News, Notes & Weekend Links

This has been a busy week in ex-Chiefs news so coming off the blog post from Monday that including a trade mid-post, here is another post full of former Chiefs news and links.

The Tyrell Jenkins trade to Atlanta, 2013/14 Chiefs RHP Chris Perry replaces Jenkins in Cardinals MLB Pipeline prospect rankings. In these rankings, 13 of the 20 are former Chiefs and seven are from 2014: Rob Kaminsky 2, Alex Reyes 4, Juan Herrera 9, Carson Kelly 11, Rowan Wick 16, Nick Petree 17 and Perry 20. The 2013 Chiefs are: Charlie Tilson 7, Patrick Wisdom 12, Sam Tuivailala 13, Zach Petrick 14, Jacob Wilson 18, and Breyvic Valera 19. Future Chiefs include Jack Flaherty 5 and Oscar Mercado 15.

Speaking of prospects, the great crew at Cardinals Farm is counting down from 50 to 1 and are closing in on the top 10. Check out their list.

It has now been two seasons since we were affiliated with the Chicago Cubs and with the promotions to the Majors last summer there are only two former Chiefs left on the Cubs top 20 Pipeline rankings: Jorge Soler 4 and Bijan Rademacher 20.

On the Cubs side the answer ended up being none of these players added but John from Cubs Den (he does great work, follow them Cubs fans!) broke down the Rule V eligible Cubs players including 30 former Chiefs!

Josh Harrison played for the Chiefs in 2008/2009 and was a 2014 NL All-Star (Paul Gierhart/MiLB.com)

Josh Harrison played for the Chiefs in 2008/2009 and was a 2014 NL All-Star (Paul Gierhart/MiLB.com)

Josh Harrison (2008/09) won the MLB Players Association Heart & Hustle Award this week, capping off a breakout 2014 season for Harrison.

Will 2002 Chiefs ace Dan Haren retire? It seems to be a possibility if he is traded outside of Los Angeles.

St. Louis reporter Rob Rains wrote a very interesting piece on how the tragic death of Oscar Taveras will impact the Cardinals system and how they will use it as an organization to educate young players. Chiefs 2014 RHP Alex Reyes is quoted extensively in the article as are Cardinals coaches and executives.

The Cardinals finished up their 40 man roster as well this week and here are the former Chiefs unprotected in the Winter Meetings Rule V draft: Corey Baker, Ronald Castillo, Ronnierd Garcia, Silfredo Garcia, Juan Herrera, Josh Lucas, Nick Martini, Rafael Medina, Luis Perez, Luis Perdomo, Jhonny Polanco, Robelys Reyes, Robert Stock, Gerwuins Velazco, Breyvic Valera, Cesar Valear, David Washington.

Also looks like the Rays DFA’d Jose Molina per the Rays beat writer
on twitter.

Catching Up With Former Chiefs News

Tyrell Jenkins pitched for the Chiefs in 2013 and was named a MWL All-Star but missed the game with an injury

Tyrell Jenkins pitched for the Chiefs in 2013 and was named a MWL All-Star but missed the game with an injury

Editor’s Note: This blog was mid construction when the news broke (Post-Dispatch article) that former Chiefs RHP Tyrell Jenkins and RHP Shelby Miller were traded by the Cardinals to the Atlanta Braves for OF Jason Heyward and RHP Jordan Walden. All the Jenkins news and links below are pre-trade.

The Hot Stove League may not really heat up until the Winter Meetings (December 7-11 in San Diego) but that doesn’t mean there isn’t news in November. And this weekend there were both rumors and hard news that involved former Chiefs (and future Chiefs).

First of all in the hard news department, the Arizona Fall League ended on Saturday and the Peoria Javelinas squad that featured the eight Cardinals (six former Chiefs) lost in the Championship game to Salt River. Brian Walton from The Cardinal Nation spent some time in Arizona this fall and recapped how all eight Cardinals prospects fared in a free article. Also Jenifer Langosch recapped their play in her Monday blog entry.

Both Jenifer and Derrick Goold of  the St. Louis Post-Dispatch profiled Jenkins recently. First is the StlCardinals.com piece and second is the Goold Post-Dispatch piece.

Also from the AFL – Jim Callis, the prospect guru from MLB.com rated the Best performances in the Fall League for every team and mentioned 3 former Chiefs:

CARDINALS
Best Performance:
 Right-hander Tyrell Jenkins’ comeback from shoulder surgery has been slow, but he started to show some encouraging signs with a 2.22 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 24 1/3 AFL innings. More important, he ran his lively fastball up to 96 mph and showed flashes of a plus slider.

