Three Things To Know As Salt Lake Bees Return Home To Face Express

Apr 29, 2022, 6:30 PM
Bees infielder Luis Regnifo rounds the bases against the Las Vegas Aviators on Sunday, April 17....
Bees infielder Luis Regnifo rounds the bases against the Las Vegas Aviators on Sunday, April 17.

SALT LAKE CITY – The Bees return to Smith’s Ballpark hoping the home field advantage will lead to a few more wins after a difficult 2-7 road trip against Reno and Round Rock.

After three games on the road against the Round Rock Express, affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the two franchises finish the home and home series with three games at Smith’s Ballpark beginning on Friday, April 29 with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m (MST).

Giving up walk off home runs to Reno on back to back nights to begin the series set a bad tone for the nine-game road trip. Salt Lake fought back to win the middle games in Reno with Jhonathan Diaz and Cesar Valdez picking up wins.

After losing the final two games in Reno, Salt Lake traveled to round Rock where they dropped the first two games in Texas. With Diaz on the hill in game three, the Bees held Round Rock to one hit in the 2-0 shutout.

Bees Pitching Lights Out

Despite losing seven of the nine games on the trip, the Bees pitching staff limited opponents to just four runs per game.

Caesar Valdez’s complete game five hitter against Reno secured his honor as PCL Pitcher of the Week. It took just 93 pitches for Valdez to go the distance.

Jhonathan Diaz wasn’t to be outdone by Valdez as he twirled an eight-inning, one hit seven strikeout masterpiece to finish the series at Round Rock.

Salt Lake’s staff has pitched to the tune of a league leading 3.16 ERA, allowing just 71 runs or 12 fewer runs allowed than second place Round Rock. The Bees have held opponents to just 12 home runs on the season, nearly half that of the 22 allowed by Round Rock and Tacoma in the early season. Salt Lake also leads the PCL with a 1.20 WHIP and a .214 batting average against while allowing the second fewest walks in the league.

Elvis Peguero and his 2-0 record with a 1.74 ERA have been instrumental out of the bullpen in the middle innings. Four of Peguero’s previous five appearances have gone longer than an inning.

Power Outage

Middle of the pack in nearly every offensive counting statistic, the Bees struggle mightily in one department, the long ball. With 17 home runs as a team, Salt Lake has just one more home run than Sugar Land’s 16. The next closet team to the Bees are Las Vegas and Round Rock with 23 bombs each.

The Bees have done a good job limiting the strikeout as their 163 K’s are the second fewest in the PCL.

Four Bees have two home runs apiece with Brendon Davis and Dillon Thomas leading the team with 12 RBI. Luis Regnifo’s 27 base hits lead the team as he (.329) and Kean Wong (.310) are the only two hittin gover .300 this year.

David McKinnon finished the series in Round Rock with a two home run performance that helped the Bees to a 2-0 win. It was the first time a Bee hit two home runs in a single game since Luke Raley hit a pair of bombs against Oklahoma City on September 11, 2021.

Round Rock Prospects

No. 3 Cole Winn – Starting Pitcher:

In four starts Winn in 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA. He has allowed 13 hits in 16.1 innings pitched while striking out 15 and walking just five. Winn is expected to start Sunday afternoon’s 1:05 p.m matinee.

No. 7 Josh H. Smith – Shortstop:

In 78 at-bats, Smith is hitting .269 with three home runs and three doubles. His 12 RBI are tied for the team lead.

No. 17 Davis Wendzel – Shortstop:

Wendzel is tied with Smith at 12 RBI this season. His four home runs lead the Express. Slashing .254/.320/.478, Wendzel has proven to be one of the more dangerous hitters in the Round Rock lineup.

No. 25 AJ Alexy – Starting Pitcher:

Off to a strong 3-1 start, Alexy has appeared in five games, starting four and pitching to a 4.70 ERA. In 23 innings, Alexy has allowed 13 hits while giving up a 1:1 strikeout to walk ratio with 17 of each. Alexy has been bitten by the home run ball as he has allowed four long balls already this season. He is expected to start against the Bees on Saturday, April 30.

No. 27 Yerry Rodriguez – Relief Pitcher:

Rodriguez has appeared in seven games for the Express in 2022. In 6.1 innings pitched, he has given up six earned runs on 13 base hits, garnering an 8.53 ERA out of the bullpen. He has one save earned in an outing against Albuquerque on April 23.

No. 29 Buba Thompson – Outfield:

Thompson’s .364 average is second best for the Express, behind Leody Taveras’ .377. Thompson has yet to draw a walk while striking out 21 times, good for the second worst mark team wide. With seven stolen bases, Thompson is far and away the biggest speed threat for the Express.

Salt Lake will host the Round Rock Express in a three game series beginning on Friday, April 29. First pitch for Friday and Saturday night is set for 6:35 p.m. (MST) and a Sunday afternoon matinee is set for 1:05 p.m. (MST) on Sunday, May 1.

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Three Things To Know As Salt Lake Bees Return Home To Face Express