the Knights were scoreless in the bottom half.

With the Knights playing a doubleheader, both games are seven innings. Recently-demoted José Ruiz came in to shut the door against the heart of the Clippers lineup — including three of Cleveland’s Top 30 prospects per MLB Pipeline (No. 7 Bradley, No. 11 Yu Chang and No. 16 Johnson). Ruiz fanned the first two batters, and after surrendering a Johnson single, induced the next hitter to earn a well-deserved save.

Covey didn’t pitch well tonight, but earned the win in part because he didn’t allow any free passes. Credit for the victory, aside from Ruiz’s effort, was Charlotte’s offense. While all but Luis Robert contributed to the result offensively, the star of the game was Mercedes, who gave them the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.


Columbus Clippers 3, Charlotte Knights 2, Game 2

Colton Turner (SP) 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (5.63 ERA, 1.47 WHIP) **MVP**
Connor Walsh (RP) 2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K (4.43 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Juan Minaya (RP) L (4-2) 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (3.68 ERA, 1.26 WHIP)
Danny Mendick (2B) 1-for-2, BB (.280 BA, .816 OPS)
Yoán Moncada (DH) 1-for-3, R, HR (1), RBI (2), 2 K (.333 BA, .916 OPS)
Seby Zavala (1B) 0-for-1, R, BB (.224 BA, .790 OPS)
Nick Madrigal (PR) 0-0, CS (2) (.279 BA, .692 OPS)
Trey Michalczewski (3B) 1-for-3, 2B (3), K, E (4) (.246 BA, .745 OPS)
Paulo Orlando (LF) 0-for-2, E (4) (.242 BA, .725 OPS)
Zack Collins (PH) 0-for-1, K (.293 BA, .965 OPS)
Ramon Torres (SS) 0-for-2, RBI (13) (.500 BA, 1.455 OPS)

This game was a makeup for a rainout in Columbus earlier this year, and as such, the Knights were considered the road team despite playing the game in the beautiful confines of Charlotte. In what’s essentially a bullpen game, Colton Turner pitched the first three innings and was splendid — allowing just two runners while striking out two. He left the game with a 1-0 lead, thanks to a solo shot by Yoán Moncada.

Unfortunately for the Knights, Connor Walsh gave up solo tallies in the fourth and fifth by relinquishing a total of five hits in his two innings. He limited the damage, however, thanks to his four strikeouts and allowing no walks. Aside from the Moncada homer and a sixth-inning RBI groundout by Ramon Torres, there was very little offense for the Knights in this game as three of their biggest bats (Luis Robert, Nick Madrigal, Zack Collins) didn’t get the start in this one.

Columbus scored what turned out to be the winning run in the bottom of the sixth, with a Yu Chang single followed by an RBI double from Daniel Johnson to give the Clippers a 4-3 lead. The Knights tried to mount a rally in the seventh, but with one out, pinch-running Madrigal was thrown out trying to steal second. Collins, pinch-hitting for Paulo Orlando, struck out to end the game.

It’d be easy to give Moncada the MVP with his solo bomb, but Colton Turner did everything he could to help the Knights sweep the Clippers. Because he left the game with the lead and allowed just two baserunners in his three innings, he barely wins out over Moncada for that most coveted of awards. The Knights dropped to 68-56 with the loss, while the Clippers improved to 71-53.


Birmingham Barons 3, Mississippi Braves 0

Tanner Banks W (2-7) 7 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K (4.80 ERA, 1.26 WHIP) **MVP**
Luis Martinez SV (4) 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (4.77 ERA, 1.34 WHIP
Luis González 1-for-3, BB, K, SB (13) (.248 BA, .675 OPS)
Joel Booker 1-for-4 (.253 BA, .636 OPS)
Damek Tomscha 1-for-4, R, RBI (22) (.277 BA, .752 OPS)
Gavin Sheets 1-for-3, RBI (73), BB, 2 K (.272 BA, .762 OPS)
Ti’Quan Forbes 1-for-4, RBI (37), 2 K (.249 BA, .676 OPS)
Luis Basabe 0-for-3, BB, 2 K (.238 BA, .639 OPS)
Nate Nolan 1-for-4, R, 3 K (.156 BA, .518 OPS)
Luis Valenzuela 1-for-3, R, BB, 2 SB (2) (.191 BA, .499 OPS)

