Knights Knotes — August 7, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their season-long 10-game homestand tonight and open a three-game series against the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) at 7:05 p.m. tonight from BB&T Ballpark. knights knotesThe Knights concluded their three-game series against the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) last night and dropped the opening series on the homestand two games to one after the 9-2 loss. The Knights are coming off a 10-game road trip in which they posted a 2-8 record over that span and are now 3-10 over their last 13 games. Still, the Knights are 34-21 at home this season (just 26-32 on the road) and they enter today’s game six games back of the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division (tied with Gwinnett for second place) and 2.5-games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus. The Knights are 1-2 against Rochester this year.

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Buffalo Bisons beat the Charlotte Knights last night by a score of 9-2 in the finale of their three-game series from BB&T Ballpark. In a battle of Major League Baseball veterans, Buffalo LHP Randy Wolf (8-1, 2.49) outdueled Charlotte RHP Brad Penny (5-6, 4.21) last night. Rob Brantly had three of Charlotte’s 12 hits on the night.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (4-2, 2.45 ERA) will make his 11th start of the 2015 season with the Knights tonight and first against the Red Wings this year. carroll_fullOver his last four starts with the Knights (dating back to July 12), Carroll is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in those starts (21.0 IP, 19 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 7 BB, 9 SO). Carroll has been promoted to the White Sox on three occasions this season and is 1-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 13 games for Chicago (29.0 IP). He began the 2015 season with the Knights and started three games for the club before his contract was purchased by the White Sox on April 26. He posted a 1-1 record with a 3.12 ERA in eight games for the White Sox before being optioned down to the Knights on May 28. He returned to the Knights and won back-to-back starts (5/31 & 6/6) – both at BB&T Ballpark. He was also recalled to Chicago on June 18 and August 1. Last season with the Knights in four starts, he won IL Pitcher of the Week honors before earning a promotion to Chicago. He entered his final 2014 start with the Knights without having allowed an earned run in 19.0 innings pitched. Carroll had his contract purchased by the White Sox on April 27 and made his Major League debut that day in a start against Tampa Bay (W, 7.1 IP, 2 R, 1 ER). It was the longest outing by a White Sox pitcher making his Major League debut since Gerry Janeski on April 10, 1970 (also 7.1 IP). Carroll spent part of the 2013 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and appeared in just 11 starts between Bristol and Birmingham.

ROSTER MOVE: 1B/OF John Mayberry Jr., a 2005 first round pick of the Texas Rangers (19th overall selection), was signed by the White Sox today and assigned to the Knights taking the roster spot of outfielder Chris Marrero, who was released by the White Sox yesterday. Charlotte’s roster is set at 25 active players. Marrero hit .278 (37-for-133) with four home runs and 17 RBIs with the Knights in 39 games this season. Mayberry Jr., 31, appeared in 59 games with the New York Mets this season and hit .164 (18-for-110) with three home runs and nine RBIs. Over parts of seven seasons at the major league level, the Stanford University standout has compiled a .235 batting average with 56 home runs and 180 RBIs. In 2011 with the Philadelphia Phillies, he hit .273 (73-for-267) with 15 home runs and 49 RBIs. The 6’6” slugger mashed 40 home runs over a three-year span with the Phillies from 2011 to 2013.

LEADOFF SPOT: Catcher Rob Brantly joined the Knights from Double-A Birmingham on August 3rd and has appeared in three games with the club and is hitting .385 (5-for-13) over that stretch. All five of his hits have come over his last two games (batting in the leadoff spot). Overall for the season, Charlotte Knights leadoff batters are hitting .321 (151-for-470) on the season with nine home runs and 59 RBIs.

: 3B Matt Davidson is third in the IL in home runs with 17. Davidson, who was a 2015 International League All-Star, is also third in walks (51), third in at-bats (415), and tied for first in games (110)… OF Jason Coats is second in the IL in RBIs (68)… 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo has homered once every 21.77 at-bats, which is the fifth best HR/AB ratio in the IL… RHP Erik Johnson (8-7, 2.49) currently leads the IL in strikeouts (110) and is averaging 9.44 strikeouts per nine innings, which is tops in the IL. His 2.49 ERA is tied for second in the IL with Buffalo’s Randy Wolf… RHP Kyle Drabek (6-6, 2.74) is fourth in the IL in ERA (2.74), fourth in WHIP (1.16), and tied for third in batting average against (.225)… LHP Jarrett Casey (9-2, 4.11) is in a four-way second-place tie in the IL in wins with nine. The Knights have scored 497 runs this season (second in the IL). Davidson_Matt All-Star 2

WIN, LOSE, OR DREW: Infielder Drew Garcia has been red-hot recently – especially in the month of August. Garcia added two more hits last night and has four multi-hit games in August out of his five games played. In three of those five games, Garcia has recorded at least three hits. He is now batting .579 (11-for-19) in August with three runs scored, two doubles, one triple, and three RBIs. Since July 19 (17 games), Garcia is hitting .382 (21-for-55), which is the second-highest mark in the IL over that span. Back for his fourth season with the Knights in 2015, Garcia is ninth on the Knights all-time games played list with 280 career games – two away from moving into a tie for eighth place all-time with Josh Fields (282). He is also inching closer to another mark as he now has 976 career Knights at-bats – 22 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett.

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights went over the 100-home run plateau of the season on Tuesday with two home runs – the first team in the IL to do so this season. The Knights are leading the IL in long balls with 103. The Knights as a team have hit 71 of their 103 home runs this season at BB&T Ballpark. Last year, the Knights hit 105 of their 176 home runs at BB&T Ballpark. The Knights have hit the most home runs at their home ballpark in all of Triple-A Baseball this season (Round Rock is second with 70). Since July 1, Matt Tuiasosopo has the most homes in the IL (9) and Jason Coats has the fourth most (6).

BANK ON TANK: OF Dayan Viciedo was signed by Chicago on Saturday and assigned to the Knights that day. Viciedo, who hit .254 with 66 home runs and 211 RBIs over parts of five seasons with the Chicago White Sox from 2010 to 2014, has hit safely in all five games with the Knights and eight-straight (three w/Nashville). He mashed 20 home runs in back-to-back seasons for the club (2010-11) and was named to the All-Knights Stadium Team in 2013. He is eighth all-time in Knights franchise history in homers (41) – tied with Joe Crede.

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage (.970), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (216) and double plays (18) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (74), total chances (575), putouts (520) and is second in assists (48),… As a team, the Knights are fourth in fielding percentage in the IL (.981) and are first in the IL in assists (1221) and tied for fourth in putouts (3003).

ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 518,574 this year (55 games) – the most in Minor League Baseball this season. Only four teams in MiLB this season have cracked the 500,000 mark (Lehigh Valley, Indianapolis, and Sacramento). Charlotte is averaging 9,429 fans per game – also the highest in MiLB in 2015. The Knights led the minors in attendance in 2014 – their first at BB&T Ballpark – with a mark of 687,715 fans (71 openings). The Knights have welcomed 25 sell-out crowds during the regular season this season and 27 sell-out crowds overall this year (White Sox exhibition game and Team USA game).

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