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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 MiLB.com Organization All-Star. He is the son of 1990 NL Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek, who won 155 games in the majors.
viciedo_full

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.

Knights Knotes — August 21, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will play a doubleheader tonight after last night’s opener of their seven-game homestand from BB&T Ballpark was postponed due to rain. Tonight, game one will start at 6:05 p.m. and there will be two seven-inning games against the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates). knights knotesCharlotte concluded their five-game road trip on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over the Columbus Clippers in the finale of their two-game series. The Knights and Clippers split the two-game series and the Knights went 2-3 on the road trip to improve to 28-35 on the road this year. Charlotte enters tonight’s game in third place – 7.0 games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. The Knights are also 5.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus.

KNIGHTS GAME 1 STARTING PITCHER: RHP Hector Noesi (1-3, 4.05) will make his seventh start of the season with the Knights tonight and appear in his eighth game with the team overall. Noesi began the season with the White Sox and posted a 0-4 record with a 6.89 ERA for Chicago in 10 games.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

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. He 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. 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. Tonight’s start will be his first-ever career start against the Indians.

KNIGHTS GAME 2 STARTING PITCHER: RHP Terance Marin (3-2, 2.64) will make his eighth start of 2015 (first since July 25 at Gwinnett) and appear in his 16th overall game with the Knights in 2015. Marin, who is celebrating his 26th birthday today, did not allow a run over his first five games (29.0 IP) and had a 31.0 consecutive scoreless innings streak snapped in the third inning of his July 5th start. Still, the Modesto, CA native tossed 8.2 innings to earn his third win of the season that day. His career with the Knights began on Friday, June 5, 2015 when he was assigned to the Knights after he was on loan to the Toros de Tijuana of the Mexican League earlier this year. He posted a 2-5 record with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) in 47.1 innings pitched for the Toros. Other notable names on that Toros team with Marin this season were Jose Contreras, Miguel Olivo, and Yuniesky Betancourt. Before returning this season, Marin last pitched in Chicago’s organization last season – going 4-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 14 games (70.0 IP) for the Winston-Salem Dash. He also spent time last season with Double-A Birmingham and was 0-2 with a 5.11 ERA in two games (12.1 IP). Marin, who was originally signed by the White Sox as a free agent on July 12, 2010, was released by the organization last year. He then signed with the Frontier League’s Evansville Otters, made six starts, and then was re-signed by the White Sox on June 19, 2014. Marin went undrafted out of Modesto Junior College.

REHABBING: Chicago White Sox RHP Daniel Webb, who is currently on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list with a back strain, will begin a major league rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights tonight. Webb, 26, began the 2015 season with the Charlotte Knights and posted a 1-1 record with a 4.01 ERA in 15 games (24.2 IP). In 17 games with the White Sox this season, Webb is 1-0 with a 2.49 ERA (21.2 IP). The Paducah, Kentucky native spent the entire 2014 season with the Chicago White Sox and posted a 6-5 record with a 3.99 ERA in 57 games.

Photo credit: Buren Foster

Photo credit: Buren Foster

DOUBLEHEADERS: The Knights will play their second doubleheader of the season at BB&T Ballpark –first non-day/night doubleheader this season in Uptown Charlotte. The Knights played three doubleheaders on the road and are 2-6 overall in doubleheaders this season.

WHO’S HOT: Outfielder Tyler Colvin is hitting .357 (5-for-14) with three RBIs over his last five 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 .321 (17-for-53) with 10 runs scored and 12 RBIs. He has recorded at least two hits in six of his 14 games and has three games of three hits… 1B/OF Dayan Viciedo is hitting .389 (7-for-18) with three runs scored, one home run, and two RBIs over his last five 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… Outfielder Jason Coats has hit eight home runs over that stretch, which is tied for fourth. He is also tied for fifth with Tuiasosopo over that span in RBIs (31). Coats also has 53 hits (tied for fifth).

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 (122), fourth in the IL in at-bats (460), 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 (.973), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (241) 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 (.473), and is second in the IL in best home run/at-bat ratio (1/18.50)… Infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia is batting .293 (90-for-307) this season in 79 games, good for tied for ninth 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 (80)… OF Jason Coats is fourth in the IL in RBIs (74).

MOUND WARRIOR: RHP Erik Johnson (10-8, 2.38) lowered his ERA to an International League best 2.38 on the season and also moved into a tie for second in the league in wins with 10 on Tuesday. He also increased his IL-leading total of strikeouts (129) and is also second in the IL in WHIP (1.11) and opponents are hitting just .217 against him (second lowest).

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights currently lead the IL in long balls with 116 – 11 more than second place Durham (105). The Knights as a team have hit 79 of their 115 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.

HOME SWEET HOME: In almost two seasons as BB&T Ballpark, the Knights are 72-62 overall and have welcomed over 1.2 million (1,272,396) fans. The ballpark led Minor League Baseball in attendance last season and the Knights are leading in average per game this year (9,430). Charlotte is second behind Indianapolis in 2015 overall, however Indianapolis has played two more home games (Charlotte has welcomed 584,681 to Indy’s 593,731).

