Knights Knotes — August 17
KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (57-72) will conclude their three-game series with the first place Durham Bulls (66-62) tonight at 5:05 p.m. from Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC. Charlotte enters today’s game in third place in the IL South Division, 9.5 games back of first place Durham with 15 games left to play for the 2014 season. All of Charlotte’s final 15 games will be played against IL South Division teams (eight with Gwinnett, one more with Durham, and six with Norfolk).
ABOUT LAST KNIGHT: Jared Mitchell’s ninth-inning, two-run home run off Josh Lueke (0-1, 3.68) led the Charlotte Knights to an exciting 6-5 win over the Durham Bulls in the middle game of their three-game series from Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC on Saturday. Charlotte scored three runs in the ninth inning en route to their thrilling come-from-behind victory over the first place Bulls. The win snapped Charlotte’s four-game losing streak.
KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Matt Zaleski (2-0, 2.92) gets the start in today’s finale for the Knights against the Bulls after being activated off the DL yesterday. Today’s start will be the 74th start in Zaleski’s Knights career – which will now pass Charlie Haeger for most games started in Charlotte Knights franchise history. Zaleski made his franchise tying 73rd start with Charlotte on July 24 at Indianapolis. In his last appearance before going on the DL, (July 31), Zaleski picked up his second win of the season and 21st of his Knights career, which moved him into a tie for fifth all-time in franchise history (tied with Felix Diaz, Ryan Hawblitzel, and Jon Rauch). Zaleski is also second all-time in Charlotte Knights franchise history in innings pitched (425.2) and walks (150). He is fifth in strikeouts (278) and one away from tying Jon Rauch for fourth all-time. This is his fourth start of the season and he will be appearing in his 11th game since being activated off the DL on June 12. The 32-year-old right-hander appeared in just five games for Charlotte last season and posted a 1-2 record with a 5.74 ERA. He was placed on the disabled list with a strained right elbow on May 1 and had season-ending surgery (Tommy John surgery).
UNCC STANDOUT PROMOTED TO CHARLOTTE: UNC Charlotte standout Tyler Barnette, a native of Hickory, NC, has been promoted to the Charlotte Knights today from Single-A Kannapolis. Barnette, 22, was 2-8 with one save and a 5.08 ERA for the Intimidators in 25 games (11 starts) this season over 85.0 innings pitched. Charlotte’s active roster is now set at 25 players. Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft, Barnette went to Rookie-Level Bristol last season and posted a 1-4 mark with one save and a 5.73 ERA in 13 games (six starts) with the Bristol White Sox. In three seasons for the Charlotte 49ers, Barnette compiled an 18-8 record with a 3.37 ERA (235.0 IP). In 2011, Barnette was named Atlantic-10 Freshman of the Year after tying for second in the Atlantic 10 with nine wins and finishing third with a 2.29 ERA after 90.1 innings pitched. In 2012, he was named to the Preseason All-Conference Second Team by College Madness.com.
RODON PROMOTED: Just before game time on Saturday, NC State product Carlos Rodon –the number-three overall pick by the Chicago White Sox in this year’s Major League Baseball Draft – was promoted to the Charlotte Knights and will start on Tuesday, August 19. Rodon, 21, appeared in four games (two starts) for Winston-Salem (A+) and posted a 0-0 mark with a 1.86 ERA (9.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 BB, 15 SO). The Holly Springs, NC native made his professional debut on July 22 for the Arizona League White Sox. He appeared in two games for the team and allowed two runs on four hits over three innings.
ROSTER MOVES: In all, Charlotte has announced eight roster moves since yesterday including the promotion of outfielder Josh Richmond from Double-A Birmingham just before game time. He hit .247 with nine home runs and 51 RBIs in 100 games with the Barons.
MITCHING IN: Jared Mitchell led the way for the Knights offensively last night with three hits, two runs scored, the game-winning home run, and three RBIs. He finished the night 3-for-5 at the plate and now has 14 hits, two home runs and eight RBIs in 13 games with the Knights since his return from Double-A Birmingham. Overall this season, Mitchell has 17 home runs (10 with Birmingham). Overall in August with the Knights, Mitchell is hitting .259 with six runs scored, three doubles, one triple, two home runs, and eight RBIs. Last night’s three-hit game was his third with the Knights this season.