AZL White Sox Game Report: White Sox lose to Dbacks 5-1 in an eventful night

GLENDALE, Ariz - The Arizona League White Sox had a very eventful night on Thursday in a game that involved Ian Clarkin throwing another rehab start, 2018 33rd round draft pick Bryce Bush making his professional debut, and Nick Madrigal back in the lineup. The Sox might've lost this one, but it was still an exciting night to be around the team.

Photo Credit to Sean Williams/FutureSox

Credit to Sean Williams/FutureSox

Ian Clarkin was sharp on the mound and this time, he wasn't hit by a line drive, so that's a plus. Clarkin kept the Diamondbacks bats silent, not allowing a hit until the third inning and that would be the only hit the Diamondbacks would be able to get off the left-hander. The second time through the order, despite driving the ball a little more frequently, they were unable to generate much hard contact against Clarkin which kept the hits to a minimum. Final line: 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Nick Madrigal was back in the lineup on Thursday after getting extra rest for a few games. He was the designated hitter and had three plate appearances on the evening. Nick was only able to reach base once, which was a walk in his first at-bat. After reaching base, he attempted to steal second and was thrown out. Even though he only reached base one time, Madrigal was patient at the plate and saw a variety of pitches before getting out.

There was one instance tonight where Nick jumped on the first pitch he saw that resulted in a ground out. His plate approach is pretty advanced and he's known to make pitchers work, however, I don't mind seeing him attack early if he sees a pitch he likes. I had the opportunity to once again speak with Nick after the game and I asked him if he had an update on when he will be moving up to Kannapolis. He mentioned that they want him to play a couple full games before moving on and the timeline is pushed back to sometime next week.

Bryce Bush started at third base and hit sixth in the lineup for his first professional game with the White Sox. Defensively, Bryce had a solid night and didn't record an error after having three balls hit his way. He made an impressive play where he cleanly caught a rocket of a line drive that was hit to him early in the game. There was another play on a ball that was hit down the line, he back-handed it, and held onto the ball knowing he couldn't get the runner and not wanting to risk a throwing error which showed some maturity on his end.

At the plate, Bryce went 0-3 tonight while putting the ball in play during each plate appearance. His timing looked to be a little off, but it's understandable because it's his first game with the team and he's getting used to regularly using a wood bat. Even though he didn't record a hit, Bush was able to hit the ball hard each time he stepped into the box and that's going to be a consistent trend in his game. He has noticeably great bat speed and as he develops, he's going to produce some impressive power numbers over time.

The White Sox were only able to put together two hits tonight, which came off the bats of Ty Greene (RBI single) and Camilo Quinteiro. Greene had the first hit and only RBI of the game for the AZL Sox, which didn't occur until the fifth inning, and Quinteiro's hit didn't come until the ninth inning with the game out of reach. It was a silent night offensively for the White Sox, but that didn't cease the excitement that filled Camelback Ranch with Madrigal being back and Bush's arrival and debut with the team.

The White Sox will be back in action on Friday, July 13th, when they head to Mesa to face the Cubs. First pitch is at 9:00 C.T.

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    A mixed bag for Nick Madrigal thus far in the infancy of his White Sox career. He has reached base in three of his 6 PA's with a BB and two HBP which resulted in one run scored but also a CS and PO. All of his outs have been grounders to 3B. He has only played in the field in one game and for 6 innings at SS where he made a throwing error on the first ball hit to him but also made a nice diving stop that resulted in a double play.

    The biggest concern this early in his pro career is Madrigal's lingering minor hamstring issue that carried over from his college world series appearance. Hopefully he is recovered enough to play in the field for the remaining 3 games this weekend and then head on to A-Kannapolis next week. The White Sox AZL affiliate has two scheduled off days next Monday and Tuesday and it would be nice to see Madrigal healthy enough to be productive with his all around game this weekend and then make the jump to A-ball.

    It will also be interesting to see where Madrigal plays defensively in the near term. He is a natural SS but his physical tools, including his diminutive 5'7" height might make him a better long term fit at 2B. His range could be a hindrance at SS and his 50 grade arm might also be better suited at 2B where many scouts feel he has Gold Glove potential. He played 2B exclusively last season for Oregon State to accommodate teammate Cadyn Grenier who began the season at SS when Madrigal was injured. Clearly Grenier also has MLB talent since he was the 3rd OSU player taken in the top-37 picks of the 2018 MLB June Draft, joining Madrigal (#4) and OF Trevor Larnach (#20).

  • In reply to Aaron Sapoznik:

    Aaron,
    Thank you for reading. Nick's debut so far hasn't been the most exciting one, but it also hasn't been bad by any means. Like you mentioned, he's reached base in half of his plate appearances so far. He's fresh off of the college season and he's getting used to playing at the professional level. The hits are going to come and when they do, there will be plenty of them. They want to see Nick play a couple of full games before moving to Kannapolis and when they say full games I imagine they mean playing in the field too so we should see him out there this weekend.

    He's been quoted saying he's willing to play wherever the White Sox want him to, but for the time being I think they are going to let him play SS. He said he feels comfortable playing both of those positions and I agree with you on him being best fit for 2B long term. It would be nice to see him shuffled around in the field a bit so we can see which position is best tailored to his skills as a professional, which I'm sure we will see as he progresses through the minor league system.

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