Best Prospect: Right-handed reliever Sam Tuivailala, who was drafted as an infielder, was one of the hardest throwers in the league. With a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and reaches triple digits, he topped the AFL with five saves and had a 1.42 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 14 innings.

CUBS
Best Performance:
 A taxi-squad member activated only twice a week, outfielder Bijan Rademacher batted .350/.404/.525, with four steals in 11 games. Though he threw in the low-90s as a lefty in junior college, Chicago made him a full-time outfielder because he has a feel for hitting and average power potential and speed.

MiLB.com released their Cardinals 2014 Organization All-Stars and three 2014 Chiefs are on the team along with a couple 2013 Chiefs. Plus you’ll find potential 2015 Chiefs in Edmundo Sosa, Oscar Mercado and Danny Diekreoger.

Although they ended up not getting a deal done as Russell Martin signed with Toronto on Monday, it appears the Cubs are looking for a veteran starting catcher which would relegate former Chiefs player Welington Castillo to backup duty or make him expendable.

Marcus Hatley pitched for the Chiefs in 2009-11.

Marcus Hatley pitched for the Chiefs in 2009-11.

Finally on the Minor League side, former Chiefs RHP Marcus Hatley (2009-11) signed with the Cardinals and will likely be on the Memphis roster in 2015 after a couple seasons with the Triple-A Iowa Cubs. Chiefs RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx resigned with Toronto on a MiLB deal, Donnie Veal (White Sox in 2014) signed at MiLB deal with the Atlanta Braves with a MLB Spring Training invite, Matt Pagnozzi (Milwaukee in 2014) signed with Arizona and Jose Rosario (Cubs), Alberto Cabrera (Cubs) and Russ Canzler (Phillies) all resigned with their former teams. Of the players listed above, Veal and Pagnozzi played in the Majors in 2014 and both Cabrera and Canzler have played in the Majors during their careers. You’ll see below a few other former Chiefs with MLB experience but all of these players Minor League Free Agents.

 

 

 

Here are the other former Chiefs now available as MiLB Free Agents:

Blake Lalli (Az)
Mitch Atkins (Atl)
Ryan Buchter (Atl)
Mike McCoy (Bos)
Eduardo Figueroa (ChC)
Marcos Mateo (ChC)
Dae-Eun Rhee (ChC)
Jonathan Mota (ChC)
Josh Vitters (ChC)
Marquez Smith (Cin)
Tony Campana (LAA)
James Leverton (Mia)
Josh Kinney (Pit)
Jesus Montero (Stl)
Ildemaro Vargas (Stl)
Erik Hamren (Tex)
Yusuf Carter (Tor)

Former Chiefs in MLB Award History

With the MLB Awards announced this week let’s take a look back at former Chiefs who have earned votes from BBWAA in Most Valuable Player, Cy Young, Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year awards. (Updated) With Joe Girardi receiving a vote in Manager of the Year, and in the MVP balloting, Albert Pujols, Josh Harrison and Josh Donaldson got top 20 votes.  The full list is below. Bolded lines indicate award winners.