Photo credit: Erik Johnson

Photo credit: Erik Johnson

KNIGHTS HISTORY: RHP Erik Johnson moved up the ranks in Knights franchise history on Tuesday. His commanding 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)… 1B/OF Dayan Viciedo is eighth on the Knights franchise list for homers (42). He moved into a three-way tie for 10th place on the franchise list for RBIs (130)… 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 276 wins.

Knights Knotes — August 18, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will conclude their five-game road trip through Ohio tonight and play game two of their two-game series against the Columbus Clippers (Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) at 7:05 p.m. from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH. The Knights concluded their three-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH with a 6-1 loss on Sunday and dropped last night’s opener to the Clippers 10-6. The Knights are 27-35 on the road this year and 1-3 on the current road trip. Charlotte enters tonight’s game in third place — eight games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. The Knights are 5.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus. The Knights will have a scheduled off day tomorrow, and then open a seven-game homestand on Thursday at BB&T Ballpark. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: 3B Matt Davidson launched his 20th home run of the season, but the Columbus Clippers beat the Charlotte Knights by a score of 10-6 on Monday in the opening game of their three-game series from Huntington Park in Columbus, Ohio. Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (5-4, 3.80) allowed six runs (five earned) on eight hits over five innings.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Erik Johnson (9-8, 2.45) will make his 21st start of the 2015 season and appear in his 22nd game today. Johnson currently leads the IL in strikeouts (123), is averaging an IL best 9.42 strikeouts per nine innings, third lowest WHIP (1.15), third in wins (9), and is second in the IL in ERA (2.45). From 6/10-7/28 (7 games), Johnson allowed just one earned run (44.0 IP).

Photo credit: Buren Foster

Photo credit: Buren Foster

He has already racked up an IL Pitcher of the Week nod this season (week of June 15-21) after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts (14.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO). He went 3-1 with a 1.03 ERA in five June starts and went 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA in three July starts. Johnson became just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to get the Triple-A All-Star Game starting nod joining Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010). He tossed two scoreless innings at the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this month. He made his 2015 debut on April 13 in relief against Durham and earned the win after three scoreless innings. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher entered the 2014 season ranked by Baseball America as the 2nd best prospect in the White Sox system.

JOHNSON VS. COLUMBUS: Johnson has made three starts against the Clippers in his career and he is 0-2 with a 13.14 ERA (12.1 IP, 21 H, 19 R, 18 ER, 9 SO). This season, Johnson has gone 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two starts against the Clippers (8.1 IP, 13 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 9 SO).

HOME RUN MATT: 3B Matt Davidson tied Durham’s J.P. Arencibia for the IL lead in home runs last night with his 20th of the season and the 120th of his minor league career. The home run was also his 40th with the Knights over two seasons, which ranks 10th all-time on the Knights franchise list for homers. Davidson has recorded at least 20 home runs in each of the last five seasons. He is tied for first in the IL in games played (121), third in the IL in at-bats (456), and tied for third in walks (55). Defensively, Davidson has also had a terrific year. He leads all International League third baseman in fielding percentage (.973), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (239) and second in double plays (21). He was named by Baseball America as the Best Defensive 3B in the International League.

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights currently lead the IL in long balls with 115 – 16 more than second place Durham (99). Matt Davidson, Leury Garcia, and Rob Brantly all homered in last night’s game. The Knights as a team have hit 79 of their 115 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 homes at their home ballpark in all of Triple-A in 2015.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

BAKER’S DOZEN: Catcher Rob Brantly launched his third home run of the season last night with the Knights in his 13th 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 .340 (17-for-50) with 10 runs scored and 11 RBIs. He has recorded at least two hits in six of his 13 games and has three games of three hits.

HIT PARADE: Leury Garcia had two hits last night including his second home run of the season and is now batting .297 (90-for-303) this season in 78 games, good for sixth highest in the IL in 2015. He is also currently third in the IL this season in stolen bases with 29.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: OF Jason Coats recorded his team-high 73rd RBI of the season on Sunday which is now third in the IL this season. Coats is seven RBIs away from recording at least 80 RBIs in three consecutive seasons. He was drafted in 2012 by Chicago (29th round). Coats has 30 RBIs since July 1st, which is the fifth highest total over that span. Teammate Matt Tuiasosopo has 31 RBIs over that span (fourth highest). Coats also has seven home runs over that span, which is fifth highest. Tuiasosopo has 12, which is the most. OF/1B Matt Tuiasosopo is tied for second in the IL in slugging percentage (.478), and is second in the IL in best home run/at-bat ratio (1/18.31)… Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (79)… International League opponents are hitting .233 against RHP Kyle Drabek (7-7, 3.27), the third lowest mark in the IL this season among qualifying starters.

ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 584,681 this year (62 games) – which is second to Indianapolis, who has welcomed 586,088 in more openings that the Knights (63 games). The Knights are averaging 9,430 fans per game –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).

