White Sox

On The Farm: Kannapolis no-hits Hickory

On The Farm: Kannapolis no-hits Hickory

Friday, Aug. 20, 201010:30 PM
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXKannapolis A
A trio of Kannapolis pitchers combined to toss a no-hitter Friday evening as the Intimidators completed a doubleheader sweep of Hickory, 4-2 and 2-0.

Matt Wickswat 7-5, picked up the victory after striking out five and walking one over five innings. Jake Petricka, Chicagos second-round pick in this years draft, pitched the sixth and escaped after issuing a walk while Taylor Thompson closed things out with a perfect seventh. The Crawdads managed only a pair of walks. It was the franchises first no-hitter since Brian Miller tossed one on June 10, 2003.

It was very exciting, Petricka told CSNChicago.com. I was more nervous for Wickswat because I didnt want to ruin what he had going. The only reason he came out of the game was because we need him to pitch in three days. I didnt want to be the one who gave up a hit because someone else had to come out after he reached his pitch count.

It was a relief to give the ball to someone Thompson else but I also wanted to go back out there because I was a little shaky with my command and I wanted to re-establish myself in the zone. I was more than willing to give the ball to him, though, because I knew he could do the job with his command.

Hickory starter Chad Bell surrendered only four hits and lost his shutout in the fifth. Miguel Gonzalez led off with a single and was sacrificed to second. Jordan Cheatham then moved him to third on a grounder before Tyler Saladino hit a grounder to short that should have ended the inning but Leury Garcia made a bad throw, allowing Gonzalez to score.

Juan Silverios three-run homer in the second inning was more than enough for Cameron Bayne, who pitched a complete game for his fifth consecutive victory in the opener. He scattered five hits and walked one while only one of the runs he allowed was earned.
Charlotte AAA
Stefan Gartrells bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted Charlotte to a 4-3 victory over Gwinnett at Knights Stadium. The walk capped a rally that started with two outs and brought home Alejandro De Aza with what would be the winning run. It marked the second consecutive game that the Knights scored the winning run on a bases-loaded walk.

Jhonny Nunez earned the victory after blowing the save by allowing an eighth-inning run. Ryan Braun picked up his 18th save with a scoreless ninth. Lucas Harrell started and allowed two runs over seven innings before losing out on the decision.

Jordan Danks had a double and an RBI for the Knights while Brent Morel added a double and a run scored.Winston-Salem A
The Dash exploded for eight runs in the eighth inning and edged host Potomac, 9-8, at Pfitzner Stadium.

Andrew Garcia and Jason Bour each had two-run singles in the inning while Greg Paiml and Ken Williams added RBI hits. Williams finished with three hits while Garcia had three RBIs. Ryan Kussmaul allowed a run in 1 23 innings and picked up the victory in his Dash debut. It marked the 14th time that Winston-Salem has rallied for a victory in the seventh inning or later and the fifth against Potomac.

In other action, Bristol split a doubleheader with Bluefield, taking the opener 2-1 before dropping the nightcap, 3-2. Chase Blackwoods two-run, second-inning double was the difference in the opener and made a victor of Robert Young 2-3, who won his second straight after allowing a run in six innings. Bluefield scored a run in the bottom of the seventh off Kevin Rath 0-4. Bristol managed only two hits in the seven-inning affair. ... Andy Wilkins and Jared McDonald each had two hits and two RBIs in Great Falls' 8-3 victory at Ogden. ... Birmingham scored six eighth-inning runs and surprised Huntsville, 11-10. Josh Phegley had two hits and three RBIs.
CUBSDaytona A
The Cubs banged out 13 hits and kept Dunedin scoreless until the bottom of the ninth Friday en route to picking up a 5-1 victory at Dunedin Stadium.

Daytona broke open a close game with four fourth-inning runs. Greg Rohan and Ryan Flaherty had RBI doubles to highlight the inning. Meanwhile, Robert Whitenack allowed five hits over 6 23 innings to earn his second victory in his last three starts. He fanned four and didnt walk a batter.

Clearwater bombed Tampa on Friday, leaving the Cubs and the Yankees in a first-place tie in the FSL North Division.

In other action, Mississippi bested Tennessee, 7-4, at Smokies Park. Blake Lalli accounted for the offense with a homer and four RBIs. Peoria and Burlington were postponed in the Midwest League after three innings because of weather. The game will not be made up. The Chiefs added RHP Robinson Lopez and LHP Jeff Lorick to their roster. Both players were acquired in Wednesdays Derek Lee deal. RHPs Steve Grife and Daniel Keefe were sent to Boise, which dropped an 11-4 decision at Vancouver. ... Iowa closed out its long West Coast trip with a 7-6 victory over Sacramento at Raley Field. Marquez Smith and Micah Hoffpauir each had three hits. Smith had a homer and two RBIs while Hoffpauir drove in a run.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.