Results tagged ‘ Knights ’

RIP, Tommy

Photo Credit: Buren Foster

Photo Credit: Buren Foster

Tragic. Devastating. Heartbreaking.

Those are just some of the thoughts and words I have after hearing about the sudden passing of former Charlotte Knights right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson.

At just 29 years old, the talented, hard-throwing pitcher had so much more to give the world. And, after seeing the outpouring of thoughts and prayers today, it’s obvious that Tommy touched so many lives throughout the game — and throughout his short time on earth.

As a Public Relations Director, I keep my relationship with players professional. I work with them during the season to set up interviews with the media and I try to help them out with anything they may need. While I wish I could somehow stay in touch with every player I have come into contact with over my nine years working in professional baseball, it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t work that way. Players come and go each year, and we lose touch.

Tommy’s time with the Knights was short. He appeared in 10 games in 2014 with the club after signing a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox on April 7, 2014. He was officially assigned to the Knights on April 19 and made his Knights debut on April 20.

I remember the day he made his debut for the Knights. The team was in Gwinnett County, GA playing the G-Braves. Hanson, a standout with the Braves, who still lived in the Atlanta area, was ready to face his former ‘mates. I wanted to drive down to Coolray Field that day to be there and see what that would be like. Hanson was very well-liked in the Braves organization. Very respected for his accomplishments.

Photo Credit: Buren Foster

Photo Credit: Buren Foster

The Oklahoma native won 45 games for Atlanta over four seasons (2009-12). He finished third in the National League Cy Young Award voting in 2009 after posting an 11-4 record with a 2.89 ERA in 21 starts as a rookie. In fact, he won at least 10 games in each of his four seasons, including 13 in 2012.

Over his last three seasons, however, he appeared in just 15 games at the major league level. He went 4-3 with a 5.42 ERA for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2013.

After that, it was on to the Knights in 2014 and the San Francisco Giants minor league system last year (San Jose & Sacramento). Still, Tommy was pitching and making an impact on those who he came in contact with.

Once rated as the number four prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America (2009), Hanson will always be remembered around the game by so many.

On behalf of the Charlotte Knights organization, my thoughts and prayers go out to Tommy’s family and friends at this time. RIP, Tommy. Thanks for your contributions to Charlotte Knights baseball.

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).

Knights Knotes — June 29, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) will continue a 10-game road trip today and open a three-game series against the Norfolk Tides (Triple-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles) at Harbor Park in Norfolk, VA at 7:05 p.m. tonight. The Knights wrapped up their seven-game trek through Upstate New York yesterday by dropping both games of their doubleheader in Rochester to the Red Wings (Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins). The Knights are now 3-4 on the road trip and just 17-21 this season on the road (26-12 at home). Charlotte enters play today in second place in the IL South Division – 0.5 game behind first place Norfolk. The Durham Bulls are in third place in the IL South Division (3.0 games back). Still, despite getting swept in yesterday’s twin bill, the Knights have won 10 of their last 14 games.knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME(S): The Knights dropped both games of Sunday’s doubleheader on Sunday to the Rochester Red Wings, falling in game one by a score of 1-0 and game two by a score of 5-4 in 11 innings. Wilkin Ramirez hit two home runs in game two, including a walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th off Charlotte RHP Maikel Cleto (3-2, 2.90), who was saddled with the loss. In game one, Charlotte RHP Miguel Chalas allowed one run over four innings and was saddled with the loss.

KNIGHTS STARTING PITCHER: Charlotte RHP Shawn Haviland (3-4, 4.75) Haviland_Shawnwill make his 10th start of the 2015 season today and appear in his 16th overall game with the Knights in 2015. Haviland enters tonight’s start having won two of his last three starts. He entered his last start with a two-game win-streak with both coming against the PawSox. He beat them back on June 9 at Pawtucket (W, 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO) and followed up that performance with another win over Pawtucket at BB&T Ballpark on June 18 (5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO). Haviland was solid in his last start – back on June 23 at Syracuse – but did not factor in the decision (ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO). In his only career start against Norfolk (April 26 @ NOR), Haviland is 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA (ND, 6.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO). His first start of the year – back on April 13 – was his first start in the International League and it was his first at the Triple-A level since June 20, 2010 as a member of Triple-A Sacramento (Oakland). His last Triple-A start before that – back on June 20, 2010 — Haviland started against Salt Lake and allowed five runs (two earned) on six hits over 3.1 IP. His nine wins in 2010 with the Stockton Ports (9-6, 3.65) are a season best. Haviland, 29, is a native of Middletown, Connecticut and was signed by Chicago as a free agent on January 12, 2015. Haviland was originally drafted by the Oakland A’s in the 33rd round of the 2008 draft out of Harvard University.

