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White Sox Minor League Update: August 22, 2021

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Offense erupts in Charlotte with another great Romy González performance and a Jake Burger homer, Yoelqui Céspedes has three hits on the day, while Jared Kelley leaves the game early with an injury down in Kannapolis

Romy González has another fantastic game, with a four-hit performance.
Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Today was all about offense, offense, and then some more offense. The Knights had 20 base runners, 16 coming from hits. Everybody in the lineup, well, all 10 batters, reached base today, and nine of those 10 had a base hit. It was the usual guys that led the way, with Mikie Mahtook, Romy González, Jake Burger, and Matt Reynolds each having multiple hits. González had four hits, but Mahtook and Burger had the homers of the game.

On the rehab games front, Yasmani Grandal was that lone batter to not get a hit, however, for nine innings, he played catcher, so he should be getting close to his return to MLB, likely after the Toronto series. Billy Hamilton had a hit and a stolen base, but my guess is he won’t be activated until September 1.

On the pitching front, if you just look at the score, it was pretty bad. However, the problem really was with the first five innings and the first two pitchers. Alex McRae and Kyle Kubat allowed all seven runs, while the other three bullpen arms steadied the ship for the win. Will Carter, Hunter Schryver, and Bennett Sousa shut down Norfolk for the final four innings without allowing a hit.

Poll

Who was the Knights MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Romy González: 4-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K
    (97 votes)
  • 6%
    Jake Burger: 2-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 0 BB, 2 K
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    Mikie Mahtook: 3-for-5, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K
    (6 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Knights Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    Alex McRae: 3 IP, 4 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 4 K
    (61 votes)
  • 18%
    Kyle Kubat: 2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K
    (14 votes)
75 votes total Vote Now

The opener in Tennessee went pretty well for the Barons — even if they did give up a three-run lead — as they won in extras. Yoelqui Cespédes led the way with two hits, both singles, and a run scored. He did get caught stealing at second today, so not everything was great, but he now has a .905 OPS in the early going at Double-A. The biggest hit of the day, though, belonged to Craig Dedelow, who with one swing of the bat accounted for half of Birmingham’s runs. It was his 13th homer of the season.

Overall, the pitching was good, but that was mostly due to the bullpen. Jason Bilous had the strikeouts going, with seven in his 4 13 innings, but he allowed three runs because of seven runners allowed on base. His struggles since his promotion continue, but at least in this game it was due to one bad inning in the fifth. After Bilous, the pen went 3 23 innings with no runs allowed. Caleb Freeman had a perfect sixth inning and struck out each batter. Zach Muckenhirn went the final two innings and did not allow a run, to earn the win; he even stranded the zombie runner on base in extras with a one run lead.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    Yoelqui Cespédes: 2-for-4, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K
    (43 votes)
  • 32%
    Craig Dedelow: 1-for-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K
    (24 votes)
  • 9%
    Zach Muckenhirn: 2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (7 votes)
74 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    Jason Bilous: 4 1⁄3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 7 K
    (21 votes)
  • 62%
    Lenyn Sosa: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
    (35 votes)
56 votes total Vote Now

The nightcap was not as good for Birmingham, and that was clear early on. Taylor Varnell started the game and got the same number of outs (three) as he did runs allowed. Andrew Perez replaced him and struggled in the third inning, allowing two runs. Though the Barons did run into more trouble later on, the offense could not catch up to the five runs scored in the first three innings.

In all, the offense was not good. They only came away with five hits on the day. The bright spot was that three of those hits came from top prospects. Yoelqui Céspedes had a hit and a stolen base in the second game and also drove in the only Barons run of the game. Meanwhile, Yolbert Sánchez led the team with two hits — both players have batting averages in the .360s.

Poll

Who was the Barons MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Yolbert Sánchez: 2-for-3, 0 BB, 0 K
    (59 votes)
  • 10%
    Yoelqui Céspedes: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 SB
    (7 votes)
66 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Barons Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    Taylor Varnell: 1 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K
    (17 votes)
  • 65%
    Ofriedy Gómez: 1⁄3 IP, 2 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 1 K
    (32 votes)
49 votes total Vote Now

Another Winston-Salem loss, and just another bullpen game gone awry. It was the start and the finish for the Dash that were the worst parts of the game, with a combined five runs allowed in the first and last inning pitched. In-between though, it was pretty good, with four bullpen arms throwing shutout innings. Trey Jeans led the way with a perfect third inning and a couple of strikeouts. The best parts of the game were on offense, or a better way to put it, the best parts were a few batters in the lineup.

José Rodríguez had a pretty good game, shocker. He had a couple of hits and a couple of stolen bases, so it was a pretty typical day for him. He was able to keep his batting average better than .400 and his OPS more than 1.000 with his day today. However, he did not play a part in the run-scoring, that was Luis Curbelo. Curbelo hit his 19th homer of the season in the ninth inning; his season is not ending as well as it started, but at least the power is still there. Gunnar Troutwine also had a good day, with two hits, to cap off the recap.

Poll

Who was the Dash MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    Luis Curbelo: 2-for-4, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K
    (39 votes)
  • 29%
    José Rodríguez: 2-for-5, 0 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
    (16 votes)
55 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Dash Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    Jerry Burke: 2 IP, 1 ER (2 R), 3 H, 1 BB, 2 K
    (3 votes)
  • 92%
    Cooper Bradford: 1 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (39 votes)
42 votes total Vote Now

Before we get to the results of the game, Jared Kelley was pulled in the first inning and was looked at by the trainer.

This is the most important part of this game, because Kelley is the best prospect in Kannapolis and a Top 5 guy in the White Sox system per MLB Pipeline and probably most outlets.

DJ Gladney is probably the highest-rated prospect left in Kannapolis beyond Kelley, and he had a single in today’s game, one of the five hits for Kannapolis. The other four hits came from two batters, Harvin Mendoza and Shawn Goosenberg.

After Kelley was lifted, it was a bullpen came for the other 8 23 innings. Garvin Alston Jr. pitched the most innings, 2 13 , while everyone else went at least one. Three of the six bullpen arms had shutout stints; Tyson Messer, Karan Patel, and Hunter Speer each went out and kept Down East from scoring. It was going to be a tough game to win with a starting pitcher leaving after just one out, and that proved to be the case during the game. No offensive production did not help matters, either.

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers MVP?

This poll is closed

  • 26%
    Harvin Mendoza: 2-for-4, 0 BB, 0 K
    (11 votes)
  • 63%
    Shawn Goosenberg: 2-for-3, 1 R, 0 BB, 0 K
    (26 votes)
  • 9%
    Karan Patel: 1 2⁄3 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 1 K
    (4 votes)
41 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the Cannon Ballers Cold Cat?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Fraser Ellard: 1 1⁄3 IP, 2 ER (3 R), 5 H, 1 BB, 2 K
    (21 votes)
  • 12%
    Samil Polanco: 0-for-4, 0 BB, 1 K
    (5 votes)
  • 35%
    Kleyder Sánchez: 0-for-3, 1 K, 1 Error
    (14 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now