We’re used to the Glendale Desert Dogs being a bad team, as they struggled in 2022 — and really, it’s hard to recall them in the title game. I mean, there’s only six teams in the league! But this past week, the Dogs had their day, running the table at 6-0 and nearly climbing back to .500. At 8-10 heading into Week 4, the club is still 3 1⁄2 games out of the AFL lead, but just 2 1⁄2 out of a title game berth.
As you’d imagine, it was a pretty good week for the roster, and that includes many of the White Sox reps in Glendale.
Arguably the biggest surprise so far this season has been Fraser Ellard, who was a bit of a “fill out the roster” pick but has seen five games of action and while hit up pretty well, has limited the damage. Trade deadline snags Jordan Leasure and Jake Eder continue to acquit themselves nicely as well. Meanwhile, Colson Montgomery seems intent on proving any pundit who questioned his power stroke wrong this fall.
WEEK 3 RESULTS
Bryan Ramos 5-for-9 with 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, K, E over just two games
Jacob Burke 6-for-22 with a two-out grand slam on Monday, 4 R, 8 RBI, BB, HBP, 4 K, 2 SB, 2B
Colson Montgomery 5-for-16 with 2B, 3B, 2 R, 6 RBI, BB, HBP, SF, 5 K
We’ll lead off with Burke, who had a big blast and his usual all-around game on display. Here’s his granny:
And White Sox Daily makes a great point here, and it’s why I like to pay attention to steals of third, whether piggybacked on a steal of second or a sneaky snag in a different inning: Swiping third base is an entirely different and challenging attempt, and Burke just smarted himself all the way to third here:
Two reasons to love Jacob Burke's game: 1)Baserunning: He turns on the jets to steal his 3rd bag of the AFL. 2) Situational awareness: He sees the 3B playing back, and sees his opportunity to take 3rd for his 4th SB. #DesertDogs #WhiteSox pic.twitter.com/VnGo40pO5L— White Sox Daily (@dailywhitesox) October 22, 2023
Even better, what got him on first base in the first place? HUSTLE.
Winston-Salem outfielder Jacob Burke (CF, batting second) beats out a hard hit infield grounder to 3rd. Then steals both 2nd and 3rd. Youth, speed… Barfield would be proud. pic.twitter.com/vPj2SNQ7ZF— HotDog Larry (@HotDogLarry1) October 22, 2023
Bryan Ramos missed the first four games of the week, then came back in a BIG way on Friday night, with four hits. The first in the highlight is a no-doubter home run, his first long ball of the AFL.
On Saturday night, Ramos made it two straight games with a home run, and this time, he was in the middle of back-to-back-to-back dingers.
He's got a homer and he's got a homer and he's got a homer ...— Minor League Baseball (@MiLB) October 22, 2023
Three straight long balls from Duncan Keith, Bryan Ramos and Kala'i Rosario lit up the desert sky: https://t.co/pRrZ5rCenf pic.twitter.com/xL5mHpm2KO
Finally, we gotta have a Colson highlight, right? The kid continues to slug hell outta the ball, and here’s his biggest slug of the week, a bases-clearing triple:
Jake Eder GS, 2 IP, ER, 4 BB, 4 K
Fraser Ellard 2 IP, 2 H, 4 K, BB, WIN
Jordan Leasure 2 IP, 3 K, HOLD
Adysin Coffey 1 1⁄3 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Josimar Cousin GS, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 K, 2 HR
A definite delineation between the good group of arms in the AFL (Eder, Ellard, Leasure) and the pair who are struggling (Coffey, Cousin). While Coffey truly is a, hey let’s see what happens selection, the White Sox would be hoping for an Ellardesque stat line for Cousin, who ideally would have been a strong Triple-A starter and South Side rotation possibility in 2024.
Glendale’s incendiary Week 3 has made their AFL season suddenly interesting. Another winning week likely creeps them closer to a title game shot!