Wrap, Box, Charlotte Observer
Last night was our first game of the season against the Charlotte Knights. Time to point out that the Charlotte Knights don’t play baseball in Charlotte, they don’t even play in North Carolina. The park is in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
I’m guessing with football and basketball, Charlotte doesn't think they need baseball. Turnout last night (it was a Monday, though) was a dismal 1,333. And all they got to watch was a beat down by the Bulls.
Moments (from the box score, didn’t get to listen to the game):
Angel Chavez hit a three-run homer. I went digging into his stats expecting to find that this was a rare occurrence only to discover that he’s hit 43 homers in AAA. Pretty darn good, especially for a pure middle infielder.
We stole two more bases, Desmond Jennings (his first) and Fernando Perez (his sixth).
Jose Lobaton is making his mark. Only two games so far, but 4 hits and 3 walks. Good start.
Heath Phillips had a basically sound outing, keeping the Knights honest by hitting two of them.
Odds and Ends:
- The Bulls got a new umpiring crew last night after having the same three umpires for seven games in a row (three at Gwinnett and four at Durham). Do you start gaming the umpires after a while? Impossible for a fan to tell about that.
- Jeremy Hellickson won the International League Pitcher of the Week award for last week. Here’s the write-up from the IL’s site:
JEREMY HELLICKSON, Durham Bulls IL PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson won a pair of starts during the past week, allowing just two runs and leading the IL with 14.0 innings pitched and 15 strikeouts. In the process, he pushed his 2010 record to 3-0, with all three victories coming against intradivisional foes. Tuesday night at Gwinnett, Hellickson surrendered just four hits and one run in 6.1 innings while walking one and striking out seven to lead the Bulls to a 3-1 win. Last night he defeated Norfolk for the second time this season, going two outs deep into the 8th inning while again allowing four hits, one run, and one walk. He struck out eight Tides as Durham cruised to a 10-1 victory. For the season, Hellickson leads the League with three wins, 21 strikeouts, and 19.0 innings pitched. He has won 9 of his 12 starts for the Bulls since being promoted to Triple-A late last season. His 7.2 innings pitched Sunday represents his longest outing at this classification.
Jeremy Hellickson, who turned 23 on Opening Day, is in his fifth full season as a professional player. In late July of 2009, Hellickson was promoted from Double-A Montgomery to Durham. He went 6-1 with a 2.51 ERA for the Bulls down the stretch, and was named Most Valuable Player of the 2009 Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game. Hellickson is a native of Des Moines, Iowa.
- Aneury Rodriguez should get the start tonight. This will be his first AAA start in a career that started in Caspar, Wyoming when he was 17 years old (he’s 22 now). And a return to North Carolina. He pitched for the Asheville Tourists in 2007. Stats. Take a look at what RaysProspects had to say back in January.
- RaysIndex picked up on our comments regarding left-handed relievers and went them one better, suggesting that perhaps the Rays should take a look at Heath Phillips or Carlos Hernandez as a reliever.