The game was scoreless until the top of the third, when Nate Nolan and Luis Valenzuela singled to begin the inning. After Luis González struck out and Joel Booker popped out, it appeared the rally would come to an end. But wait! Three straight clutch RBI singles by Damek Tomscha, Gavin Sheets and Ti’Quan Forbes gave the Barons a seemingly insurmountable 3-0 lead.

Tanner Banks was exemplary in protecting that 3-0 lead. He possibly could’ve gone longer, as it took only 82 pitches for him to complete his seven innings. It certainly helped his cause that 62 of those pitches were strikes, and it was especially good to see him rebound after a string of disappointing outings.

The Barons couldn’t mount any serious damage after the third inning, but it didn’t really matter, due to the stellar pitching of Banks and reliever Luis Martinez, who pitched two innings of hitless relief. With the win, the Barons improved to 55-66 while the Braves fell to 58-65. With seven innings allowing just a hit and a walk while fanning five, Banks is the no-brainer MVP choice for this game.


Potomac Nationals 4, Winston-Salem Dash 3

Manny Bañuelos (SP) 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, HR (3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP)
Jake Elliott (RP) 2.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K (4.87 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)
Bennett Sousa (RP) L (1-3) 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Steele Walker (CF) 2-for-5, 2B (23), RBI (45) (.285 BA, .800 OPS)
Tyler Frost (RF) 1-for-5 (.259 BA, .768 OPS)
Andrew Vaughn (DH) 0-for-3, BB (.268 BA, .823 OPS)
Craig Dedelow (LF) 1-for-4, 2 K, CS (5) (.243 BA, .737 OPS)
Carlos Perez (C) 1-for-4 (.257 BA, .632 OPS)
Jameson Fisher (1B) 0-for-3, BB, K (.242 BA, .717 OPS)
Mitch Roman (3B) 4-for-4, R, RBI (16), E (8) (.285 BA, .691 OPS) **MVP**
Johan Cruz (SS) 1-for-4 (.205 BA, .590 OPS)
Tate Blackman (2B) 1-for-4, R, RBI (25), 2 K (.192 BA, .592 OPS)

Potomac was the first to tally a run, doing so in the top of the second courtesy of a solo homer by catcher Alex Dunlap. Despite the Dash not doing much damage offensively, Manny Bañuelos did manage to keep his team in the game through three innings.

The fourth inning, however, caused problems for Bañuelos and the Dash as the Nationals plated an additional run and had runners on the corners with nobody out. However, Bañuelos prevented further damage thanks to a ground out and two punch outs. The Dash managed to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom half of the fifth with two outs, thanks to an RBI single by Tate Blackman (who’s slowly working his way to the Mendoza Line) and an RBI double by the sizzling-hot Steele Walker.

The Nationals re-took the lead via a sac fly in the seventh, and the lead held until the bottom of the eighth, when Mitch Roman hit an opposite-field single to right to tie the game at three. Unfortunately, the Nationals took the lead right back, this time for good, with a two-out single to make it 4-3. The Dash did make it exciting until the very end, as Walker was gunned down at the plate while trying to score via a Tyler Frost single. Oh well, that’s baseball.

It was great to see Bañuelos pitch well, but it was even better to see Walker continue to rip the ball. As good a day as those two guys enjoyed, it’s hard to beat Roman’s day, as he went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. With the defeat, the Dash fell to 64-54 while the Nationals improved to 59-63.


