New Manager in Charlotte…

Joel Skinner spent the past four years as manager of the Charlotte Knights. He’s the only Knights manager I have ever worked with. Now, as I enter my fifth season as PR Director of the Charlotte Knights, I’ll work with a new skipper.

Skinner_Joel 2

Joel Skinner won 285 games as Knights manager from 2012 to 2015.

On Tuesday, January 19, the Chicago White Sox released their player development staffs for the entire organization. For the first time since 2011, the Knights will have someone other than Skinner manage the team. For the first time in BB&T Ballpark history, there will be a manager other than Skinner guiding the Knights.

Julio Vinas, a native of Miami, FL, who spent the past three seasons as manager of the Double-A Birmingham Barons, will guide the Knights in 2016. Vinas, 42, guided the Barons to a 2013 Southern League Championship. A former 33rd round selection of the Chicago White Sox, Vinas has done a solid job managing in the system for the past five seasons. Now, he moves on to Uptown Charlotte.

“I’m very excited and humbled by this opportunity,” exclaimed Vinas. “I want to thank the Chicago White Sox for the opportunity to manage at the next level. I look forward to being a part of the Charlotte Knights and managing in their new ballpark in Charlotte.”


Julio Vinas played 11 minor league seasons and compiled a career .264 batting average with 84 home runs and 504 RBIs.

For more information about Vinas, you can read my full press release: Vinas Named Knights Manager.

I had a chance to speak to Julio briefly on the phone on Monday and I’m really excited to work with him this season. I look forward at the possibility of introducing him to the Charlotte media in the near future in a press conference at BB&T Ballpark. Stay tuned!

As for Joel Skinner, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish him much success with the Winston-Salem Dash (A+) in 2016. I enjoyed working with him over the past four seasons. We both started with the team in 2012 and we spent two of the four years in Fort Mill, SC at Knights Stadium. The past two years at BB&T Ballpark were great and Joel was always so accommodating. I hope to make it to a game in Winston-Salem this season.

Here is the entire 2016 Knights field staff:

Manager: Julio Vinas
Pitching Coach: Richard Dotson
Hitting Coach: Andy Tomberlin
Coach: Tim Esmay
Athletic Trainer: Scott Johnson
Strength Coach: Shawn Powell

Richard Dotson
, Andy Tomberlin, and Scott Johnson are all returning to the Knights, while Tim Esmay and Shawn Powell are new to the team. I’ll have more on them in another Knight Fever blog in the near future, so stay tuned to that!


quick question on Skinner going to Winston-Salem. Why would a AAA manager take a manager position for A+ ? Is that considered a demotion, or just an opportunity to work with even more “green” players? How did this all go about…”Hey Joel, we’re hiring Julio so you can either coach Winston-Salem or nothing” ?

Thanks for your comment. I appreciate the feedback and the question. It’s certainly not considered a demotion for Joel. He did a terrific job developing players at the Triple-A level with the Knights over the past four seasons. As I am sure you are aware, Joel has spent a long time in the game. He was born into it. His dad spent over 50 years in the game. Now, Joel will bring a wealth of his baseball knowledge to High-A in Winston-Salem. As far as how all of this goes about and about the decisions that are made, that’s not a question I can answer.

Thanks again for your feedback. I hope you enjoy reading the blog.

i love reading the blog, it gets me excited for Knights and White Sox baseball…I only wish there were more.

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