White Sox Minor League News and Notes, 6/25 to 7/1

Through 95 innings, Charlotte RHP Donn Roach, 28, is in the midst of the second best year of his career. His 2.65 ERA, 61 strikeouts and 21 walks earned him All-Star honors, and should be the beginning of a case to make the main roster this September (if not earlier).

At 28, Roach shouldn’t be exciting; his journeyman status isn’t reassuring anyone and his career statistics haven’t been the result of bad luck. That said, he is getting it done for Charlotte and deserves a chance to redeem himself after his failed tenures with the Padres, Cubs and Mariners.

Roach spent 2017 in the KBO, playing for the KT Wiz (where former White Sox prospect Dan Black also landed a few years ago), which translates roughly to our AAA. He posted a 4.69 ERA in 165 innings. “Roach is bad,” the prosecution says.

The defense is 2018. This year, the walks are down, and when Roach is feeling it, he’s been phenomenal. Over his last three starts, he’s pitched 21 innings, allowing one run, while walking three and striking out 23. (He also had a relief outing mixed in where he went two innings, giving up three hits and a run). His performance in July earned him International League Player of the Month honors.

Roach can be an asset and an arm in a White Sox bullpen that’s in need of one. Until then, I’ll continue to smile anytime I see another impressive Donny Roach outing, even if he's no longer technically a prospect.

With that, here’s what you need to know this week.

Prospect performance highlights

  • White Sox first round pick 2B Nick Madrigal won the College World Series with the Oregon State Beavers (and we should hear soon about him signing).
  • Charlotte pitchers Roach and Thyago Vieira were named to the 2018 International League All-Star Team. Roach was also named the International League Player of the Month for July.
  • Charlotte RHP Michael Kopech threw six shutout innings June 25. He gave up four hits and walked two, but struck out nine.
  • Winston-Salem had a phenomenal June 25 game, plating 19 runs, while P Blake Battenfield threw eight strong innings of four hit, two run ball. He walked two and struck out seven. SS Laz Rivera led the charge going 5-5 with two doubles and a home run. You can read the in-person details of that game from Julie here.
  • The Joel Booker fan club is still taking applications. He went 2-4 with a double, a walk and a strikeout for Birmingham June 25.
  • Charlotte RHP Carson Fulmer went four innings on June 26. He gave up five runs, four hits and walked six. He struck out four. He followed it with an even more miserable performance July 1. He went 1.2 innings, gave up four hits, five runs and three walks. He struck out two. (Is the Carson Fulmer would make a good reliever train still in the station?)
  • Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert went 4-6 with a double and a strikeout June 28.
  • Birmingham RHP Dylan Cease went seven innings July 1. He gave up five hits and a run, while striking out seven on two walks.

Injuries

  • Birmingham P Dane Dunning was placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to June 24. Dunning has a moderate elbow sprain and will miss up to eight weeks. While his season is over, he is avoiding surgery.
  • Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert was placed on the 7-day disabled list, retroactive to June 29. He re-injuredd his left thumb, the same one that sidelined him for eight weeks at the beginning of the season.
  • AZL White Sox RHP Luke Shilling was placed on the 7-day disabled list June 25, but in reality he will miss the rest of the season and probably some of 2019 after tearing his lat. He recently had successful surgery.

Other Transactions

Activated

  • RHP Jake Johansen was activated from the 7-day disabled list July 1
  • Winston-Salem C Daniel Gonzalez returned from the 7-day disabled list July 1

Assigned

  • Birmingham LHP Jordan Guerrero was promoted to Charlotte
  • Winston-Salem RHP Jimmy Lambert was promoted to Birmingham
  • Kannapolis LHP John Parke was assigned to Winston-Salem
  • Great Falls LHP Andrew Perez was promoted to Kannapolis
  • RHP Matt Portland was signed, and assigned to Great Falls
  • RHP's Hector Acosta and Isaiah Carranza were assigned to AZL White Sox

Outrighted

Released

Team Performances

  • Charlotte posted a 5-3 week (38-44 overall, 9.5 games back). An impressive week by the Knights cut into the hole the team dug itself into. The promotion of Guerrero should hopefully stabilize the rotation as they play two against Norfolk to start the week, before coming home to play two against Durham before going out on the road for three against Gwinnett.
  • Birmingham went 3-3 for the week (6-4 overall 2nd half, 1st). While Winston-Salem was walloping, Birmingham was walloped. The Barons fell to the Generals 13-1 June 28, and the hits didn’t come as Alec Hansen gave up six runs on four hits and five walks over 3.2 innings. The Barons can right the ship and hold onto their second half lead when they finish up two against Jackson at home, before going to Chattanooga (Home of the Moon Pie) for four and ending the week at home beginning a series against Mississippi.
  • Winston-Salem had a 4-3 week (7-4 overall 2nd half, 2 games back). The Winston-Salem bats are scorching. Whether you’re looking at the 19-2 win June 25, the 10-8 win June 28 or the 12-10 win June 29, there are some bats in Winston-Salem as the first half champions make their bid to win the whole thing. They play two against Wilmington before a five game home series against Down East.
  • Kannapolis compiled a 2-5 week (5-6 overall 2nd half, 2.5 games back). Things didn’t go right for the Intimidators this week as the team continues its stumble into the second half. They’ll try to turn it around with two against Rome, before coming home for a six game series against Hickory and Lakewood.
  • Great Falls had a 7-1 week (10-7 overall, .5 games back). The Voyagers hopped on a rocket and rattled off a seven game win streak before crashing back to Earth on Sunday. The Voyagers will attempt to start the win streak back up with two against Helena, three at home against Missoula and a quick trip to Missoula for two more.
  • AZL White Sox enjoyed a 4-1 week (8-3 overall, 0.5 games back).
  • DSL White Sox posted a 0-5 week (3-22, 14 games back).

News and Links

  • Drumroll please as Editor-in-Chief Matt Cassidy reveals the White Sox Prospects of the Month.
  • Our own James Fox previewed the 2018-2019 international signing period. The upside is there are some intriguing names coming in the mix, the downside? The White Sox are still in the $300,000 penalty box.  
  • In her weekly column, Julie Brady relayed her story from Winston-Salem’s 19-3 slobberknocker June 25.
  • Ken Sawilchik asked and answered an important question for White Sox fans: Who’s up Next?
  • Baseball America released an updated Top 100. OF Eloy Jimenez tops the system at No. 5.
  • Daryl van Schouen of the Sun Times wrote about a number of lesser-known prospects in the system.

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