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.

Is the White Sox third baseman of the future already on the major league roster?

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USA TODAY

Is the White Sox third baseman of the future already on the major league roster?

The White Sox future at third base is a pretty big unknown.

Jake Burger is only a year and a half removed from being a first-round draft pick, but the double Achilles tear earlier this year has not just derailed his 2018 but thrown his entire future, and with it the White Sox future at the hot corner, into question. How will the injuries affect Burger's timeline to the majors? How will it affect his ability to play third base?

Those questions and the seeming lack of any other high-end third-base prospect in the White Sox system have made it seem rather obvious that the rebuilding White Sox third baseman of the future currently isn't a part of the organization.

The free-agent lists White Sox fans are salivating over have some pretty intriguing names on them. Josh Donaldson and Manny Machado, who wants to play shortstop but is a two-time Gold Glove winner at third, are free agents this winter. So are less-heralded guys like Mike Moustakas and Marwin Gonzalez, who counts third baseman as one of his many job titles for the Houston Astros. Nolan Arenado and Anthony Rendon are free agents the following offseason. Those are big names, any one of which could be a cherry on top for the White Sox as they plan to shift from rebuilding to contending.

But what if the White Sox already have their third baseman of the future? What if he's already on the major league roster?

No, sorry, this isn't about Yolmer Sanchez. It's about Yoan Moncada, to which you might react thusly: "Wait a minute. Yoan Moncada is a second baseman! Learn to count your bases, Duber!"

My rarely utilized math skills aside, Moncada switching positions has been a bit of a talking point for a little while now, and it has far more to do with what's going on in the farm system than it has to do with Moncada's 2018 season in the major leagues.

The White Sox spent their first-round draft pick on a middle infielder in June despite having two supposed long-term pieces in Moncada and Tim Anderson already playing in the big leagues. Nick Madrigal's versatility on the infield was part of the praise the White Sox heaped on him after making him the No. 4 pick in the draft, but for a guy who's been discussed as a Gold Glove type of defender at either second base or shortstop, it kind of seems like that would be the best place to put him. Now, Madrigal's not exactly knocking on the doors of the major leagues, yet to play his first full season of pro ball, but the White Sox dubbed him the "best all-around player in college baseball" this summer, leading one to believe that his development could move along quickly enough to get him to the majors by the time that much-anticipated shift from rebuilding to contending happens.

If that's the case, either Moncada or Anderson would have to move, right? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the White Sox end up liking Madrigal at third or elsewhere, but he's playing middle infield in the minor leagues.

Anderson moving to the outfield was a favorite suggestion of White Sox Twitter after he led baseball with 28 fielding errors in 2017. He made 20 more in 2018 (fourth most in baseball), but his defensive improvement by the end of the season was one of the biggest positives to take from the 100-loss campaign.

"That’s the thing that really jumps out the most in terms of significant progress he’s made," Rick Hahn said of Anderson's defense during his end-of-season press conference last month. "He’s managed to capitalize on the athleticism we’ve always seen from him and convert that into being a potentially, frankly Gold Glove-caliber defensive shortstop based on what we’ve seen over the last few months.

"This is really a testament in the end to Tim Anderson’s work ethic. He knew it was an area that he wanted to improve, whether it was because he wanted to show people wrong or because he knew he wanted to make himself a stalwart at that position and eliminate the rumors about position change. He worked extraordinarily hard both with Joe McEwing and the things he did on his own, and the kid deserves a world of credit and I think it bodes very well for him continuing on the trajectory of becoming an impact shortstop."

It doesn't sound like Hahn is describing a guy who will be moving away from his position any time soon.

Moncada racked up a good deal of errors at second base in his first full season in the majors — 21 of them, to be exact, the third most in baseball — but Hahn and Rick Renteria both said they noticed improvement from Moncada in the field. But Moncada did tell the Sun-Times' Daryl Van Schouwen during the season that he would be willing to make a position switch if the team wanted him to do it.

Hahn got a similar question during his year-end press conference. Though the general manager wasn't directly asked if Moncada would make a position switch, Hahn said Moncada could defend well at other positions on the diamond and that if such a change were desired, the team would probably make it sooner rather than later.

"It’s conceivable if we made a decision as an organization to try him elsewhere that we would do it as soon as this offseason or next spring training, you’d see it in action," Hahn said. "I do think he has made a great deal of process at second base. I also think he has the athleticism also to be an above-average defender at other positions, too. It’s a subject for further conversation, but as he sits here today, I am pleased with the progress and the pitch-to-pitch focus and the athleticism, the arm strength and foot movement and his hands at second base."

White Sox fans aren't super high on Moncada being the savior of anything, not just third base, right now after his disappointing 2018 season: a .235/.315/.400 slash line and 217 strikeouts, the fourth-highest single-season total in major league history. But that's not souring the White Sox on his potential, and it's not changing what they think he can be.

By 2020 or 2021, perhaps Moncada's evolution as a big league ballplayer puts him on a similar level as some of the free-agent names mentioned above. Perhaps he's already playing third base by then with Madrigal on the major league infield, too.

The White Sox seem to have a hole at third base, with popular opinion being that it can only be filled by a marquee free agent. Maybe it does get filled this offseason — by a guy standing about 100 feet away.

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

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GOOGLE IMAGES

Let's compare birthday boy Dan Pasqua to Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka was a phenomenon in 2018. But before there was Daniel Palka, there was Dan Pasqua. You might have heard the Palka/Pasqua comparisons on White Sox game broadcasts or within White Sox fan circles. Both are lefty sluggers with a similar build: Palka listed at 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds, Pasqua at 6-foot-0 and 203 ppounds. Both led the White Sox in home runs in their age-26 seasons: Pasqua with 20 in 1988, Palka with 27 in 2018. And hey, they have the same first name and last initial!

Pasqua, nicknamed “The Hammer,” turned 57 years old Wednesday. Let’s learn a few more things about him.

— He was a teammate of John Elway (for four games with Oneonta of the New York-Pennsylvania League in 1982), Bo Jackson (with the White Sox from 1991 to 1993) and Michael Jordan (for four games with Birmingham of the Southern League in 1994).

— He was the 1985 International League MVP with the Columbus Clippers.

— He homered in his MLB debut on May 30, 1985, with the Yankees

— He was Sports Illustrated’s 1987 preseason pick to lead the American League in home runs. He finished with 17, only 32 behind Mark McGwire.

— He hit a Comiskey Park roof shot on May 30, 1989.

— He hit the last triple (and had the last RBI) in Comiskey Park history on Sept. 30, 1990.

— He hit a 484-foot home run, the third-longest by a White Sox player in Guaranteed Rate Field history, on April 27, 1991.

— He finished his MLB career with 117 home runs, tied with all-time great outfielders Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Ichiro Suzuki.

And finally, let’s compare Pasqua to Palka statistically. Since Palka had 449 career plate appearances through the end of the 2018 season, here's the duo's numbers through their first 449 career MLB plate appearances.