Knights Knotes — August 17, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their five-game road trip through Ohio and open a two-game series against the Columbus Clippers (Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians) tonight at 7:05 p.m. from Huntington Park in Columbus, OH. Last night, the Knights concluded their three-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH with a 6-1 loss. The Knights dropped two of three from the Mud Hens. The Knights are 27-34 on the road this year. Charlotte enters tonight’s game in third place — seven games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. The Knights are 4.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus. The Knights have just 10 home games left during the 2015 regular season. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: RHP Luis Cessa (1-1, 6.61) allowed just one run over five innings, Dixon Machado and Steven Moya had three hits apiece, and the Toledo Mud Hens beat the Charlotte Knights by a score of 6-1 on Sunday in the finale of the three-game series from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: Charlotte RHP Scott Carroll (5-3, 3.38 ERA) will make his 13th start of the 2015 season with the Knights tonight and first against Columbus in 2015. 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). Since coming back to the Knights, Carroll has won two of his last three starts. 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.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

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.

CARROLL VS. COLUMBUS: Carroll has not faced the Clippers in his Knights career (25 games), but did face the Clippers a number of times as a member of the Louisville Bats (2011-12). His last appearances against Columbus came on April 15, 2012. His last appearance at Huntington Park came on April 6, 2012. In his career against the Clippers, Carroll is 2-1, 4.55 ERA (7 G, 4 GS, 29.2 IP, 35 H, 15 R, 15 ER, 14 SO).

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats recorded his team-high 73rd RBI of the season last night which is tied for second in the IL this season. Coats is seven RBIs away from recording at least 80 RBIs in three consecutive seasons. He was drafted in 2012 by Chicago (29th round). Coats has 30 RBIs since July 1st, which is the fourth highest total over that span. Teammate Matt Tuiasosopo has 31 RBIs over that span (third highest). Coats also has seven home runs over that span, which is fifth highest. Tuiasosopo has 12, which is the most.

KNIGHTS ANNOUNCE 2016 SCHEDULE: Earlier today, the Knights announced the 2016 schedule, which features the 2016 Triple-A All-Star Game, which will be played on Wednesday, July 13th at BB&T Ballpark. The game will be televised to a national audience on the MLB Network. The Knights open next season on the road in Durham and Norfolk (April 7-13) and open their 72-game home slate on Thursday, April 14 with a nine-game homestand.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD (BATTERS): 3B Matt Davidson played in his 250th career Knights game last night. He is currently second in the IL in home runs with 19, one behind Durham’s J.P. Arencibia (20). He is tied for second in the IL in games played (120), third in the IL in at-bats with 452, and tied for fourth in walks (54). Defensively, Davidson leads all International League third baseman in fielding percentage (.973), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (235) and second in double plays (19). He was named by Baseball America as the Best Defensive 3B in the International League… OF/1B Matt Tuiasosopo leads the IL in slugging percentage (.483), and is second in the IL in best home run/at-bat ratio (1/18.13)… Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (79).

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

2015 IL LEADERBOARD (PITCHERS): RHP Erik Johnson (9-8, 2.45) struck-out eight batters over six scoreless innings on Friday to earn his ninth win of the season. Johnson is the leader in strikeouts in the International League with 123 and is second in the IL in ERA with a 2.45 mark. His nine wins are currently tied for third and he leads the IL in the highest strikeouts per nine innings ratio (9.42). His 1.15 WHIP ranks second in the IL and opponents are hitting just .223 against him (second lowest in the IL this season). Earlier this season, Johnson became just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to start the Triple-A All-Star Game. He joined Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010)… International League opponents are hitting .233 against RHP Kyle Drabek (7-7, 3.27), the third lowest mark in the IL this season among qualifying starters.

ATTENDANCE LEADERS: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 584,681 this year (62 games) – the most in Minor League Baseball this season. The Knights are averaging 9,430 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).

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia is in his fourth season with the Knights and the California native is moving up in a number of offensive categories in Knights franchise history. Garcia recently totaled his 1,000 career Knights at-bat (August 14) and now has 1,006 for his Knights career, which is eighth on the all-time at-bats list in franchise history (eight behind Chris Clapinski in seventh). Garcia is also in eighth place on the Knights all-time games played list (290) — just two games away from tying Josh Phegley for seventh (292). Garcia is also in sole possession of 10th place in Knights franchise history with 61 doubles (passed Casey Rogowski). He’s one away from tying Chris Clapinski and Joe Borchard (62)… Dayan Viciedo is in sole possession of eighth place on the Knights franchise list for home runs (42). He moved into a three-way tie for 10th place on the franchise list for RBIs (130).

HOME RUN KNIGHTS
: The Knights were the first IL team this season to go over the 100-home run plateau. The Knights currently lead the IL in long balls with 112 – 14 more than second place Durham (98). The Knights as a team have hit 79 of their 112 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 homes at their home ballpark in all of Triple-A in 2015.

