2014 MLB Postseason: LA Angels of Anaheim
There are a number of former Charlotte Knights players, as well as a former manager, currently with one of the eight teams playing in the 2014 Major League Baseball postseason.
Let’s take a look at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who host the Kansas City Royals in game one of the ALDS on Thursday night.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:
Jason Grilli (04) – Pitcher
Grilli started 25 games for the Knights in 2004 and posted a 9-9 record with a 4.83 ERA in 152.2 innings pitched. He tossed two complete games and one shutout. This season, Grilli began with the Pirates, where he was coming off an All-Star campaign in 2013. The former Knights hurler saved 33 games for the Pirates in 2013, but was traded by the Pirates this year after posting a 0-2 record with 11 saves and a 4.87 ERA in 22 games.
Since coming over the Angels, Grilli has regained his form out of the ‘pen. In 40 games with LA, he went 1-3 with a 3.48 ERA and one save in 33.2 innings pitched. He struck-out 36 batters over that span and has become a solid fixture out of their bullpen. In parts of 12 Major League seasons, Grilli has a 22-32 record with a 4.16 ERA and 50 saves in 446 games.
Hector Santiago (12) – Pitcher
In just three games with the Knights in 2012, Santiago went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (no runs allowed in 14.2 innings pitched). He fanned 13 batters over that three-game stretch and worked his way back to Chicago. Originally a 30th round pick of the White Sox in the 2006 draft, Santiago was traded on December 10, 2013 as part of a three-team trade (White Sox, Angels, and Diamondbacks). Chicago received Adam Eaton in that trade.
In 30 games with the Angels this season, Santiago went 6-9 with a 3.75 ERA (127.1 innings pitched). He was 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in six games out of the bullpen (nine innings pitched). The Newark, NJ native started 24 games – with his last start of the season coming on September 24. He tossed 5.1 shutout innings that day in a win over the Oakland A’s.
Gordon Beckham (09, 13 rehab) – Infielder
Beckham was a first-round pick (8th overall) of the Chicago White Sox in the 2008 draft. The University of Georgia product made his Knights debut in 2009 and appeared in just seven games before making his way to the Majors. He hit .464 (13-for-28) with two doubles and five RBIs over that short period.
Beckham briefly returned to the Knights in 2013 on a Major League Rehab assignment from Chicago and hit .333 (12-for-36) in eight games for the Knights. A year later, (August 21, 2014), Beckham was dealt to the Angels for a player to be named or cash. In 26 games for the team, he hit .268 with three doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
Jerry Dipoto (93-94) – General Manager
Dipoto was one of the most successful relievers in Charlotte Knights franchise history. Currently the GM of the Angels, Dipoto played for the Knights in 1993 and 1994 when the club was the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The 1993 squad was managed by Charlie Manuel and featured the likes of Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Sam Horn.
In 1993, Dipoto went 6-3 with a 1.93 ERA and 12 saves for the Governors’ Cup Champions. He finished 27 of his 34 appearances and struck-out 44 batters in 46.2 innings. Dipoto was back in 1994 with the Knights and he compiled a 3-2 mark with a 3.15 ERA and nine saves in 25 games. Overall, he ranks sixth all-time in Knights franchise history in saves with 21.
Dipoto took over as the GM of the Angels nearly three years ago (October 28, 2011). Previously, Dipoto was interim GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks from July 1, 2010 to September 22, 2010.