Lexington Legends 4, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Kevin Folman (SP) 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K (5.53 ERA, 1.42 WHIP)
Declan Cronin (RP) L (0-2) 3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (4.60 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)
Ian Dawkins (CF) 1-for-3, 2 BB (.309 BA, .780 OPS)
Ramon Beltre (2B) 2-for-5, R, 2B (21), HR (4), RBI (31), K (.214 BA, .572 OPS)
Lenyn Sosa (SS) 0-for-5 (.238 BA, .628 OPS)
Tyler Osik (LF) 1-for-4, R, BB, 2 K (.256 BA, .755 OPS)
Corey Zangari (DH) 2-for-3, R, 2B (16), 2 BB, K (.202 BA, .729 OPS) **MVP**
Amado Nuñez (1B) 1-for-4, BB, K (.220 BA, .619 OPS)
Michael Hickman (C) 2-for-4, RBI (22), BB, 2 K (.204 BA, .625 OPS)
Camilo Quinteiro (3B) 1-for-5, 3 K (.171 BA, .527 OPS)

The Legends didn’t take long to score in this one, as a single-triple-sac fly combo in the game’s first three batters immediately pitted Lexington with a 2-0 lead. Aside from the third inning, which saw three Lexington singles translate into one run, starter Kevin Folman pitched well enough to earn himself a quality start.

The Intimidators finally dented the scoreboard in the fourth inning, as Michael Hickman plated Corey Zangari (who had doubled earlier in the inning) with two outs to tighten the score to 3-1. The game remained that way until the bottom of the seventh, when Ramon Beltre hit a leadoff homer to make it 3-2. Then, with two outs and runners in scoring position, Michael Hickman struck out; however, it was on a wild pitch that enabled Tyler Osik to score the game-tying run!

Lexington re-took the lead in the top of the eighth, thanks to a two-out Reed Rohlman double off Declan Cronin. Aside from that play, Cronin was a standout in relief, as he allowed just that one run in his three innings. Kannapolis loaded the bases with one out thanks to a hit and two walks, but Camilo Quinteiro and Cameron Simmons struck out to finish the game. It was a hard-fought game, but the Legends got just enough hits at the right times to win.

While the pitching staff pitched well enough to win the game and Beltre did his part with a 2-for-5 game with a homer, the MVP of this game was Zangari, who was 2-for-3 with two walks, a double and a run scored — it seems he’s finally coming out of his slump. With the defeat, Kannapolis fell to 54-69 while Lexington rose to 61-63.


Great Falls Voyagers vs. Missoula Osprey postponed


AZL Reds 8, AZL White Sox 1

Matthew Thompson (SP) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Justin Friedman (RP) L (3-4) 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K (5.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP)
Tyson Messer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (13.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP) **MVP**
Nick Silva (RP) 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 1 K (5.03 ERA, 1.93 WHIP)
James Beard (CF) 0-for-3, K (.187 BA, .512 OPS)
Bryan Ramos (3B) 0-for-4, E (4) (.250 BA, .720 OPS)
Micker Adolfo (DH) 1-for-4, R, 2B (3), 2 K (.217 BA, .835 OPS)
D.J. Gladney (1B) 1-for-3, RBI (22), K, E (11) (.262 BA, .746 OPS)
Anthony Coronado (RF) 1-for-3, 2B (5), K (.308 BA, .872 OPS)
Josue Guerrero (LF) 0-for-2, 2 K, E (4) (.220 BA, .640 OPS)
Victor Torres (C) 0-for-3, 2 PB (13) (.209 BA, .466 OPS)

In his first professional game, 2019 second-rounder Matthew Thompson acquitted himself quite nicely in his one inning of work. He certainly wasn’t aided by his defense, however, as a fielding error by Bryan Ramos eventually scored on a passed ball by Victor Torres. The White Sox tied the game in the top of the second, thanks to an RBI single by D.J. Gladney that plated Micker Adolfo. It could’ve been an even more productive inning, if with runners on first and second and two outs, light-hitting Sidney Pimentel hadn’t gotten picked off of first by the catcher.

