27 different pitchers took the mound for the Charlotte Knights in 2013.
Two pitchers made just one appearance each (Michael Nix and Spencer Arroyo), while two pitchers cracked the Knights Top 10 in games started for a single season (Zach Stewart and Jason Berken).
Stewart, who was marvelous on the final day of the season (eight shutout innings), finished the year with 14 losses — tying Arnie Munoz for second all-time on the Knights single-season losses list. His final performance on the final day of the regular season — at the final game in Knights Stadium history — was one of the finest pitching performances of the season by a Knights pitcher.
Knights fans also got a glimpse at Erik Johnson, who was promoted to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham and posted a 4-1 record with a 1.57 ERA in 10 starts. Johnson has since become a member of the Chicago White Sox.
11 of Charlotte’s pitchers were promoted to Chicago — including Jake Petricka, who went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 10 games with the Knights.
White Sox starter John Danks made three starts for the Knights in 2013 — including a a May 12 start at Knights Stadium against the Pawtucket Red Sox. On that date, with his brother Jordan in the lineup, John allowed three runs (two earned) over six innings en route to a victory.
The finest pitching performance of the season was turned in by Andre Rienzo — who is the 2013 Charlotte Knights Pitcher of the Year. Rienzo got off to a rough start to the 2013 season — but he quickly became the staff’s ace.
Rienzo started his first game of the season on April 6 in Gwinnett. On that date, Rienzo allowed five runs (six earned) on six hits over five innings. He was saddled with his first Triple-A loss in what just his second career Triple-A start.
In his next outing, Rienzo allowed seven runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings at Knights Stadium on April 11 — Opening Day. He would get better however in his next start and show just what he was capable of doing on the mound.
On April 16 at Knights Stadium, Rienzo allowed one run on six hits over six innings en route to his first career Triple-A win. It was the first of eight wins for Rienzo in 20 starts for the Knights in 2013.
While Rienzo struggled a bit over his next few outings, he showed progress. He went from a 1-2 mark with a 7.71 ERA in April (five games) to a 3-1 mark with a 5.74 ERA in May (six games). Then, he took off.
In June, Rienzo posted a 1-3 mark with an impressive 2.30 ERA in five starts. He struck-out 39 batters over 31.1 innings pitched and tossed a six-inning complete game on June 11 at Lehigh Valley.
July was his best month of the season — and it was a month for the ages! In four starts that month, Rienzo went 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. He tossed two complete games, along with one shutout.
On Thursday, July 25, the Brazilian-born right-hander tossed a seven-inning no-hitter in a 1-0 win over the Indianapolis Indians at Knights Stadium. The moment was ranked as the ninth-best moment in the 24-year-old history of Knights Stadium. The 25-year-old threw 112 pitches — 69 for strikes, while fanning 11 batters. He also walked four batters.
Just five days after his no-no, Rienzo was promoted to the Chicago White Sox (July 30). At the time of his promotion, he was leading the International League in strikeouts (113). Also at the time, he was tied for the league lead in complete games (three) and he ranked second in shutouts (1).
Overall with the Knights, Rienzo went 8-6 with a 4.06 ERA in 20 starts. His three complete games finished in a tie for first place in the IL with Vance Worley, Andrew Albers, Greg Reynolds, and Steve Wright. He struck-out 113 batters over 113.0 innings.
Now, as a member of the White Sox, Rienzo has come a long way from his days as a youngster in Brazil. He made Major League history on July 30 by becoming the first-ever Brazilian-born pitcher in the Majors. He continued to make Major League history by earning his first win on August 21 in Kansas City.
It has been an impressive journey for Rienzo in 2013. It all began as a member of Team Brazil for the World Baseball Classic. It continued as a member of the Charlotte Knights — and it brought him all the way to Chicago with the White Sox.
For his solid efforts with the Knights in 2013, Andre Rienzo is the 2013 Knights Pitcher of the Year.
Steve Tolleson is a South Carolina native who had the opportunity to play in front of family and friends in 2013. As a member of the Charlotte Knights for the entire season, Tolleson took that opportunity and turned in a successful season. With all of his accomplishments this year, Tolleson is my pick for Knights MVP.
A product of the University of South Carolina, Tolleson represented the Knights at the Triple-A All-Star Game earlier this season. The Spartanburg native finished the season by leading the Knights in a number of offensive categories. He appeared in a team-high 116 games and went on to lead the Knights in batting average (.288), hits (113), total bases (167), walks (59), and on-base percentage (.381).