Year Player Award Finish Notes
1986 Wally Joyner AL ROY 2nd Winner – Jose Canseco
1986 Wally Joyner AL MVP 8th
1987 Wally Joyner AL MVP 13th
1987 Devon White AL ROY 5th
1988 Mark Grace NL ROY 2nd Winner – Chris Sabo
1989 Jerome Walton NL ROY 1st First post-season award for Ex-Chief
1989 Dwight Smith NL ROY 2nd Finished behind Cubs teammate Walton
1989 Greg Maddux NL Cy Young 3rd First votes in Cy Young Race
1989 Mark Grace NL MVP 14th
1990 Mike Harkey NL ROY 5th
1990 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 14th
1991 Devon White AL MVP 16th
1991 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 19th
1992 Greg Maddux NL CY 1st First Cy Young in Chiefs history
1992 Greg Maddux NL MVP 12th
1992 Mark Grace NL MVP 16th
1993 Greg Maddux NL CY 1st Back To Back Winner
1993 Greg Maddux NL MVP 13th
1993 Mark Grace NL MVP 16th
1993 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 8th
1994 Greg Maddux NL CY 1st Third Straight win
1994 Greg Maddux NL MVP 5th
1994 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 16th
1995 Greg Maddux NL CY 1st Fourth Straight Win
1995 Greg Maddux NL MVP 3rd Highest finish of career – Winner: Barry Larkin. Dante Bichette 2nd
1995 Mark Grace NL MVP 13th
1995 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 11th
1996 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 6th
1996 Greg Maddux NL CY 5th
1997 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 13th
1997 Greg Maddux NL CY 2nd Winner – Pedro Martinez
1997 Greg Maddux NL MVP 12th
1998 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 18th
1998 Greg Maddux NL CY 4th 7th straight season in top 5
1999 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 5th Highest finish – Winner: Ivan Rodriguez
2000 Greg Maddux NL CY 3rd
2000 Greg Maddux NL MVP 12th
2000 Rick Ankiel NL ROY 2nd Winner – Rafael Furcal
2001 Albert Pujols NL ROY 1st 1st ROY win since 1989 (Walton)
2001 Albert Pujols NL MVP 4th Winner – Barry Bonds
2001 Bud Smith NL ROY T 4th Behind Pujols, Oswalt & Rollins. Tied w/Dunn
2001 Jim Tracy NL Manager of Year 2nd First Ex-Chiefs Manager to get votes. Lost out to Larry Bowa
2001 Rafael Palmeiro AL MVP 14th
2002 Albert Pujols NL MVP 2nd Winner – Barry Bonds
2002 Jim Tracy NL MOY 4th
2003 Albert Pujols NL MVP 2nd Winner – Barry Bonds
2004 Albert Pujols NL MVP 3rd Winner – Barry Bonds
2004 Jim Tracy NL MOY 4th
2005 Albert Pujols NL MVP 1st First MVP won by a former Chief
2006 Albert Pujols NL MVP 2nd Winner – Ryan Howard
2006 Joe Girardi NL MOY 1st Played for Chiefs
2007 Albert Pujols NL MVP 9th
2007 Placido Polanco AL MVP 17th
2008 Albert Pujols NL MVP 1st Second career win
2008 Joe Maddon AL MOY 1st First Ex-Chiefs Manager to win MOY
2009 Albert Pujols NL MVP 1st Back to back wins, 3rd of career
2009 Yadier Molina NL MVP 23rd
2009 Placido Polanco AL MVP 25th
2009 Jim Tracy NL MOY 1st Back to Back years with ex Chiefs Manager as MOY
2009 Joe Girardi AL MOY 3rd
2009 Danny Haren NL CY 5th
2010 Albert Pujols NL MVP 2nd Winner – Joey Votto
2010 Joe Maddon AL MOY 3rd
2010 Joe Girardi AL MOY 6th
2010 Brad Mills NL MOY 6th
2011 Albert Pujols NL MVP 5th 11th straight top 10 finish
2011 Yadier Molina NL MVP 21st
2011 Joe Maddon AL MOY 1st Second Career win
2011 Joe Girardi AL MOY 5th
2011 Danny Haren AL CY 7th First ex-Chief with CY votes in AL & NL
2011 Darwin Barney NL ROY 7th
2012 Albert Pujols AL MVP 17th Second to get MVP votes in AL & NL (Palmeiro)
2012 Yadier Molina NL MVP 4th Winner – Buster Posey
2012 Joe Maddon AL MOY 4th
2012 Joe Girardi AL MOY 5th
2013 Chris Archer AL ROY 3rd First AL ROY votes since 1987 (White)
2013 Joe Girardi AL MOY 4th
2013 Joe Maddon AL MOY 5th
2013 Yadier Molina NL MVP 3rd Winner – Andrew McCutchen
2013 Josh Donaldson AL MVP 4th Winner – Miguel Cabrera
2013 Coco Crisp AL MVP 17th
2014 Joe Girardi AL MOY 6th
2014 Josh Harrison NL MVP 9th
2014 Josh Donaldson AL MVP 8th
2014 Albert Pujols AL MVP 17th

Molina, LeMahieu Win Gold Gloves

Yadier Molina as Chiefs Catcher in 2002

Yadier Molina as Chiefs Catcher in 2002

Last night two former Chiefs, Yadier Molina and DJ LeMahieu won 2014 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in the National League! Molina has now won seven straight NL Gold Gloves at catcher and LeMahieu won his first career Gold Glove. Only two catchers have ever won more Gold Gloves than Molina – Ivan Rodriguez with 13 and Hall of Famer Johnny Bench with 10. Bench won all 10 in a row and Rodriguez’s longest streak was also 10. The two new additions in 2014 mean that former Chiefs have won 46 MLB Gold Gloves and since Devon White won the first in 1988, a former Chiefs player has won a Gold Glove ever year except 2003 (Mike Hampton over Greg Maddux).

