White Sox Minor League News and Notes, 4/8 to 4/14

CUT TO A THEATRICAL SCORE

Announcer: Introducing…

THE SCORE HEIGHTENS

Announcer: Overreaction Theater...starring your 2019 Chicago White Sox farm system.

Two narratives continue to burn through White Sox Twitter: Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert should be promoted to Birmingham and Charlotte SS Danny Mendick should be promoted to the main roster. Well I’m here to douse those flames.

Let’s start with Robert. I’m not going to lie. The start to his 2019 season sure makes it seem like he’s done everything he can in Winston-Salem. Robert has a .475/.512/1.025 slash line in 40 plate appearances. He has five home runs, three doubles and two triples. He’s struck out nine times and walked once, but let’s go back to last year.

Robert had 123 at-bats in Winston-Salem. His slash in those at-bats was not pretty at .244/.317/.309.

He had zero home runs, six doubles and one triple. He struck out 37 times and walked eight times.

Let’s sit back and watch him feast on the Carolina League, to make his pending utter destruction of the Southern League that much more enjoyable.

On to Mendick. Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t. The tweets for Mendick to replace White Sox 2B Yolmer Sanchez is becoming deafening. Sanchez is hitting a paltry .229/.327/.556. He hit an intimidating .242/.306/.372 last year, coming off his career high of .267/.319/.413. So why not give Mendick a chance?

  • 2019 AAA: .256/.370/.462 in 39 at-bats
  • 2018 AA: .247/.340/.395 in 453 at-bats
  • 2017 AA: .197/.280/.293 in 147 at-bats

Mendick did have an impressive Spring Training with a .333/.452/.636 slash in 33 at-bats, but in overreaction theater, the underlying line isn’t promising and who’s to say the devil that’s Mendick is better than the Devil that’s Yolmer?

If Yolmer keeps this up, or Mendick can find a spark of what went right at Spring Training, he’ll be in Chicago, but at the end of the day, I’d rather have the evil that I know, than the evil that I don’t.

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

Prospect performance highlights

  • Birmingham OF Joel Booker went 3-4 April 14.
  • Charlotte RHP Dylan Cease threw five innings of shutout baseball April 14. He struck out four, walked one and surrendered two hits. Carson don’t-write-me-off-just-yet Fulmer relieved him. He threw two shutout innings, struck out four, walked one and only surrendered a single hit.
  • LHP Konnor Pilkington threw six strong innings April 13. He gave up a hit, a run and a walk but struck out eight.
  • Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert continues to make me and Winston-Salem’s opponents look silly. He went 3-4 with a double and a triple April 13. Not to be out shined, 2B Nick Madrigal went 4-4 with a double.
  • Winston-Salem C Carlos Perez went 2-2 with a pair of doubles and walks April 13.
  • Birmingham SS Laz Rivera had a 3-4 night April 13.
  • Winston-Salem OF Luis Robert went 3-4 with a triple, a home run and a strikeout April 11. I think he might just be good at baseball.
  • Charlotte OF (and familiar White Sox face) Ryan Cordell hit for the cycle April 10, going 5-5.
  • Winston-Salem OF Jameson Fisher went 3-4 with a walk April 9.

UPDATE: Luis Robert was named Carolina Player of the Week

Transactions

Injuries

  • Winston-Salem placed 3B Johan Cruz on the 7-day injured list April 14
  • Kannapolis placed RHP Lane Ramsey on the 7-day injured list April 13

Activated

  • Charlotte LHP Aaron Bummer returned from the 7-day injured list April 12

Assigned

  • Charlotte RHP Zach Thompson was assigned to Birmingham
  • Great Falls RHP Wyatt Burns and Austin Conway were assigned to Winston-Salem

Recalled

  • The White Sox recalled Charlotte LHP Josh Osich

Optioned

  • The White Sox optioned LHP Caleb Frare, RHP Carson Fulmer and OF Ryan Cordell to Charlotte

Selected

  • The White Sox selected the contract of Charlotte RHP Ervin Santana

Released

  • Birmingham released LHP Brian Clark

Status Change

  • Charlotte RHP Dylan Covey was placed on the temporarily inactive list April 10

Team Performances

  • Charlotte posted a 4-3 week (7-4 overall, 1st). A pair of shutouts from RHP Dylan Cease opened and closed the week for the Knights. The opening shutout was complimented by a three-game sweep of Norfolk before the Knights went to Indianapolis and dropped three-straight, before rebounding with a win behind Cease. The Knights are in Gwinnett for four before closing the week with a three-game series against Norfolk.
  • Birmingham went 3-3 for the week (4-6 overall, 2.5 games back). Runs came in bunches for the Barons last week, but the pitching staff routinely erased those leads. RHP Jimmy Lambert threw the start-of-the-week April 11, going six strong. He gave up three hits, one run and struck out eight. The Barons will look to move up in the standings with a five-game series in Jacksonville before beginning a five-game series at home against Jackson.
  • Winston-Salem had a 2-5 week (5-6 overall, 2 games back). The Dash’s hot start sizzled out amidst a 2-5 week against Wilmington and Potomac. While LHP Kyle Kubat was sensational April 13, throwing six innings of shutout, two-hit baseball, his performance could likely be attributed to his advanced age. The Dash hope to rewrite the script this week as they have another series against Wilmington and Potomac.
  • Kannapolis compiled a 1-4 week (4-5 overall, 4 games back). I’m not sure what’s worse: the rain postponing two of the Intimidators’ games or the Intimidators’ performance in the games they did play. Either way, the Intimidators weren’t very intimidating last week getting outscored 26 to 18. They play three against Delmarva and three against Hagerstown, where they’ll attempt to get back on track.
  • Great Falls opens their season in 60 days.

News and Links

The White Sox signed the brother of Fernando Tatis Jr., Elijah Tatis for $500,000. James Fox broke down the signing.

MLB.com writer Scott Merkin, The Athletic’s James Fegan and our own Clinton Cole were in Indianapolis this weekend. Merkin talked with Cease after his April 15 start. Cease is ready for the Show; Fegan reviewed the Knights, heavily focused on Cease; and FutureSox will soon have interviews ready to go.  

I’d also like to share Fegan’s chronicle of Eloy Jimenez’s rise to commemorate his first home runs. Speaking of those home runs, videos (one, two) if you missed them.  

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Comments

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  • fb_avatar

    Any updates on Zach Burdi? How long until he gets assigned to a team, and where will he land?

  • fb_avatar

    I agree with your take on both Luis Robert and Danny Mendick.

    Robert should put in at least a month at A+ Winston-Salem before his promotion to AA Birmingham. Nick Madrigal could join him at that point. Which leads me to the Mendick situation.

    Regardless of who finishes the 2019 season at 2B, the position figures to be Madrigal's in 2020. Yolmer Sanchez, Jose Rondon and Mendick will be competing for the primary utility infielder role at that point if all are still in the organization.

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