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White Sox Minor League Update: April 4, 2019

It’s opening day, again! As the top prospects take the field for the first time to hopefully start their trek to the bigs, Luis Robert is itching to hasten a promotion

Double trouble: Luis Robert went yard twice, as the Dash won, 9-4.
Hype the Engineer/@WSDashBaseball

Another Opening Day in the White Sox organization and this time, it’s time for all the young prospects that you are excited about to shine. Charlotte, Birmingham, Winston-Salem, and Kannapolis all opened their seasons tonight, with some big names in the spotlight.

Opening roster and notes, Zack Collins is listed as a catcher, and not a full-time 1B:

Charlotte Knights 12, Durham Bulls 11

Donn Roach: 3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Colton Turner: 1 23 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Zach Thompson: 1 13 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, win (1-0)

Ian Hamilton: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Juan Minaya: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, save (1)

Charlie Tilson (CF): 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K

Nicky Delmonico (LF): 2-for-4, 3 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Danny Mendick (3B): 1-for-5, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K

Zack Collins (C): 3-for-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 R, 0 BB, 2 K **MVP**

Matt Skole (1B): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Brandon Guyer (RF): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Preston Tucker DH: 2-for-4, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K

Ryan Goins (2B): 0-for-3, 0 BB, 1 K

Alcides Escobar (SS): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

It was not a good opening inning for Donn Roach and the Knights. Roach allowed two home runs in the first to put Charlotte in a 3-0 hole early. In the second, another run crossed the plate, push the Bulls lead to 4-0. However, the Knights got it all back and then some in the third.

First, Zack Collins tripled (I know, tripled!) home Escobar and Delmonico to cut the lead to 4-2 (in Collins’ first at-bat he, of course, struck out). One batter later, Brandon Guyer singled home Collins, and then Preston Tucker doubled home Skole and Guyer to take a 5-4 lead. Looky here, the veterans and prospects all working together. Here is that Collins triple:

Unfortunately and fortunately, the entire fourth inning was very exciting. Well, maybe not for Roach, he allowed two more runs in the top of the inning, putting the Knights behind again. However, Danny Mendick, Mr. March, came through in the clutch and hit a three-run bomb that scored Tilson and Delmonico. In the very next at-bat, Collins decided to forgo three bases and hit a home run to right field to give Charlotte a 9-6 lead after four innings:

Collins added a second home run, in the sixth inning, giving the Knights an 11-8 lead:

Ian Hamilton came into the game for one inning. This was Hamilton’s first game back from injury, and he did not do well, allowing three hits and two earned runs. Juan Minaya took over for Hamilton and was better. He allowed two hits and one run in the eighth inning, but was able to settle down in the ninth. Minaya struck out two and only allowed a single to complete the two-inning save.

Opening roster, that outfield is made up of very tough outs:

Birmingham Barons

Opening roster and notes, Alec Hansen will start in the bullpen:

Winston-Salem Dash 9, Frederick Keys 4

Lincoln Henzman: 13 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Zach Lewis: 6 23 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, win (1-0)

Jose Nin: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, BB, 2 K

Luis Robert (CF): 2-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 SB **MVP**

Jameson Fisher (1B): 0-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K

Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-3, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 SB

Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-5, 0 BB, 1 K

Craig Dedelow (LF): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K

Tate Blackman (DH): 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K

Yeyson Yrizarri (3B): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Jordan George (RF): 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K

Carlos Perez (C): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Opening Day did not start well for the Dash. First, they get off to a quick deficit and then, of course, another Sox prospect pitcher goes down. The extent of the injury of Lincoln Henzman is not known yet but as you see in the tweet above, it was because of a collision at first. Henzman was coming off a terrific year in 2018 with the I’s and Dash, and hopefully he will be back in four days.

The lead for the Keys was able to get to 3-0, but Luis Robert (who should probably be in AA), came up with a big three-run home run to tie the game in the third. Robert’s home run was also the first hit for the Dash, as the other two runners got on via walk or error. In the very next inning, Yeyson Yrizarri was able to drive in Tate Blackman with a double, giving the Dash a 4-3 lead. However, Robert was not done yet with his day; in the fourth, with a 5-3 lead, Robert launched his second home run of the game scoring Pérez. The Dash were now ahead, 7-4. Here are both of Robert’s homers:

Meanwhile, Zach Lewis took over for Henzman and was nearly lights-out in relief. He pitched 6+ innings with no earned runs (there was an unearned run) to keep the game in reach for the Dash. (If Henzman is out for more starts, look for Lewis to take over his starting role.) After Lewis left, Jose Nin came into the game to close out the final two innings of the 9-4 win.

Opening roster, that infield is very young and very good:

Rome Braves 9, Kannapolis Intimidators 1

Jonathan Stiever: 3 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, loss (0-1)

Andrew Perez: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Vince Arobio: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Jason Bilous: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Lenyn Sosa (SS): 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K

Luis Curbelo (2B): 0-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K

Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 0 K **MVP**

Bryce Bush (3B): 0-for-4, 0 BB, 2 K

Amando Nunez (1B): 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K

Ian Dawkins (LF): 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K

Evan Skoug (DH): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 0 K

Logan Sowers (RF): 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K

Gunnar Troutwine (C): 1-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K

Although avoiding an injury like the Dash had to deal with in their opener, Kannapolis also did not get off to a good start. On the first batter Jonathan Stiever faced, the I’s allowed an inside-the-park home run, and then another run later in the first for a 2-0 lead. Stiever was able to run a good second inning, but fell apart in the third. He allowed four runs, including a true home run. Though he was easily hit in his short three inning outing, Stiever struck out six batters and did not walk any, which is a good sign for a first start. Actually, in all, he only threw 12 of his 60 pitches for a ball — so maybe that balance was too hittable. SSS’s Dan Victor had Stiever hitting 90-91 mph with his fastball. Here is how he looked:

It did not get much better for Kannapolis, though, as they would allow three more runs. Andrew Perez had a shutout inning, but then allowed one run. Vince Arobio surrendered the final two runs for the Rome Braves. The I’s were able to get a run across home plate in the eighth, when Steele Walker doubled home Logan Sowers. It was the second time Walker reached base, after an earlier walk, but that run was their lone score in a 9-1 loss.