GG  Player  Pos  Years Won
18 Greg Maddux P 1990-2002 & 2004-08
7 Devon White OF 1988-89 & 1991-95
7 Yadier Molina C 2008-14
4 Mark Grace 1B 1992-93 & 1995-96
3 Rafael Palmeiro 1B 1997-99
3 Placido Polanco 2B/3B 2007, 2009 & 2011
2 Albert Pujols 1B 2006 & 2010
1 Darwin Barney 2B 2012
1 DJ LeMahieu 2B 2014
DJ LeMahieu played SS and 2B for the Chiefs in July and August 2009

DJ LeMahieu played SS and 2B for the Chiefs in July and August 2009

  • Polanco is 1 of 2 players (Darin Erstad) to win a Gold Glove at multiple positions
  • Molina’s current run of 7 straight is the most in the NL since Johnny Bench won 10 in a row from 1968-1977. The overall catcher record for consecutive wins is 10 by Bench and matched by Ivan Rodriguez from 1992-2001
  • No player has ever won more Gold Gloves than Maddux at 18
  • Since 1988 at least one Gold Glove has been won by an ex-Chiefs player in every season except for 2003 when Mike Hampton beat out Maddux
  • Two former Chiefs won Gold Gloves this season. The record is three done three times: 1992, 1993 & 1995 (Maddux/White/Grace)

Former Chiefs in Wild Card Games

The MLB Playoffs get rolling tonight with the Oakland A’s visiting the Kansas City Royals in the AL Wild Card game on TBS. Tomorrow night the Pittsburgh Pirates host the San Francisco Giants on ESPN. There are former Chiefs to watch in both games as we wait for the St. Louis Cardinals-LA Dodgers series to get started on Friday night in California.

The AsLineupA’s and Royals have already set their lineups for tonight’s 7pm game (right) and Chiefs fans will recognize some familiar names. In fact the top three batters in Bob Melvin’s lineup played in Peoria on their way to the Major Leagues. Coco Crisp was with the Chiefs at the end of the 2000 season, Sam Fuld spent all of 2005 in center field at Dozer Park and Josh Donaldson was the Chiefs catcher in 2008 before the Cubs traded him to Oakland. Tonight they all return to the post-season and are in Oakland’s starting lineup. The other two Chiefs connections for this game, Jeff Samardzija (2006) with Oakland and Casey Coleman (2008) with the Royals, are not on the Wild Card game active rosters. It is safe to assume that if Oakland wins tonight, Samardzija will get the ball against the LA Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS. If that happens we will be guaranteed a Chiefs vs. Chiefs matchup when he faces Albert Pujols (2000).

In the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday, expected former Chiefs infielder/outfielder Josh Harrison (2005) to be leading off and playing third base for the Pirates. He is the only former Chiefs player on either the Pirates or Giants though Pittsburgh pitching coach Ray Searage had the same role in Peoria in 1995 and 1996.

We will get more into former Chiefs on the other playoff team rosters when rosters are set Thursday and Friday for the ALDS and NLDS. The number could hit double digits for former Chiefs playing in the 2014 MLB post-season and may reach as high as 15 if Tony Campana (Angels), Jason Motte (Cardinals) and Samardzija appear in games.

The most former Chiefs to appear in an single post-season is 14, set in 2006, and 10 different players appeared in post-season games last year. The number has reached double digits six times and with the post-season starting tonight, 2014 could very well be the seventh!

Chiefs Around MLB

Another strong weekend for former Chiefs in the Majors including a Walkoff Home Run, Playoff Clinching, a MLB first HR and a MLB first RBI. Overall 36 players appeared in games Friday – Sunday with 12 playing in the Friday Dodgers-Cubs game at Wrigley Field (11 on Cubs and Darwin Barney on the Dodgers). The Cardinals joined the Dodgers, Angels, Nationals and Orioles in the playoffs yesterday so the amount of ex-Chiefs headed for October baseball continues to grow. Of the teams still vying for playoff spots there are Chiefs on Detroit, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

Speaking of Oakland, lets start there with a big Sunday for Josh Donaldson (2008). With Oakland fading in the playoff race and battling into extras against the lowly Phillies, Donaldson collected three hits and finished the game in style:

Down in Miami, Justin Bour (2010) started all three games against Washington and went 4-for-11 with three RBI and on Friday night he launched his first MLB Home Run!

