Results tagged ‘ san francisco giants ’

Rowand Rejoins Sox…

Recently, the Chicago White Sox announced that Aaron Rowand would rejoin the organization as a minor league instructor. Rowand, who was the center fielder on Chicago’s 2005 World Series Championship winning team, will work as the organization’s minor league outfield and baserunning instructor. He replaces Doug Sisson.aaron-roward-white-sox-tv-analyst-fill-in

Rowand was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 1998 draft out of Cal-State Fullerton (sandwich pick between the 1st & 2nd round). He played 11 seasons in the bigs, including five with the White Sox. Rowand also spent time with the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies.

In 1,358 career major league games, Rowand compiled a career batting average of .273 with 1,193 hits, 136 home runs, and 536 RBIs. He was a National League All-Star in 2007 while playing for the Phillies.

A native of Portland, OR, Rowand was a solid defensive outfielder and earned a Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his efforts in 2007. He led the National League in assists and fielding percentage that season while roaming the outfield in the City of Brotherly Love.

I’ll always remember watching Rowand crashing into the wall at Citizens Bank Park in 2006 against the New York Mets. I was watching that game live. That was one of the finest catches you will ever see!

Rowand is also a former Charlotte Knights center fielder, who hit .295 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs in 82 games with the club in 2001. He also appeared in 32 games with the Knights in 2003. Aaron Rowand

Over the course of his career, he won two World Series Championships (2005 with Chicago and 2010 with San Francisco).

Here’s what Rowand had to say about his new position (excerpt from the Chicago White Sox press release):

“This is a great opportunity for me to give back to the organization, which gave me my professional start,” said Rowand. “As everyone knows, I have a deep passion and loyalty to the White Sox, so I’m excited to help the organization anyway I can. I feel like I have a lot to offer the players coming up through the system, and I can’t wait to get started in spring training.”

Getting Ishi With It…

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Travis Ishikawa hit .250 with two home runs for the Knights in 34 games in 2013. Photo credit: Erica Caldwell

It was just a few days ago, but it is still fresh in my mind. Maybe that’s because I live for baseball — and I certainly live for the excitement of playoff baseball.

Travis Ishikawa etched his name in baseball history on Thursday, October 16, 2014 with a game-winning, walk-off, three-run home run. Much like Bobby Thompson did in 1951 — it was a home run for all the marbles. Both home runs led to — “the Giants win the pennant”. I wasn’t alive to watch the 1951 home run — are you surprised? I’m not that old! Even so, I know all about Bobby Thompson’s home run. Sometimes, history repeats itself. It did last week.

With that home run, Ishikawa will go down as a playoff hero for many years to come — much like Thompson.

So, who is Travis Ishikawa? Charlotte Knights fans should know that name. Right?

Ishikawa played for the Charlotte Knights in 2013. He wasn’t with the team very long — just 34 games. He wasn’t new to the daily grind of Minor League Baseball at that point — it was his 10th season in the minors in 2013. It was also his 9th different Minor League team since 2002. He was a veteran and he was working his way back to the majors — a place where he had already spent parts of six seasons.

At the age of 22, Ishikawa made his Major League debut with the San Francisco Giants as a pinch-hitter. It was April 18, 2006. I’m sure it’s a day he’ll never forgot.

Drafted by the Giants in the 21st round of the 2002 draft, the Seattle, Washington-born slugger earned that spot in the majors. In 2005 with High-A San Jose, he hit .282 with 22 home runs and 79 RBIs. Add in his 28 doubles and seven triples and it was a successful season for the 22-year-old. His 122 hits in 127 games were a career-high.

While it has been a long road for Ishikawa since those days, it was fitting that he was the one who hit that home run. Nearly out of baseball — a few times — the Giants gave him a chance this season after he was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Giants — the team that drafted him over 12 years ago — gave him one more shot at the majors.


From Charlotte to San Francisco. From the minors to Major League hero!

He appeared in 71 games for the Fresno Grizzlies this season (San Francisco’s Triple-A affiliate). He showed power — hitting 11 home runs over that span. An injury to Michael Morse in July meant that he would get one more shot at the majors. This time, he was called on as an outfielder — switching from first base.