Overall, Tolleson hit .288 with eight home runs and 53 RBIs in 116 games. Tolleson ranked second in doubles (28), and second in RBIs (53) — both behind Brent Morel — who led the Knights in both categories.
The 29-year-old played six positions on Joel Skinner’s squad, including second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field, and designated hitter. As a second baseman (the position he played the most games at, 37), Tolleson hit .342 (40-for-117) with 16 runs scored, eight doubles, three home runs, 24 RBIs, and five stolen bases. His versatility made it easy for Skinner to plug him into the lineup on a daily basis.
Three players tied for the longest hitting streak of the season (12) by a Knights player in 2013 (Tolleson, Tyler Greene, and Mike McDade). Tolleson’s 12-game streak lasted from June 25 to July 7. Tolleson also finished tied for second on the team in multi-hit games with Carlos Sanchez. Their 27 were two less than Brent Morel’s 29.
Tolleson hit one of the Charlotte’s two grand slams this season. His grand slam came on June 6 in Pawtucket against the PawSox.
It was a special season in Fort Mill for Tolleson. His dad Wayne, a 10-year Major League veteran, was on-hand to watch his son a number of occasions. Steve was a fan-favorite at the ballpark and for his hard work and stellar play, he was the Most Valuable Knight of the 2013 season.
Runner-Up: Josh Phegley. The hard-hitting, defensive-minded backstop from Terre Haute, Indiana, was off to a remarkable start to the 2013 season. He had a marvelous May — recording a .356 batting average with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. Overall, in 61 games for the Knights, he hit .316 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs. On July 5, Phegley was recalled to Chicago and has been with the White Sox ever since.
Up Next: Most Valuable Knights Pitcher & Knights Rookie of the Year…
I’ll be talking about the final four games in Knights Stadium history, including the plans for the final ever game at the legendary stadium, which takes place on Monday, September 2 at 2:15 PM.
Friday’s show should be a lot of fun! Make sure to tune in.
The following is from the WRHI website:
Start your day the right way with Palmetto Mornings!
Host Chuck Boozer keeps you up-to-date with the day’s news and local happenings. News with Mike Crowder and the updated AccuWeather forecast with Severe Weather Center 9′s Keith Monday. Chris Miller has all the highlights from your favorite sports teams.
Palmetto Mornings is the informative, interesting and entertaining start of the day for York County with the latest in news, sports, traffic weather conditions, with discussions on the latest hot-button topics.
Palmetto Mornings is on the air each weekday morning from 5:30 to 10:00 a.m.
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (59-73– 2013) (83-61, 1st South – 2012) @
Syracuse Chiefs (63-70– 2013) (70-74, 5th North – 2012)
Syracuse, NY ~ NBT Bank Stadium – 7:00 PM (Game 2 of 4) (Game 133 of 143)
FRI: CHA RHP Zach Stewart (5-13, 4.80) @ SYR LHP Danny Rosenbaum (6-10, 3.88)
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: A four-run seventh inning led the Syracuse Chiefs to an 8-5 win over the Charlotte Knights on Thursday in the opening game of their four-game series from NBT Bank Stadium in Syracuse, NY. Syracuse scored all four runs off Charlotte reliever Daniel Webb (1-1, 3.47). Webb gave up back-to-back hits to lead off the seventh inning and later allowed a one out walk to Zach Walters to load the bases. After a mound visit, Kris Watts reached on a fielding error by Webb and Corey Brown scored from third base to break the 4-4 tie. The Chiefs then added to their lead with help from Eury Perez who cleared the bases with a three-run triple. Marcus Semien and Jim Gallagher had two hits apiece in the loss. Nick McCully started and allowed four runs on nine hits over 5.2 innings.
ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and Syracuse Chiefs will continue their final series meeting of the 2013 season tonight and will do so in Syracuse, NY. So far this year, the Knights lead the 3-2. The two teams battled at Knights Stadium from June 17-20 and the Knights won three of four games. Overall, the Chiefs lead the all-time series 99-87. At Knights Stadium, Charlotte leads 49-47. At NBT Bank Stadium in NY, the Chiefs lead 53-38.
