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.

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

The White Sox sent down Carson Fulmer, so why isn't Lucas Giolito receiving the same treatment?

Lucas Giolito is having a rough go of things in his second year with the White Sox.

He came into the season with some pretty high expectations after posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts at the end of the 2017 campaign and then dominating during spring training. But he’s done anything but dominate since this season started, and after one of his worst outings in Thursday’s 9-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles, he’s got a 7.53 ERA in 10 starts in 2018.

Giolito stuck around for only four outs Thursday, but he allowed the Orioles to do plenty of damage, giving up seven runs on six hits — two of which were back-to-back home runs to start the second inning — and three walks. He leads the American League with his 37 walks.

“I take what I do very seriously. I work as hard as I can at it,” Giolito said. “So when I experience failure like this, it’s kind of hard to deal with. All I can do is come back tomorrow, keep working on things and hopefully have a better one.”

All of Giolito’s struggles have fans wondering why the White Sox haven’t sent him down to Triple-A to work on his craft.

“I don’t foresee that at this particular time,” Rick Renteria said when asked if Giolito could be sent to Triple-A. “I think he’s just a young man who’s got to continue to minimize the emotional aspect of crossing from preparation into the game and staying focused, relaxed and hammer the zone with strikes. And truthfully it’s just first-pitch strike and get after the next one.”

The White Sox have already sent one young pitcher down in Carson Fulmer, who was having a nightmarish time at the big league level. Fulmer’s results were worse than Giolito’s on a regular basis. He got sent down after posting an 8.07 ERA in nine outings.

But hasn’t Giolito suffered through command issues enough to warrant some time away from the major league limelight? According to his manager, Giolito’s situation is vastly different than Fulmer’s.

“I don’t see them anywhere near each other,” Renteria said. “They’re two different competitors in terms of the outcomes that they’ve had. Lucas has at least had situations in which he might have struggled early and been able to gain some confidence through the middle rounds of his start and continue to propel himself to finish some ballgames, give us six or seven innings at times. So it’s two different guys.

“With Gio, I expect that we would have a nice clean start from the beginning, but when he doesn’t I still feel like if he gets through it he’ll settle down and continue to hammer away at what he needs to do in order to get deeper into a ballgame, and that was a little different with Carson. With Carson it was right from the get-go he was struggling, and he had a difficult time extending his outings after the third or fourth because it just kept getting too deep into his pitch count and not really hammering the strike zone as much.”

Renteria is not wrong. Giolito has had a knack to take a rough beginning to a start and turn it into five or six innings. Notably, he gave up a couple first-inning runs and walked seven hitters and still got the win against the Cubs a week and a half ago. And while his first-inning ERA is 10.80 and his second-inning ERA is 12.54, he’s pitched into at least the sixth inning in seven of his 10 starts.

Renteria’s point is that Giolito is learning how to shake off early damage and achieving the goal, most times out, of eating up innings and keeping his team in the game. Those are a couple valuable qualities to develop for a young pitcher. But are those the lone qualities that determine that Giolito is suited to continue his learning process at the major league level? His command remains a glaring problem, and both he and Renteria admitted that his problems are more mental than physical.

“The one thing everyone has to understand is we have to go beyond the physical and attack a little bit more of the mental and emotional and try to connect and slow that down,” Renteria said. “Those aspects are the ones that ultimately, at times, deal in the derailment of the physical action. So if we can kind of calm that down a little bit.

“He’s very focused. Giolito is high intensity. Nice kid but high-intensity young man when he gets on the mound. You might not believe it. He’s going 100 mph. So I think it goes to more just trusting himself, trusting the process, taking it truthfully one pitch at a time.”

Well, if a demotion to the minors isn’t likely, what about moving Giolito to the bullpen? Carlos Rodon and Chris Sale dipped their toes in bullpen waters before moving to the rotation. Could a reversal of that strategy help Giolito?

Well, the current state of the White Sox starting rotation — Fulmer in the minors, Miguel Gonzalez on the 60-day DL and pitchers like James Shields, Hector Santiago and Dylan Covey, who aren’t exactly long-term pieces, getting a lot of starts — doesn’t really allow for another piece to be removed.

“I know they have done it with Rodon and Sale,” Renteria said. “The difference is we don’t have the makeup of the starting rotation that those clubs had in order to put those guys in the ‘pen. We are in a different situation right now. Moving forward, is that something we can possibly do? Absolutely. It has been done with very good success.

“Right now we are in truly discovery mode and adjustment mode and adapting and trying to do everything we can to get these guys to develop their skill sets to be very usable and effective at the major league level and we are doing it to the best of our ability.”

There could be promise in the fact that Giolito has turned a season around as recently as last year. Before he was impressing on the South Side in August and September, he was struggling at Triple-A Charlotte. Even after he ironed things out, things had gotten off to a rocky enough start that he owned a 4.48 ERA and 10 losses when he was called up to the bigs.

It doesn’t seem Giolito will be going back to Charlotte, unless things continue to go in a dramatically poor direction. Right now, these are just more of the growing pains during this rebuilding process. “The hardest part of the rebuild” doesn’t just means wins and losses. It means watching some players struggle through speed bumps as they continue to develop into what the White Sox hope they’ll be when this team is ready to compete.

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

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AP

Danny Farquhar to throw out the first pitch before White Sox game on June 1

In another example of how amazing Danny Farquhar’s recovery has been, the pitcher will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the White Sox game on June 1.

Farquhar suffered a brain hemorrhage from a ruptured aneurysm during the sixth inning of the team’s April 20 game against the Houston Astros. But his recovery has been astounding, and he was discharged from the hospital on May 7. Farquhar’s neurosurgeon expects him to be able to pitch again in future seasons.

Farquhar has been back to visit his teammates at Guaranteed Rate Field a couple times since leaving the hospital. June 1 will mark his return to a big league mound, even if it’s only for a ceremonial first pitch with his wife and three children. Doctors, nurses and staff from RUSH University Medical Center will be on hand for Farquhar’s pitch on June 1.

The White Sox announced that in celebration of Farquhar’s recovery, they will donate proceeds from all fundraising efforts on June 1 to the Joe Niekro Foundation, an organization committed to supporting patients and families, research, treatment and awareness of brain aneurysms.