Ishikawa played for the Giants at a great time of the season. San Francisco was in the midst of a playoff run. He hit .274 with two home runs and 15 RBIs in 47 games.

Then, there were the playoffs. Then, there was that home run.

Game one of the World Series starts Tuesday in Kansas City and as a baseball fan, I can’t think of a better time of year! This year’s World Series features the Kansas City Royals against the San Francisco Giants in what should be a World Series for the ages. Yes, really.

As a baseball fan, this is a great matchup. The Giants are building a dynasty, while the Royals are in search of postseason success for the first time in 29 years. The Royals have won all eight 2014 playoff games they have played so far. They play small ball, defense, and have an outstanding bullpen. They want to win for their fans — for that city. They have “Big Game James” too!

Then, there are the mighty Giants. Led by Madison Bumgarner on the mound, Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, and Hunter Pence, the Giants have been the class of the National League for the past five seasons. They have former Charlotte Knights reliever Javier Lopez out of the ‘pen. Their game two starter also wore a Knights jersey — Jake Peavy. He rehabbed with Charlotte in 2009 and 2011 while with the White Sox.

Then, there is Travis Ishikawa. Baseball is made up of great stories. His story is one of them.

Former Knights Move On (Part Deux)…

Welcome back to the Knight Fever blog.

I’ll be leaving for the Winter Meetings on Sunday night and I’m looking forward to getting some exclusive coverage, as well learning as much as I can, in what will be my first-ever Winter Meetings! Keep an eye out for an exciting announcement on Tuesday, December 10.

In the meantime, let’s continue our look at some former Knights, who have recently latched on with other teams this offseason…

Jhan Carlos Marinez (2012-13)Signed by the Detroit Tigers Jhan Carlos Marinez
Originally a farmhand of the Marlins, Marinez became a member of the White Sox organization on September 29, 2011 in a trade for manager Ozzie Guillen. At the time, Guillen was coming off his eighth season as Chicago’s manager. The former White Sox player led the club to a World Series win in 2005, but was coming off a 78-82 season in 2011.

In a move to shake things up, Guillen was sent to the Miami Marlins for Marinez and infielder Ozzie Martinez. Both youngsters began the 2012 season in Charlotte with the Knights. Martinez appeared in 60 games for the Knights before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers organization around the All-Star Break in 2012.

Now, the second part of that trade is also gone.

Marinez appeared in parts of two seasons with the Knights (2012-13) and compiled a 6-6 record with six saves and a 3.86 ERA. He fanned 91 batters over 91.0 innings pitched and allowed 65 hits over that span with the Knights. He was limited to just 20 games last season and finished with a 2-4 record and a 6.11 ERA.

The young right-hander appeared in two games for the White Sox in 2012 and did not allow a run in 2.2 IP (0-0, 0.00 ERA). After making his Major League debut in 2010 with the Marlins, Marinez owns a 1-1 Major League record with a 3.38 ERA in six games. The Dominican native is just 25 years old and will look to take the next step in his career in the Detroit organization. Detroit’s Triple-A affiliate — the Toledo Mud Hens — travel to BB&T Ballpark in late June (June 20-23).

Daniel Moskos (2012-13) Signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers Daniel Moskos
A product of Clemson University, Moskos recently signed a Minor League contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The South Carolina native also received an invite to Spring Training with Don Mattingly’s National League West club.

A former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates (4th overall in 2007), Moskos will look to work his way back to the Majors this season for the first time since 2011. That season, he posted a 1-1 record with a 2.96 ERA in 31 games for the Pirates. The following season, Moskos was on the move. Pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis, Moskos was removed from Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster and claimed by the White Sox (July 6, 2012). At the time, he was 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in 14 games with the Indians.

Moskos would stay in the International League and was sent to Triple-A Charlotte to continue his 2012 campaign. He appeared in 16 games with the Knights over the remainder of the season and posted a 1-1 mark with two saves and a 4.43 ERA over 20.1 innings pitched.

