|Skinner returns to Knights|
|Manager back for third season in Charlotte|
|Published Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:27 am|
Joel Skinner, who guided the Charlotte Knights to 148 wins over the past two seasons, will be back for a third.
Skinner’s tenure is the longest consecutive span by a Knights manager since Nick Capra (2002-04). Joining him on the coaching staff are Richard Dotson (pitching), Andy Tomberlin (hitting), coach Ryan Newman, head trainer Joe Geck, and Chad Efron (strength and conditioning).
“As we prepare to open BB&T Ballpark for our anticipated return to Charlotte, we are very pleased to welcome Joel, Richard, Andy, Ryan, Joe, and Chad to the Knights,” Knights Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski said in a statement.
“Joel has done a terrific job developing our players and leading our team during his two seasons as manager. We look forward to having him guide our players into a new chapter of Charlotte baseball history in 2014.”
Skinner has a 148-139 International League record over his first two seasons in Charlotte, with a Southern Division title in 2012. That season, he led the Knights to an 83-61 record – the second highest single season win total in franchise history.
As Charlotte’s manager, 38 players were promoted to the Major League Chicago White Sox, including 21 in 2013.
As a player, Skinner played 15 seasons as a professional,, including nine in the majors as a catcher with the White Sox, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians.
After retiring as a player, Skinner shifted to the bench in 1994 as a catching instructor in the Cleveland Indians organization. A year later, the former big league catcher led Watertown to the New York Penn League championship. He earned Manager of the Year honors that season. ??Among some of his other accomplishments, he was the Carolina League Manager of the Year in 1997, USA Today Baseball Weekly’s Minor League Manager of the Year in 1998, and the Baseball America and The Sporting News Minor League Manager of the Year in 2000.
Skinner posted a 35-41 record as the manager of the Cleveland Indians in 2002, making his family one of three to manage in the majors. Skinner’s father Bob was manager of the Philadelphia Phillies (1968-69) and San Diego Padres (1977).
They joined Connie and Earle Mack and George and Dick Sisler as the only father/son duos to manage a Major League team.
Dotson, 54, returns for his seventh straight season with the Knights and 13th overall in the White Sox organization.
As a player, Dotson spent 12 seasons in the majors with the White Sox (1979-87, ‘89), Yankees (1988-89), and Royals (1990). He finished fourth in the American League Cy Young award voting in 1983 and was an American League All-Star in 1984.
Tomberlin, a Monroe native, spent the 2013 season as the hitting coach for Class A Kannapolis.
He spent the 2012 season as Charlotte’s hitting coach and enters his 11th season in the White Sox organization as a coach. He played professionally for 15 seasons (1986-2000).
Newman, 35, begins his sixth season in Chicago’s system and first with the Knights. He managed the Winston Salem Dash (Class A) to a 71-69 record last season.
Newman managed Great Falls (Advanced Rookie) to a Pioneer League championship in 2011.
Geck, 45, enters his 22nd season in the White Sox system and fourth with the Knights. Geck was the head trainer for Double-A Birmingham from 2001-2010. In 2002, he was the Southern League’s Athletic Trainer of the Year.
Efron returns to Charlotte after spending 2013 with Kannapolis. The 2014 season marks Efron’s 11th in the White Sox organization and eighth with the Knights.
The Knights will open BB&T Ballpark on April 11 against Norfolk.
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