White Sox Minor Keys: April 23, 2018

Eloy Jimenez's first two hits of the season leave the yard

After a delay, Eloy Jimenez is back hitting dingers.

Jimenez homered twice in the first of two games for Birmingham on Monday night, which is a fine way to pick up the first two hits of one’s season. The first blast  is below, and the second one is above. Click on the links for video highlights, which may not work on some browsers.

Charlotte 5, Louisville 3

  • Jose Rondon returned to the lineup, going 1-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.
  • Charlie Tilson entered the game as a defensive replacement and went 0-for-1.
  • Daniel Palka went 1-for-4 with a walk.
  • Casey Gillaspie, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Eddy Alvarez went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.

Pensacola 9, Birmingham 5 (completion of Monday’s game)

  • Tito Polo went 2-for-4, but was caught stealing.
  • Zack Collins, 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Eloy Jimenez, 2-for-4 with two homers.
  • Seby Zavala wore the silver sombrero during his 0-for-4 night.
  • Jameson Fisher went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Spencer Adams: 2.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 WP

Birmingham 6, Pensacola 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Tito Polo went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Jameson Fisher went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
  • Eloy Jimenez, 1-for-3.
  • Seby Zavala was 1-for-2 with a homer and an HBP.
  • Jordan Stephens is back on track: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Kannapolis 3, Delmarva 0

  • Luis Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Justin Yurchak, 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Michael Hickman went 1-for-4 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Carlos Perez was 0-for-3 with a walk.
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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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Trooper Galactus

Welp, Casey Gillaspie sure looks like he’s giving us about what Dan Jennings gave the Rays. A whole lotta nothing.


Today’s SP: Pinto, Guerrero, Cease, Parke

Pinto arrived in March via a trade from the Phils. They had DFA’d him, and the Sox swung the deal for “future considerations.” He’d come all the way through the Phillies’ system as a starter, but made his MLB debut in two separate stints last season out of the Phils’ bullpen. He did not impress: 29.2 IP,  15.4% K, 15.4 % BB, 6.58 FIP, 5.08 xFIP. He gave up seven dongs.

The Sox had him in W-S to get a look at him to start the season. Pinto made three appearances as a starter, all brief (10.2 IP), got hit around, promoted, and today makes his debut in Charlotte. Here’s what John Sickels had on Pinto when he first got the big league call-up last June:

“Listed at 6-0, 185, Pinto is a right-handed hitter and thrower born January 20, 1994. His main attraction is a hot fastball clocked as high as 98 MPH in the minors; he clocked in with a max 97.5 in his MLB debut. His second pitch is a mid-80s change-up and it is solid enough, but his slider is below average and has kept his strikeout rate at a mediocre level.

Pinto will need to improve his breaking ball and overall command to thrive in the majors, although the Phillies will likely be patient given his arm strength. Most observers view him as a future middle reliever.”


Eric Longenhagen had Pinto pre-season no. 32 PHI prospect heading into 2017:

“Pinto is undersized but still sits 90-94 and touches 96 as a starter. He’s also got a straight, planeless fastball that might not play in the majors, even at that velocity, and a fringey slider. The changeup is above average and Pinto’s best pitch, and it could be plus at peak.

Pinto throws enough strikes to start, but when I saw him mid-year with Reading I thought the stuff really started to play down after multiple times through the lineup and, without a good third pitch to which he could resort, Pinto started getting tagged. I think, if the velo ticks up in short relief stints (it was 93-96 in the Futures Game), it will give him more margin for error on the fastball and suddenly a 60 fastball, 60 changeup with a good amount strikes starts looking pretty good one inning at a time. I have him projected in the bullpen, but the present fastball grade is as a starter where I think it plays down due to a lack of movement.”


Pinto landed in the right organization. It seems likely  we’ll see a Charlotte shuttle all season. Anyone be surprised if he made it to Chicago this summer?

Eagle Bones

If I’m Guerrero, Adams or Stephens, I’m kind of pissed they jumped Pinto up to AAA and left me to rot in AA still (though I guess none of them are killing it at Birmingham in their small sample sizes). I don’t understand the purpose of all of these garbage starters at AAA.


Which of the three guys you mention do you think would be ready for thirty-fifth street in July?

Mind I’m just guessing but the Sox probably  consider Pinto a more likely candidate, and even if they fairly envision using him as a bullpen piece, having him start in Charlotte gives them an accelerated look at a pitcher new to the organization. He’ll get guaranteed innings as a starter.

It’s their first look at the guy. They’re teaching him stuff, one assumes, making adjustments. This is their first look. Let him throw mucho.

24 y/o, 60 FB, 60 CH (~). Pop the hood. Turn a wrench or two. See how his motor runs.

Eagle Bones

I’m not saying they made the wrong move by promoting Pinto, I’m saying it’s really odd how they’re handling these other guys. Everyone saw the tweet(s) from Guerrero this summer when they didn’t add him to the 40 man. These are human beings and they have feelings. These guys all pitched pretty well at AA last year and they sent them all back there again anyway.

If you’ve got Pinto and Kopech at AAA, you’ve got three other spots there to fill. I get the need for a Volstad, but do you really need three of them?


Pinto is on the 40-man so it shouldn’t be a surprise to any of the 3 mentioned since none of them are on the 40-man.



Right Size Wrong Shape



Yes. I am clapping.


The Kanny starter yesterday, Blake Battenfield, has had great 2018 results. I couldn’t find a college or later scouting report for him. Like most of the Kanny team, he is old for the level. I am guessing that he is a low-velocity strike-thrower, but he’s probably worth monitoring if he keeps it up.