The Week in Winston, July 7-13 update: Oscar Colás promoted to AA

Garrett Schoenle (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

The Oscar Colás Era has come to an end in Winston-Salem, though it dawns anew in Birmingham. The top outfield prospect’s last game before promotion was July 9; in 59 games with the Dash, he hit .312/.369/.475, blasting seven home runs, 13 doubles, and three triples to go along with 22 walks and 54 strikeouts. He will represent the Sox in the Futures Game on July 16.

The Colson Montgomery Era, on the other hand, is still going great three weeks in. His on-base streak is unbroken at 48 games (as of Friday, spoilers) and he is batting an absolute eye-popping .315/.441/.519 in 15 games so far with the Dash. Accordingly, he has been bumped up in the prospect rankings.

Despite this, the Dash are still dancing around .500, splitting the week at 3-3 for a second-half record of 10-7 and overall record of 43-40. They are still the only full-season affiliate above water.

Top pitching performances

Garrett Schoenle (July 9): 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K (season, two levels: 48 IP, 30 H, 17 R (13 ER), 22 BB, 58 K, 2.44 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)

Cristian Mena (July 10): 5 IP, H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, WP (season, two levels: 72.2 IP, 58 H, 21 R (20 ER), 23 BB, 83 K, 2.48 ERA, 1.11 WHIP)

Matthew Thompson (July 13): 5 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, WP (season: 79.1 IP, 78 H, 50 R (42 ER), 29 BB, 68 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Alejandro Mateo (relief): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 4 K (season, two levels: 9 IP, 7 H, 3 R (2 ER), BB, 9 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)

Karan Patel (relief): 4 IP, H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K (season, two levels: 39.2 IP, 29 H, 21 R (19 ER), 27 BB, 52 K, 4.31 ERA, 1.41 WHIP)

Top hitting performances

Tyler Osik (1B/C/DH): 5-for-14, 2 R, RBI, BB, 3 K, HBP (season: .314/.397/.439)

Luis Mieses (RF): 6-for-15, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K (season: .288/.337/.458)

Alsander Womack (DH/2B): 5-for-12, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB, HBP, 1 SB-0 CS (season, two levels: .275/.374/.417)

Honorable mention: Colson Montgomery, as previously mentioned, reached base in every game, but did so largely by walking and getting hit, instead of getting hits; he went 3-for-14 with a home run, three walks, and one HBP. Similarly, Bryan Ramos was 2-for-13, but drew four walks and hit a grand slam. 

Weekly rundown

Matthew Thompson has been struggling to string together consistently good starts, and after a six-inning, one-run outing, he came back on July 7 and allowed five runs in four innings. Three of those runs were on two Wilmington Blue Rocks home runs (Nationals affiliate). The other two were partially the result of the seven singles he gave up and partially wild-pitch based. Thompson walked two and struck out zero, throwing 39 of 72 pitches for strikes.

Luis Amaya struck out five in two innings of relief but gave up two runs as he did. Wilber Pérez surrendered one over two innings of work and Cooper Bradford did not allow a baserunner in his one inning pitched.

Both Tyler Osik and Jason Matthews singled in this game, accounting for the only two Dash hits. Osik’s completed a Duke Ellis Special in the first inning, Ellis drawing a walk to lead the inning off, stealing his 34th base, and scoring on the base hit. The team walked five times to 18 strikeouts. Colson Montgomery did not play. Dash lose 8-1.

Like Thompson, Drew Dalquist hasn’t been able to find a rhythm, and he battled his control in a loss to the Blue Rocks on July 8. Over four innings and 83 pitches (52 strikes), he allowed three runs and only walked one, but hit one batter and threw three wild pitches.

Karan Patel threw two scoreless innings and Ty Madrigal allowed a run in one. This game was mercifully called in the eighth after Madrigal hit the first two batters of the inning.

The Dash doubled their hit output from the day before: Oscar Colás hit two singles and Luis Mieses and Matthews each hit one for four total. Montgomery was hit by a pitch to extend his on-base streak to 43, but he scored the team’s only run after reaching on error in the fourth, Mieses driving him in. Dash lose 4-1.

It was good to see Garrett Schoenle bounce back with a strong start after struggling in three straight outings for the first time in his career on July 9. He went four innings with scant baserunners, scattering two doubles, a single, and a walk, none of them coming around to score. He struck out six. 

Behind him, the bullpen was about as good as it’s been all year; Luis Moncada and the newly signed-and-promoted Alejandro Mateo both threw two scoreless innings and Skylar Árias relentlessly continues to not give up earned runs, throwing a scoreless eighth. Árias, 25 years old and an early-June signee, is up to 9.1 innings between the ACL and the Dash, with a line of 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 3 BB, and 16 K, which is… good.

Not exactly bursting out at the plate, the Dash were still able to score five runs on six hits, most of those coming on a significant grand slam by Bryan Ramos in the third inning that drove in Terrell Tatum, Montgomery, and Colás, all of whom had walked. 

