Minor league roundup: September 1

Maybe minor-league pitching coordinator Kirk Champion knew what he was talking about when he endorsed Charles Leesman's seemingly undeserved promotion to Birmingham.

Organizational favorite Charles Leesman has benefited from what appeared to be a premature promotion to Double-A. He’s 5-2 with a 2.81 ERA after his seven shutout innings tonight, and check out these other peripherals:

Winston-Salem 84 .294 4.68 4.15 53.8
Birmimgham 57 2/3 .202 2.81 7.02 54.4*

*Through Aug. 31. It’s bound to go up after tonight’s start, and I’ll adjust it accordingly.

I asked minor-league pitching coordinator Kirk Champion why Leesman received a promotion during a conference call at the end of July, and thanks to U-God’s transcript, I can easily reference exactly what he said:

Me: One guy that Rick Hahn pointed to as a sleeper or someone under the radar was Charles Leesman.  He kind of had a rough start but still got a promotion to Birmingham.  What are you seeing that isn’t reflected in the stats?
Champion: Even in his rough outings in Winston-Salem, there were portions of each one of those games that he stands out.  Understanding how to minimize the damage or being able to step off the mound and grab the rosin bag and regroup sometimes.  He had an outstanding outing just the other day in West Tennessee for Birmingham when you look at his line.  When you hear things like back to front, or staying on your pitches or having real good direction; those are things he has to do to have consistency.  In my mind, when a guy starts doing that two, three, four times in a row, mechanically they’ve got it.  That’s what you hope for with a guy like Leesman.  He’s left-handed with an average to above-average fastball.  There’s a lot of good things.  We thought he was ready to go for the Southern League and that his stuff was good enough for AA.

They thought correct, apparently. He’s working with a pretty good pitching coach in J.R. Perdew, and they’re working well together thus far. If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that you should never not trust a guy named Kirk Champion when it comes to an American athletic activity.
Leesman will continue pitching after the season in the Arizona Fall League. If he can tame the desert, we’ll have some pitching depth to get excited about.
*Addison Reed has 32 strikeouts to three walks over his last 21 innings at Great Falls. And he’s allowed just seven hits.
*Clevelan Santeliz was designated for free agency to make room for Gregory Infante on the 40-man roster. It’s kind of a curious decision, considering they put him on the 40-man roster when he had even less impressive numbers two years ago, and there is are two is one AAAA filler reliever (Freddy Dolsi) still on the 40-man roster. Two, if you count Randy Williams, though he has the virtue of left-handedness.
It’s not worth getting worked up over, but I saw it and thought, “Huh.” That’s all.

  • Durham 4, Charlotte 3
    • Dayan Viciedo hit his 19th homer during a 2-for-4, two-RBI night.
    • Brent Morel also went 2-for-4, with the other RBI.
    • Also in the 2-for-4 club: Jordan Danks. He struck out once.
    • Jeff Marquez threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits and three walks while striking out five.
    • Clevelan Santeliz allowed two runs on a hit and a walk over 1 2/3 innings, striking out one.
  • Birmingham 5, Carolina 0
    • Charles Leesman had the best start of his pro career, throwing seven innings of one-hit ball. He also walked just one, struck out five and got 12 groundouts.
    • Christian Marrero went 2-for-4 with a double.
    • Josh Phegley doubled and struck out twice over four at-bats.
    • Eduardo Escobar was 0-for-4.
  • Winston-Salem 10, Lynchburg 2
    • Nick Ciolli went 3-for-5 with a double, strikeout and RBI.
    • Jon Gilmore went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI.
    • Jose Martinez was 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Delmarva 1, Kannapolis 0
    • Justin Collop went the distance in defeat, allowing one run on seven hits and a walk over eight innings, striking out seven.
    • Tyler Saladino and Miguel Gonzalez were both 1-for-4.
    • Trayce Thompson walked and struck out twice over four trips to the plate.
  • Great Falls 2, Helena 0
    • Addison Reed struck out three over two scoreless innings. He allowed a single.
    • Ross Wilson went 1-for-4 with an RBI.
    • Andy Wilkins singled and walked during a 1-for-3 night.
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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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Braun is not on the 40-man roster.


“If he can tame the desert, we’ll have some pitching depth to get excited about.”
Getting excited only leads to disappointment when he’s traded for a mediocre veteran.


OT: I know this is banal, but I saw Manny was flying his barber to Boston for a haircut – which I found to be pretty funny. But thinking about it, how does the guy who signed the checks for Dennis Rodman at his most outlandish have an “appearance policy”?