Speaking of firsts, the Cubs Rafael Lopez (2012) picked up his first hit and first RBI as a Major Leaguer on Friday against the best pitcher in the game, Clayton Kershaw:

And the first MLB triple for Jorge Soler (2012) produced a run as well

Albert Pujols (2000) has the Angels in the playoffs and continues to climb up the career MLB lists. Pujols_AlbertWith this Saturday home run he has 519, two behind Frank Thomas, Willie McCovey and Ted Williams for 20th on the All-Time list. He also has 101 RBI for the season and 1599 for his career with 1095 extra-base hits.

Alcantara_BackTwo more home runs came from the Cubs-Dodgers series with Arismendy Alcantara (2011) and Welington Castillo (2007) going deep (Castillo’s is only available as a link)

And on the mound Chris Archer (2009) set a new career-high with 10 wins as he beat the White Sox on Saturday with 6 1/3 shutout innings and just two hits allowed.

Of other players of note over the weekend, Yadier Molina (2002) had two doubles and four hits against the Reds while Jason Motte (2003) picked up his first win since 2012 on Saturday! Josh Harrison (2008-09) had four more hits and enters the last week of the season leading the NL in batting average .3184 to .3183 over Justin Morneau. Harrison would be just the 2nd former Chiefs player to win a MLB batting title after Pujols did so in 2003.

Former Chiefs in MiLB Playoffs

Yes there is one MiLB game left in the season, (tonight the Triple-A Championship game takes place in Charlotte as the Pacific Coast League Champions Omaha take on the International League Champions Pawtucket on NBC Sports Network) but all the league playoffs are over so let’s take a look through the rosters and box scores and check in on former Chiefs in MiLB playoffs. Though Casey Coleman (2008) helped Omaha all season, he is now up with the Kansas City Royals so there are no former Chiefs in tonight’s game.

Petrick pitching for the Chiefs in April 2013.

Petrick pitching for the Chiefs in April 2013.

Triple – A Pacific Coast League:

  • Memphis Redbirds – St. Louis Cardinals: Memphis lost in the first round 3-0 to the above mentioned Omaha Storm Chasers. Three former Chiefs played in the PCL first round series. Mike Mayers (2013) started one game on the mound and took a loss with a final line of 4ip, 8h, 5r, 2bb, 3k. Zach Petrick (2013) also made a start with a no-decision and a line of: 6ip, 6h, 2r, 0er, 1bb, 4k. Sam Tuivailala who is now with the Cardinals pitched once allowing two hits over one scoreless inning and he struck out two. Of the three, only Petrick was in Memphis all season going 7-6 with a 4.62 ERA over 24 games and 20 starts. He struck out 82 batters in 115 innings.
  • Reno Aces – Arizona Diamondbacks: Reno also lost to Omaha, 3-2 in the PCL Finals. Brett Jackson (2009) played in four games for Reno and was 0-for-3 with three walks and two runs scored. He has since been promoted to the Diamondbacks as a September call-up and made his Arizona debut last weekend.
Lee was a MWL All-Star and represented the Chiefs/Cubs in the Futures Game in 2010.

Lee was a MWL All-Star and represented the Chiefs/Cubs in the Futures Game in 2010.

Triple – A International League: 

  • Durham Bulls – Tampa Bay Rays: In the past we have seen former Chiefs Chris Archer, Jeff Beliveau, Brandon Guyer, Russ Canzler and Robinson Chirinos in Durham. In 2014 it was Hak-Ju Lee (2010) playing in 93 regular season games and two post-season games. Lee returned this season from an horrific 2013 knee injury and batted .203/.287/.276 in those 93 regular season games. Lee scored 36 runs with nine doubles, 23 RBI, four homers and 12 stolen bases. In two post-season games he was 0-for-3 as the Bulls fell to the above-mentioned Pawtucket Red Sox 3-2 in the IL Finals.

 

 

Double-A Eastern League:

Michael Brenly, son of former Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, was the Chiefs catcher in 2009.

Michael Brenly, son of former Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, was the Chiefs catcher in 2009.

