SoxFest Interview #1: Jake Petricka
I first met Jake Petricka in 2013. He was promoted to the Charlotte Knights on July 4, 2013 after pitching extremely well for the Double-A Birmingham Barons. At that point, the 2010 second round pick of the White Sox was moving through the system quickly. He was also excelling.
Petricka, a native of Northfield, MN, was 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 21 games (one start) for the Barons that season. He last pitched with Birmingham on July 1, 2013 — before earning that call to Triple-A. He immediately made the transition to the Knights — and before long — he made that transition to Chicago.
He made his Triple-A debut on July 4, 2013 in Lawrenceville, GA against the Gwinnett Braves. Four days later, he made his Knights Stadium debut. In all, he would go on to make just 10 appearances for the Knights in 2013 before the White Sox would give him a call. He went on to post a 2-0 record with one save and an impressive 1.17 ERA for the Knights. While eight of his 10 appearances were scoreless, six of his 10 appearances were on the road, so Knights fans didn’t get to see him for very long.
When 2014 came around, Petricka was back with the Knights — even after going 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 16 games for the White Sox in 2013. In fact, in his Major League debut on August 17, 2013, the Minnesota native induced an inning-ending double play in the bottom of the 11th inning to earn his first Major League win. It came against the Kansas City Royals in Kansas City.
On April 4, 2014, Petricka became the first of 19 Charlotte Knights players promoted to Chicago during the season. He took the place of Nate Jones, who went on the disabled list. Petricka never returned to Uptown Charlotte.
I had a chance to catch up with Jake and talk to him about his impressive 2014 campaign in Chicago. He pitched to a 2.96 ERA in 67 games for the Sox. He finished 33 games and saved 14. We laughed about his brief stay with the Knights — he was there for Media Day and gone before the 2014 season started. We also talked about his thoughts on coming back to BB&T Ballpark on April 3rd for the exhibition game.