FIELD STAFF: Saturday’s win was the 275th for Charlotte Knights manager Joel Skinner, who is already the all-time winningest manager in franchise history. He was recently named by Baseball America as the Best Manager Prospect in the International League by Baseball America. Skinner recorded his 250th career Knights victory on June 20… Trainer Scott Johnson was recently named IL Trainer of Year by PBATS (Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society). He also won it in 2001 & 2002.

Knights Knotes — August 16, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will conclude their three-game series against the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) at 6:00 p.m. tonight from Fifth Third Field in Toledo, OH. The two teams have split the first two games of the series and the Knights will look for the series win tonight with a win. The Knights are 27-33 on the road this year. Charlotte enters tonight’s game in third place — seven games behind the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division. The Knights are 3.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus, who they will play a quick two-game series against in Columbus starting on Monday. The Knights have just 10 home games left during the 2015 regular season. knights knotes

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights beat the Toledo Mud Hens last night by a score of 9-6 in the middle game of their three-game series. Charlotte used 10 hits and a solid outing from RHP Kyle Drabek (7-7, 3.27) to beat the ‘Hens. Dayan Viciedo had a terrific day at the plate, reaching base five times, including a solo home run in the ninth.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Brad Penny (6-6, 3.93) will make his 20th start of the season tonight in the finale against the Mud Hens from Toledo, OH. After winning four-straight decisions from 5/9-7/21, Penny lost three consecutive starts (7/26-8/6). The 14-year Major League veteran however was sharp in his last outing, tossing seven shutout innings in a win over the Gwinnett Braves at BB&T Ballpark on August 11.

Photo credit: Buren Foster

Photo credit: Buren Foster

Overall in July, Penny went 2-2 with a 3.32 ERA in the month (6 games). He began the month of July by tossing a complete game, nine-inning, masterpiece at BB&T Ballpark on July 3rd (game two of day-night doubleheader) – the first 9-inning complete game tossed by a Knights pitcher in BB&T Ballpark history. He was signed by the Chicago White Sox as a free agent on December 16, 2014 and was assigned to the Charlotte Knights at the start of the 2015 season. The 37-year-old right-hander is a two-time NL All-Star (2006 & 2007). He started the 2006 game.

PENNY vs. TOLEDO: He has faced the Mud Hens twice this season and is 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA (10.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO). He last faced the club on May 9 at Toledo and earned the win after six innings (W, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO).

CAREER KNIGHT: Charlotte slugger Dayan Viciedo reached base five times last night going 3-for-3 with two runs scored, two RBIs, a solo home run, and two walks. The home run was his 42nd with the Knights, which is good for sole possession of eighth place on the franchise list for home runs. He moved into a three-way tie for 10th place on the franchise list for RBIs (130).

275 WINS FOR SKINS: Last night’s win was the 275th for Charlotte Knights manager Joel Skinner, who is already the all-time winningest manager in franchise history. He was recently named by Baseball America as the Best Manager Prospect in the International League by Baseball America. Skinner recorded his 250th career Knights victory on June 20.

ROSTER MOVE
: White Sox OF J.B. Shuck completed his rehab assignment and was reinstated by Chicago today. Shuck went 1-for-10 in three games with Charlotte (8/13-8/15).

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia is in his fourth season with the Knights and the California native is moving up in a number of offensive categories in Knights franchise history. Garcia totaled his 1,000 career Knights at-bat on Friday and now has 1,003 for his Knights career, which is eighth on the all-time at-bats list in franchise history. He is also in eighth place on the Knights all-time games played list (289) — just three games away from tying Josh Phegley for seventh (292). Garcia is also in sole possession of 10th place in Knights franchise history with 61 doubles (passed Casey Rogowski). He’s one away from tying Chris Clapinski and Joe Borchard (62).

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is second in the IL in home runs with 19, one behind Durham’s J.P. Arencibia (20). He is tied for second in the IL in games played (119), third in the IL in at-bats with 448, and tied for fourth in walks (54). Defensively, Davidson leads all International League third baseman in fielding percentage (.972), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (232) and second in double plays (19). He was named by Baseball America as the Best Defensive 3B in the International League… OF/1B Matt Tuiasosopo is second in the IL in slugging percentage (.483), and second in best home run/at-bat ratio (1/18.13)… Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (79).

SINCE JULY 1: Outfielder Jason Coats is hitting .299 with seven home runs and 29 RBIs since July 1 (41 games). Over that stretch, Coats has 50 hits, which is tied for the third most in that frame and his 29 RBIs are the fifth highest over that stretch… Matt Tuiasosopo has the third highest RBI total over that span (31), and the most home runs over that stretch (12) in 36 games played. For Tuiasosopo, he also has 81 total bases, which rank fifth. Coats has 82 (4th).

HOME RUN KNIGHTS: The Knights were the first IL team this season to go over the 100-home run plateau. The Knights currently lead the IL in long balls with 112 – 14 more than second place Durham (98). The Knights as a team have hit 79 of their 112 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.