IL LEADERBOARD: 3B Matt Davidson launched his 12th and 13th home runs of the season to re-take the IL lead in home runs this season on Sunday. Davidson’s 13 are one more than Kyle Roller, Jefry Marte, and J.P. Arencibia’s 12… Outfielder Trayce Thompson is first in the IL in games played (76), fourth in slugging percentage (.458), tied for second in IL in extra-base hits (30), and tied for third in IL in total bases (129)… Infielder Leury Garcia, who is now on the DL, is third in the IL in stolen bases (23)… Kyle Drabek (3-4, 2.85) won his second consecutive decision on Thursday after allowing just one run over six innings. Drabek is eighth in the IL in ERA (2.85) and tied for third in WHIP (1.13) this season in 12 starts with the Knights this year… As a team, the Knights are second in the IL lead in home runs (61) – one behind Durham (62)… The Knights have scored the third most runs in the IL this season (329)… Charlotte’s 310 RBIs are third most in the IL behind Toledo (316).

COATS OF ARMOR: Outfielder Jason Coats homered in game two of yesterday’s twin bill – his seventh of the season with the Knights – and fourth in June. He finished the game with two hits and has 12 hits over his last nine games with six RBIs.

IL STRIKEOUT LEADER: RHP Erik Johnson (7-5, 2.86) allowed one run on four hits over seven innings en-route to his third-straight win on Friday. He has allowed two earned runs over his last 32.0 IP. Last week, he was named IL Pitcher of the Week after going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA (14.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 20 SO). He is 7-5 with a 2.86 ERA in 15 games (14 starts) over 85.0 innings pitched in 2015. His 96 strikeouts are first in the IL, his 2.86 ERA is ninth, and he is averaging 10.21 strikeouts per nine innings – tops in the IL.

CAN’T SPELL KNIGHTS WITHOUT “K”: Charlotte Knights pitchers have combined to strike out 619 batters this season – tops in Triple-A this year – 29 more than El Paso/Sacramento (590) – the top PCL team(s) and 60 more than the second highest IL team, Durham (559).

REHABBING: Chicago White Sox LHP Dan Jennings, who was placed on the team’s 15-day disabled list with inflammation on the left side of his neck on June 7 (retroactive to June 5), began a MLB rehab assignment with the Knights on Monday, June 22 and continued his rehab in game one yesterday. Jennings allowed just two hits over two scoreless innings and has now appeared in three games with the Knights this season on his rehab (0-0, 3.00 ERA, 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 SO). Chicago RHP Matt Albers, who was placed on Chicago’s 15-day disabled list with a broken little finger on his right hand on April 26 (retroactive to April 20), began a Major League Rehab assignment with the Charlotte Knights on Friday – tossing a scoreless eighth inning for the club (1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO, 10 pitches, 6 for strikes). Albers, 32, went 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four games out of Chicago’s bullpen (5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO) before being placed on the DL.

CHARLOTTE’S PEN: RHP Matt Lindstrom (2-0, 4.50) extended his scoreless innings streak to nine games and 12.2 innings pitched yesterday in game two of the doubleheader. He last allowed a run on May 28 against the Clippers. He has not allowed a run in 11 of his 16 appearances this season… LHP Jarrett Casey won his sixth game of the season Saturday – third highest in the IL this season… RHP Maikel Cleto has the third lowest batting average against (.168) among relievers in the IL… LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.20) notched his fifth save of the season on Friday after another scoreless appearance. Phillips has allowed just three earned runs over his last 16 games and has not allowed a run in 20 of his 26 appearances this season.

WHO’S HOT AT THE PLATE: Over his last 10 games, Charlotte 3B Matt Davidson is hitting .316 (12-for-38) with three home runs and four RBIs… Outfielder Chris Marrero is hitting .381 (8-for-21) in seven games this season with the Knights… Catcher George Kottaras went 1-for-4 on Thursday with his fifth home run of the season – a solo shot off Chiefs RHP Joe Ross. He now has four home runs and 13 RBIs over his last five games. In 21 games this season, he is hitting .311 (19-for-61) with five home runs, 21 walks, and a .482 on-base percentage… Catcher Kevan Smith is hitting .455 (5-for-11) over his last four games… Recently promoted Chris Curley is hitting .364 (4-for-11) in four games this season.

LOOKING AHEAD: RHP Terance Marin (2-0, 0.00), who has not allowed a run in 22.0 innings pitched this season with the Knights in four games overall, will get the start on Tuesday for the Knights. Marin, who was reinstated by the Chicago White Sox on June 5th after being on loan to the Mexican League’s Toros de Tijuana, posted a 2-5 record with a 4.94 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) earlier this season with the Toros (47.1 IP).

250th CAREER KNIGHTS VICTORY: Manager Joel Skinner recorded his 250th career victory with the Knights — the most in franchise history – on June 20 at BB&T Ballpark.