This past season, Moskos returned to Charlotte and compiled a 2-1 mark with one save and a 4.97 ERA in 22 games. The 27-year-old, however, was later released by  the White Sox on June 23. He then signed on to play baseball in the Chinese Professional Baseball League with the EDA Rhinos — the same team that Manny Ramirez latched on with this past season. Now, he’s back in the United States and has a chance to one again pitch in the National League.

Javier Lopez (2006)Signed with the San Francisco Giants Lopez (1)
Lopez has enjoyed a solid Major League career as a lefty specialist in many Major League bullpens since his debut back in 2003.

In 11 Big League seasons, Lopez owns a 27-13 record with 13 saves and a 3.64 ERA (629 games).

Over the past four seasons, he has been a staple in San Francisco’s bullpen — posting a 14-4 record with nine saves and a 2.26 ERA (236 games). Last season, Lopez
went 4-2 with one save and a 1.83 ERA in 69 games for the Giants.

In 2006, Lopez signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox and began the season with the Knights. In 26 games for the Knights, Lopez was 2-1 with 12 saves and a 0.55 ERA. On June 15, 2012, Lopez traded Sox — and went to Boston for reliever David Riske. He has since become one of the most consistent left-handed relievers in the game.

Winter League Update & More…

Happy offseason to you!

The Major League Baseball season is officially over with the end of the World Series. Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, who swept the Detroit Tigers (4-0). One former Knights player was a part of the winning team. Congratulations to former Knights reliever Javier Lopez, who was a solid reliever for the Giants this year.

The 2012 season was a truly special one. The Charlotte Knights had a great year and the MLB season was one for the ages. With that, I think it’s time to  take a look at some of the Fall/Winter Leagues all across the world. Perhaps a little hot stove baseball talk is in store as well.

Arizona Fall League

The Knights have four members of their 2012 squad playing in this year’s Arizona Fall League. Carlos Sanchez, Trayce Thompson, Andre Rienzo, and Santos Rodriguez are all playing for the Salt River Rafters.

Carlos Sanchez – The 20-year-old is hitting .244 (11-45) with five runs scored, two doubles, one triple and 10 RBIs over 12 games. His best game of the AFL season came back on October 25 when he went 2-3 with a triple and four RBIs.

Trayce Thompson – Thompson, who played the last six games of the 2012 season with the Knights, is hitting .200 with six runs scored, two home runs and six RBIs. He homered on October 24 and 27.

Andre Rienzo – Rienzo has made three starts for Salt River and has been sharp. The Brazilian native is 0-0 with a 1.54 ERA. He’s fanned 11 batters over 11.2 innings pitched. He struck-out five batters in back-to-back starts October 12-18.

Santos Rodriguez – Rodriguez has appeared in seven games so far and has been sharp as of late. After allowing four runs over his first two appearances (1.2 IP), Rodriguez has allowed just two hits over five scorless innings (October 16-29). Over those five solid appearances, he has also stuck-out six batters.

Carribean Baseball

2012 Charlotte Knights starting pitcher Scott Carroll has been brilliant thus far in three starts in the Venezuelan League. Carroll, who appeared in nine games (eight starts) for the Knights in 2012, is 1-0 with a miniscule 1.84 ERA in three starts for Leones del Caracas. In his debut on October 13, the Missouri State product allowed just three hits over five scorless innings in a no decision.

Five days later, Carroll took the hill again and was once again impressive. He earned his first win of the season after tossing six innings of three-hit, one-run ball.

Former Knight Josh Kroeger is also on that team and is hitting .179 (5-28) over nine games. Kroeger hit 32 home runs for the Knights over parts of two seasons (2009-10). His 2010 Knights teammate Luis Rodriguez is also on that team. Rodriguez is hitting .333 (13-39) over 13 games. Rodriguez hit .293 with 16 home runs and 56 RBIs for the Knights in 2010 (94 games).

Also listed on the roster, but have yet to play, are Livan Hernandez and Alex Gonzalez.

Hot Stove

Congratulations to former Knights infielder David Bell, who was recently named as the 3rd base coach of the Chicago Cubs. Bell was most recently the manager of the Louisville Bats (Triple-A affiliate of the Reds).

Also congratulations to both Rich Hahn (senior vice president/general manager) and Ken Williams (executive vice president), as each were promoted by the White Sox on Friday, October 26.