JIM DANDY: Jim Gallagher had a solid day at the plate last night – ripping two hits and finishing the game 2-for-4 with a run scored and a double. For Gallagher, it was the 66th double of his Knights career – which put him into a tie for fifth place all-time on the Knights career list. He tied Josh Fields for fifth. Next up for Gallagher is Lou Lucca, who had 68 doubles in his career. Gallagher has 12 doubles this season and had 15 last year. In 2011, Gallagher finished tied for second in the IL with 39 doubles. Gallagher is also now 10 hits away from tying Jason Bourgeois for 10th on the all-time Knights career list for hits. Gallagher has 241, Bourgeois weighs in with 251.
HEIS-MAN: Adam Heisler is in his second stint of the year with Charlotte after he earned his second promotion of the season on Wednesday. Heisler, who was with Kannapolis (A) at the time of his promotion, appeared in his fifth game with Charlotte last night and went 1-for-2 with a walk, run scored, and a stolen base. Heisler has now hit safely in all five games with the Knights this season and he has six hits over the five-game span. Heisler is hitting .400 (6-for-15) with three runs scored and two RBIs for Charlotte. He hit .288 (30-for-104) with Kannapolis (30 G) and .272 (59-for-217) with Winston-Salem (A+) in 58 games earlier this year.
UNEARNED RUNS: Daniel Webb came on last night and allowed all four runs in the seventh inning in the 8-5 loss to the Chiefs. Webb was the losing pitcher, falling to 1-1 with a 3.47 ERA on the season. All four of the runs he allowed were unearned due to an error he committed in the inning. For the season, Webb has appeared in 18 games with the Knights and has not allowed an earned run over his last 12 games. His last earned run came in the July 9th game against the Durham Bulls. Since then, he has tossed 16.2 innings – allowing no earned runs, with six unearned runs allowed. He also has 23 strikeouts over that span.
TAYLOR MADE: Taylor Thompson tossed a scoreless inning out of the bullpen last night for the Knights and has now not allowed a run over three straight appearances (4.2 IP). Over that span, Thompson has seen his ERA drop from 7.27 to 4.73.
GET CRAY-Z: Stephen McCray made his first Triple-A start in game two of the doubleheader Sunday. McCray allowed three runs (one earned) over four innings while striking out five. The righty has also made two relief appearances for the Knights since his promotion from Birmingham, where he started 22 games going 10-7 with a 3.25 ERA.
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights scored early and often on Friday in the opening game of their three-game series with the Durham Bulls. Charlotte scored eight of their 12 runs in the second inning and went on to beat Durham by a score of 12-1 at Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The win was Charlotte’s third straight and seventh over their last 10 games.
ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: With the win last night, the Knights are now 4-9 against the Bulls this season. The Bulls lead the all-time series 154-123. At Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Durham holds a 80-56 advantage, including four of five games this season. At Knights Stadium, Durham leads Charlotte, 74-67. In the 2013 season series between the two teams, the Knights jumped out to a 3-1 lead after taking three of four at Knights Stadium in early April. Since then, Durham has won the seven of the past eight contests. Charlotte was victorious in the 2012 season series, 15-6, which also included an impressive 10-0 mark against the Bulls in Fort Mill. Durham has outscored the Knights 53-43 this year.
TODAY’S ROSTER MOVES: A day after a number of roster moves, the Knights roster was at it again on Saturday. LHP Charlie Leesman, who made his Major League debut last night for the Chicago White Sox, has been optioned back to Charlotte. Leesman allowed one run on four hits over five innings. He also struck-out eight batters — the most by a Sox pitcher in his debut since Ravelo Manzanillo also fanned eight on September 25, 1988 vs. Seattle (Elias). The 26-year-old Leesman received a no-decision. In other moves, infielder Carlos Sanchez was placed on the DL (retro to 8/8) and outfielder Michael Earley was promoted to Charlotte from Double-A Birmingham. This is the second promotion to Charlotte this season for Earley. He hit .212 (7-for-33) in 11 games from 7/18-7/31. Earley has appeared in 66 games with Double-A Birmingham and has a .275 batting average (64-for-233) with four home runs and 29 RBIs.
SEM CITY: On Thursday, Marcus Semien moved two runs ahead of fellow White Sox prospect Micah Johnson in the race for the most runs scored in all of Minor League Baseball. On Friday, Semien added his 98th run scored to stay two up on Johnson. Eight of his runs have come with the Knights in nine games. He tallied 90 runs for the Double-A Birmingham Barons before his promotion. On Friday, Semien went 1-for-5 with the run scored. He has now scored a run in five straight games and also has a hit in five straight games.