ATTENDANCE LEADERS: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 584,681 this year (62 games) – the most in Minor League Baseball this season. The Knights are averaging 9,430 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).

THAT’S ERIK WITH A “K”: Charlotte RHP Erik Johnson (9-8, 2.45) struck-out eight batters over six scoreless innings on Friday to earn his ninth win of the season. Johnson is the leader in strikeouts in the International League with 123 and is second in the IL in ERA with a 2.45 mark. His nine wins are currently tied for third and he leads the IL in the highest strikeouts per nine innings ratio (9.42). His 1.15 WHIP is ranks third in the IL. Earlier this season, Johnson became just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to start the Triple-A All-Star Game. He joined Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010).

TRAINER OF THE YEAR: Trainer Scott Johnson was recently named IL Trainer of Year by PBATS (Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society). He also won it in 2001 & 2002.

COATS OF ARMOR: OF Jason Coats recorded his team-high 72nd RBI of the season on Friday which is tied for third in the IL this season. Coats is eight RBIs away from recording at least 80 RBIs in three consecutive seasons. He was drafted in 2012 by Chicago (29th round).

Interview with Tessa Blanchard

The Charlotte Knights welcomed professional wrestler Tessa Blanchard to BB&T Ballpark on Thursday, August 13 to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Tessa is a third generation wrestler, who is the granddaughter of Joe Blanchard, and the daughter of Tully Blanchard.

As a wrestling fan, of course I remember Tully Blanchard from his days as one of the legendary Four Horsemen. In fact, also at the ballpark on Thursday was one of the Four Horsemen, Arn Anderson — Tully’s “Brain Busters” tag team partner. On a side note, I remember seeing the Brain Busters defeat Strike Force at Wrestlemania V in Atlantic City. I attended that event as an eight-year-old and remember it fondly to this day!

Tessa also brought her stepdad with her, legendary wrestler Magnum TA, who I had the pleasure of meeting. And last, but certainly not least, Gwinnett Braves play-by-play man, Tony Schiavone, was also in the house. All of this took place a day after we welcomed WWE referee Charles Robinson and wrestler Lodi to BB&T Ballpark on Wednesday!

Tessa, a Charlotte native, currently wrestles for PWX Wrestling here in Charlotte. Brian Kanabroski, the COO of the promotion, was also on hand for the night. It was great to hang out with both of them, as they spent a good amount of the night in the press box.

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

It was certainly a busy night for Tessa, who sat down with Mike Pacheco for a pre-game show interview. She even had a chance to spend some quality time with Charlotte Knights mascot Homer the Dragon — both on the field and in the press box for a few minutes!

I had a chance to catch a few practice pitches from Tessa and minutes later, she got a few tips on how to throw out her ceremonial first pitch from Charlotte Knights pitching coach Richard Dotson. Although she says she was nervous, her first pitch was a good one!

I had the chance to talk to Tessa for a bit about her night at BB&T Ballpark, her career, growing up in a wrestling family, and what’s on the horizon for her.

She has some big matches in her near future and at just 20 years old, she is a star in the making!

Knights Knotes — August 9, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their season-long 10-game homestand tonight and play the finale of a three-game series against the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins) at 5:05 p.m. tonight from BB&T Ballpark. knights knotesAfter a loss to the Red Wings last night, the Knights are now 2-3 on the homestand and 35-22 overall this season at home (26-32 on the road). Tonight’s game is the rubber game of the three-game set and the Knights will go for their first series win since winning three of four against Durham, (7/20-7/23). The Knights 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 and a game back of the second place Gwinnett Braves (Triple-A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves). The Knights open a four-game series against the G-Braves tomorrow. The Knights are 2.5 games out of the IL Wild Card race behind Columbus.

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: Oswaldo Arcia homered, Jose Berrios tossed seven shutout innings, and the Rochester Red Wings evened up the three-game series with a 3-0 win over the Knights on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of 10,427 fans at BB&T Ballpark. RHP Erik Johnson (8-8, 2.58) allowed three runs over 6.2 innings and was saddled with the loss.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 2.67) will make his fifth start of the season with the Knights tonight and appear in his sixth game with the team overall. 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. He 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 four games and is 1-1 with a 2.88 ERA in those three starts (25.0 IP, 13 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 8 BB, 22 SO). Noesi fanned a season-high nine batters 7/29 @ LOU) over seven innings of work and has 16 strikeouts over his last two starts (13.0 IP). 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.

LAST TIME VS. ROCHESTER: Noesi last faced the Rochester Red Wings in Rochester, NY on April 9, 2011 as a member of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. He started the game and allowed three runs (two earned) on nine hits over five innings and did not factor in the decision. That was his only appearance in his career against Rochester.

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Infielder Drew Garcia moved into a tie for eighth place on the Knights all-time games played last night by playing in his 282nd career Knights game – tying Josh Fields. Back for his fourth season with the Knights in 2015, Garcia is also now just 10 games away from tying Josh Phegley for seventh (292). He is also inching closer to another mark as he now has 983 career Knights at-bats – 15 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett… Charlotte manager Joel Skinner – the winningest manager in Knights franchise history – has compiled 272 career wins with the Knights over four seasons.

