Knights Knotes — July 29, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will play game three of their four-game series against the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds) from Louisville Slugger Field in Louisville, KY tonight at 7:05 p.m. After going 5-3 on their last homestand, the Knights hit the road on Friday to open a 10-game road trip. Charlotte dropped the first three games of the trip, before a 7-1 win on Monday, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Last night, the Knights dropped game two of the series and are 2.5 games back of the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division and a half-game out of the IL Wild Card race behind the Indianapolis Indians, who they will open a three-game series against in Indianapolis starting on Friday. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Knights fell to the Louisville Bats by a score of 3-1 last night despite another solid outing from RHP Erik Johnson, who allowed just one unearned over six innings of work. Louisville RHP Robert Stephenson, the number one ranked prospect in the Reds organization by Baseball America, allowed just three hits over eight shutout innings. He struck-out 10 batters. Jason Coats had two hits, while Micah Johnson had two stolen bases.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Hector Noesi (0-1, 2.08) will make his third start of the season with the Knights and appear in his fourth game with the team tonight. Noesi began the season with the White Sox and posted a 0-4 record with a 6.89 ERA for Chicago in 10 games. He was outrighted off Chicago’s roster on June 26 and assigned to Charlotte on June 28. Just a few days later (July 2), Noesi was placed on Charlotte’s Temporary Inactive List.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Noesi was activated off the Temporary Inactive List and made his Charlotte debut on July 11 in Norfolk out of the team’s bullpen. He allowed two hits over two shutout innings, while striking out three batters. Since then, Noesi has started two consecutive games and is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in those to starts (11.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 11 SO). Originally signed by the New York Yankees as a free agent on December 3, 2004, Noesi owns a career major league record of 12-31 with a 5.30 ERA in 107 games (53 starts) over parts of five big league seasons. The White Sox claimed Noesi off waivers from the Texas Rangers on April 25, 2014. He went 8-11 with a 4.39 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) for Chicago last year.

ROSTER MOVE: Infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia was recalled to the Chicago White Sox today to replace infielder Emilio Bonifacio, who was placed on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list today. Today’s promotion to Chicago is the second of the season for Garcia, who was also recalled on July 23 when Bonifacio was placed on the Bereavement List. Garcia went 1-for-1 with the White Sox in his only appearance with the club (Thursday, July 23). Garcia is hitting .296 (10th in the International League) with 15 doubles, one triple, one home run, 24 RBIs, 40 runs scored and 28 stolen bases (tied for second in the IL) over 75 games with the Knights.

ERIK WITH A “K”: RHP Erik Johnson (8-6, 2.43) made his first start since July 20 last night and continued his solid season, however he was the hard-luck losing pitcher last night. Johnson allowed one unearned run over six innings and was saddled with the loss in the 3-1 game. He currently leads the IL in strikeouts (107), is averaging 9.65 strikeouts per nine innings, which is tops in the IL. His 2.43 ERA is second in the IL. Johnson has allowed just one earned run (three runs total) over his last 47.0 IP.

HIT PARADE: 2B Micah Johnson went 1-for-3 last night with a walk and two stolen bases and is batting .330 on the season in 65 games this year (2nd in IL) behind Buffalo’s Matt Hague (.347). His 42 hits, 25 runs, and 11 SBs are the most in the IL in July. Johnson is tied for second in the IL in OBP (.382), second in slugging percentage (.489), and fourth in stolen bases with 26. He is ranked as the number four prospect in the White Sox system according to Baseball America. In 26 games during the month of July, Johnson is hitting .382 (42-for-110) with 25 runs scored, eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, 14 RBIs, and 11 stolen bases.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is tied for third in home runs (16), second in walks (50), fourth in at-bats (380), and tied for first in games played (102)… OF Trayce Thompson. Thompson is tied for second in games played (101), tied for second in extra-base hits (39), tied for fifth in doubles (23), fourth in total bases (165), and fifth in runs scored (52)… OF Jason Coats is third in the IL in RBIs (61)…. The Knights lead the IL in home runs (97), and RBIs (443). The Knights are tied with SWB for first in runs scored (468)… 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo has homered once every 19.46 at-bats which is the second best HR/AB ratio in the IL… RHP Kyle Drabek is fifth in the IL in ERA with a 2.59 mark, is second in WHIP (1.11), and opponents are batting just .215 against Drabek this season – tied for the third lowest mark in the IL this season. Drabek has also allowed the fewest baserunners per nine innings this season in the IL (10.26).

KNIGHTS FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia is ninth on the Charlotte Knights all-time games played list with 272 career Knights game – 10 away from moving into a tie for eighth place all-time with Josh Fields (282).

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Garcia is also inching closer to another mark as he now has 947 career Knights at-bats – 51 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett. 2B Micah Johnson recorded his third triple of the season on Sunday and moved into fifth place on Charlotte’s all-time franchise record for triples with eight. He joined Jason Bourgeois, McKay Christensen, Jerry Holtz, and Carlos Sanchez in a tie for fifth place.

WHO’S HOT: Charlotte 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo extended his hit-streak to eight-straight games yesterday and has enjoyed the month of July. He leads all IL batters in the month of July in home runs (9), while he is tied for second in RBIs (21), and is tied for fourth in runs scored (18) behind leader and teammate Micah Johnson (25) over that span. Tuiasosopo is hitting .353 (12-for-34) with four home runs and eight RBIs over his last 10 games… Micah Johnson is hitting .385 (15-for-39) over his last 10 games… OF Jason Coats is hitting .300 (12-for-40) with one home run and seven RBIs over his last 10 games… Infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia has a 10-game home hit-streak.

MR. JONES: Chicago White Sox RHP Nate Jones continued his major league rehab assignment last night and tossed a scoreless seventh inning for the Knights. Jones, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has not allowed a run in four appearances with the Knights this season (4.0 IP).

CHARLOTTE’S ‘PEN
: LHP Jarrett Casey (9-2, 4.30) is tied with Durham pitchers Scott Diamond and Dylan Floro, along with Columbus pitcher Toru Murata for the IL lead in wins… Opposing batters are hitting .172 against RHP Maikel Cleto – the second lowest opponents’ batting average in the IL among relievers… LHP Zach Phillips has allowed just three runs over his last 12 games (11.1 IP)… RHP Miguel Chalas has not allowed a run over his last three games (4.1 IP).

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage with a .968 mark and all IL third baseman in assists (202) and double plays (17) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (70), most total chances (544), and most putouts (499)… OF Trayce Thompson is first in games played (100), first in total chances (242), and first in putouts (236) among IL outfielders. As a team, the Knights have the fourth best fielding percentage in the IL (.982) and are first in the IL in assists (1118) and third in putouts (2785).

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