Tonight, White Sox Triple-A affiliate Charlotte (44-52) will go head-to-head with the Pawtucket Red Sox (45-49) on NBC Sports Chicago at 6 p.m.
Top pitching prospect Michael Kopech (2-5, 4.88 ERA) faces William Cuevas (5-3, 3.21 ERA) at BB&T Ballpark. The flame-throwing Kopech is coming off an 11-strikout performance in his last start when he completed six innings of work and allowed only four hits and one earned run.
Kopech has been inconsistent for the Knights this season, but leads the International League with a whopping 122 strikeouts. He had a forgettable month of June, when he went 1-4 with a 5.46 ERA, but he looks to be getting on the right track recently.
Charlotte’s batting lineup is highlighted by White Sox No. 1 prospect Eloy Jimenez, who has performed well since his promotion from Double-A Birmingham in mid-June. The powerful hitter has a .283/.348/.483 slash line with three home runs in 60 at-bats with the Knights.
Reliever Ian Hamilton (2.71 ERA), who is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 18 White Sox prospect, has served as the team’s closer since his June promotion to Triple-A. The 23-year-old has converted four of five save opportunities with Charlotte, making him a player to monitor during tonight’s game. He has 10 strikeouts with only two walks in 9 2/3 innings.
The news surrounding Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson has been nothing but positive as the team kicks off training camp on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.
First came coach Matt Nagy, who said Robinson is physically and mentally ready to go after the receiver's recovery from a torn ACL last September. Then it was quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who said Robinson is getting back to his playmaking form.
"He got healthy and he's starting to look like the old Allen Robinson," Trubisky said Thursday. "He has great hands, we know he will go up and get it.
"He can be a really special player for us."
Trubisky described Robinson's traits, ranging from his ability to create separation to his knack for the acrobatic catch, with giddy excitement. In fact, Trubisky used the word 'excited' several times when discussing the Bears upcoming season.
Chicago kicks off training camp practices on Friday, with the first padded session slated for July 21. Robinson will finally have a chance, on the field, to turn excitement and anticipation to performance and production.