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White Sox Minor League Update: May 17, 2019

Bullpens gave up zero earned runs in 17 ⅓ innings; seven homers including Dedelow’s slam power the system to a 75% win rate

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
Figure K: Dylan Cease went six strong in a winning effort.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Charlotte Knights 10, Lehigh Valley IronPigs 3

Dylan Cease: 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (W, 3-1)
Zach Thompson: 2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Caleb Frare: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Danny Mendick (SS): 3-for-5, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Eloy Jiménez (LF): 2-for-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Daniel Palka (DH): 2-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 K
Adam Engel (CF): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 SB
Alcides Escobar (3B): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI **MVP**
Paulo Orlando (RF): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI

Charlotte won their fourth in a row behind strong pitching and good offense — it’s what you want. Danny Mendick finished a triple shy of the cycle, as so many do, and is batting .290/.379/.490. The 25-year-old has spent time at second base this season. Apropos of nothing, White Sox second baseman Yolmer Sánchez is batting .228/.307/.307. Paulo Orlando is continuing his dongquest since being signed, hitting his third in three games. Alcides Escobar, who can also play second base, or the outfield, or whatever, continued to rake, hitting his fourth dong of the year in an inning that saw three solo shots (Mendick and Jiménez contributed). Escobar is batting .331/.353/.508. Also apropos of nothing, White Sox DH/1B Yonder Alonso is batting .175/.280/.329. Don’t forget, baseball rewards talent.

Eloy seems ripe for a return. Cease and Thompson both bounced back from rough outings with solid performances. Catcher Seby Zavala had a rough game, striking out thrice in four appearances, breaking a six-game hitting streak that went back to before his recent stint on the IL.

Birmingham Barons 4, Mississippi Braves 2

Tanner Banks: 4 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Connor Walsh: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Luis Robert (RF): 1-for-4
Luis González (CF): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 K, 1 CS
Yermin Mercedes (C): 2-for-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI; 1 E **MVP**
Ti’Quan Forbes (DH): 0-for-2, 2 BB, 1 K
Blake Rutherford (LF): 0-for-3

Yermin Mercedes, the only son I will ever have, collected two hits in his third game back from injury. He hit his fourth home run of the season, the above 426-foot monster that raised his slash line to .377/.419/.571 and provided the Barons with half of their score. González raised his 10-game average to .343, a welcome development. Blake Rutherford’s struggles continue, unfortunately an evergreen sentence in these updates.

Tanner Banks is back to starting, at least for now; he pitched in relief in his previous appearance, started his appearance before that, relieved in the appearance before that, and started in the appearance before that. This kind of bouncing around can be jarring, but it looks like the Sox are holding him back on pitch count and he’s been pitching very well since mid-April. Mauricio Cabrera pitched 1 ⅓ scoreless for the win; Connor Walsh recovered quite nicely from his 0-out-5-ER game of yore, allowing only one baserunner over his two innings. Danny Dopico continued to lower his ERA with one perfect inning; he hasn’t given up a run since giving up three on May 4.

Winston-Salem Dash 8, Down East Wood Ducks 2

Lincoln Henzman: 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K (W, 2-2)
Tyler Frost (CF): 1-for-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Nick Madrigal (2B): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 RBI
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Zach Remillard (SS): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Craig Dedelow (RF): 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Carlos Perez (C): 2-for-4, 1 R
Jordan George (LF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 K

The Dash finally broke their losing skid, thanks to Henzman and his leg kick’s good outing and Craig Dedelow’s grand slam. Both runs given up by Henzman were dingers, but it’s a welcome change from back-to-back six-run starts for him. Jake Elliott contributed two scoreless and Luis Ledo pitched out of trouble in the ninth, giving up three hits and no runs. Weirdly, every single Wood Duck went 1-for-4 with no walks. Womp womp (quack quack).

The Dash more than batted around in the fourth inning, scoring seven runs (this seems to be a trend in Sox minors recently). Zach Remillard’s reign of terror finally ended, although he did reach base via walk. Jameson Fisher continued his consistency. Dedelow did what Dedelow does best with a grand slam. I have not seen video yet but I can only assume it was a tater that was absolutely mashed. Neither team made an error! This is big stuff in the minors.

Delmarva Shorebirds 0, Kannapolis Intimidators 0 (10 innings)

Johan Dominguez: 3 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Vince Arobio: 4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K **MVP**
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-4
Romy González (1B): 1-for-4, 2 K
Bryce Bush (RF): 1-for-4, 2 K, 1 E
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Amado Nuñez (DH): 1-for-4, 3 K

The Intimidators spoiled an otherwise perfect day on the farm. They staved it off until the 10th, at least; Jhoandro Alfaro, playing in his sixth game in full-season ball, had the passed ball that led to both runs eventually scoring. In the interest of fairness, I must disclose that Alfaro did catch two runners stealing, although he and Sam Long allowed a stolen base as well. Long (who also had a pickoff) and Lane Ramsey were both very good out of the bullpen, unearned runs aside, but the real star was Vince Arobio. The righty has given up earned runs in four of his 11 outings, which generally span more than just one inning, and today he was unhittable. He struck out seven of 12 batters faced, getting through four solid on only 55 pitches. This is … good.

The bats quieted down for the I’s, with only five hits scattered throughout the game. Sosa, González, and Bush all showed signs of life. The team struck out 14 times total.

I love minor league baseball.