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White Sox Minor League Update: June 4, 2019

Successful Cease Day, Robert is Robert, JJ’s Slammer fuels the Dash, Stiever hurls a gem, the DSL Sox play a base ball game

Dylan Cease: He’s coming to a major league ballpark near you, before you know it
Laura Wolff/@KnightsBaseball

Charlotte Knights 7, Gwinnett Stripers 6

Dylan Cease: 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K (W, 5-2)
Matt Foster: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Jordan Stephens: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP (H, 1)
Adam Engel (CF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K
Paulo Orlando (LF): 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI **MVP**
Matt Skole (1B): 2-for-4, 1 RBI
Seby Zavala (DH-C): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 K, 1 PB
Danny Mendick (SS): 2-for-4, 2 R
Ryan Goins (2B): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 RBI

Dylan Cease wasn’t at his best in what could be his last start with Charlotte, but luckily not his best is still quite good and the Knights never lost an early lead. Cease touched 99, threw 101 pitches, and only really got dinged on a dinger, a two-run shot by Sal Giardina in the fourth. The other run preceded it in the third inning and was an RBI groundout. Jordan Stephens, who was last seen pitching two innings in fractured-hand-rehab in Winston-Salem on Saturday, pitched two out of the bullpen here. He has given up at least one run in every appearance this season.

The Knights had an interesting day at the plate, or, more specifically, behind the plate. They lost the DH position in a wacky turn of events that saw starting catcher Zack Collins ejected in the top of the fifth for… reasons and was replaced by Seby Zavala, who had been the game’s DH, which now evaporated into the air and is now part of the water cycle. Luckily for them and unluckily for everyone who loves chaos in baseball, the Knights were able to avoid actually batting a pitcher, instead using an increasingly elaborate system of pulleys and pinch hitters (Iván De Jesús Jr., D.J. Peterson).

In less weird news, Paulo Orlando continued to crush it, including a double that allowed Matt Skole to single him in as the first run of the game in the first inning and another double, this one scoring two, in a four-run fourth. Zavala also doubled in the same inning, and Mendick, Goins, and Engel all singled. Charlotte tacked on two game-saving insurance runs in the seventh (always get insurance!), starting the inning off with Mendick, Goins, and Engel all singling again (Engel’s scoring Mendick), then Orlando singling in Goins to complete the scoring.

Thyago Vieira gave up a bases-loaded single in the top of the ninth, but held on to close it out.

Jackson Generals 9, Birmingham Barons 1

Kyle Kubat: 3 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP (L, 3-2)
Jon Jay (CF): 0-for-3
Luis Robert (DH): 3-for-4, 1 SB **MVP**
Luis González (LF-CF): 1-for-3, 1 BB
Gavin Sheets (1B): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-4, 2 K
Trey Michalczewski (2B-LF): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 K
Laz Rivera (SS): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B

Oh, boring, the Barons only scored one run today on nine hits, that means Luis Robert hit at MOST one home run. Wrong! Robert hit zero home runs, and was not boring: he gathered a full third of Birmingham’s hits on the day. He’s been forced out of the outfield by a rehabbing Jon Jay, who didn’t do much today, and it turns out that he can still hit even if he’s not standing on grass every other half-inning.

Meanwhile, Laz Rivera’s bat is coming around: after hitting a tepid .195/.253/.221/.474 in April, he improved with a .256/.309/.333/.643 line in May, and has a 10-game average of .290. His double today was his 10th of the year. Blake Rutherford is still above Mendoza, and is the owner of a .294 batting average in his last 10. In fact, since May 13, he’s hitting .271/.306/.390/.696 with four doubles and one home run. Rutherford turned 22 last month, and his season has been concerning so far, but both it and he are still young. Gavin Sheets over at first base has a 10-game hitting streak going, and he’s also had a torrid start to June as he shakes off the pox that settled over all Birmingham prospects to start the year. Sheets knocked in the sole Barons run.

On the mound, Kyle Kubat finally looked mortal, raising his Barons ERA all the way up to 2.76. He would have been fine if it hadn’t been for the Generals’ seven-run fourth inning; he allowed his first baserunner with one out and, things could have gone better! Mauricio Cabrera pitched 1 ⅓ scoreless, and Dopico shut out the Generals in the ninth.