Knights Knotes — June 2, 2015

KNIGHT LIGHTS: The first place Charlotte Knights (Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) are back on the baseball diamond tonight after a scheduled off-day on Monday. After winning five of seven games on their recent homestand, the Knights open a three-game road trip tonight in Durham, NC with the Durham Bulls (Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays). The Knights enter today in first place in the IL South Division – 0.5 games ahead of Norfolk and 1.0 game ahead of tonight’s opponent — the Durham Bulls. The Knights have scored 230 runs this season – which is tied for the top spot in the IL with the Toledo Mud Hens this season. After going 13-7 in April, the Knights went 16-14 in the month of May. Charlotte is also tied for second in team batting average (.269) with Rochester. knights knotes

THE LAST KNIGHTS GAME: RHP Scott Carroll (2-1, 1.83) tossed five scoreless innings, Matt Davidson recorded two hits, and the Charlotte Knights shut out the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Sunday 2-0 in the finale of their three-game series from BB&T Ballpark in Uptown Charlotte. The Knights took two of three from Lehigh Valley and five of seven on the homestand to improve to 19-10 at home this season.

KNIGHTS STARTER: RHP Kyle Drabek (1-2, 2.25) will make his eighth Knights start of the season tonight and first against the Bulls this year. He earned his first win of the season in his last start back on May 26 at BB&T Ballpark against the Clippers. Drabek has gone at least six innings in two of his last three starts and has had some tough-luck this season – especially in the month of May. Over that five-game span, he allowed just six earned runs over 28.0 IP while striking out 25 batters. He went 1-2 with a 1.93 ERA over that span. 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 (4.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 SO) and was sharp in his first start at the Triple-A level 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 27-year-old Texas native posted a 5.06 ERA (5.1 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). He was claimed by the White Sox on March 27, 2015 off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays. Last season with the Triple-A Buffalo 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). With the Bisons, Drabek faced the Bulls twice last season and posted a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in two games (3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 SO). Those two appearances are his only appearances against the Bulls in his career. In six Major League seasons, Drabek owns a career mark of 8-15 with a 5.27 ERA in 42 games (30 starts). He’s appeared in 177.2 IP during that span in the majors. In eight seasons at the Minor League level, Drabek has compiled a 46-35 mark with a 3.92 ERA (142 games, 117 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. He was also a mid-season and postseason EL All-Star as well as an MiLB.com Organization All-Star. Kyle is the son of former Major League Doug, who won 155 games over his Major League career. Doug was the 1990 Cy Young Award winner while pitching for Pittsburgh.
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Leury Garcia hit .330 during the month of May (photo credit: Laura Wolff).

IL HR LEADER: 3B Matt Davidson leads the International League with nine long balls this year and is third in the IL in RBIs with 31. He now has 109 career Minor League home runs.

RUN LEURY RUN: Infielder Leury Garcia is now batting .301 (53-for-176) on the year. He is tied for third in the IL this season in runs scored with 29 – four behind IL leader Daniel Fields of Toledo. Garcia has a team-high 19 stolen bases and currently ranks second in the IL behind Perez (25). In 25 games during the month of May, Garcia hit .330 (32-for-97) with seven doubles, one home run, seven RBIs, and 10 stolen bases.

BB&T BALLPARK NAMED BEST IN MiLB, LEADS IN ATTENDANCE: BB&T Ballpark was named as “Best Ballpark in Minor League Baseball” by Baseball America earlier this season. The ballpark led all of MiLB in attendance last season with a mark of 687,715 fans through 71 games. The Knights are once against at the top of MiLB in overall attendance (272,385) and average attendance with (9,393) through 29 openings. Sacramento (PCL) is second with a 264,122 total and a 9,433 average through 28 openings.

ZACH ATTACK: LHP Zach Phillips (1-0, 2.35) earned his first save of the season on Sunday with another scoreless inning on the mound. Phillips has not allowed a run over his last four games and has not allowed a run in 12 of his 17 appearances this season. During the month of May, Phillips posted a 0-0 mark with one save and a 1.32 ERA in 10 games.

KNIGHTS DEBUT: RHP Miguel Chalas made his Charlotte Knights debut on Sunday and did not allow a run in two innings pitched. He was promoted to Charlotte on May 30 from Double-A Birmingham where he was 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA in 14 games.

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: RHP Erik Johnson was solid in his last start of the season back on Saturday despite being saddled with a loss (L, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 SO). Johnson leads the International League in strikeouts per nine innings (9.96) and is second overall with 55 on the season. 2B Micah Johnson has reached base in 10 of 11 games this season with the Knights and has a hit in nine of 11.

THE MIGHTY CASEY: LHP Jarrett Casey (5-0, 2.59) leads Charlotte with five wins and is tied for third in the IL in wins. He has not allowed a run over his last three games (6.1 IP).