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White Sox Minor League Update: July 4, 2022

Eloy’s ready? Cristian is mowing them down. And an Arizona Crosstown Classic turns in favor of the Good Guys

Another killer start for Cristian Mena today, with five scoreless — but no win.
Krista Destinee Jasso/Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

Let me first say, all apologies, but it’s 3 a.m. and I’ve just started these, thinking it was a typical day off for the minors, with just rookie leagues to recap. Wrong. So these writeups are gonna be VERY brief, no polls. Maybe I can add some in the morning, if, say, there’s not another mass shooting in the Chicagoland area, or some new injury.

Again, sorry. But then, you are probably not tuning in to my MiLB recaps for insight.

Oh, you want to hear about the game, well why would you want to read another writeup about ANOTHER bullpen game for the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox? There have been injuries (Mike Wright Jr., who pitched one inning today), defections (Wes Benjamin to the KBO), role changes (Kade McClure and Jimmy Lambert to the pen) and promotions (Davis Martin in a yo-yo role), but the notion that the White Sox have just one starter in John Parke right now is absolutely ludicrous. I don’t think it’s a hot take that, 85 relievers on the roster or not, Triple-A shouldn’t be throwing bullpen games four times per series.

The Knights once led 3-0 in this one, and lost, 6-3. Daily results don’t matter, or a season record now of 29-50. What does is that the three most MLB-ready players all stood out, with Yolbert Sánchez, Eloy Jiménez and Carlos Pérez all going 2-for-4.

With one, horrifying inning (actually, two-thirds of an inning) from Fraser Ellard, today’s Barons game went from a 3-2 nail-biter to 9-2 blowout. Birmingham managed some late tallies to make the game respectable, but this one was lost in the eighth, as the Smokies blew their top for a massively crooked number.

Offensively, six singles of seven hits, one stolen base of three attempts — you can start to see why it was somewhat fortunate the game was just 3-2 deep in. José Rodríguez authored three of the six Barons singles, and drove in two runs to boot.

Cristian Mena was OUTSTANDING today, going five strong, with five Ks against just two hits. He got robbed of the win by a blown save in the sixth inning, but a 2.57 ERA don’t lie. Overall, the Dash pitching got the job done, though, and the offense was efficient and kept the ball in play. Plus, Duke Ellis read Darren Black’s recap wondering how he can have just two triples this year with his blazing speed, and tapped out his third of the season in this game. Colson Montgomery is laughing at folks who thought he couldn’t play in the majors by 2023, going 2-for-3 to keep his on-base streak going and raising his W-S average to .394.

Kannapolis out-hit Carolina, 5-4, but it only counts when those hits cross the plate. Brooks Gosswein had an uncommonly poor start, struggling through five innings but otherwise coming up all fours. The bullpen kept Kanny close, but just 1-of-7 with RISP doesn’t get it done. Colby Smelley keeps his designated hitting on point, with three times on base (homer, two walks).

Crosstown headed to the desert today in the ACL, as the White Sox and Cubs sleepwalked through six innings. But in the last third, Chicago bats broke open a can of whup-ass on the Cubbies, exploding for eight runs that included a homer from Alvaro Aguero and two hits including a double from Dario Borrero. Closer Emerson Talavera was on point in what has been a tough season, shutting down the Cubs on one hit with four Ks in two innings.

No dis on Erick Hernández, and Loidell Chapelli Jr. is an older prospect, but man oh man the plum of this year’s DSL class sure looks to be Chapelli. In our DSL preview podcast Darren had said it was unlikely Loidell jumps right to Low-A next season, but that is looking more and more a certainty for the second baseman. He went 2-for-2 with a homer today, and was on base all four times (including two walks). His numbers through his 15 games played in 2022 are absolutely off the hook, batting .444 with a 1.355 OPS. Unfortunately for the slumping DSL Sox, Chapelli really was the only highlight.