White Sox Minor Keys: June 4, 2021

When we saw Mike Wright during spring training, he divvied up his four outings between ugly innings and scoreless ones. Little distinguished him from other Triple-A veteran depth the White Sox have invited to spring training over the years, except for the fact that he’d been useful to the KBO’s NC Dinos for 29 starts during a 2020 season that was shortened for just about all of his stateside peers.

He was supposed to fill a role as an innings-eater in Charlotte rotation, but he wasn’t supposed to be starring in it.

Wright threw seven scoreless innings in the Charlotte Knights’ 1-0 victory that ended the Nashville Sounds’ 15-game winning streak. He lowered his ERA to 2.10 by allowing just two hits and a walk. He induced three double plays, and he also struck out eight.

He’s 31, so it wouldn’t normally register as noteworthy, because the former International League has plenty of Wright brothers trying to hang in the game. But this particular performance is notable for a couple reasons:

No. 1: Charlotte played at home. Wright’s home-road splits are negligible from a run-prevention level.

  • Home: 17 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 3 HBP, 5 BB, 23 K
  • Road: 13 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 0 HBP, 2 BB, 14 K

No. 2: He’s getting a lot of ground balls. He carried a 57.1 ground-ball rate into Friday’s start, a year after a rate of 53.7 percent with the Dinos. He’d never come close to getting that frequency of grounders after his time in the low minors.

Wright has a 6.00 ERA over 110 games at the MLB level to suggest he might be a true Quadruple-A talent, but as long as he’s outpitching Jonathan Stiever, Jimmy Lambert and Reynaldo López in a different fashion than he had before, he might end up as a candidate for a start with the White Sox at some point. If he maintains this form, it won’t be as laughable a notion as it looked in February and March.

For the time being, his effort his appreciated in his clubhouse.

Charlotte 1, Nashville 0

  • Adam Engel went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and three stolen bases.
  • Blake Rutherford struck out his first two trips, then got plunked.
  • Brian Goodwin hit for Rutherford his last time up and struck out.
  • Jake Burger was 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Jace Fry: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K

Birmingham 6, Tennessee 1

  • Romy Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Micker Adolfo, 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Carlos Pérez was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes went 0-for-3 with an HBP and a K.
  • Blake Battenfield: 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Greensboro 17, Winston-Salem 3

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Curbelo, 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Yolbert Sanchez was 2-for-3 with his first homer and a walk.
  • Duke Ellis went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Fayetteville 7, Kannapolis 2 (Game 1, 7 innings)

  • José Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Chase Krogman was 0-for-3 with an HBP and a K.
  • Bryan Ramos went 1-for-3 with a double.
  • Luis Mieses went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Harvin Mendoza, 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Caberea Weaver singled and struck out twice.
  • Lency Delgado was 0-for-2 with a walk.
  • Andrew Dalquist: 3.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K

Fayetteville 2, Kannapolis 1 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • José Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a stolen base.
  • Chase Krogman singled, struck out twice and stole a base.
  • Luis Mieses went 1-for-3.
  • DJ Gladney went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Harvin Mendoza and Lency Delgado both struck out all three times at bat.
  • James Beard went 1-for-2 with a walk.
  • Yoelvin Silven out of the bullpen: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

(Photo by Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

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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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Willardmarshall

Might 3 stolen bases suggest Engel is approaching total rehab?

jhomeslice

Wright with great numbers. He sure looks like their most worthy call-up option if they have another double header where they need a spot starter. He is their only starter at AAA right now that is doing well enough that it might translate to success against MLB hitters this year. I wonder if they could use him out of the bullpen? He might be worth considering if Foster, Marshall, Heuer keep looking awful.

Engel with 3 steals, including 3rd base twice… that’s surely proof enough that his hamstring is fine. I sure hope he is coming up sooner than later. Whenever he needs a day off after playing, they can give him one. I can’t see keeping him down there for more than 3 or 4 more games, he is obviously better than Eaton already.

metasox

Maybe the Sox plan roster adjustments the Monday off day. The team has to run the gauntlet the stretch after that

jhomeslice

I hope Engel not playing tonight does not mean anything. I had read he might be back Tuesday vs the Blue Jays.

Drdoctor

Wright has had his eponymous stuff.
I wouldn’t count on the eponym translating to the majors, though probably would rather see him next than yanking Stiever around more.

jhomeslice

I’m sure he isn’t a great bet, but still…. Stiever, Lambert, Lopez have not pitched well enough at AAA to give any reason to think they will be able to get MLB hitters out, not this year at least. I’d rather see Wright before any of them, if they need a spot starter at some point.

Thanks for the word of the day, had to look up eponym, LOL!

soxygen

If Sheets is going to get a start before Engel comes up it would be Sunday. I’d like to see him get the start at DH with Lamb in RF. Eaton and Yermin can sit that one out or pinch hit late if necessary.

jhomeslice

Vaughn is back today, Sheets sent back to the minors without getting an at bat. Just stupid stuff that they do sometimes. Why bother to call him up if they weren’t going to play him?

soxygen

Bummer. And not in a “walking lots of guys and blowing a late lead” kinda way.

Steve

Regardless of an AB or not, he just doubled his AAA salary and got free healthcare for life. I’m sure he doesn’t completely see it that way but not a bad outcome for a couple of days.

jhomeslice

Free heathcare for life, just for making it to bigs once, even without playing? Sounds hard to believe, but that’s an incredible deal if that is the case.

soxygen

Right. It’s kind of like being born in some countries. Free health care just for showing up? I’ll take it!

GrinnellSteve

I hope he doesn’t end up with a Moonlight Graham kind of story. At least Archie played in the field once.

metasox

How is it stupid? Should the team play a man short instead? Sheets was there if needed for an injury

ParisSox

Might Battenfield leapfrog everybody soon?