White Sox Minor Keys: May 22, 2021

Let’s start with the good news from the Charlotte Knights on Saturday: Jake Burger logging his sixth homer of the season in his team’s 8-7 loss to Durham. It was a rocket to left on a first-pitch, 94-mph fastball from lefty Adam Conley, and it was captured from multiple angles.

Durham’s broadcast provided the center field view:

And thanks to Burger plying his trade in the same city where Baseball America is located, Josh Norris captured the side angle of Burger’s homer, as well as a double that preceded it.

Burger is now hitting .226/.281/.623 on the season, thanks to nine of his 12 hits going for extra bases.

As for the bad news, Jonathan Stiever lasted only one inning, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. I watched the video to see if there were any signs of distress besides general laboring, and his velocity remained at 92-94 mph throughout the inning. Also, Wes Helms had a pitcher warming as Stiever approached the 25-pitch mark, so it wasn’t as though Stiever reported a problem between innings.

The obvious outward answer is that Stiever had to throw 33 pitches according to MiLB’s tracking, and 35 pitches according to the Durham broadcast. Perhaps he had just used up his allotment of labor for the evening, but I suppose we’ll find out if and when he makes his next start on schedule.

To tie the two together, Stiever’s night ended with a pop-out in shallow left field, and you can see how Burger is moving freely this year.

Durham 8, Charlotte 7

  • Luis González and Brian Goodwin both were 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
  • Jake Burger hit his sixth homer, doubled, walked and struck out twice.
  • Gavin Sheets went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Jonathan Stiever: 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K

Birmingham 3, Montgomery 2

  • Romy Gonzalez and Ti’Quan Forbes both were 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Micker Adolfo continued his tear, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.
  • Carlos Pérez went 1-for-3 with an HBP.
  • Blake Battenfield lowered his ERA to 0.90: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.
  • Kyle Kubat earned a four-inning save: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

Jersey Shore 3, Winston-Salem 2

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Curbelo was 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Luis Mieses continued his odd start by going 1-for-4 with his third homer.
  • Duke Ellis went 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Lazaro Leal was 0-for-2 with a walk and an HBP.

Columbia 10, Kannapolis 4

  • Caberea Weaver went 2-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
  • José Rodriguez went 4-for-5 with a homer and two doubles, although he also committed three of Kannapolis’ six errors.
  • Bryan Ramos went 2-for-5 with to strikeouts.
  • DJ Gladney went 0-for-4, walking once and striking out thrice.
  • Benyamin Bailey was 2-for-5.
  • Lency Delgado went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • James Beard, 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Jared Kelley notched his first success: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP, 36 of 60 pitches for strikes.
  • Bailey Horn struggled in his return from a two-week absence: 1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Highlights:

*Check out Daniel Victor’s Twitter account for highlights and notes. He had Kelley sitting 95-97 mph and topping out at 98, and Horn touching 97.

*Here’s Rodriguez’s homer:

Photo by Jake Burger (Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

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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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ParisSox

Jake continues to rake. (copyright pending)

soxfan

He’s a great story, wishing him the best, all that, but…

What exactly does he do for us? He’s not going to take Moncada’s spot at 3B. He’s another right-handed power bat in a lineup stuffed (and expected to be more stuffed when guys get healthy) with right-handed power. He doesn’t have the versatility to move to another position. I’m not sure how a low-AVG, low-OBP, high-SLG line translates to the majors. And given his age, I’m not sure anyone would consider him a primary or even secondary prospect in a trade for an impact left-handed outfielder.

I really want to be wrong so that he can help the big league team but I’m not sure how he does. The development of Rutherford and/or Sheets is more critical since they are both left-handed bats that can at least stand in an outfield corner for now.

metasox

I don’t know about scouts but I would find it impressive if he could handle AAA pitching after last playing real minor league games in Kannapolis. Sox have a few guys that may not fit well into their plans (IIANM, Adolfo will be out of options, e.g.) that they could package for bullpen help or anything else on the wish list.

Last edited 1 year ago by metasox
ParisSox

This would be one of those good problems to have.

ParisSox

That’s January’s problem. Let’s see if the guy can get through a full season first.

GrinnellSteve

It’s way too early to call him a low avg./low OBP. He’s adjusting to AAA after forever on the IL. If he adjusts and if he stays healthy, he’s a prospect, just a prospect whose timetable was derailed.

I think he’s a hitter. Another third baseman whose career essential didn’t start until he turned 27: Edgar Martinez.

Trooper Galactus

Moncada’s salary:
2022: $13.8m
2023: $17.8m
2024: $24.8m

I would not put it past the White Sox to salary dump him if Burger can be a credible replacement, especially if Jerry continues to keep payroll in the $130-135 million range.

Separate thought: if they’re willing to convert Sheets and Vaughn to an outfield corner, I don’t see why they wouldn’t be willing to try the same with this slimmer, faster version of Burger.

Willardmarshall

Theoretically should a second baseman who was able to successfully switch to third base also be able to play right field?

tommytwonines

The 33 pitch vs 36 pitch discrepancy is odd. I see right now the milb box score reports 33 pitches. I guess the broadcasters got it wrong?

tommytwonines

Gotcha. I’m just wondering if anyone’s “auditing” Statcast now and then, internally or otherwise, to ensure all these numbers are accurate. Seems like I hear an incredible stat almost every day dating back to 1906 or so, and I wonder “anyone checking this or is there a second source”?

Last edited 1 year ago by tommytwonines