The Charlotte Knights entered the season with a good problem behind the plate: How should they split the playing time between two catchers?
Now they have one of those bad problems: Where did their catchers go?
Seby Zavala was already on the injured list with a wrist issue that had hampered his production both last season and this one. On Thursday, Zack Collins joined him, with the beat writers informed that Collins was in the concussion protocol due to a foul tip to the mask.
Collins is one of the farm’s bright spots early, as he’s hitting .256/.370/.581 over 108 plate appearances. It comes with a 31 percent strikeout rate and concerns that the Triple-A baseball is inflating his numbers — as well as those of so many other Knights. Then again, Collins has posted disappointing numbers at other times when he was expected to rake, so there are no quibbles here.
The injury forced the Sox to reach into A-ball and grab Michael Hickman while they pondered their next move, but the Knights were rained out to buy them a day. With Hickman jumping to Charlotte, Jhoandro Alfaro moved into the catching vacancy in Kannapolis, and made his A-ball debut on Thursday. Alfaro signed out of Colombia for $750,000 back in 2014.
- Luis Robert went 0-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases.
- Luis Basabe was 1-for-4 with a double, two strikeouts and a stolen base.
- Luis Gonzalez, 1-for-3 with a double, walk and stolen base.
- Ti’Quan Forbes was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Gavin Sheets, 2-for-4 with a K.
- Blake Rutherford went 0-for-4 with a K.
- Laz Rivera was 0-for-4.
- Bernardo Flores: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K
- Zack Burdi: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 14 of 26 pitches for strikes.
*Robert’s stolen bases were on consecutive pitches, the second of which forced a throwing error that allowed him to score.
- Nick Madrigal went 0-for-3.
- Steele Walker walked once and struck out thrice.
- Carlos Perez went 2-for-4.
- Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-6 with his first A-ball homer, a double and a strikeout.
- Romy Gonzalez went 4-for-5 with a triple.
- Bryce Bush was 2-for-5 with two doubles.
- Corey Zangari went 1-for-4 with a sac fly and two strikeouts.
- Amado Nunez, 2-for-5.
- Jhoandro Alfaro surfaces: 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Jonathan Stiever: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
- Jason Bilous: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K