A CHARLOTTE DOZEN: The Knights scored 12 runs last night and although it wasn’t their highest run output of the season (scored 21 on April 8 in Norfolk), it tied their second highest offensive surge of the season. The Knights scored 12 runs in a 12-3 win over Toledo on May 28 from Knights Stadium.
FIFTH THIRD: Mike McDade had his fifth three-hit game with Charlotte last night and added his ninth home run of the season – a three-run shot. He finished the game 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a double, the home run, and three RBIs. He’s hitting .333 (10-for-30) in August (7 G).
ROAD WARRIORS: The Knights are currently in the midst of playing just seven home games in 30 days. Charlotte finishes the season with a six-game homestand spanning into September. The Knights are three games under .500 at home and three games under .500 on the road.
A LOOK AHEAD: After an off-day on Monday, the Knights will head to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA to open a four-game series with the SWB RailRiders. The two teams played back-to-back doubleheaders in April at Knights Stadium (April 29-30). The Knights were swept in both. The Knights have just eight games left against the North Division (four with SWB and four with Syracuse).
Just last night I wrote a story about former Knights hurler Frank Castillo, who passed away at the age of 44.
You can read that story here:
I was very saddened to learn of Frank’s drowning.
Today, the sadness for the Charlotte baseball family continues as the news of the passing of former Charlotte O’s slugger Drungo Hazewood has been confirmed. Much like Frank, I never had a chance to meet Drungo — but I heard a lot about him. Less than a year ago, I found out that he was battling cancer — and I wanted to do something to help. So, I did one of the things I love to do… I wrote a blog.
Here is that blog from August 22, 2012:
As I said in my recent blog about Frank Castillo, I have spent a lot of the year looking back to the history of the Charlotte Knights from 1990-present day. I have taken a big look at the history of Knights Stadium — the 24 years of memories. During the offseason, with help from Matt Spezialetti and Tim Doohan, we revamped the media guide and broke down the Knights and O’s records. Hazewood’s name is very prominent on that list.
He is the all-time Charlotte O’s leader in games played (505), at-bats (1,688), runs scored (278), walks (307), and strikeouts (554). The other categories, well, Hazewood is close to the top. He’s second all-time in hits (just two away from Jesus Alfaro’s 422), third in triples (just four away from John Denman’s 18), second in home runs (just three away from Tom Dodd’s 82), second in RBIs (thiry-one away from Tom Dodd’s 279), and second in stolen bases (28 away from John Denman’s 111).
As the Knights make the move back to Charlotte in 2014, one can’t help but think of Drungo who patrolled the Charlotte outfield from 1979-82.
For more on Drungo Hazewood, please take a look at the Sacramento Bee — his hometown newspaper:
My thoughts and prayers go out to Drungo’s family and friends. At just 53 years old, Drungo was taken away too soon. Thanks for the great Charlotte baseball memories.
Sad news to report today as former Knights pitcher Frank Castillo has passed away.
A native of El Paso, Texas, Castillo spent the 1989 and 1990 seasons with the Charlotte Knights – both in Fort Mill. At that time, the Knights were the Double-A Southern League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs.
Reports out of Arizona say the former Charlotte hurler’s body was found in a lake on Monday after he dove in off of a pontoon boat and drowned. He was just 44 years old.
In 1989, the Knights played in a temporary facility located next to the future home of the team (Knights Stadium). That year, Castillo worked his way up from Single-A Winston-Salem where he went 9-6 with a 2.51 ERA over 18 starts with the team. He had eight complete games for the Spirits and earned his promotion to the Knights.
Later in 1989, Castillo made his Knights debut and went on to start 10 games for the Double-A squad. He posted a 3-4 mark with a 3.84 ERA. He also had four complete games.
In 1990, the Knights opened Knights Castle and Castillo made 18 starts for the club – going 6-6 with a 3.88 ERA. He struck-out a team-high 112 batters over 111.1 innings pitched. He added four complete games and a shutout. Charlotte went 65-79 during its first season at what is now known as Knights Stadium.
Castillo was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the sixth round of the 1987 draft and continued to make his way through the organization over the years. He made four starts for Triple-A Iowa in 1991 and went 3-1 with a 2.52 ERA. He tossed a complete game shutout and earned his shot at the Majors.
