Gaston County native and former MLB star Wes Helms has been named manager of the Charlotte Knights for the 2020 season.
The team's previous manager, Mark Grudzielanek, is not returning. Grudzielanek ran the Knights for the 2017-19 seasons and had 200 wins, according to the team.
Helms graduated from Ashbrook High in Gastonia and played for the Atlanta Braves, the Milwaukee Brewers, the Florida Marlins and the Philadelphia Phillies. He previously coached with the Double-A Birmingham Barons and the Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
Wes Helms' uncle Tommy Helms managed the Knights, a Triple-A Chicago White Sox affiliate, in 1990.
The newly renamed Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, meanwhile, announced Guillermo Quiroz as their team manager for 2020. Quiroz had been assistant coach for the Knights.
Performance coach Shawn Powell is the only returning member of last year's Knights' coaching staff. He'll be joined by Matt Zaleski as pitching coach, Howie Clark as hitting coach, Mike Daniel as coach and Cory Barton as head athletic trainer, accoridng to the team.
The Knights play their first game of the season April 9 in Durham against the Bulls. Opening night in Charlotte is April 16 at BB&T Ballpark.