Their other run was in the preceding inning; Alsander Womack was hit by a pitch with two outs, stole second, took third on an error, then scored on another error. Montgomery walked twice overall to extend his streak to 44. Dash win 5-0.

July 10 was more of a return to form for Dash bats, shored up by a stellar outing from 19-year-old Cristian Mena on the mound. They scored five runs in the first inning, getting through five batters before making an out; Ellis led off with a single, did not steal as Montgomery bumped his streak to 45 games with a walk, Osik singled to load the bases, and Ramos drew the vaunted RBI walk to make it 1-0.

Sick of doing things piecemeal, Mieses hit his 26th double of the year, knocking in Montgomery and Osik and sending Ramos to third, whence he would score on a wild pitch (4-0). Mieses crossed the place during the same at-bat as Tatum hit a sacrifice fly (5-0).

They added two more runs to the board in both the fourth and the fifth, Harvin Mendoza reaching on error and scoring on Keegan Fish’s double in the fourth. Fish scored on an Ellis fly. 

In the fifth, Osik drew TDLW, was doubled to third by Mieses (double #27), then scored on a wild pitch. Womack was able to doink a ball into left field to score Mieses and put the Dash up 9-0.

This was the seventh time Mena has allowed zero runs, earned or otherwise, in at least four innings. Here, he went five, allowing just one hit—a second-inning double—walking three and striking out six. He did throw a wild pitch; 40 of his 68 pitches went for strikes. 

Everhett Hazelwood and Chase Plymell both faltered in relief, allowing one earned run each; Plymell allowed an additional unearned run, but the least-unearned type of run as it scored on his own dang error. Amaya then struck out three more over two scoreless innings. Dash win 9-3.

The Dash attempted a valiant ninth-inning comeback on July 12, which might have been successful if they hadn’t been down 13-2 to the Astros-affiliated Asheville Tourists at the time, and also if it hadn’t been banged with one out in the ninth due to rain. 

Chase Solesky gave up four earned runs (five total), his third straight outing allowing at least that many, and dropped his record to 3-7. Wilber Pérez couldn’t get three outs and was removed after allowing four runs; Madrigal also allowed four runs on two home runs, although he stretched those over 1.1 innings.

Vince Vannelle, on the other hand, who has established himself pretty firmly as one of those out-of-nowhere Sox relief prospects, gave up one walk and struck out two in a scoreless eighth. Between two levels this year, mostly with the Dash, his line is 36 IP, 28 H, 8 R (6 ER), 11 BB, 44 K. His ERA is 1.50 and WHIP is 1.08. He is 24 years old.

Scoring actually started early for the Dash; Montgomery went deep for the third time for the team in the first inning for an early 1-0 lead and a 46-game streak. There is no video because Asheville doesn’t have video cameras.

Unfortunately, the Dash didn’t score again until the seventh, when they were trailing 9-1. Catcher Adam Hackenberg doubled, was singled to third by Womack, and scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 9-2.

In the tragic ninth, Mieses homered for the eighth time to lead the inning off (13-3) and Hackenberg and Mendoza both walked. Womack’s base hit packed the sacks with Dash with nobody out, then a run-scoring passed ball (13-4) robbed Ben Norman of the ability to hit a grand slam; his home run was merely a three-run shot (13-7). 

Ellis subsequently struck out for the first out of the inning and Montgomery singled, putting one on with one out, but the skies opened and rained out their hopes. Dash lose 13-7.

Thompson was back to being good again on July 13, only allowing three runs on three hits to the Tourists in five innings, although two of those hits were solo home runs. He has allowed eight home runs in his last five starts, spanning 23 innings. He’s only allowed 15 runs overall in that time, though, which isn’t great but certainly isn’t as much as one might expect.

It was nothing the Dash weren’t able to overcome, at least on the 13th, as they sent eight runs across the plate. Two came in the fifth on a Mieses single and Hackenberg sac fly, then two more in the fourth, Osik with a bases-loaded walk and Ramos with a station-to-station RBI single.

Womack homered in the fifth, a solo fly, to put the Dash up 5-3, then three insurance runs scored in the eighth: Caberea Weaver, newly returned from the Cannon Ballers, walked and was singled to second by Ellis, at which point they executed a double steal (fourth for Weaver with the Dash, 36th for Ellis). After two quick outs, Ramos doubled to score them both and Mieses doubled for the 28th time to score Ramos. 

In relief, Patel and Mateo combined for four scoreless innings, walking two and striking out five.

Montgomery went 0-for-4 with a first-inning walk the only thing keeping his streak alive at 47 games. He left seven on base. Dash win 8-3.

Coming up, the Dash wrap up their six-game set against the Tourists, then they get Monday-Thursday off next week along with the big leaguers before starting their second and last three-game series of the year in Rome on July 22.

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