(UPTOWN CHARLOTTE, NC) - RHP Zach Putnam, who began the 2014 season with the Charlotte Knights, will begin a Major League Rehab assignment with the team tonight when they open a six-game homestand at BB&T Ballpark. In other roster news, LHP Charlie Leesman was activated off of Charlotte's disabled list, while RHP Matt Zaleski was placed on the DL (retroactive to August 2). Charlotte's active roster is currently at 24 players.
Putnam, 27, was placed on Chicago's disabled list on July 24 with right shoulder inflammation. He went 3-2 with three saves and a 2.35 ERA in 33 games for the White Sox this year. The University of Michigan product appeared in four games for the Knights earlier this season and compiled a 1-0 mark with a 0.00 ERA (4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO). He will now join teammates Avisail (ahh vee-cy-eel) Garcia and Matt Lindstrom, who are also on rehab assignments with the Knights.
Leesman, 27, has appeared in 12 games (all starts) for the Knights this season and owns a 2-6 record with a 3.95 ERA. The Cincinnati, OH native is currently sixth all-time in Knights franchise history in games started (54) and ERA (3.24). He's also ninth in strikeouts (246). Leesman began the 2014 campaign with the Knights and was recalled to Chicago on April 22. He started for the White Sox that day and allowed six runs on nine hits over 2.2 innings pitched. He was optioned back to Charlotte on April 23 and placed on the club's DL on June 11.
Zaleski, 32, started the 2014 season on Charlotte's disabled list as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. The Illinois native was activated off the DL on June 11 and has appeared in 10 games (three starts) for the Knights this season. Zaleski, an Indiana State University product, is 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA for the Knights this year. On July 24, 2014, Zaleski tied Charlie Haeger for first in Knights franchise history in games started (73). He also ranks second all-time in innings pitched (425.2), tied for fifth in wins (21), and sixth in strikeouts (278). The 2014 season is the sixth-straight for Zaleski with Charlotte.
The Knights return home to BB&T Ballpark tonight with a 7:05 p.m. game. Gates open at 6:00 p.m. and the team will welcome over 20 former Charlotte Hornets baseball players to the game for a special Charlotte Hornets Tribute. Charlie Manuel, Minnie Mendoza, and many others will be on hand for a special pre-game ceremony. The first 2,000 fans will receive a Hornets Tribute poster. It's also Twitter Tuesday, presented by BB&T.
RHP Shawn Hill (3-5, 5.07) will start for the Knights tonight against Gwinnett RHP Gus Schlosser (7-5, 3.48). Pre-game radio coverage begins at 6:50 p.m. on ESPN Radio 730 AM, WRHI (94.3 FM and 1340 AM) and online at www.charlotteknights.com. The "Voice of the Charlotte Knights" Matt Swierad and Knights broadcaster Mike Pacheco will have the call for all of the action.