The Charlotte Knights announced it’s field staff for the 2016 campaign, and there will be a new face in the dugout for the team this season, as Julio Vinas, who recently spent the last three seasons as the manager of the Chicago White Sox Double-A Southern League affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, was named the Knights new skipper today. The 42-year old Vinas replaces Joel Skinner, the winningest manager in Charlotte Knights history, as Skinner was named the manager of the Class-A Winston-Salem Dash of the Carolina League.
“I’m very excited and humbled for this opportunity.” said Vinas. “I want to thank the Chicago White Sox for the opportunity to manage at the next level. I look forward to being a part of the Charlotte Knights and managing in their new ballpark in Charlotte.” The team also announced that familiar faces Richard Dotson(pitching coach), Andy Tomberlin(hitting coach), and Scott Johnson(head athletic trainer) will all return to the Knights once again this season. In addition, Charlotte also announced that newcomers Tim Esmay(coach) and Shawn Powell(strength and conditioning) will be part of the staff this upcoming season.
Charlotte Knights Chief Operating Officer Dan Rajkowski says that he is excited for Julio Vinas to join the Knights organization. “We are very much looking forward to welcoming Julio to Uptown Charlotte this year. Julio has had tremendous success as a manager in the organization and is a perfect fit for the Knights.” Rajkowski said. “We wish Joel Skinner much success in his new role with the organization. Joel did a terrific job developing Knights players over the past four seasons.”
Vinas spent the last three seasons in Birmingham managing the Barons, where he guided them to a Southern League Championship in the 2013 season, and prior to that, the Miami, Florida native spent the 2011 season as the manager of the Winston-Salem Dash and the 2012 campaign with the Kannapolis Intimidators of the South Atlantic League, before moving to Birmingham for the last three seasons. Originally selected by the White Sox in the 33rd round of the 1991 MLB Free-Agent Draft, Vinas spent 11 seasons in the minors with the White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and Cleveland Indians, where he had a .264 batting average, 84 home runs, and 504 RBIs in over 896 games.
2016 Charlotte Knights field staff
Manager: Julio Vinas
Pitching Coach: Richard Dotson
Hitting Coach: Andy Tomberlin
Coach: Tim Esmay
Athletic Trainer: Scott Johnson
Strength and Conditioning: Tim Esmay