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White Sox Minor League Update: June 3, 2019

Palka smashes, Nolan mashes, Robert flashes (his talent??), Fisher lashes (one out of here), Dawkins slashes (.350/.408/.480), Laureano... uh... gnashes (sorry. I’m sorry)

Chicago White Sox v Baltimore Orioles, 2018
Palka See Ball: Palka smash ball
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Gwinnett Stripers 7, Charlotte Knights 5

Colton Turner: 5 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 4 K (L, 3-3)
Caleb Frare: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Zach Thompson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K **MVP**
Matt Skole (1B): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
Zack Collins (DH): 1-for-4, 2 K
Seby Zavala (C): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K
Adam Engel (CF): 2-for-4, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Ryan Goins (2B): 1-for-3, 1 BB

Colton Turner gave up a mere 16 earned runs in Birmingham over 42 innings pitched last season, good for a 0.86 ERA, but he hasn’t seen his lower-level success replicated in any of his three stints with Charlotte. Today was his fifth straight start after his first 10 appearances all coming out of the bullpen, and in only one of those has he given up fewer than three earned runs. Things went well for the first two innings, two singles erased immediately by double plays, but things got sticky in the third. “Sticky” here means “grand-slammy.” As if that wasn’t enough, Adam Duvall immediately followed Travis Demeritte’s slam with a solo jack of his own. Demeritte, indeed.

There was good news out of the bullpen: Caleb Frare, Zach Thompson, Connor Walsh, and Carson Fulmer all threw exactly one scoreless inning each. Some came with more excitement than others — Fulmer’s ninth was exactly uneventful, while Thompson got the “well, technically” strikeout of the side, despite walking three.

The Stripers weren’t the only ones hitting dongs and taking names. Daniel Palka hit his 11th home run of the season, a 460-foot beauty, in the first inning. He also hit his 12th home run of the season in the fifth inning, this one a mere 416 feet (he’s losing his touch). Daniel Palka: he likes to hit home runs. Matt Skole got in on the action with his 15th dinger of the year in the fourth.

After that second Palka Smash, the Knights started to scramble together a little rally: Skole singled, and so did Zavala after Collins whiffed. Then Adam Engel came through with a big two-out triple, scoring both and pulling the Knights within two… where they would remain, forevermore.

Game 1 — Jackson Generals 5, Birmingham Barons 2

Jimmy Lambert: 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (L, 3-4)
Zack Burdi: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, balk
Jon Jay (RF): 1-for-3, 1 RBI
Luis Robert (CF): 1-for-3, 1 BB
Luis González (DH): 1-for-4, 2 K
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K
Blake Rutherford (LF-RF): 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 K
Nate Nolan (C): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**

Game 2 — Birmingham Barons 6, Jacksonville Generals 0

Matt Tomshaw: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K (W, 2-1)
Danny Dopico: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Luis Robert (RF): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB **MVP**
Yermin Mercedes (DH): 1-for-4, 1 RBI
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Blake Rutherford (LF): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 2 K
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI

Jimmy Lambert has run into something of a roadblock his last few starts, and although he scattered only six hits through six innings today, three of those were home runs. Two alone were in the first inning. Lambert’s walk rate has been high and so was his home run rate: going into today, it stood at 1.35 HR/9. This is his second stint at AA after 25 innings there in 2018, and although he’s striking out more people than ever, at what cost? On the other hand, there was Zack Burdi’s performance today, in which he did not only not give up a run, he walked no one. Burdi walked 12 in 15 ⅓ IP with the Barons coming into today’s game, so hopefully he can keep it going.

Luis Robert is kind of boring now. You know? He got a hit, what else is new. He didn’t even steal a base in this game. Did he get slow? I’m so disappointed.

Jon Jay is back in action after a lengthy absence from the scene (you may remember him from such acts as “Let’s Sign Jon Jay to Entice Manny Machado to Sign With Us”). The injury that placed Jay on the 60-day IL was ambiguously characterized at times as a hip, back, leg, or groin issue. In any event, he’s rehabbing with the Barons, and didn’t waste time in hitting an RBI single to drive in Mitch Roman for the first Birmingham run of the game. The second was earned by Nate Nolan, who homered in the fourth inning. Blake Rutherford was hitless, but did walk.

Meanwhile, in game two… have yourself a day, Matt Tomshaw. The 30-year-old lefty, a career minor league journeyman, is one of several Sox farmhands who are bouncing between starting and relieving. This was his third start and 12th appearance of the year, and by far his best. Danny Dopico was also able to get through his inning without a walk, adding two strikeouts and lowering his ERA to an even 3.00.

