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.

Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

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Up close, White Sox see same big potential Cubs forecasted for Dylan Cease

The Cubs made the Jose Quintana deal knowing it would have been more difficult to give up Dylan Cease if he was already performing at the Double-A level, and that the White Sox organization would be a good place to continue his education as a young pitcher.

While Eloy Jimenez keeps drawing ridiculous comparisons – the running total now includes Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Martinez and David Ortiz – Cease is more than just the other name prospect from the deal that shocked the baseball world during the All-Star break.

“We still project him as a starter,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said during this week’s GM meetings in Florida. “He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.”

The Theo Epstein regime still hasn’t developed an impact homegrown pitcher, but that hasn’t stopped the Cubs from winning 292 games, six playoff rounds and a World Series title across the last three seasons, while still being in a strong position to win the National League Central again in 2018.

Without Quintana and his affordable contract that can run through 2020, Epstein’s front office might have been looking at the daunting possibility of trying to acquire three starting pitchers this winter.

While surveying a farm system in the middle of a natural downturn, Baseball America ranked seven pitchers on its top-10 list of prospects from the Cubs organization: Adbert Alzolay, Jose Albertos, Alex Lange, Oscar De La Cruz, Brendon Little, Thomas Hatch and Jen-Ho Tseng.

So far, only Alzolay, an Arizona Fall League Fall Star with seven starts for Double-A Tennessee on his resume, and Tseng, who made his big-league debut in September, have pitched above the A-ball level.

Cease – who went 0-8 with a 3.89 ERA for Class-A Kannapolis in his first nine starts in the White Sox system – has a 100-mph fastball and a big curveball and won’t turn 22 until next month. That stuff allowed Cease to pile up 126 strikeouts against 44 walks in 93.1 innings this year, putting him in the wave that includes Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Alec Hansen.

“Ideally, we have a lot of guys we project to be part of the future, very good, championship-caliber rotation,” Hahn said. “In an ideal world, there’s not going to be room at the inn for all of them. You only have five in that rotation and some of these guys will wind up in the bullpen. In reality, as players develop, you’re going to see some attrition.”

One spot after the White Sox grabbed Carlos Rodon with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Cubs did Kyle Schwarber’s below-slot deal, using part of the savings to buy out Cease’s commitment to Vanderbilt University ($1.5 million bonus for a sixth-rounder) and supervise his recovery from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.

Cease was never going to be on the fast track to Wrigley Field, and now the White Sox hope he can be part of the foundation on the South Side, where it’s easier to sell a rebuild after watching the Cubs and Houston Astros become World Series champions.

“It doesn’t change really for us internally in terms of our commitment or focus or our plan or our timeline or anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “I do think, perhaps, it helps the fan base understand a little bit about what the process looks like, where other teams have been and how long the path they took to get to the ultimate goal of winning a World Series (was). In Chicago, many fans saw it firsthand with the Cubs.

“There are certainly more and more examples in the game over the last several years to help sort of show fans the path and justification for what we’re (doing).”

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

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USA TODAY

The White Sox just traded for a really intriguing arm

The White Sox continued their rebuild Thursday by trading for an intriguing young right-handed pitcher.

The South Siders acquired Thyago Vieira from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for international signing bonus pool money.

The 24-year-old Vieira is a Brazilian native and has only made one appearance in the big leagues, striking out a batter in one perfect inning of work in 2017.

While his career minor-league numbers don't jump off the page — 14-19 with a 4.58 ERA, 1.48 WHIP, 13 saves and 7.4 K/9 in 290.2 innings \— Vieira has been reportedly clocked at 104 mph with his fastball and was ranked as the Mariners' No. 8 prospect at the time of the deal. He also held righties to .194 batting average in 2017.

Here's video of Vieira throwing gas:

And this may explain why Vieira was even available:

Control has been an issue throughout his career, as he's walked 4.6 batters per nine innings in the minors. He has improved in that regard over the last few seasons, however, walking only 22 batters in 54 innings across three levels in 2017 and he doled out only one free pass in 5.1 innings in the Arizona Fall League in 2016.

What does this deal mean in the big picture for baseball? How did the Sox pull off a move like this while not having to give up a player in return? 

This may help shed light on the situation from Baseball America's Kyle Glaser:

Either way, the White Sox may have just acquired a guy who could potentially throw his name in the hat for "future closer." Or at the very least, throw his name in the hat for "best name."