On June 27, 1991, Castillo made his Major League debut at the age of 22. Castillo was brilliant on the mound that day. He threw eight innings of two-run ball and left with a nice 3-0 lead. His 1990 Knights teammate Rick Wilkins homered in the second inning of that game off of Pittsburgh’s Doug Drabek to give him some offense. Castillo, however, was unable to earn his first Major League win as the Pirates rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning en route to the 4-3 win.
Castillo went on to spend parts of 13 seasons in the Majors with the Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, and Florida Marlins from 1991-2005. He won at least 10 games in a season five times. His best Major League season came in 1995 when he went 11-10 with a 3.21 ERA. He finished eighth in the league in ERA and third in shutouts (2) that year.
In all, Castillo won 84 games in the Minors and 82 games in the Majors. He had 25 Minor League complete games, along with 10 Major League complete games.
On a personal note: I’m very saddened by this news today. With this being the 24th and final season at Knights Stadium, I have spent a lot of time researching players past and present from 1990 through this season. During the offseason, I put together a list of candidates for the “All Knights Stadium Team”. Fans voted, and we honored the players in an on-field ceremony on Opening Day, and other days throughout the year.
Over the course of this final season, I’ve talked to current and former players, along with long-time season ticket holders, and former staff members. There have been countless great memories of Knights Stadium over the years. And, while I continue my look back, I’m sad at the news of Frank’s passing.
While I never got to know Frank, he was a member of the Charlotte Knights family. 794 different players (as of July 29) have donned a Knights jersey since 1990. My prayers go out to his family and friends. Thanks for your time with the Knights. Thanks for the memories.
SAT: CHA RHP Andre Rienzo (6-6, 4.47) @ NOR RHP Josh Stinson (5-4, 4.10)
7:05 PM, Harbor Park, Norfolk, VA
KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights entered Friday’s finale at Knights Stadium with the Norfolk Tides on a two-game win-streak. Charlotte looked as if a three-game win-streak was in the cards, as the team went to the eighth inning with a 3-2 lead – thanks to a big go-ahead solo home run from Andy Wilkins in the bottom of the seventh inning off Baltimore starter Tsuyoshi Wada. The Knights, who entered the game with a 38-5 record when leading after seven innings, were unable to hold the one-run lead. Reliever Simon Castro allowed four runs in the eighth inning – including a three-run home run to Zelous Wheeler, and the Knights were saddled with their first loss of the second half, 6-3. Wheeler hit two home runs on the night and led the Tides to their ninth win over the Knights this season.
ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: The Knights and Norfolk Tides will continue play, but will now
shift things to Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA after a quick two-game series from Knights Stadium.
The two teams split that series. The Knights hold a 186-181 all-time record against the Norfolk
Tides. So far this season, the Knights have gone just 5-9 against the Tides. At Harbor Park in
Norfolk, the Tides lead the Knights 94-85. All-Time at Knights Stadium, the Knights are 101-87.
Charlotte earned their 100th win at Knights Stadium vs. Norfolk on July 7, 2013.
“SAY HEY” WIL-KINS: 1B Andy Wilkins has enjoyed a very successful 2013 season. After beginning the campaign with Double-A Birmingham and hitting .288 with 10 home runs and 49 RBIs, Wilkins earned his first promotion to Triple-A on June 24. The Oklahoma native quickly made a difference with the Knights. He hit safely in his first eight games and 10 of his first 11 games. He connected on his first career Triple-A home run on June 28. After a bit of a cold streak, Wilkins is once again a terror at the plate. Last night, he jacked his fourth home run over his last three games (a home run in three consecutive games) and extended his hit streak to five games. Over that five-game span, Wilkins is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with four home runs, eight RBIs, and four runs scored. His batting average is up to .271 on the season with Charlotte (it was just .212 on July 10).
REHABBING: White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise is back with the Charlotte Knights and appeared in his ninth game with the team last night on Major League rehab. Wise started in center field and batted leadoff. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and was also caught stealing. So far in nine games with Charlotte – which initially began on 6/14, Wise is hitting .172 (5-for-29) with a double, triple, and one RBI.
ALL-STEVE: 2013 International League All-Star Steve Tolleson returned to the lineup last night – his first game back since appearing in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Reno, NV on Wednesday (he went 0-for-1 in his only ASG at-bat). Tolleson went 0-1 on the night with two walks and an RBI in last night’s 6-3 loss. It was his 41st RBI of the season – tying him with Josh Phegley for the most on the Knights this season (Phegley is now with the White Sox). The two walks bumped his on-base percentage up to a team-high .386 on the year.