10 STRAIGHT FOR TANK: OF Dayan Viciedo has hit safely in all seven games with the Knights and 10-straight (three w/Nashville) since being acquired last week (signed by Chicago and assigned to Charlotte on 8/1). 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, mashed 20 home runs in back-to-back seasons for the Knights from 2010-11. He was named to the All-Knights Stadium Team in 2013. He is eighth all-time in Knights history in homers (41) – tied with Joe Crede.

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Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

2015 IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson is third in the IL in home runs with 17. Davidson, who was a 2015 International League All-Star, is also tied for third in walks (51), fourth in at-bats (423), and tied for first in games (112)… OF Jason Coats is second in the IL in RBIs (69)… RHP Erik Johnson (8-8, 2.58) is first in the IL In strikeouts (115), third in ERA (2.58), and tied for third in WHIP (1.16). Johnson has the highest strikeouts per nine innings in the IL (9.44)… RHP Kyle Drabek (6-6, 2.74) has the fourth lowest ERA in the IL, he is also tied for third 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 third place tie in the IL in wins with nine.

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 and are leading the IL in long balls with 106. The Knights as a team have hit 74 of their 106 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).

RETURN TO MAYBERRY: 1B/OF John Mayberry Jr. recorded his first and second hits as a member of the Charlotte Knights last night. Mayberry Jr., who was signed by the Chicago White Sox and assigned to the Knights on Friday, has compiled 115 home runs over parts of nine minor league seasons. Mayberry hit .164 in 59 games for the New York Mets this season.

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage (.971), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (221) and tied for first double plays (18) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (75), is second in total chances (575), second in putouts (520) and second in assists (48),… As a team, the Knights are tied for fifth in fielding percentage in the IL (.981) and are first in the IL in assists (1248) and fourth in putouts (3057).

THREE FOR TUIA: 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo had the first three-homer game of his career on Friday and became just the eighth Knights player to achieve that feat (first since Dan Black on May 29, 2014 at Columbus). His back-to-back inning homers (1st & 2nd) were the first time a Knights player had done that since exactly one year ago (Josh Phegley in 6th & 7th inning at BB&T Ballpark on August 7, 2014). He’s recorded three multi-homer games this season and three grand slams. He now has 16 home runs in 2015, which are fourth most in the IL this season and one behind the Knights team leader Matt Davidson (17), who is third in the IL. Tuiasosopo has homered once every 18.13 at-bats, which is the second best HR/AB ratio in the IL. Since July 1, Matt Tuiasosopo has the most home runs in the IL (12) second in RBIs over that span (31) behind Matt Hague (32).

Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

Photo credit: Laura Wolff/Charlotte Knights

ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 539,313 this year (57 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 9,462 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 27 sell-out crowds during the regular season this season and 30 sell-out crowds overall this year (White Sox exhibition game and Team USA game).

MILITARY APPRECIATION: The first 1,000 fans through the gates tonight will receive a Military Heroes Card Set featuring Military members with local family ties. Knights players will wear Military themed jerseys, which will be auctioned off later this month with proceeds to benefit Charlotte Knights Charities and the USO of North Carolina.

Knights Knotes – August 8, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue their season-long 10-game homestand tonight and play game two of 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 knotesWith a win last night, the Knights are now 2-2 on the homestand. After dropping eight of 10 on their last road trip, the Knights improved to are 35-21 at home this season (just 26-32 on the road) with the win last night and they gained ground in the IL South Division. The Knights enter today’s game five 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 2-2 against Rochester this year.

LAST KNIGHTS GAME: The Charlotte Knights combined to belt out 11 hits last night en route to a 9-5 win over the Rochester Red Wings in game one of the three-game series from BB&T Ballpark. RHP Scott Carroll (5-2, 2.67) allowed three runs over six innings and Matt Tuiasosopo led the way with a historic night at the plate. Tuiasosopo launched three homers.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Erik Johnson (8-7, 2.49) will make his 19th start of the 2015 season and appear in his 20th game today. Johnson currently leads the IL in strikeouts (110), is averaging an IL best 9.44 strikeouts per nine innings, and is tied for the IL lead in ERA with Randy Wolf (2.49). erik johnsonFrom 6/10-7/28 (7 games), Johnson allowed just one earned run (44.0 IP). Johnson beat the Red Wings earlier this season on 6/26 @ROC (W, 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 SO). He has already racked up an IL Pitcher of the Week nod this season (week of June 15-21) after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts (14.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO). He went 3-1 with a 1.03 ERA in five June starts and went 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA in three July starts. Johnson became just the fourth Knights pitcher in franchise history to get the Triple-A All-Star Game starting nod joining Julian Tavarez (1994), Charlie Haeger (2006), and Carlos Torres (2010). He tossed two scoreless innings at the 2015 Triple-A All-Star Game at Werner Park in Omaha, Nebraska earlier this month. He made his 2015 debut on April 13 in relief against Durham and earned the win after three scoreless innings. The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher entered the 2014 season ranked by Baseball America as the 2nd best prospect in the White Sox system. Johnson lost his only start against Rochester last year (L, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO).
Laura Wolff