Winston-Salem Dash 7, Fayetteville Woodpeckers 5

John Parke: 5 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K (W, 3-2)
Vince Arobio: 1 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Tyler Frost (RF): 2-for-5, 1 3B, 1 K, 1 SB
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 K; 1 E
Steele Walker (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-5, 1 R, 3 K
Craig Dedelow (LF): 1-for-4, 2 K
JJ Muno (2B): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI **MVP**
Jordan George (DH): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K

The Dash keep rolling, winners of 15 of their last 19 games and four straight. Starting pitcher John Parke found himself in the enviable position of having a six-run lead before ever taking the mound. Remillard laid down a one-out bunt, advancing to second on the pitcher’s error, Steele walked, Fisher singled the bases loaded; after a Dedelow strikeout and a ball hit by Carlos Perez that turned into a run-scoring error, JJ Muno cleaned things up with a grand slam, his fourth dinger of the year. Muno hasn’t been getting a lot of playing time due to last year’s fourth overall draft pick reasonably getting the lion’s share of innings at second base, but he’s using that time as well as he possibly can. In 74 at-bats, he’s batting .311/.411/.554/.965, and has 15 RBI over his last 10 games. JJ’s slam was immediately followed up by Jordan George’s third home run, and Parke had a decent cushion to work with.

The lefty did give up a dong of his own in the first, this one merely three runs, and then settled in. Thanks to the usual mix of defense and soft contact, he was able to avoid trouble until the sixth inning, when he gave up three straight singles (although one of them was thrown out trying to stretch it). Vince Arobio took over, got one inherited runner out of the way by allowing him to score on a single, and got the last two batters of the inning swinging. Arobio has been nothing but solid this year, and hopefully he can continue that with Winston.

Kannapolis Intimidators 9, Delmarva Shorebirds 0

Jonathan Stiever: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K (W, 4-4) **MVP**
J.B. Olson: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Ian Dawkins (CF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Lenyn Sosa (SS): 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 2 K
Alex Destino (RF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K
Romy González (LF): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K
Bryce Bush (DH): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K
Gunnar Troutwine (C): 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 K
Corey Zangari (1B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 K
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 K

Stiever has shown flashes of this all season, but he really put it together here over seven four-hit innings. Remarkably for the Sox minors this year, he walked nobody, and neither did Tommy-John-comeback-candidate J.B. Olson in relief. Both were outstanding, Olson’s only baserunner coming as a ninth-inning HBP. Stiever threw 84 pitches, 60 for strikes.

Southern Atlantic League All-Star Ian Dawkins reached base twice, such a rare thing it’s only happened 30 times in 57 games played. He is batting .350/.412/.478 and has nothing left to prove at the level. Corey Zangari and Luis Curbelo have both been fighting slumps, but a Zangari double and Curbelo single got the scoring started off in the third inning. Four runs scored, two on an Alex Destino single, two more on a Romy González double. They followed their four-run third with a three-run fourth: Gunnar Troutwine hit his seventh double of the year, and with two outs, Ramon Beltre singled him in and advanced on a wild pitch, Dawkins singled, a wild pitch scored Beltre, and a Sosa single scored Dawkins.

Bryce Bush made his return to the lineup after almost three weeks on the IL, and you can tell his foot is feeling better because he hit his third home run of the year in the eighth inning. Troutwine followed it up with his second double of the night, and scored on a fielding error, courtesy of Ramon Beltre’s bat and Alexis Torres’ glove.

Delmarva drops to 43-14 LOL

DSL Reds 7, DSL White Sox 3

Homer Cruz: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Oriel Castro: 3 ⅓ IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 3 WP (L, 0-1)
Wilber Sánchez (SS): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B
Anthony Espinoza (2B): 0-for-3, 1 R, 1 BB
Lazaro Leál (1B): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Alberto Bernal (DH): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Johnabiell Laureano (CF): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
Edwin Peralta (3B): 1-for-4, 2 K
Andres Rosario (LF): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K **MVP**

The DSL Sox jumped out to an early lead on Lazaro Leál’s first-inning double, but after some back-and-forth, reliever Oriel Castro had the bad luck of giving up an unearned run for the loss in the seventh after three-plus innings of scoreless pitching. Castro is an 18-year-old lefty, and that’s basically all I know about him. The unaptly-named Homer Cruz gave up one run in his three starting innings, that run coming on an RBI groundout in the third.

The Sox hit three doubles, and Andres Rosario hit his first home run of the young season. This game featured six wild pitches total, five of them by Sox pitching, which also walked 10. They also gave up six stolen bases and caught one runner stealing.