Current and Future Sox Contributed to Birmingham’s Southern League Success
Monday, September 16, 2013
White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN) in the opener of a three-game series. Starters: RHP Erik Johnson (0-2, 4.66) for the Sox, LHP Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.25) for Minnesota. Johnson is shooting for his first big-league win.
Sox Starting Lineup: De Aza, CF; Ramirez, SS; Gillaspie, 3B; Konerko, 1B; Dunn, DH; Viciedo, LF; Jor. Danks, RF; Beckham, 2B; Anderson, C.
Play of the Day: The Birmingham Connection
Erik Johnson and his college and pro teammate Marcus Semien, whose two hits yesterday in the Sox’s loss to Cleveland brought his average to .346 since coming to Chicago, both spent a good portion of this season at Class AA Birmingham–the brand new Southern League champions. Semien, in fact, was named the league’s MVP for his performance before being called up to Class AAA Charlotte. Johnson was 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA prior to joining the Knights. RHPs Jake Petricka and Daniel Webb and C Miguel Gonzalez, all now with the Sox, also contributed to the championship season.
All five undoubtedly experienced a great deal of satisfaction last night as their ex-mates clinched the Barons’ first league championship since 2002. Host Birmingham, managed by Julio Vinas, won the title, 4-2, by capturing the winner-take-all fifth game in the best-of-five series against the two-time defending champion Mobile BayBears, a Diamondbacks farm club.
The MVP of the championship series was second baseman Micah Johnson (pictured below), who joined the Barons in late August from High Class A Winston-Salem after he started the season at Class A Kannapolis. He hit .450 with a homer, six runs scored and four RBI in the five games and in the decisive contest last night, he went 2-4 with a home run, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
In the entire postseason, Micah led the team with a .368 average, 12 runs scored and seven steals while driving in seven runs and walking seven times. The talented speedster, a top Sox prospect, led the entire minor leagues in stolen bases in 2013 with 84 and batted .312 with a .373 on base percentage in his three stops during the regular season.
Quote of the Day
@BhamBarons: FINAL: Barons 4 Mobile 2!!! 2013 SOUTHERN LEAGUE CHAMPIONS! GO CRAZY BIRMINGHAM!!!
White Sox vs. Twins at U.S. Cellular Field (7:10 p.m., CT, CSN). Starters: LHP Jose Quintana (7-6, 3.56) for the Sox, RHP Mike Pelfrey (5-12, 5.31) for Minnesota.
Did You Know…
…that with his seven strikeouts last night vs. the Tribe, Chris Sale is just one shy of Gary Peters’ franchise record for lefthanders (215) set in 1967?
Sox Notes of Note
Happy Birthday to both Gordon Beckham (27) and bench coach Mark Parent (52)…Hector Santiago, who last week was selected as the Sox nominee for the 2013 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award (honoring on-and-off-the-field achievements), has also been chosen as the club’s nominee for this year’s Roberto Clemente Award–“which pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others”…Vance Law, the third baseman on the 1983 “Winning Ugly” White Sox and currently member of the organization as a special assistant to player development, sang the National Anthem before last night’s game. Interestingly, Vance’s Dad, Vern, the 1960 National League Cy Young Award winner, was a teammate of Clemente’s on the Pirates…Scotty McCreery, the 2011 American Idol winner, was at the ballpark yesterday to promote the RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program and visited the #SoxSocial Lounge.
Photo of the Day
The 2013 Southern League Champion Birmingham Barons.