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White Sox Minor League Update: July 30, 2019

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Knights let loose; Barons blanked; Steele Walker has a good birthday; Voyagers lose in 10; AZL ekes it out; DSL scores nine in the first

Gift-Wrapped: Steele Walker got what he wished for
Scott Kinser/Winston-Salem Dash

Charlotte Knights 15, Norfolk Tides 5

Kyle Kubat: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2 WP (W, 3-1)
Hunter Schryver: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Charlie Tilson (LF): 3-for-4, 5 R, 1 BB
Luis Robert (CF): 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Daniel Palka (RF): 2-for-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI
Alcides Escobar (SS): 4-for-5, 3 R, 4 RBI
Matt Skole (3B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Zack Collins (DH): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 6 RBI **MVP**
Danny Mendick (2B): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Kyle Kubat has really put himself on the map in the last season and a half or so. He pitched his way through two promotions this year alone, starting in Winston and currently, of course, in Charlotte. In 22 High-A innings, he had a 1.23 ERA (2.62 FIP); over 48 ⅓ innings in Double-A, his ERA rose to 2.42 but FIP dropped to just 2.39. Both of those numbers are well above five in his 27 Triple-A innings so far, and it’s not a huge surprise that a contact-reliant pitcher who doesn’t throw 95+ would have some trouble in a league with a juiced ball. He has had a couple of good starts and it wouldn’t be much of a shock to see him adjust to his new situation and start putting down those inexplicable but welcome zeroes from the lower minors, but today was not that day (unless you count strikeouts, never Kubat’s strength). Connor Walsh gave up one run over two innings, and Hunter Schryver struck out three and allowed one hit over his inning of work. Matt Foster also contributed a scoreless inning.

At the plate, the Knights scored three in the first, took a long break, then scored 12 from the fifth inning on. Alcides Escobar singled in Charlie Tilson from his own single, and Zack Collins hit his 13th double to score Escobar and Luis Robert, who had walked. In the fifth, basically the exact same thing happened — Escobar hit an RBI single (scoring Danny Mendick this time), and Zack Collins hit a run-scoring double (in fact, it scored three runs, Tilson, Escobar, and Matt Skole). Luis Robert naturally got in on the doubles action in the sixth, scoring Tilson on his fourth of the season with the Knights. Robert scored when Palka singled him in. Robert also contributed a triple in the ninth, the fifth run that Tilson scored that day, and ended up a dong away from the cycle. Mendick homered, Palka and Skole doubled, and the Knights can go to sleep feeling good about this one.


Montgomery Biscuits 1, Birmingham Barons 0

Blake Battenfield: 6 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (L, 4-3) **MVP**
Alec Hansen: 1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Nick Madrigal (2B): 0-for-4
Blake Rutherford (RF): 1-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Gavin Sheets: 0-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K
Damek Tomscha (DH): 1-for-4
Luis González (CF): 0-for-2, 1 BB
Laz Rivera (SS): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 CS

What a contrast between the Knights and the Barons tonight. This was the pitcher’s duel of the year, Birmingham picking up three hits and the Biscuits just two. Blake Battenfield has bounced back wonderfully from a few tough starts, and has given up just two earned runs total in his last three, covering 18 ⅔ innings. The one run he allowed here didn’t come until the seventh, a one-out walk advancing to third on a single, then scoring on a ground ball force out. Alec Hansen entered in relief, struck out four (all swinging), walked two, and allowed no hits or runs.

Blake Rutherford, Damek Tomscha, and Laz Rivera were the offense tonight, one hit apiece, Rivera with his 15th double of the season. Rutherford, Gavin Sheets, and both Luis and Alfredo González drew walks. The team was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.


Winston-Salem Dash 4, Lynchburg Hillcats 1

Zach Lewis: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP, 1 PO
Bennett Sousa: 2 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (W, 1-1)
Will Kincanon: 1 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (S, 5)
JJ Muno (LF): 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI
Steele Walker (CF): 3-for-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K **MVP**
Craig Dedelow (RF): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 E
Zach Remillard (SS): 1-for-2, 2 BB
Jameson Fisher (1B): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 K

Starter Zach Lewis pitched somewhat inefficiently but well overall, taking 91 pitches to get through five innings, allowing just six baserunners and striking out two. He also picked a runner off, something he was close to doing several times during the game, and it wrapped up the fifth inning and his outing. Bennett Sousa was sharp on the mound, as he tends to be, with two and one third scoreless, a double the only baserunner allowed. Will Kincanon ran into a dicey eighth, allowing three singles but no runs, and a much easier ninth, three up, three down.