Did Robert get three hits? Yes. Was one of them a double? Yes, his 13th. Did he steal a base in this game and then advance to third on the throwing error? Yes. Is his slash line over 30 games with Birmingham .339/.385/.570/.955? Sure, so I’ve heard. Am I drooling? Ummmm

Luis González was the only big name left hitless, and he still contributed a sacrifice fly. Blake Rutherford is now at the Mendoza line for the first time since two days ago and before that since Opening Day. Jon Jay did not make an appearance in game two.

Winston-Salem Dash 4, Fayetteville Woodpeckers 2

Konnor Pilkington: 5 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K (W, 1-1)
Jake Elliott: 3 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (S, 1)
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-3
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K **MVP**
Zach Remillard (SS): 0-for-4, 2 K
JJ Muno (LF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Sure, Konnor Pilkington walked four dudes and that’s a lot, but he only allowed two other baserunners, and between that and striking out eight he was able to limit the Fayetteville Woodpeckers to just two runs. Jake Elliott was Jake Excellent out of the bullpen, allowing just three baserunners over his 3+ innings of work while striking out six.

The Dash only got three hits, but they were very well timed. JJ Muno, who has been playing out of his mind in limited appearances (70 at-bats, .300/.407/.486/.893) led off the third with a solo shot, his third of the year. Muno is channeling last year’s Zach Remillard, and has appeared at second base, shortstop, left field, right field, and the pitcher’s mound this season (ERA: 15.43). He’s also walked 12 times to 13 strikeouts.

Here’s how the Dash got their second run: Madrigal hit by a pitch. Walker bunts him to second. Fisher walks (.391 OBP). Remillard reaches on an error; Madrigal scores. Wild pitch; Fisher scores. The no-hit offense! They also added an insurance run in the ninth, when Fisher led off with his fifth home run of the season.

Delmarva Shorebirds 5, Kannapolis Intimidators 3

Jason Bilous: 4 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 WP (L, 2-3)
Ian Dawkins (CF): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 K **MVP**
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Alex Destino (RF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Romy González (LF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Corey Zangari (1B): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K
Luis Curbelo (DH): 0-for-4, 2 K

Kannapolis fell to 25-32 despite good production from the top of the lineup. Jason Bilous, having a good year overall besides his 5.08 BB/9, was unable to pitch past his own and third baseman Ramon Beltre’s errors. He gave up three runs in the first inning — a combination of walks, his error, and two singles — and reliever Kevin Folman added two runs (one earned, on Beltre’s other error) of his own. Tyler Watson, who was assigned to the Dash after spring training but never pitched for them, appeared in his second game for the I’s, pitching two scoreless innings, giving up two hits, walking none and striking out three.

Ian Dawkins, who hit over .400 in the month of May, had two hits, including a triple. Lenyn Sosa, who has a hit every time I look at a box score but is still batting .235, hit a single and a double, unbelievably his 21st of the year. Sosa and Dawkins, in fact, are tied for the league lead in doubles. Imagine if Sosa can walk a little more and if a few more of those outs turn into hits. Imagine… if all Sox prospects turn out to be good!!

Alex Destino, who’s been hitting the cover off the ball recently, and Romy González, who’s trying to get out of a slump, both contributed to the score as well.

DSL Blue Jays 6, DSL White Sox 3

Dionicio Jiménez: 4 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (L, 0-1)
Wilber Sánchez (2B): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Anthony Espinoza (SS): 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 CS
Lazaro Leál (DH): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 CS
Alberto Bernal (1B): 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Benyamin Bailey (LF): 1-for-4, 1 K, 1 SB
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 1 SB **MVP**
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C): 0-for-1, 1 R, 1 BB
Edwin Peralta (3B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI

Six-foot-four, 18-year-old Dionicio Jiménez started this season of Dominical Summer League rookie ball play the same way he started last season: By giving up three earned runs. Last year he did it in one, and this year it took him until the fifth inning to get shaky. Even then, the line is worse than it was: Jiménez gave up a leadoff single, followed by a run-scoring double, got a fly out, gave up a (non-run scoring) single, then was taken out of the game in favor of Daneuris Lagrange (born in 1998, so book one had been out for a couple of years, but obviously not the show). Lagrange did not emerge unburnt, as he allowed both inherited runs to score and gave up one of his own. In total, the bullpen gave up three runs, although one was unearned due to one of those early-season errors by Alberto Bernal at first.

The DSL Sox totaled up seven hits and even put up a three-spot in the seventh. Johnabiell Laureano hit a one-out double, followed by a Jhoneiker Betancourt walk. A wild pitch advanced Laureano to third and Edwin Peralta singled him in, both he and Betancourt advancing a base on the throw. A second wild pitch scored Betancourt and moved Peralta to third, where he was driven in on a Wilber Sánchez infield single (who knows what happened there). Sánchez stole second before Anthony Espinoza lined out to end the inning.

Enoy Jiménez — yes, Eloy’s brother — is on the roster but has not yet appeared. He is listed as a shortstop.