Jesse Crain began his two game rehab assignment with Charlotte on Friday, apparently without any issues. Assuming he has no issues with his final scheduled appearance on Sunday, he'll be back with the White Sox on Monday. With Chris Sale back in the rotation, it's a good bet that Eric Stults is the one who will give way.
OF Jared Mitchell got quite a bit of press in the last week or so. Whenever you see a non-top prospect getting that much hype - and there aren't any top prospects in the White Sox organization - it's a near-certainty that his hot streak has peaked and reality is setting back in. His strikeout rate is back above 25% and is rising. This month, he's sporting a cold .139/.205/.250 and in those ten games he's struck out twice eight times.
One scout on Mitchell: "I think he’ll be a 26-year-old (big league) rookie who has some power. I don’t think he’s a speed guy. I think he’s a power guy who’s a little bit above-average runner. Everyone is thinking Kenny Lofton, but that’s not him. It’s not even close. That’s where the disappointment lies. I think he’s a power guy who runs fairly well. I’ve seen him scorch balls for home runs. It’s three or four years away from it clicking, though."
There were some moves between affiliates, most notably RHP Nestor Molina and RHP Jake Petricka getting spot starts for Charlotte and Birmingham, respectively, to cover for the promotion of Stults. Both had difficulty with the higher level. Molina's line was 4 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 4 K. He was sailing along for the first 4 innings, giving up just 3 hits and a walk. But then he couldn't get an out in the 5th, in which he gave up hits to all 6 batters he faced, including a solo homer and a grand slam that chased him from the game, as well as two well-placed bunt singles in between. With RHP Dylan Axelrod's return to Charlotte's rotation, Molina went back to the Barons.
Petricka did better results-wise but his peripherals were just as ugly: 5 IP, 3 H, 7 BB, 6 K, 1 WP. With Molina back with the Barons, Petricka returned to the Dash.
Speaking of the Dash, there are some long bus rides in the minors. And you've gotta kill time doing something. One way to do that on a trip from Frederick, Maryland to Lynchburg, Virginia is to perform Nicki Minaj's "Starships".
The Dan Johnson signing was a good idea for the White Sox: Adam Dunn insurance. Unfortunately for Johnson, Dunn has returned to form. The other guy for whom he provides cover, Paul Konerko, is also hitting just fine in his old age. And betting on an injury to either of these guys is a losing wager, as both Dunn and Konerko have been on the disabled list once in their careers. So Johnson will continue to add to one of the most impressive Triple-A resumes in recent memory (including an MVP award in each league). He's in his usual AAAA form for Charlotte: .312/.490/.596.
SS Marcus Semien: .280/.343/.480. Beware, he's on an 18 game hitting streak for the Dash. So reality must be about to set back in.