Photo credit: Laura Wolff

THREE FOR TUIA: 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo launched a homer in the first inning, another in the second inning, and one more in the seventh inning last night to give him career-game best three long balls along with seven RBIs. It was his first three-homer game of his career and he is just the eighth Knights player to achieve that feat (first since Dan Black on May 29, 2014 at Columbus). His back-to-back inning homers (1st & 2nd) were the first time a Knights player had done that since exactly one year ago (Josh Phegley in 6th & 7th inning at BB&T Ballpark on August 7, 2014). He’s recorded three multi-homer games this season and three grand slams.

ROSTER MOVES: Infielder Cleuluis Rondon (CLAY-ew-lou-eese ron-DOHN) was promoted to Charlotte today from Winston-Salem (A+) to take the place of infielder Justin Sellers, who was placed on the DL. Charlotte’s roster is set at 25 active players. Rondon was hitting .182 (63-for-346) with 30 runs scored, seven doubles, three home runs, and 26 RBIs. He was originally obtained by the Chicago White Sox on July 30, 2013 along with Avisail Garcia and pitchers Frankie Montas and J.B. Wendelken, in exchange for RHP Jake Peavy. Rondon entered the 2015 season ranked by Baseball America as the Best Defensive Infielder in the White Sox organization. The same publication also tabbed him as possessing the Best Infield Arm in the organization. Sellers, who was originally drafted by the Oakland A’s in the sixth round of the 2005 draft, is hitting .206 (7-for-34) with the Knights over eight games.

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Photo credit: Laura Wolff

MORE ON TUIASOSOPO: With three home runs and seven RBIs last night, Matt Tuiasosopo now has 16 home runs and 46 RBIs. His 16 long balls are fourth most in the IL this season and one behind the Knights team leader Matt Davidson (17), who is third in the IL. Tuiasosopo has homered once every 17.94 at-bats, which is the second best HR/AB ratio in the IL. Since July 1, Matt Tuiasosopo has the most home runs in the IL (12) and is tied for the most RBIs over that span with Matt Hague (31).

2015 IL LEADERBOARD
: 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), tied for third in at-bats (419), and tied for first in games (111)… OF Jason Coats is second in the IL in RBIs (69)… RHP Kyle Drabek (6-6, 2.74) has the third lowest ERA in the IL, he is also tied for third 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 506 runs this season (second in the IL).

FRANCHISE HISTORY: Back for his fourth season with the Knights in 2015, infielder Drew Garcia is ninth on the Knights all-time games played list with 281 career games – one 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 980 career Knights at-bats – 18 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett… Charlotte manager Joel Skinner – the winningest manager in Knights franchise history – has compiled 272 career wins with the Knights over four seasons.

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. With three home runs from Tuiasosopo last night, the Knights are leading the IL in long balls with 106. The Knights as a team have hit 74 of their 106 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).

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 six games with the Knights and nine-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 (.971), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (218) and tied for first double plays (18) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (75), is second in total chances (575), second in putouts (520) and second in assists (48),… As a team, the Knights are tied for fifth in fielding percentage in the IL (.981) and are first in the IL in assists (1235) and fourth in putouts (3030).

ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark, which was named the Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball by Baseball America, has welcomed 528,886 this year (56 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 9,444 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 26 sell-out crowds during the regular season this season and 29 sell-out crowds overall this year (White Sox exhibition game and Team USA game).

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.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD
: 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).

Knights Knotes — August 4, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: knights knotesThe Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) return home to BB&T Ballpark tonight to open a 10-game homestand. Tonight’s opener features the start of a three-game series against the Buffalo Bisons (Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays). The Knights are coming off a 10-game road trip in which they posted a 2-8 record over that span. On their last homestand, the Knights won five of eight games and will look to continue their winning ways at home this season. The Knights are 33-19 at home this season. They are just 26-32 on the road. The Knights enter today’s matinee 6.0 games back of the first place Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) in the IL South Division and 1.5-games out of the IL Wild Card race behind the Columbus Clippers.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: RHP Hector Noesi (1-1, 2.25) will make his fourth start of the season with the Knights tonight and appear in his fifth 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

He 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 three consecutive games and is 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in those three starts (18.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 20 SO). Noesi fanned a season-high nine batters in his last outing (7/29 @ LOU) over seven innings of work and has 16 strikeouts over his last two starts (13.0 IP). 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.

LAST TIME VS. BUFFALO: Noesi has faced the Buffalo Bisons once in his career and did so in 2010 while with SWB. On September 1, 2010, he lost against Buffalo after allowing four runs on eight hits over six innings. He walked two and struck-out seven.

