Most baseball fans are familiar with the Major League All-Star voting process, but the two Class AAA minor leagues – the International League, which includes Charlotte, and the Pacific Coast League – also have voting for the Triple-A All-Star Game.
And this is the final week for fans to cast ballots for the game, to be played at 7 p.m. July 11 in Columbus, Ohio. The deadline to vote is 11:59 p.m. Friday.
The International League stars will face their Pacific Coast League counterparts.
Fans’ voting will count one-third toward selection of players for the all-star team. Also counting one-third are votes by writers and by the league’s general managers.
Several Knights’ players would figure to have a chance of making the team.
Pitcher Donny Roach is 7-2 this season with a 2.96 earned run average. Also on the ballot is flame-throwing Michael Kopech, who has a less-than-stellar 2-5 record but has logged 82 strikeouts in 62.1 innings and is battling for the league lead in that department.
Second baseman Eddy Alvarez is hitting .289 and has 15 doubles, and left fielder Jacob May is batting .285.
All four of those players would seem to be all-star candidates.
▪ Fans can vote online at https://www.milb.com/ballot.
Here’s how the Knights fared during the past week:
Tuesday: The Knights improved their record to 11-6 since Memorial Day weekend, beating the Durham Bulls 6-2. Pitcher Jordan Stephens improved to 3-2 since being promoted from Class AA Birmingham, going six innings and striking out seven. Matt Skole homered for Charlotte.
Wednesday: Charlotte completed a sweep of its two-game series in Durham, nipping the Bulls 1-0. Donny Roach, one of the International League’s top pitchers this season, improved to 7-2 (2.96 ERA), tossing seven innings of shutout ball and allowing only five hits. Jacob May’s third-inning RBI single produced the Knights’ run.
Thursday: It was a rough outing for Charlotte pitcher Michael Kopech, the White Sox’ highly-regarded prospect, as the Knights lost 6-4 at Norfolk. Control problems, which have dogged Kopech at times this season, were the issue. Kopech walked eight in three innings pitched.
Friday: Mason Robbins smacked three hits and starting pitcher Carson Fulmer allowed two runs in 5.1 innings pitched, as the Knights trounced Norfolk 7-2.
Saturday: Pitcher Spencer Adams had a strong outing, allowing two runs in seven innings, but the Knights dropped a 4-3 decision at Norfolk. Charlotte’s bullpen was touched for two runs in the eighth inning. Adams has pitched well in two starts since being promoted last week from AA Birmingham.
Sunday: Charlotte took a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the eighth at Norfolk, but the Tides erupted for eight runs and beat the Knights 11-4. Charlotte relievers Aaron Bummer (who took the loss) and Rob Scahill were hit hard in the eighth.
Week ahead: The Knights, who have won 13 of their last 22 games, are off Monday and then open a six-game homestand. They entertain Columbus (Cleveland’s AAA farm team) at 7:04 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, then are home against Toledo (Detroit’s AAA team) at 7:04 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:05 p.m. Sunday.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle