White Sox Covey fires five scoreless in return to AFL
By Matthew McClure
Dylan Covey threw five scoreless innings and struck out two as Glendale defeated Surprise, 8-2, on Thursday. Covey picked up his first victory of the Arizona Fall League season, helping the Desert Dogs improve to 2-1.
Covey pitched in the Fall League last year, then in the Athletics' organization, posting a 4.74 ERA in six starts for Mesa. He made his MLB debut in April for Chicago, making 12 starts and 18 appearances over the course of the year. He went 0-7 with a 7.71 ERA in those games. Since his stint in the Majors, he said he took a step back to better understand how to perfect his craft.
"I learned how to pitch," Covey said. "I struggled a lot in the big leagues this year. I sort of figured some things out towards the end. They told me to come to the Fall League and just kind of carry that momentum."
That momentum showed Thursday as he was in control the entire game, allowing only three hits. He induced multiple groundouts and credits his success to one pitch.
"The movement on my fastball was working in my favor today," Covey said. "I kept it down and it forced the hitters to pound it into the ground."
The Desert Dogs were led by a trio of Los Angeles Dodgers prospects who batted fourth, fifth and sixth in their lineup. The three of them tallied four of the eight RBIs and six hits.
Matt Beaty, the Dodgers' No. 30 prospect, had a solid day at the plate going 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. He also was impressive on the defensive side, making multiple plays at third base and protecting the foul line.
Will Smith, the Dodgers' No. 8 prospect, showed he has power to all sides of the field, hitting a triple into right center to break things open early. He followed that up with a double down the left-field line in the seventh. He ended the day 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs.
The first-round pick out of Louisville said playing in the Fall League isn't much different than the minors. Smith said after the game that the Fall League is fun and he wants to learn from everyone else while he's a part of it.
"I look forward to getting to know some guys, making friends, seeing what everyone does and how they do it," Smith said. "Just how they go about their business each day."
The Saguaros were limited to six hits. Luis La O, a Rangers infielder, was the only player to crack the scoreboard with a two-RBI single in the eighth.
Pitchers have been the key to the Desert Dogs' success in the early going. Glendale has allowed the second-fewest runs in the entire league, trailing only Salt River. Covey believes that the developmental league will be good for him as he continues to grow as a pitcher.
"(I look forward to) fine-tuning the skills and the teaching that I got in Chicago this year," Covey said. "This Fall League is just an opportunity to just get better every day and hone in what I have learned."
Matthew McClure is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.