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday, the Knights announced a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Trayce Thompson, a 2015 International League All-Star, was recalled to Chicago to take the roster spot of RHP Scott Carroll, who was optioned to Charlotte after Sunday’s White Sox game. In two other roster moves yesterday, catcher George Kottaras was released by Chicago, while catcher Rob Brantly was promoted from Birmingham. Earlier today, the Knights activated infielder Ethan Wilson off the disabled list, which put the team’s active roster at 25 players. Brantly, 26, has posted a .325 batting average with 13 runs scored, six doubles, one triple, four home runs, and 22 RBIs over 30 games with the Birmingham Barons this season.

FROM THE SOUTH TO THE SOUTH SIDE: Thompson became the ninth Charlotte Knights player promoted to Chicago this season. LHP Carlos Rodon (April 20), RHP Scott Carroll (April 26, June 18, & August 1), RHP Daniel Webb (April 26 & May 28), RHP Chris Beck (May 9 & May 28), infielder Carlos Sanchez (May 15), RHP Junior Guerra (June 7), infielder Tyler Saladino (July 10), and infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia (July 23 & July 29) are the others.

WITHOUT A TRAYCE: At the time of his promotion to Chicago – his first in his career –Trayce Thompson was hitting .260 (101-for-388) with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs. He currently ranks fourth in the International League in extra base hits (40), third in games played (104), and fifth in total bases (171).  Defensively, the 24-year-old is second among International League outfielders in games played (103), and ranks first in the IL in total chances (249), and first in putouts (243).

HOW HE DREW IT UP: Infielder Drew Garcia has been red-hot for the Charlotte Knights. Garcia has put together back-to-back three-hit games to extend his hit streak to five-straight games and has also scored a run in five-straight games. During that five-game stretch, Garcia is hitting .450 (9-for-20) which is tied for the highest batting average in the IL over that span (tied with Steven Moya of Toledo). Garcia has hit safely in 11 of his last 14 games and is hitting .308 (16-for-52) with eight runs scored, three doubles, one triple, one home run, and five RBIs after the All-Star Break. Since July 20 (13 games), Garcia has raised his average 30 points (.200 to .230). Back for his fourth season with the Knights in 2015, Garcia is ninth on the Knights all-time games played list with 277 career games – five 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 967 career Knights at-bats – 31 away from a 10th place tie with Rusty Crockett.

TANK RETURNS: Dayan Viciedo was signed by Chicago on Saturday and assigned to the Knights. He went 2-for-6 in his 2015 debut on Saturday and went 1-for-4 on Sunday – combining to hit 300 (3-for-10) over his first two games. Viciedo hit .254 with 66 home runs and 211 RBIs over parts of five seasons with the Chicago White Sox from 2010 to 2014. The former Knights slugger 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.

2015 IL LEADERBOARD (HITTERS): 3B Matt Davidson is tied for third in home runs (16), fourth in walks (50), tied for third in at-bats (402), and tied for first in games (107)… OF Jason Coats is third in the IL in RBIs (66). Coats is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with one home run and five RBIs over his last five games.… …. 1B/OF Matt Tuiasosopo has homered once every 20.77 at-bats, which is the fifth best HR/AB ratio in the IL… 2B Micah Johnson, who is currently on the DL, is batting .328 on the season in 66 games this year (2nd in IL) behind Buffalo’s Matt Hague (.343). He is also second in the IL in OBP (.383), second in slugging percentage (.487), and tied for fourth in stolen bases with 26… Infielder Leury Garcia, who is now with Chicago, is ninth in the IL in batting average with a .296 mark and tied for third in steals (28).
erik johnson
2015 IL LEADERBOARD (PITCHERS): 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 second in the IL… RHP Kyle Drabek (5-6, 2.71) is fourth in the IL in ERA (2.71), second in WHIP (1.12), and opponents are batting just .221 against Drabek this season – the third lowest mark in the IL this season. Drabek has also allowed the second fewest baserunners per nine innings this season in the IL (10.37).

CHARLOTTE’S ‘PEN
: LHP Jarrett Casey (9-2, 4.11) is in a four-way second-place tie in the IL in wins with nine (Scott Diamond, Dylan Floro, and Brian Johnson)… Opposing batters are hitting .172 against RHP Maikel Cleto – the second lowest opponents’ batting average in the IL among relievers. Cleto, who is currently on the DL, also has the third highest strikeout per nine inning ratio (10.76) in the IL… LHP Zach Phillips has allowed the second fewest base runners per nine innings in the IL this season (10.07)… Chicago White Sox RHP Nate Jones, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, has not allowed a run in five rehab appearances with the Knights this season (5.0 IP).

D-E-F-E-N-S-E: 3B Matt Davidson leads IL third baseman in fielding percentage (.969), as well as all IL third baseman in assists (210) and double plays (18) … Catcher Kevan Smith leads all IL catchers in games (73), assists (46), total chances (570), and putouts (517)… As a team, the Knights are tied for the fourth best fielding percentage in the IL (.981) and are first in the IL in assists (1176) and tied for third in putouts (2922).

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