Editor’s note: We’ve changed our daily content format for 2017, and will no longer be doing daily game recaps. Instead, we will provide content more focused on the news and info that our readers have asked about, specifically covering the prospects. On Mondays, Kevin will be providing links and information to important news, transactions, and top stories for the past week across the farm.
Welcome to the first 2017 in-season edition of the White Sox Farm Update featuring news and notes about White Sox minor leaguers and affiliates. All four full season affiliates have finalized their rosters and kicked off their 2017 seasons, which means we have a lot of transactions to report (we’ll get to that shortly).
Meet the New Skippers
In addition to Rick Renteria assuming the managerial duties at the big league level for the White Sox, the four full season affiliates have new skippers at the helm for 2017.
Former big league second baseman Mark Grudzielanek takes over at Charlotte. Grudzielanek played 15 seasons in the big leagues for several teams (including the Cubs), winning a Gold Glove in 2006 as a member of the Kansas City Royals. He was an all-star selection in 1996 while with Montreal and led the National League in doubles (54) in 1997. Grudzielanek led the Arizona Diamondback Class A affiliate Kane County Cougars to the Midwest League Western Division title in 2015, before serving the 2016 season as a member of the Diamondbacks player development staff.
Julio Vinas returns to preside over the Birmingham squad, following a one-year hiatus to manage Charlotte in 2016. Vinas compiled a 206-213 record in three previous seasons (2013-15) as the skipper for the Barons. Under Vinas’ watch, the Barons captured the 2013 Southern League title. He previously oversaw the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators in 2012 and the High-A Winston-Salem Dash in 2011. Vinas was originally drafted by the White Sox in the 33rd round of the 1991 draft and had an 11-year minor league playing career with four different organizations.
2005 World Champion member Willie Harris will pilot the Winston-Salem Dash in 2017, after serving as the Great Falls hitting coach last season. Harris spent 12 seasons in the big leagues, including four with the White Sox (2002-05).
Justin Jirschele will lead the Kannapolis Intimidators in 2017. Jirschele played four seasons in the minor leagues for the White Sox (2012-15) before deciding to turn to coaching. He served as the Great Falls hitting coach in 2015 and served as the hitting coach for Kannapolis last season. His father Mike is currently a member of the Kansas City Royals major league staff and his brother is the head baseball coach at UW-Stevens Point.
Before affiliate assignments were completed, the White Sox made a wave of minor league releases, including:
- RHP: Nolan Sanburn, Mayckol Guaipe, Blake Smith, Terance Marin, Taylore Cherry, Victor Done, Conor Krauss, Jacob Morris, Chad Rogers
- LHP: Tyler Matzek, Ryan Hinchley, Johnathan Frebis
- C: Sean O’Connell, Nate Causey, Joxelier Garcia
- INF: Joey DeMichele, Cody Daily, Trevin Sonnier, K.C. Hobson, Bradley Strong
- OF: Keenyn Walker, Michael Suiter, Charlie White, Landon Lassiter, Jackson Glines, Caleb Gindl
- White Sox outrighted OF Rymer Liriano, LHP Giovanni Soto
- White Sox selected the contracts of RHP Anthony Swarzak, C Geovany Soto, OF Cody Asche to the White Sox
- White Sox recalled RHP Tommy Kahnle to the White Sox
- Assigned INF Gerson Montilla, LHP Brian Clark, C Roberto Pena, RHP Gregory Infante, 2B-OF Tyler Ladendorf
- Disabled RHP Cory Luebke, RHP Jake Dunning, C Carson Blair, OF Rymer Liriano, INF Gerson Montilla
- Signed RHP Mike Pelfrey, OF Ryan Raburn
- Released 2B Joey DeMichele, RHP Nolan Sanburn, OF Keenyn Walker
- Assigned RHP Michael Kopech, 1B Cameron Seitzer, SS Eddy Alvarez, 3B Nick Basto, OF Mason Robbins, SS Cleuluis Rondon, 2B Jake Peter, C Alfredo Gonzalez, RHP Brandon Brennan, LHP Jace Fry, RHP Miguel Chalas, LHP Scott Snodgress, RHP Robin Leyer, LHP Will Lamb, RHP Jordan Stephens
- Disabled C Chris O’Dowd, LHP Scott Snodgress, RHP Jordan Stephens
- Assigned RHP Luis Martinez, C Casey Schroeder, 2B Ronald Bueno,LHP Aaron Bummer, RHP Max Beatty, RHP Brannon Easterling, 3B Brady Conlan, OF Luis Alexander Basabe, RHP Ian Hamilton, OF Aaron Schnurbusch, RHP Aron McRee, OF Jake Fincher, LHP Andre Wheeler, SS Danny Mendick, SS Johan Cruz, LHP Louie Lechich, OF-1B Louis Silverio, OF Alex Call
- Disabled C Wilfredo Rodriquez, RHP Luis Martinez, C Casey Schroeder
- Assigned 1B Brandon Dulin, LHP Kyle Kubat (acquired from KCR for cash), LHP Alex Katz, RHP Yosmer Solorzano, SS Max Dutto, SS Mitch Roman, LHP Kevin Escorcia, LHP Bernardo Flores, OF Jameson Fisher, OF Joel Booker, RHP Luis Ledo, RHP Lane Hobbs, RHP Christopher Comito
- Disabled 1B K.J. Woods, RHP Victor Diaz
- Temporarily Inactive RHP Jimmy Lambert
Other News, Notes and Links
- The Birmingham Barons have been selected to host the 2018 Southern League All-Star Game at Regions Field on June 19, 2018.
- Historic Rickwood Field in Birmingham has been closed for emergency repairs. The oldest ballpark in the United States was supposed to host the 22nd annual Rickwood Classic on May 31 between the Birmingham Barons and the Chattanooga Lookouts. That game has been re-scheduled for Regions Field.
- Jirschele, 26, is the youngest manager in minor league baseball.
- According to Baseball America, White Sox special assistant Marco Paddy was present at the first showcase of Cuban outfielder Luis Robert, held March 30 in the Dominican Republic. The White Sox, along with Houston, are being reported as the two teams that scheduled private workouts with Robert last week.
- FutureSox has released season previews for each of the four full season affiliates: Charlotte Knights, Birmingham Barons, Winston-Salem Dash and Kannapolis Intimidators.
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