Knights Knotes: April 16, 2017
KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Chicago White Sox) will conclude their seven-game road trip through the International League South and finish up a three-game series in Norfolk , VA this afternoon against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles). The Knights, who lost all four games in their four-game series against the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays) from April 10–13, have now dropped each of the first two games of this series to the Tides. Charlotte is in search of its first road win of the season today after having dropped each of the first six of seven games of this road trip. The team’s last road win came on August 28, 2016 at Norfolk. Overall, the Knights are 2–12 over their last 14 road games dating back to August 19, 2016 at Gwinnett. Overall. Charlotte’s six-game losing streak is the club’s longest since July 20, 2016 to July 30, 2016 when they lost a 2016 season high 10 straight games.
ABOUT LAST KNIGHT: 2B Yoan Moncada, Chicago’s top overall prospect, reached base three times on the night, but the Charlotte Knights fell to the Norfolk Tides on Saturday by a score of 5–0 in game two of their three-game series from Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA. The loss was Charlotte’s sixth straight and the team fell to 4–6 on the year after starting out at 4–0. Charlotte catcher Roberto Pena had two of his team’s five hits on the night. Jason Bourgeois, who recorded his 350th career Knights hit on Friday, finished Saturday’s game 1-for-4 at the plate. Moncada and Nicky Delmonico each had a hit on the night. Moncada also walked two times. He’s now batting .317 on the season.
350 AND COUNTING: OF Jason Bourgeois, 35, is back for his fourth season with the Knights and ranks among the all-time franchise leaders in a number of categories. Last night, Bourgeois ripped his 351st career Knights hit — a night after recording his 350th Bourgeois ripped two hits and moved into sole possession of third place on the Charlotte Knights all-time hits list back on Sunday, April 9. On that day, he passed Yolmer Sanchez (347), who is now fourth. Bourgeois is just one of five players in franchise history with 300 or more hits (Jordan Danks, 449, Joe Borchard, 439, Bourgeois, Sanchez, and Josh Phegley, 312). Bourgeois is also among the leaders in a number of other categories, including he is fifth in at-bats (1,217), eighth in games played (307), tied for third in triples (10), fourth in runs scored (170), and second in stolen bases (67). A native of Houston, TX, Bourgeois rejoined the Knights last season after playing for the team in 2007 and 2008. In 2013, he was named to the All Knights Stadium Team.
FROM THE SOUTH TO THE SOUTH SIDE: Outfielder Willy Garcia, who was recalled by the Chicago White Sox on Friday, became the third Charlotte player this season to earn a promotion to Chicago. RHP Tommy Kahnle became the first player to earn a promotion when he was recalled on April 6th by the White Sox. On Thursday, catcher Kevan Smith had his contract purchased by the White Sox. At the time of his promotion, Smith was leading the team with a .438 (7-for-16) batting average and nine RBIs in four games this season.
VS. THE TIDES: The Knights opened the 2017 season at BB&T Ballpark on April 6th and went 4–0 on their opening homestand against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles). Over that stretch, the team hit .375 (60-for-160), swatted seven home runs, scored 39 runs, and had a .442 on base percentage. Since then, the Knights have gone 0–6 and have hit just .167 (31-for-186) as a team, including another loss to the Tides last night — who they swept last week.
HOLM SWEET HOLM: LHP David Holmberg (1–0, 0.00) has been sharp out of the bullpen this season for the Knights. The Houston, TX native has not allowed a run in two appearances (6.2 innings pitched) and has eight strikeouts over that span. He was the winning pitcher on April 8 after 3.2 scoreless innings. Lefties are 0-for-9 against him at the plate so far this year.
TO-KNIGHT’S STARTING PITCHER: RHP Reynaldo Lopez (0–1, 6.48) gets the start today in the finale of the three-game series. Lopez made his debut in the Chicago White Sox system as he got the nod for the Knights on Opening Knight at BB&T Ballpark on April 6 On that day, Lopez allowed four runs (two earned) on three hits over three innings of work. In his next start — on April 11 in Durham — he was charged with his first loss of the season after allowing four runs over 5.1 innings pitched. He did strike out 10 batters on the night. The 23-year-old made 14 starts for Double-A Harrisburg last season and posted a 3–5 record with a 3.18 ERA in 14 starts (76.1 IP). He was later promoted to Triple-A Syracuse, where he went 2–2 with a 3.27 ERA in five starts (33.0 IP). Lopez made his major league debut on July 19 and tossed 4.2 innings for the ‘Nats against the Dodgers.
TONIGHT’S NORFOLK STARTING PITCHER: RHP Mike Wright (0–1, 8.59) gets the nod for the Tides in today’s finale for his third start of the season and second against the Knights already this year. Today’s pitching matchup is a rematch of the matchup on Opening Knight at BB&T Ballpark when Lopez faced Wright. Wright, a native of Bennettsville, SC, gave up two earned runs on six hits over three innings on April 6 and did not factor in the decision. He lost his last outing on April 11 against the Gwinnett Braves after allowing five earned runs on eight hits over 4.1 innings pitched. Wright is a product of East Carolina University.
GREAT DANISH: Although he was saddled with the loss on Friday, RHP Tyler Danish (1–1, 2.25) was effective over seven strong innings. Danish allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits over seven innings. Over his last five Knights starts dating back to 7/18/16, Danish has allowed just six earned runs in 30 innings pitched (2–2, 1.80 ERA).
MONCADA MANIA: Yoan Moncada, who entered the 2017 season ranked as the number two prospect in all of Major League Baseball according to Baseball America and MLB.com, reached base three times last night (two walks and a single). Moncada is hitting .317 (13-for-41) with seven runs scored, two home runs, three RBIs, and two stolen bases over his first 10 games with the Knights this season. He has a .404 on base percentage.