White Sox Minor Keys: April 8, 2018

In-person observations from five hours with the Winston-Salem Dash

I saw Dylan Cease pitch for Winston-Salem during a doubleheader in Zebulon, N.C. today. I’ll have a full post about it when I can edit video, but in a sentence, he lived up to the hype, at least until his defense accelerated his demise.

In the meantime, a few first impressions from players I hadn’t seen:

*Yeyson Yrizarri had a rough day on defense. He committed two errors in the second game — a ball clanking off his glove while ranging toward second on a potential 6-4-3 ball, then dropping a relay throw. He also made a miscue in the first that put Cease in his first and only jam. He fielded a bouncer that might’ve been a double play, although it developed slowly enough that he might’ve only been able to get the out at second. Alas, he couldn’t get the ball out of his glove cleanly, and even when he did, he flipped it underhand way too gently for it to beat the runner. The official scorer called it a fielder’s choice for some reason.

He also pulled the ball in the air a couple times for hits, including one single that could’ve been a double if he didn’t assume it was going to land foul. The reports on the arm are accurate.

*Gavin Sheets battled in his at-bats, drawing a pair of walks in the second game, which was the only one he played. He seems to have a good handle on the strike zone and can spoil pitches, although he also fouled back some hittable ones.

*Blake Rutherford only played Game 2. He drew an easy walk and ran down a couple balls in center, but he didn’t do anything remarkable at the plate. Then again, there wasn’t a lot of hard contact on a day that felt colder than its official temperature of 51 degrees.

*Blake Hickman touched 96 on the stadium gun, although it might’ve been a little wonky.

*Yermin Mercedes was my favorite player to watch in the non-Cease division. There’s a lot going on there — a strong arm, a lot of dropped pitches (and passed ball), two-foot hops after swinging through pitches, a bat slam after popping one up, for example.

He also got nailed in the groin with a foul tip that put him on his back.

He stayed in the game, only to get clipped in the same area with a pitch in the dirt. On a possibly related note, he was the only player on the field in short sleeves.

Charlotte 5, Durham 0

  • Charlie Tilson went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Ryan Cordell, 1-for-5 with a double and three strikeouts.
  • Daniel Palka was 1-for-4.
  • Casey Gillaspie singled twice, walked and struck out
  • In case you’re wondering who threw the good start, it was Donn Roach: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP

Birmingham 4, Chattanooga 0 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • Tito Polo went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Jameson Fisher, 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Zack Collins was 0-for-1 with a sac fly and a walk.
  • Danny Mendick, 0-for-3 with a K.
  • Ian Clarkin: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP
  • Ryan Burr: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K

Birmingham 4, Chattanooga 2 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Tito Polo went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk.
  • Jameson Fisher, 1-for-3 with a homer, walk and two strikeouts.
  • Seby Zavala homered, singled, walked and struck out.
  • Jordan Guerrero: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

Carolina 5, Winston-Salem 2 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • Joel Booker went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Luis Alexander Basabe, 0-for-3 with a walk and a K.
  • Alex Call, 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Yermin Mercedes played first, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Micker Adolfo was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and an HBP.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri, 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Dylan Cease: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP

Carolina 2, Winston-Salem 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Joel Booker went 2-for-3.
  • Alex Call, 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Blake Rutherford, 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Gavin Sheets was 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.
  • Micker Adolfo was 1-for-3.
  • Yermin Mercedes, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri, 1-for-3.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes, 0-for-3.
  • Blake Hickman: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K

Kannapolis 5, Lakewood 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • Luis Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with a homer and two strikeouts.
  • Justin Yurchak went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Evan Skoug was 1-for-3 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Tate Blackman went 2-for-3.
  • Michael Hickman, 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.

Kannapolis 4, Lakewood 3 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Luis Gonzalez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Michael Hickman and Tate Blackman were both 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Carlos Perez went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.
  • Tyler Johnson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K


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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Good stuff. 2 nut shots, thats rough. Looking forward to the Cease video.

Patrick Nolan

In case you’re wondering who threw the good start,


it was Donn Roach


Josh Nelson

I still don’t know who this Roach guy is.


Need Hansen, Robert and Jimenez to be in these.


How did Micker look at the plate? Any obvious discomfort or issues with his swing due to that elbow injury?


Much appreciated.


good pitching day … 10 ERs in 7 games.


When is Kopech pitching?


You just missed him.