Justin Friedman came in to relieve Thompson in the bottom half of the second, and that’s when the game began to unravel. The leadoff hitter for the Reds struck out, but got on base as first baseman D.J. Gladney dropped the throw from Torres on a dropped third-strike. After four subsequent singles and another passed ball, the Reds tallied four in the fifth to provide themselves a comfortable 5-1 lead. The game remained that way until the top of the sixth, when a wild pitch scored the Reds’ sixth run.

Additional runs in the seventh and eighth innings off of 2019 40th-round pick Nick Silva increased the Reds lead to 8-1, which seemed like a 50-run deficit for the offensively-challenged AZL Sox on this night. Aside from three hits in the second frame, the Sox were hitless. This would’ve been a terrible game to watch — three hits, no walks, nine strikeouts and a runner picked off on offense; three errors, two passed balls and two wild pitches on defense. The only consolation is that these young players should get better with more experience.

The Sox fell to 18-31 while the Reds improved to 22-27 on the season. While there were very few positives on this night, here are a couple: Thompson pitched well in his debut despite shoddy defense behind him, and Tyson Messer struck out the side in his one inning of work. It’s that effort by Messer than merits him the team’s MVP tonight.


DSL White Sox 9, DSL Padres 3

Ronaldo Guzman (SP) W (2-3) 5 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (4.44 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
Jorge Ferrer (RP) 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.04 ERA, 1.15 WHIP)
Erick Perez (RP) 1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (1.95 ERA, 1.18 WHIP)
Wilber Sánchez (2B) 2-for-4, R, 2B (12), 2 RBI (24), SB (13) (.282 BA, .769 OPS)
Anthony Espinoza (3B) 2-for-4, R, 3B (2), RBI (32) (.267 BA, .686 OPS)
Matthew Mercedes (DH) 1-FOR-3, R, 2B (10), RBI (30), BB (.336 BA, .863 OPS)
Lazaro Leal (RF) 1-for-4, R, HR (3), RBI (23) (.221 BA, .714 OPS)
Roberth Gutierrez (CF) 1-for-3, R, K (.278 BA, .750 OPS)
Alberto Bernal (1B) 1-for-2, 2 R, 2B (5), RBI (16) (.174 BA, .663 OPS)
Elijah Tatís (SS) 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B (2), 2 RBI (10) (.185 BA, .519 OPS) **MVP**

Padres hurler Dwayne Matos and Sox southpaw Ronaldo Guzman matched each other pitch-for-pitch in a scoreless duel for the first three innings. After allowing the dreaded leadoff walk in the top half of the fourth, Guzman surrendered a two-run homer to Alex Ramirez, giving the Padres a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately for Guzman, the only runners he allowed in his five innings came around to score. However, that two-run deficit was quite short-lived. The Sox scored four runs with two out in the bottom half of the fourth courtesy of an Alberto Bernal double, a two-run single by Elijah Tatís and a wild pitch that plated yet another run. Lazaro Leal clubbed a two-out solo bomb in the fifth to extend the lead to 5-2.

The Sox weren’t done racking up more runs. In the bottom of the sixth, Wilber Sánchez doubled home Bernal and Tatís to make it 7-2. An RBI single by Anthony Espinoza and a subsequent RBI double by Matthew Mercedes completed the Sox scoring for the day. Aside from a meaningless run in the seventh, the Sox bullpen held the Padres in check.

Guzman, who’ll be turning just 17 later this month, continued to look sharp. If not for a disastrous outing on August 6, his ERA and WHIP would be looking especially nifty at 3.42 and 1.26 respectively. The kid throws hard, as evidenced by his 13.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which is absolutely amazing — he’s definitely someone to watch. While Guzman was terrific today, Tatís was even better. A perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate with a double, two runs and two RBIs earned the scuffling shortstop the MVP on this day. Hopefully, this will lead to good things for him going forward. On a separate note, on a day when stud outfielders Benyamin Bailey and Johnabiell Laureano received a well-deserved day off, it was great to see the offense step forward. With the victory, the Sox improved to 34-32 while the Padres slipped to 30-36.