Baseball - INACTIVE

Chicago White Sox give Charlotte Knights’ roster a makeover

The Chicago White Sox recently demoted Adam Engel after batting only .212 this season.
The Chicago White Sox recently demoted Adam Engel after batting only .212 this season. AP

One week has brought a lot of change for the Charlotte Knights.

As the Knights’ parent club, the Chicago White Sox, struggle to get traction in the American League’s Central Division, the White Sox have been making wholesale changes with Charlotte’s roster.

In the past seven days, there have been 21 roster changes for the Knights. Charlotte, meanwhile, has lost eight of its last 10 games after a strong start in the International League’s Southern Division.

The biggest changes, perhaps, were the demotions of outfielder Adam Engel and relief pitcher Carson Fulmer to Charlotte. Also sent down were pitchers Caleb Frare and Jose Ruiz.

And Chicago signed veteran infielder Ivan DeJesus Jr., 32, who had been playing in an independent league this season. DeJesus, son of longtime major-leaguer Ivan DeJesus, was assigned to the Knights.

Engel, 27, had been a big part of Chicago’s plans, but he was batting only .212 this season. White Sox manager Rick Renteria says the plan is for Engel to get some work at the plate.

“It’s an opportunity to go and just play every day, and try to get into that rhythm again,” Renteria told the Chicago Tribune. “He’s got to hit … that’s the bottom line. He’s got to get some more at-bats.”

Renteria described Engel’s defense as “dynamic” and said he expects the outfielder to be back with the White Sox “sooner than later.”

Fulmer
Carson Fulmer was the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft, but the right-hander has been unable to stick with the Chicago White Sox over the past two seasons. Paul Sancya AP

Fulmer, 25, was the eighth overall pick in the 2015 draft. He’s been up and down between Charlotte and Chicago numerous times over the past two seasons and has a career 9-12 record and 6.72 ERA with the White Sox. Control had been a problem this season, as Fulmer had walked 11 in 10 1/3 relief innings.

“I think we see him as a part of who we are, and he’s going to work on attacking the strike zone,” Renteria told the Arlington Heights (Ill.) Daily Herald.

Here’s how the Knights fared during the past week, and what’s ahead:

Last Tuesday: Knights’ right-hander Dylan Cease pitched six innings, striking out 11, but Charlotte fell 4-2 to Gwinnett.

Wednesday: Daniel Palka, Alfredo Gonzalez and Danny Mendick hit home runs as the Knights beat Gwinnett 10-7, ending a lengthy homestand.

Thursday: The Knights opened a series in Norfolk with an 8-2 loss to the Tides. Zack Collins drove in both Charlotte runs with a home run.

Friday: Matt Tomshaw, making his first start this season with Charlotte, gave up six runs in 3.2 innings, and the Knights lost 10-2 in Norfolk.

Saturday: Daniel Palka hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth, giving Charlotte a 13-9 lead over Norfolk. But the Tides scored five runs in the bottom of the inning for a 14-13 victory.

Sunday: Heavy rain suspended the game in Norfolk, with the Knights leading 5-3 in the fifth inning. The game will be completed June 28 in Norfolk, preceding a regularly-scheduled game.

Week ahead: Charlotte plays Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights in Columbus. The Knights visit Louisville for games Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After a day off Monday, they return home Tuesday, hosting Rochester in the opener of a six-game homestand.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle

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