Knights Knotes — August 22, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their seven-game homestand from BB&T Ballpark today with game three of their four-game series against the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates) at 12:05 p.m. from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. The two teams split the doubleheader yesterday and the Knights are now 38-26 at home this season. Charlotte enters today’s game in third place – 6.5 games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. The Knights are also 6.0 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus – tied for third with Rochester. The two teams are behind Gwinnett, who is in second in the IL Card Race. The G-Braves are 3.5 games back. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME(S): The Charlotte Knights split a doubleheader against the Indianapolis Indians last night from BB&T Ballpark, dropping the first game of the twin bill, 5-1, and winning the second game of the night, 7-2. Indians starter Vance Worley pitched a complete game in the first game for the win (9 SO), Daniel Webb earned the win in game two.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Kyle Drabek (7-7, 3.27) will make his 21st start of the season tonight. He has limited opposing batters to a .233 batting average this season – fifth lowest in the IL among starters. 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 — his first start in Triple-A 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 Texas native posted a 5.06 ERA (5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). He was claimed by Chicago on March 27, 2015 off waivers from Toronto. Last season with the 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). In six Major League seasons, Drabek owns a career mark of 8-15 with a 5.27 ERA in 42 games (30 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 and was also a mid-season and postseason EL All-Star as well as a Organization All-Star. He is the son of 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek, who won 155 games in the majors.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

CHARLOTTE’S WEBB: Chicago White Sox RHP Daniel Webb began a major league rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights last night and earned the win in game two of the twin bill after tossing a scoreless innings. Webb, who is currently on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list with a back strain, began the 2015 season with the Charlotte Knights and after last night’s win is now 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in 16 games (25.2 IP) with Charlotte. In 17 games with the White Sox this season, Webb is 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA (21.2 IP).

JACK & DAYAN: 1B/OF Dayan Viciedo jacked his third home run of the season with the Knights last night in game two of the twin bill (2nd inning off A.J. Morris). The home run was the 43rd of his Knights career, which is good for eighth most in franchise history. He is now one away from tying Josh Fields (44) for seventh all-time and three away from tying Josh Phegley (46) for sixth – and four away from fifth behind Jeff Liefer (47).

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Charlotte Knights infielder Drew Garcia, who is in his fourth season with the Knights, recently totaled his 1,000 career Knights at-bat (August 14) and now has 1,014 for his Knights career – which is tied for seventh with Chris Clapinski. Last night he played in his 293rd Knights game — passing Josh Phegley for seventh on the all-time Knights games played list. He also tied Chris Clapinski and Joe Borchard last night for eighth all-time in doubles with 62.

WHO’S HOT: Outfielder Tyler Colvin is hitting .292 (7-for-24) with three RBIs over his last 10 games… Catcher Rob Brantly launched his third home run of the season on Monday with the Knights in what was just his 14th game with the club since being promoted from Double-A Birmingham. Brantly, who is a member of Chicago’s 40-man roster, is now hitting .309 (17-for-55) with 10 runs scored and 12 RBIs in 15 games. He has recorded at least two hits in six of his 15 games and has three games of three hits… 1B/OF Dayan Viciedo is hitting .324 (12-for-37) with five runs scored, two home runs, and five RBIs over his last 10 games… Since July 1, 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo leads the IL in home runs with 12 and has 31 RBIs over that span, which is the fifth highest in the IL over that span.

BIRTHDAY BOY: RHP Terance Marin (3-2, 2.47) started game two of the doubleheader yesterday on his birthday and allowed two runs over four innings. As a starter this season, the 26-year-old is 3-1 with a 2.22 ERA (eight starts). Yesterday’s start was his first since July 25th.

IL LEADER IN OFFENSE & DEFENSE: 3B Matt Davidson is second behind Durham’s J.P. Arencibia (21) in the IL in home runs with 20 this season. Davidson has recorded at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons. He is second in the IL in games played (124), third in the IL in at-bats (467), and tied for fourth in walks (55). Defensively, Davidson has also had a terrific year. He leads all International League third baseman in fielding percentage (.974), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (248) and second in double plays (21). He was named by Baseball America as the Best Defensive 3B in the International League.

IL LEADERBOARD: 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo is third in the IL in slugging percentage (.464), and is second in the IL in best home run/at-bat ratio (1/18.88)… Infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia is batting .297 (93-for-313) this season in 81 games, good for tied for sixth in the IL in 2015. He is also currently third in the IL this season in stolen bases with 29… Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (82)… OF Jason Coats is fourth in the IL in RBIs (74).

Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

PITCHER’S TRIPLE CROWN WATCH: RHP Erik Johnson (10-8, 2.38) lowered his ERA to an International League best 2.38 on the season on Tuesday and is tied for second in the league in wins with 10. He leads the IL in strikeouts with (129) and in WHIP (1.11). Opponents are hitting just .217 against him (second lowest as a starting pitcher in the IL).

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights currently lead the IL in long balls with 117 – 10 more than second place Durham (107). The Knights as a team have hit 80 of their 117 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 the most homers at their home ballpark in all of Triple-A in 2015.

SELL-OUT CROWDS: With a crowd of 10,574 fans last night for the doubleheader, the Knights have welcomed 29 sell-out crowds to BB&T Ballpark during the 2015 regular season and 31 overall this year (White Sox game and USA Game). The ballpark led Minor League Baseball in attendance last season and the Knights are once against leading MiLB in 2015 with 595,255 through 63 games. The Knights are also leading MiLB n average per game this year with a mark of 9,448.

KNIGHTS HISTORY: RHP Erik Johnson moved up the ranks in Knights franchise history on Tuesday. His victory was his 19th as a member of the Knights, which is good for 10th all-time. He also moved into a tie for seventh all-time in strikeouts (249) and 10th all-time in games started (51)… 3B Matt Davidson hit his 40th Charlotte Knights home run on Monday (10th all-time)… Joel Skinner is the winningest manager in franchise history with 277 wins.

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