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Charlotte Knights will have familiar face as manager in 2019

Mark Grudzielanek, center, is returning for his third season as the Charlotte Knights’ manager, the team announced Tuesday.
Mark Grudzielanek, center, is returning for his third season as the Charlotte Knights’ manager, the team announced Tuesday. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Mark Grudzielanek, who led the Charlotte Knights to a winning record over much of the latter two-thirds of last season, is returning manager this season, the team announced Tuesday.

The Knights and their parent club, the Chicago White Sox, also said pitching coach Steve McCatty and strength-conditioning coach Shawn Powell will return.

It will be Grudzielanek’s third season as manager of the Knights, members of the Class AAA International League.

His overall record is 125-156, but the Knights were 46-45 between May 27 and Aug. 31, as some of the White Sox’s standout prospects were promoted to Charlotte. The White Sox are expected to have several top prospects in Charlotte this season.

Before joining the White Sox organization, Grudzialanek, who hit .289 in 15 major league seasons, managed the Kane County (Ill.) Cougars to an 84-54 record in the Midwest League in 2015.

McCatty also will spend his third season with the Knights. Powell is back for his fourth season in Charlotte.

The Knights and White Sox also announced that Frank Menechino (hitting coach), Guillermo Quiroz (coach) and Josh Fallin (head athletic trainer) will be on Charlotte’s staff this season. Menechino spent the past five seasons as Miami Marlins hitting coach, and Quiroz and Fallin were with the Winston-Salem Dash (the White Sox affiliate in the High-A Carolinas League) last season.

The Knights open their season April 4 at home against the Durham Bulls.

Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle

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