Today was Steele Walker’s 23rd birthday, and he celebrated how most people celebrated their 23rd birthdays, by hitting two doubles and a single in a professional baseball game, then hitting a home run, only to have it called foul. Craig Dedelow scored once on two singles, including the eventual game-winning run in the sixth on Jameson Fisher’s sacrifice fly. JJ Muno added an RBI triple for some insurance, scoring Johan Cruz.


Billings Mustangs 4, Great Falls Voyagers 3, 10 innings

Sean Thompson: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Karan Patel: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (BS, 3)(L, 2-2)
Caberea Weaver (CF): 1-for-4, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 CS
Luis Curbelo (3B): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Harvin Mendoza (DH): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K **MVP**
Lency Delgado (SS): 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 K
Sam Abbott (1B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB

Sean Thompson put together one of his best starts yet, walking no one, but Karan Patel, who is having an otherwise strong season, allowed the game-tying and then game-winning runs in the ninth and tenth innings, respectively. As a side note, I wonder how many hours will be lost to people trying to figure out how that one run was unearned because there aren’t any errors there in the play-by-play, before remembering that the auto-runner in extra innings counts as an unearned run.

Harvin Mendoza reached base three times and raised his season slash line to .321/.405/.545. The 20-year-old from Venezuela struck out twice today, but still has only 27 on the year, against 17 walks. Lency Delgado, Jonathan Allen, and Kleyder Sánchez all hit RBI singles.


AZL White Sox 4, AZL Angels 3

Jeremiah Burke: 4 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
James Beard (CF): 0-for-2, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
Samil Polanco (SS): 1-for-4, 1 R 1 SB, 2 E
Bryan Ramos (3B): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB **MVP**
DJ Gladney (DH): 0-for-4, 3 K
Anthony Coronado (LF): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Jakob Goldfarb (C): 1-for-3, 2 K, 1 SB
Josue Guerrero (RF): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Trey Jeans allowed one unearned run in the ninth on a Samil Polanco error that allowed the AZL Angels to pull within sniping distance of the lead, but got out of a bases-loaded jam to secure the victory. Jeremiah Burke (17th round 2019) got the start, pitching four adequate innings and allowing two runs. Tyson Messer and Nick Silva pitched two baserunner-free innings each, Messer striking out three and Silva two.

The Sox struck first in the first, James Beard leading off by staring at four straight balls, advancing to second on Polanco’s single, executing a double steal, then scoring with Polanco on Bryan Ramos’ ninth double. José Rodriguez doubled to score Ramos and make it 3-1 Sox. The teams traded runs in the fourth, the Sox scoring when Anthony Coronado doubled, advanced to third on a passed ball, then scored on Josue Guerrero’s ground-rule double, his eighth.


DSL White Sox 11, DSL Diamondbacks1 7

Oriel Castro: 3 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Jesus Rondon: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K (H, 2)
Erick Perez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K (S, 4)
Yolbert Sánchez (SS): 2-for-5, 3 R, 1 E **MVP**
Benyamin Bailey (CF): 1-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP
Jhoneiker Betancourt (C): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS, 1 HBP
Roberth Gutierrez (RF): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K

The DSL White Sox scored nine in the whackiest first inning of the year, and their 11 total runs came on just six hits overall. The DSL, everyone: Anthony Espinoza flew out to start the first. Yolbert Sánchez, now batting .333 over his last 10 games, hit a single, then Benyamin Bailey got back in the hit column with a single, making it runners on the corners. Jhoneiker Betancourt walked to load the bases, still scoreless with one out. A Luis Pineda ground ball turned into a two-run error, although Betancourt was thrown out on the play, and with two outs the DSL Dbacks’ real trouble began. Roberth Gutierrez doubled to put runners on second and third. Juan Mercedes walked to load the bases. Alberto Bernal walked in a run. Elijah Tatís walked in a run. Espinoza walked in a run (score here is 5-0). Sánchez reached on another error, this one clearing the bases, 8-0. Bailey was hit by a pitch, Betancourt was hit by a pitch (bases loaded again), Pineda walked in a run. Finally, Gutierrez struck out looking (and who can blame him, with six walks and two HBP in that inning) to end the frame.

The bullpen had a strong outing minus Jose Jiménez, who gave up five runs (four earned) in one inning, inflating the 16-year-old’s ERA to 15.43. Daneuris Lagrange, Jesus Rondon, and Erick Perez gave up three hits between them (none by Perez), and none gave up runs. Starter Oriel Castro, who turned 18 in May before the season began, has been holding his own in DSL play despite the requisite 10.03 BB/9, and he continued to hold his it today.