The White Sox have named former NC State All-American pitcher Carlos Rodon as their opening day starter (March 28th in Kansas City). For the 5th straight season, Chicago will roll out a different pitcher for opening day.
This is Rodon’s first opening day start.
“He’s been with us, we know what he’s capable of doing,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “The good thing is, we’ve started the year where he’s nice and healthy, we’re looking forward to a good season starting off. The way we slotted it, it just ended up being the right person for it.”
“He has been here longer than most of the guys who are here,” Renteria said. “This is a guy that’s got some pretty good stuff. He’s worked very, very well this spring. [Sunday’s] outing was really good, I thought. Kept us in the ballgame, fatigued a little bit near the end, but all in all, did a really nice job and continues to move forward. Happy, healthy and climbing.”
Rick Renteria announces that Carlos Rodon will start on Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/U2T9vgUXSH
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) March 18, 2019
Rodon is honored to be trusted with the opening day start.
“I’m the guy that gets to go first. I get the honor of going first,” Rodon said. “It doesn’t mean that I’m better than anyone else. I think everyone else has the potential of being the Opening Day starter, but I was the fortunate one.”
“I wouldn’t say I compare to Chris Sale and Jose Quintana,” Rodon said. “Me taking the ball on Game 1 doesn’t make me those guys, but, like I said, it’s an honor to take the ball that day. Just ready to compete.” (MLB)
Carlos Rodon says “it’s an honor” to start for the White Sox on Opening Day. pic.twitter.com/q77AeWpTmj
— Chuck Garfien (@ChuckGarfien) March 18, 2019
Rodon was a three-time All-American at NC State, and the all-time leader in strikeouts.
Justin Gainey Named Associate Head Coach at Marquette
Former NC State Point Guard Justin Gainey (1997-00) has been hired by Marquette as their Associate Head Coach, serving along head coach Steve Wojciechowski, the former Duke point guard.
“We are excited to welcome Justin and the Gainey family back to Marquette,” Wojciechowski said. “Justin is one of the nation’s top rising coaches and his talents, ability to build meaningful relationships and myriad of experiences alongside some of the game’s best teachers will serve our program, and most importantly our players, incredibly well.” (Link)
This isn’t Gainey’s first stint at Marquette, serving as Director of Operations from 2014-17. The past two seasons, Gainey served as an Assistant Coach with Sean Miller at Arizona. Prior to that, he served as an Assistant Coach at Santa Clara for one season with his former head coach at NC State, Herb Sendek.
Gainey’s coaching career began at NC State, where he served as Director of Operations for three seasons (2006-09), and then he went on to work at Appalachian State and Elon as well.
Dennis Smith Jr. Showing Love to Fayetteville in the Midst of Covid-19
Former NC State Freshman of the Year Dennis Smith Jr. never forgets where he came from. The New York Knicks Point Guard is always showing love for Fayetteville, North Carolina.
According to Ian Begley, DSJ is providing food vouchers for 575 first responders at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, and 32 computers for local students in Fayetteville.
Here’s a quote from Dennis Smith Jr. on his donation: “Fayetteville and basketball have given so much to me…. I wanted to show support for the real heroes during these tragic times – the first responders.” Smith Jr.’s full quote, via the Knicks, is here: https://t.co/EtvF1LhVKh pic.twitter.com/G1RpvhGTjF
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 27, 2020
Andrew Knizner Enters 2020 as the #6 Prospect in the Cardinals Organization
Former NC State Catcher Andrew Knizner enters the 2020 season ranked as the #6 prospect in the Cardinals organization.
Knizner was drafted in the 7th round by St. Louis in 2016, and was called up for the 1st time to the Big Leagues last year, when Yadier Molina was placed on the disabled list.
The jump wasn’t an easy one, with Knizner hitting .226 in 18 games.
Despite some time in the Majors at the end of last season, Knizner will begin 2020 in Triple-A Memphis, where he has already played 83 games, hitting .283.
Cardinals legend Molina is back to full strength, and backup Matt Wieters was signed to a 1-year deal, meaning it’s not quite time for Knizner.
Will Wilson Enters 2020 as the #10 Prospect in the Giants Organization
Former NC State All-American Shortstop Will Wilson will is entering the 2020 baseball season ranked as the #10 prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization.
After being drafted by the Angels with the 15th overall pick in the MLB Draft last year, Wilson hit .275 in 46 games of Rookie ball with the Orem Owlz.
In December, the Angels traded him to the Giants.
In his final season at NC State, Wilson led the team with a .335 batting average, 20 doubles, 16 home runs and a .661 slugging percentage, and finished eighth all-time in career doubles (57) and homers (39), and ninth in total bases (409).
Wilson is the 3rd highest draft pick in NC State history, and only the 2nd batter to be drafted in the 1st round, alongside another shortstop who is currently in the league as well: Trea Turner.
According to MLB.com, Wilson is expected to make it to the Majors in 2022.