White Sox Minor League News and Notes - 4/10

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:





Other News, Notes and Links

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    Can you tell us anything about the assignments and the releases. For example are you surprised about Eddy Alvarez demotion to AA? Tell us a little about the possible reasons players were released. The names I was surprised to read was Taylore Cherry, Nolan Sanburn, and Jackson Glines. Blake Smith, although 29, was good in both 2015 and 2016 and really his whole career but for some reason didn't start his career until age 25. Solve that mystery for us. With the Sox it feels like one day they realize a guy is 28 years old and they think - wow, we never saw that coming 4 years ago when we signed him at age 24.

  • In reply to Jim Pedigo:

    Eddy Alvarez and Jake Peter being in AA is just about them getting playing time. Once Moncada and other players move up, which will happen pretty quickly, those guys will go back to Charlotte.

    Blake Smith was in a pool of a couple dozen relievers vying for AAA innings, and all his release means is that the team felt there were other pitchers in that group who were better.

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