Knights Knotes — May 6, 2015
KNIGHT LIGHTS: After a loss in last night’s game to the Columbus Clippers (Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) – and back-to-back losses, the Knights and Durham Bulls are now tied for first place in the IL South Division. Charlotte has won six of their last 10, while Durham has won seven of their last 10. Still, the Knights have some of the hottest hitters in the IL – including leading hitter Carlos Sanchez (.411) and home run leader Matt Davidson (6).
LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Carlos Moncrief launched two home runs, Catawba College standout Jerry Sands added another, and the Columbus Clippers beat the Charlotte Knights by a score of 10-3 in the opening game of their three-game series from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH on Tuesday. The Clippers used three home runs and 13 hits en-route to winning the first matchup between the two teams this season.
KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Kyle Drabek (0-0, 3.38) will make his third Knights start of the season tonight. Drabek has tossed four innings in each of his last two starts with the Knights. The former Phillies farmhand was designated for assignment by the Chicago White Sox (April 20) and officially outrighted to Charlotte on April 22. He made his Knights debut on April 24 at Norfolk (4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 SO) and was sharp in his first start at the Triple-A level since August 31, 2014 when he made his final appearance of the season with Buffalo at Syracuse (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB). In three games with the White Sox this year, the 27-year-old Texas native posted a 5.06 ERA (5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). He was claimed by the White Sox on March 27, 2015 off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Last season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons, Drabek appeared in 32 games and started 13 – posting a 7-7 mark with a 4.18 ERA (99.0 IP, 116 H, 57 R, 46 ER, 30 BB, 68 SO). With the Bisons, Drabek faced the Clippers on two occasions last year and posted a 1-0 record with a 1.29 ERA (2 G, 7.0 IP, ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). His last game against Columbus came on 6/26 in Buffalo (2.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO). In six Major League seasons, Drabek owns a career mark of 8-15 with a 5.27 ERA in 42 games (30 starts). He’s appeared in 177.2 IP during that span in the majors. In eight seasons at the Minor League level, Drabek has compiled a 46-34 mark with a 3.97 ERA (140 games, 115 starts). He won a career-best 14 games with Double-A New Hampshire in 2010. That season, he went 14-9 with an impressive 2.94 ERA in 27 games (all starts). He earned 2010 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year honors for his efforts. He was also a mid-season and postseason EL All-Star as well as an MiLB.com Organization All-Star. Kyle is the son of former Major League Doug, who won 155 games over his Major League career. Doug was the 1990 Cy Young Award winner while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
HOME RUN MATT: Last night, 3B Matt Davidson launched his IL leading sixth homer of the season. Davidson, who passed Chris Colabello (Buffalo), has homered once every 15.00 at-bats. His 45 total bases are the sixth highest in the IL and his 16 RBIs are the third highest.
BATTER OF THE WEEK: Infielder Carlos Sanchez – the International League leader with a .411 batting average through 21 games – remained red-hot on Tuesday. Sanchez, who was named as the IL Batter of the Week for the period of April 27-May3 — his second IL Batter of the Week award already this season — went 2-for-4 with two RBIs last night. The 22-year-old slick-fielding infielder, who reached base in 10-straight plate appearances last week — is currently first in batting average (.411), first in hits (39), first in total bases (55), tied for first in doubles (10), tied for second in extra-base hits (12), and second in slugging percentage (.579). He has hit safely in 19 of 21 games he’s played in this season with the Charlotte Knights. The Venezuelan native is also climbing the all-time Knights franchise mark in hits. His 281 career hits in a Knights uniform are sixth all-time in Knights franchise history and he is now just one hit away from moving into a tie for fifth with Josh Fields (282).
DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT: RHP Javy Guerra was returned from his MLB Rehab assignment today, reinstated off Chicago’s 15-day disabled list, and designated for assignment by the White Sox. Guerra made his fourth appearance with the Knights on Tuesday and allowed five earned runs over 0.2 innings pitched. Guerra was placed on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list on April 20 (retroactive to April 13) with right shoulder inflammation. Through four MLB Rehab games with the Knights this season, Guerra posted a 0-0 mark with a 17.18 ERA (3.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO).
DAN THE MAN: 1B/DH Dan Black walked twice on Tuesday and has now reached base in all 18 games he’s played in this season. Dating back to last season (July 28, 2014), he has reached base in 23-straight games. He is now hitting .339 (19-for-56) with four home runs and 13 RBIs this year. During his 23-game on-base streak, Black is hitting .342 with four homers and 16 RBIs. His 23-gamer is the current longest in the IL. He currently leads the IL in on-base percentage (.472) and slugging percentage (.625) and is eighth in the league in batting average. Black has the best HR/AB ration with a home run every 14.00 at-bats.
ATTENDANCE FEVER: The Charlotte Knights have welcomed 139,599 fans through 15 regular season home games this season. Sunday’s game was the team’s eighth sell-out crowd of the season. The defending attendance champions are now first overall in both overall attendance and average attendance per game. The Knights are averaging 9,307 fans per game. The Knights welcomed a Minor League best 687,715 fans through the gates during their regular season during their inaugural campaign at BB&T Ballpark.
COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats was promoted to the Knights on April 23 from Double-A Birmingham and has hit well with the Knights. The Dallas, TX native, who is hitting .310 on the year with Charlotte, has hit safely in five–straight games after a single in last night’s game. Coats has hit safely in nine of his 11 games with Charlotte and has scored a run in three-straight games. In seven home games, Coats is hitting .345 (10-for-29) with two runs scored and 10 RBIs.
THE HEAT IS ON: RHP Maikel Cleto 25, struck-out two batters over a scoreless innings last night. Cleto, who did not allow a run this season in his first six games (12.0 IP), lowered his ERA to 0.64 on the season through eight games. Although it was snapped in his previous outing, Cleto did not allow a run in 11-straight games — dating back to July 18, 2014 (19.2 IP). Overall for the season, he owns a 1-0 record with a 0.64 ERA in eight games (14.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 15 SO).
CHARLOTTE’S WEB: RHP Daniel Webb allowed just one hit over 2.1 scoreless innings last night while fanning three batters. Webb has now not allowed a run over his last three games (6.1 IP). He has allowed just four hits while striking out eight batters over that span.