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As the White Sox struggle to put a healthy lineup on the field, the trickle-down effect is taking a heavy toll on the Charlotte Knights. The situation got so dire that the team had to rush a reserve outfielder from Low-A Kannapolis to Massachusetts Friday for the Knights’ series against the WooSox.
The Knights’ pitching staff has had issues for some time due to a lack of starting pitching. But call-ups for Seby Zavala and Adam Haseley, and an IL stint for Romy Gonzalez have left the team with just three outfielders: Micker Adolfo, Blake Rutherford and Mark Payton; and three middle infielders: Laz Rivera, Yolbert Sanchez and Zach Remillard. That leaves Ryder Jones at first and third; two catchers, Carlos Perez and Nick Ciuffo; and Xavier Fernandez, who splits time at catcher and first base. Fernandez was promoted from Birmingham two weeks ago.
To bolster the outfield, Logan Glass was transferred from Kannapolis to Charlotte one day ago. He came to the Knights hitting just .137/.221/.235 for the Cannon Ballers, but he’ll presumably remain on the team at least until Eloy Jimenez is ready to play the outfield or someone is moved up from Birmingham. Or Haseley is sent back down, though the White Sox are short on actual, defensive outfielders and the Orioles demonstrated the value of those this weekend.
Gonzalez’ return to the Knights’ lineup would help ease a lot of infield issues. But Gonzalez is also on the 40-man roster (in fact, the only non-pitcher on the 40-man who is still in Charlotte) and could easily find himself on his way to Chicago, where the roster remains quite fluid.
In the short term, it is great for guys like Rivera and Remillard to get steady playing time. Over the long haul, it isn’t sustainable for the team to run such a lean roster.
But this is also the time of year when minor leaguers begin getting promotions. Colson Montgomery just got his ticket punched to Winston-Salem Friday, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see reinforcements arrive from Birmingham when the Knights return to Charlotte next Tuesday. Nor would I be surprised to see the White Sox sign a veteran or two and park them in Charlotte.
The pitching staff, meanwhile, has been struggling with a lack of starting pitchers for much of the season. However, the problem intensified of late with call-ups to Jimmy Lambert and Davis Martin, an injury to Mike Wright, the demotion of Emilio Vargas, Kade McClure’s move to the bullpen, and the release last week of Brody Koerner.
That leaves John Parke as the only true starter, though multi-inning reliever Kyle Kubat is being stretched out and was effective last week in a five-inning outing. Davis Martin is back with the team this week but he’s likely first man up when the White Sox need an arm.
The Knights do have relievers. Tons of them. Seventeen, not counting the ones on the IL. If you like bullpen games, now’s the time to tune in the Knights’ games.
Clearly, lots of changes are coming to the Knights’ roster, and soon.
- Eloy Jiménez went 1-for-5.
- Carlos Pérez was 0-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts.
- Yolbert Sánchez went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Good for Logan Glass, who homered along with three strikeouts during a 1-for-5 night.
- José Rodríguez went 0-for-4.
- Yoelqui Céspedes was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Colson Montgomery went 2-for-5.
- Oscar Colás, 4-for-5 with a double.
- Luis Mieses was 1-for-5.
- Matthew Thompson: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
- Wes Kath singled, walked twice and struck out twice.
- DJ Gladney was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
- Wilfred Veras went 1-for-4 with a homer, walk and two strikeouts.
- James Beard singled, walked, struck out twice and stole a base.
- Jared Kelley: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 3 K, 35 of 60 pitches for strikes.
- Cam Butler singled, walked and struck out twice. He was 1-for-2 in stealing bases.
- Luis Pineda was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Dario Borrero, 0-for-3 with a walk.
- Victor Quezada wore the golden sombrero.
- Guillermo Rodrigue went 1-for-3 with a walk, strikeout and stolen base.
- Erick Hernandez was 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Loidel Chapelli went 1-for-2 with a walk.
- Ryan Burrowes, 1-for-3 with a triple, walk and strikeout.