DANKS RANKS: OF Jordan Danks passed Rusty Crockett for second-place all-time in games played on Sunday, July 14th by participating in his 358th game as a Knights player. Danks (359 games played) now sets his sights on Joe Borchard, who holds the top spot in the games played category with 447. Danks has also moved up in a number of other categories – he’s now first in walks (166), first in triples (12) – on July 7, Danks moved into first place on the all-time three-baggers list with 12. Danks was tied with Ken Ramos, who had all 11 in the 1993 season. The Texas native is now also in sole possession of second on the runs scored list with 192 (1st is Joe Borchard with 237). Danks is also among the Knights all-time career leaders in a number of other categories. He is second in hits (344), second in at-bats (1,297), third in doubles (74), and he is in fourth place in RBIs (160).
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (38-49– 2013) @ Gwinnett Braves (37-50– 2013)
Lawrenceville GA ~ Coolray Field – 7:05 PM (Game 1 of 2) (Game 88 of 143)
THU: CHA LHP Charlie Leesman (1-1, 3.55) @ GWN RHP Omar Poveda (5-5, 3.42)
The Charlotte Knights will open a quick-two game series with the Gwinnett Braves tonight at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville, GA at 7:05 p.m. A night after completing a five-game homestand that saw the Knights go 2-3, Charlotte will look for their third win against the G-Braves this season in 11 tries. Their last matchup was on April 22nd. LHP Charlie Leesman gets the nod tonight and will look for his third win in five games against the G-Braves in his career. He went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA in four games last year against Gwinnett.
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Cole Figueroa ripped three hits and added two RBIs, Matt Buschmann was solid over six innings, and the Durham Bulls spoiled the Knights July 3rd celebration with a 5-1 win last night at Knights Stadium in the only game of their one-game series. Durham tacked on three runs over the final two innings to pull away for the victory. RHP Erik Johnson started for the Knights and left after three solid innings (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 5 SO).
LARGEST CROWD OF THE SEASON: The Charlotte Knights welcomed 11,359 fans to Knights Stadium last night for the team’s annual WBT Skyshow – which featured the largest fireworks display in the Southeast. It was just slightly higher than the team’s July 3rd game in 1995 at Knights Stadium (11,303). The highest attended game in Knights Stadium history was 15,591 on July 4, 2008. Yesterday’s game ranks 30th in Knights Stadium history.
SEASON FOR THE AGES: Catcher Josh Phegley supplied Charlotte’s only offense on Wednesday by jacking a second inning home run off of Durham starter Matt Buschmann. For Phegley, it was his 15th home run of the season – the most by a catcher in the IL. He’s hit a home run once every 15.40 at-bats this season (fifth-best percentage in the IL). Earlier in the day, Phegley learned that he was elected to his second-straight IL All-Star Team. Phegley was one of only two players (Greg Reynolds) who were a unanimous selection. The Indiana native currently leads all IL catchers in games (60), batting average (.316), home runs (15), RBIs (41), runs scored (39), hits (73), slugging percentage (.597), on-base percentage (.368), putouts (464), assists (48), and total chances (515).
NEWEST KNIGHTS: Earlier in the day, the Charlotte Knights added two players from Double-A Birmingham. RHP Jake Petricka and infielder Cody Puckett were both promoted to take the roster spots of infielder Brent Morel and reliever David Purcey, who both went to Chicago on Wednesday. Morel replaced Paul Konerko (DL) and Purcey, who had his contract purchased by the White Sox, replaced Jesse Crain (DL). Petricka was 3-0 with a 2.06 ERA in 21 games for the Barons this season. A product of Indiana State University, Petricka was a 2nd round pick of the White Sox in the 2010 draft. Puckett was hitting .268 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs for the Barons over 62 games. He hit .311 (19-61) with five home runs and 12 RBIs in June (18 G).
PUCKETT vs. GWINNETT: Cody Puckett returns to the International League today after spending time with the Louisville Bats last season (91 G). The California native hit .219 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs. He played in six games against the Gwinnett Braves last season while with the Bats and hit .318 (7-22) with six runs scored, two doubles, a home run, and four RBIs. His last home run against Gwinnett came on July 13, 2012 (a first inning blast off Yohan Flande).
