White Sox Minor Keys: June 14, 2018

Michael Kopech has a disastrous night, but Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease step up

I don’t think Michael Kopech’s recent problems can be attributed to boredom or stagnation anymore.

Kopech had his most disastrous outing as a member of the White Sox organization on Tuesday night. He issued eight walks, plunked two batters and threw five wild pitches over three innings in the Knights’ 6-4 loss to the Norfolk Tides. He gave up five runs, and it could’ve been more considering he threw just 35 of 86 pitches for strikes.

He survived his wildness in the first, as he hit Steve Wilkerson and threw two wild pitches with one-out, but came back to get a pair of strikesouts. He also danced out a wild second, stranding a pair of one-out walks with a pair of groundouts.

It all caught up to Kopech during a three-run third, and he got the hook after starting the fourth with a pair of walks.

This was Kopech’s third straight start marred by control issues, and he’s got a horrible line — 11 IP, 12 H, 14 R, 14 ER, 17 BB, 14 K, 3 HBPs — over this stretch. His Twitter account indicates there was a death in the family before the first of those starts, and while I hesitate to mention it because I don’t want to speculate on the strength of the connection, I can’t find anything else that’s awry.

Lest we continue too far down this path, at least Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease delivered tonight.

Norfolk 6, Charlotte 4

  • Avisail Garcia homered, doubled and struck out twice.
  • Michael Kopech: 3 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 BB, 2 K, 5 WP, 2 HBP, 35 of 86 pitches for strikes.

Birmingham 3, Chattanooga 0

  • Danny Mendick went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Zack Collins doubled, walked and struck out twice.
  • Eloy Jimenez went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.
  • Seby Zavala singled in all four trips to the plate.
  • Jameson Fisher went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Dane Dunning: 8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 68 of 97 pitches for strikes.
  • Ian Hamilton: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K.

Winston-Salem 8, Wilmington 2

  • Joel Booker went 0-for-4 with an HBP.
  • Alex Call was 0-for-2 with two walks and a strikeout.
  • Luis Alexander Basabe singled, walked and struck out twice. He also stole a base.
  • Micker Adolfo went 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Gavin Sheets was 1-for-4.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri went 2-for-4 with a double, and was picked off.
  • Dylan Cease: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP, 70 of 106 pitches for strikes.


*Winston-Salem locked in the first-half championship with a record of 40-27.

Delmarva 6, Kannapolis 1 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • Luis Robert went 0-for-2 with a walk.
  • Justin Yurchak and Luis Curbelo were both 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Carlos Perez was 0-for-2.
  • Blake Battenfield: 5 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 WP
  • Will Kincanon: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP

Delmarva 8, Kannapolis 4 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Luis Robert went 0-for-4.
  • Justin Yurchak was 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Luis Curbelo went 0-for-2 with a walk, HBP, strikeout and two errors.
  • Evan Skoug went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • John Parke: 4 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP

DSL Padres 7, DSL White Sox 2

  • Jose Rodriguez is still hitting: 3-for-4 with a double and a strikeout. He’s hitting .413 and stole his fifth base as well.


Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
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.

Articles: 3791
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Congrats to the Dash.


It would be understandable if a young player (or anyone really) can’t perform after a dead in the family. If that’s the case.

In other speculation unrelated to sports is Luis Robert becoming a dad?
Will that baby have a shirt?

Greg Nix

Lots of good games in Birmingham and Winston-Salem to counterbalance Kopech. But still rather disheartening.

Lurker Laura

He had a rough stretch in Bham last year, too, right? Then came back after their All Star break very strong. Granted, this rough stretch is coming a bit earlier in the season. But there is precedence for him turning it around, I guess is what I’m saying. 


Any chance Kopech is just bored?

Lurker Laura

Shitty response to it, if so.

Lurker Laura

I mean, “pitch badly because I’m bored, then I’ll get promoted” is a bad strategy.


Probably is, but I think now he has severely regressed. Triple A is not the place for top prospects. He should have been brought up last year when he was dominating in Birmingham. Should have let him fail in the big leagues then go back to Charlotte if need be.

Greg Nix

When you’re bored at work do you set your computer on fire?


High stakes minesweeper

karkovice squad

Dunning really likes facing Chattanooga.


Regardless of cause for poor performance, I hope Kopech is OK


Off-topic, but BP has had a great series of articles comparing OPS+, wRC+ and TAv


Is Luis Gonzalez hurt? He hasn’t been in any box scores lately.

Right Size Wrong Shape

On the Dash radio broadcast last night, the announcer made a comment about it possibly being Cease’s last game with the Dash.

Brett R. Bobysud

Well, it’s getting to the mid-point of the minor league seasons and this is around the time when organizations start promoting groups of their deserving players to the next level, so this makes sense. Cease has definitely been great at high A and warrants a promotion to AA, but the big thing with him this year is wanting him to get his innings up. It may be that the Sox wait to promote him to Birmingham until later in the season, once he reaches a certain innings pitched threshold.


Why would he not be able to “get his innings up” in Birmingham? I think you’re overthinking it – I’d be very surprised if he’s not bumped up after their All-Star break. 

FWIW, his inning total is up a little over 1 inning per game so far, which is a pretty nice jump. I’d expect him to end the season with around 30-40 more innings pitched than last year. 

Eagle Bones

Better hitters = more chance of getting hit around = earlier exits


Or he could continue pitching well, like he has the last 2 years = more improvement.

Sorry, but I’m not buying that AA hitters are good enough to knock him out of games in under 5 innings on any sort of consistent basis. You might be talking about an extra 10-15 innings for the year at worst, which I would argue would do less for his development than facing these better hitters.


The South Atlantic League, Carolina League and Southern League all have their All-Star games on Tuesday and start the second half on Thursday.

So I imagine that there will be a lot of movement in the next week.


Congratulations to the dash and Damn Dane Dunning! But come on Kopech…


Kopech and Giolito are the same age.  I’d be pissed, too, if I had to watch someone with diminished skills get the kid glove treatment while I wallow.  Millennials are emotional.
Anyway, what’s with Keon?  Did he get glasses?  Good for him!

Right Size Wrong Shape

I’m confused. Which one should be pissed? Which one is getting the kid glove treatment?

Right Size Wrong Shape

Also, Kopech is almost 2 years younger.


Kopech just turned 22. Giolito made his MLB debut at that age, with the Nationals. But then he spent most of the following year in AAA, as you may recall. Not sure I understand your point.

lil jimmy

can’t count or don’t count?
I diapered you and wiped your butt, whipper-snapper.


I like that you’re trying to expand your comments beyond moving Anderson to CF but this is just wrong.

Brett R. Bobysud

Kannapolis’s magic # is 3 after dropping the double-header yesterday. They’re a game up on Lakewood.