It's been a tough season for pitchers in the White Sox organization. Like in the majors, in a given week, there'd be a couple good performers and a whole lot of unremarkable or bad ones. This week, though, has been one of the more overall positive ones.
First, LHP Carlos Rodon. There isn't much to add to what crack SSS cognoscenti karkoVICE SQUAD provided in his on-the-spot, eyewitness account of Rodon's performance on Thursday for the Dash. In two outings this week, he pitched five innings, gave up three hits, walked two and struck out five. His three innings on Thursday was his longest professional outing and it's quite obvious that he's still working on his endurance. Simple fatigue is a major component of that, as he had a couple month break between the end of the collegiate season and the start of his professional one. And he certainly doesn't get to coast as much as he did against college players. But he's also making some mechanical tweaks that probably tax some muscles more than they're used to, in addition to it being an added mental strain. Regardless, he continues to be as advertised and looks every bit of the best pitcher drafted this year.
Next, the steadiest of White Sox minor league pitchers, RHP Tyler Danish, continues to be steady. And his kind of steady is consistent high performance, too. Like Rodon, he had two appearances this week. The first was a bit of a tandem start with Rodon - a combination which arguably violated the 8th amendment rights of the opposing hitters - last Sunday: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 8 K. The 19-year-old followed that up yesterday with a 6 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K outing. Since his promotion from Kannapolis: 14 GS, 70 IP, 18 BB, 61 K. That's from the 7th youngest player in any High-A league and the 2nd youngest in the Carolina League.
Finally, there's some good news from the injury return front. RHP Frank Montas made his first appearance since he was sidelined by surgery on his right knee in June. In a rehab start with the AZL White Sox, he threw two innings, gave up no hits, walked three and struck out four.
RHP Chris Bassitt is further along in his return. Last night, the 25-year-old had his best start since returning last month from a broken right hand: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 11 K. I'd never been a big Bassitt fan, largely because I didn't see any secondary offering that would be effective in the majors as a reliever, let alone as a starter. But I was encouraged in spring training by his revamped slider, which looked a heck of a lot more like a possible major league pitch than the garbage sliderish thing he had before. Missing more than three months set him back big-time, as he very likely would have gotten a call-up to the bullpen. He's got a 93 MPH sinker to go along with his new slider and, while it's a very long shot that he can be a starter, I now think he's got a good shot at carving out an effective middle reliever role in the bullpen.
In other notable injury news, SS Tim Anderson has resumed baseball activities and it looks like he'll be able to get in some meaningful playing time with the Dash before the regular season ends September 1. And if the Barons look like they'll make the playoffs, don't be surprised to see a late season promotion to get him some more playing time. Regardless, he's a pretty sure bet for the Arizona Fall League.
CF Jacob May was placed on the DL. 3B Nick Basto and LHP Charlie Leesman returned from the DL.
CF Adam Engel was promoted to the Dash. 2B Joey DiMichele was promoted to Birmingham.
Eyewitness report from last Tuesday's Kannapolis game, focusing on LHPs Andre Wheeler and Jordan Guerrero.
1B Andy Wilkins: .295/.339/.571 with a 6.3% walk rate and a 18.3% strikeout rate. Triple-A leading 28 home runs.