STEVIE’S GOING STREAKING: Infielder Steve Tolleson has been on quite the tear recently and the South Carolina native has a nine-game hit streak to show for it. He’s hitting .303 (10-33) with three doubles and eight RBIs over that nine-game stretch (6/25-present).
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS KNOTES – 6/23/13
CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS (33-43– 2013) (83-61, 1st South – 2012)
@ Indianapolis Indians (51-26– 2013) (89-55, 1st West – 2012)
Indianapolis, Indiana ~ Victory Field – 1:35 PM (Game 3 of 4) (Game 77 of 143)
SUN: CHA RHP Erik Johnson (8-2, 2.23 w/BIR) @ IND LHP Wandy Rodriguez (ML Rehab)
KNIGHT LIGHTS: After winning four-straight games, the Charlotte Knights’ season-high win streak came to an end on Saturday night in the 7-1 loss to the Indians from Victory Field. The two teams were tied 1-1 until a six-run eighth inning did the Knights in. The Knights will look to bounce back today and will have one of the top prospects in the organization making his Triple-A debut (Erik Johnson).
ALL-TIME SERIES INFO: The Charlotte Knights and Indianapolis Indians will continue their four-game series today at Victory Field in Indianapolis, IN. Overall, the Indians lead the all-time series 85-77. At Knights Stadium, the Knights hold a 42-37 series lead. In Indianapolis, the Indians lead 48-35. Charlotte took the 2012 season series 5-3 and went 3-1 at Victory Field last season. The two teams were tied for the best team ERA in the IL a season ago – with a solid 3.14 mark. Charlotte and Indianapolis last met in the 2012 Governors’ Cup Playoffs. The Knights won the first-round series 3-1. Indy was the last team the Knights hadn’t faced in 2013.
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights saw their four-game win streak come to an end on Saturday night in their 7-1 loss to the Indians. Former White Sox hurler Jose Contreras came away with his first win of the season for the Indians and Andre Rienzo, who pitched into the eighth inning, was saddled with the loss. Rienzo allowed three runs (two earned) over 7.2 innings pitched and fell to 5-5 with a 5.33 ERA on the season. Rienzo tossed 109 pitches on the night and gave way to reliever Donnie Veal, who walked four straight batters and failed to record an out. LHP Leyson Septimo then came in and allowed a three-run double to Jared Goedert, before getting out of the inning. Six runs scored in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Indians took the game.
ROSTER MOVES: RHP Erik Johnson, the fourth-best prospect in the White Sox system, as rated by Baseball America, has been promoted to the Charlotte Knights today from Double-A Birmingham and will make his Triple-A debut in today’s 1:35 p.m. game against the Indianapolis Indians in Indianapolis, IN. In 14 starts with the Barons this season, Johnson was 8-2 with a 2.23 ERA. Johnson takes the roster spot of LHP Daniel Moskos, who was released by the White Sox. Moskos was 2-1 with a 4.97 ERA in 21 games this season.
PERFECT 10… AGAIN: Mike McDade extended his hitting streak to 10 games last night after going 1-3. The former Cleveland Indians farmhand has now hit safely in 20 of his last 22 contests. McDade, who launched his sixth June home run on Friday night in game one, is the only Knight this season to compile two separate hitting streaks of at least seven games. This is McDade’s second 10-game hit streak of the season. For June, McDade is batting .307 (23-75) with six homers and 11 RBIs. Since May 27, he has raised his average from .237 to .282.
SINGLED OUT: Outfielder Blake Tekotte filled up the stat sheet and had a fantastic day at the dish on Friday night – and fell just a single short of hitting for the cycle. On Saturday, the Miami University product singled in his first at-bat. He also swiped his 10th base of the season on Saturday. Friday was a special night for Teotte, who went 3-5 with a double, triple, and home run. Tekotte has been an extra-base hit machine this season. 22 of his 42 hits have been for extra bases and his 18 doubles are second on the Knights behind Brent Morel’s 19.
TOLLESON STREAK: Steve Tolleson extended his hit streak to six games on Friday with a 1-3 performance. Tolleson has enjoyed the month of June, posting a .340 average (17-50). Tolleson came into the month batting .234 and has raised his average to .262, the highest it has been since April 13th. He also has five multi-hit games out of 13 June tilts. Tolleson did not play in Saturday’s game.