  • Portland Sea Dogs – Boston Red Sox: It’s not often that we get a former Chiefs in the Eastern League. But this season the Sea Dogs had a fantastic campaign before bowing out in the first round of the playoffs to Binghamton 3-2. Behind the plate was Michael Brenly (2009) for one of those playoff games. Brenly was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in the post-season. He played in 46 games for Portland putting up a slash line of .168/.245/.273. Brenly had seven doubles, two homers and 18 RBI in the regular season.

Double-A Southern League: 

  • Chattanooga Lookouts – Los Angeles Dodgers: Loaded with talent this season, the Lookouts sprinted to the Southern League playoffs and cruised through round one before being upset by the Jacksonville Suns in the Finals. On the pitching staff was Nick Struck (2010) who threw a 5-inning rain-shortened no-hitter for the Chiefs in 2010. In the 2014 SL playoffs, Struck made one start allowing two unearned runs on three hits over four innings in a no-decision. He struck out four and did not issue a walk. This season with Chattanooga, Struck made 19 starts and posted a 5-6 record with a 5.47 ERA. He struck out 58 and walked 45 over 104 1/3 innings.

Double-A Texas League:

  • Frisco Roughriders – Texas Rangers: Frisco lost in the first round to Midland 3-1 as Erik Hamren (2009) pitched twice. Covering 1 2/3 innings he allowed one earned run on one hit and three walks. Hamren pitched for Frisco 15 times in the regular season earning a save and a 0-1 record to go along with an ERA of 1.13. He struck out 21 and walked eight over 16 innings.
Marquez Smith finished the 2007 season with the Chiefs and batted behind Josh Donaldson in Ryne Sandberg's lineup early in 2008

Marquez Smith finished the 2007 season with the Chiefs and batted behind Josh Donaldson in Ryne Sandberg’s lineup early in 2008

Advanced – A California League: 

  • Bakersfield Blaze – Cincinnati Reds: It has been six years since Marquez Smith (2007-08) played in Peoria and he just turned in a fantastic season with Bakersfield including a playoff run. In four playoff games and a series loss to Visalia, Smith went 5-for-10 with a double, two RBI and eight walks (six intentional walks). Smith had a mind boggling season for Bakersfield with a slash line of .323/.438/623. He hit 29 home runs and drove in 126 runs in 120 games. Smith added 32 doubles among his 137 hits and drew 83 walks. He also hit one Double-A home run to finish the 2014 season with an even 30.

Advanced – A Florida State League

  • Daytona Cubs – Chicago Cubs: The Daytona Cubs lost to the Fort Myers Miracle in the FSL Finals 3-1 with 10 different former Chiefs participating in their seven playoff games. On the mound six ex-Chiefs pitched in relief: Gerardo Concepcion (2012) 3g, 3ip, 0er, 3bb, 4k; Michael Jensen (2012) 2.2ip, 4h, 2r, 1bb, 1k; Austin Kirk (2011) 2g, 3.1ip, 0r, 3bb, k; Stephen Perakslis (2012)
    Austin Kirk threw a no-hitter for the Chiefs July 4, 2011

    Austin Kirk threw a no-hitter for the Chiefs July 4, 2011

    3g, 5.1ip, 7h, 2er, bb, 6k, 1-1 record; Starling Peralta (2011-12) 2g, 2ip, 3h, 0er, 4bb, k; Jose Rosario (2012) 3g, 7.1ip, 3h, 04r, 4bb, 8k; Yao-Lin Wang (2012) 3ip, 4h, 1er, 3k. At the plate three former Chiefs played for Daytona in the post-season: Wes Darvill (2012) played in 3 games going 2-for-8 with a double and a run scored; Marco Hernandez (2012) played in 6 games going 6-for-22 with two runs scored and four RBI; Bijan Rademacher (2012) played in six games going 9-for-23 with a home run, double, two runs scored and six RBI.

Midwest League

  • Kane County Cougars – Chicago Cubs: A handful of former Chiefs played for Kane County this season as they won the MWL Championship. Some moved on before the playoffs started by Yasiel Balaguert (2012), Jacob Rogers (2012) and Ben Wells (2012) all played in the Cougars post-season run. Balaguert played in six games going 4-for-26 with one run scored, three RBI and four walks. Rogers was 7-for-27 in seven games with two homers, five RBI, four runs scored and six walks. Wells pitched once out of the bullpen with 2ip, 1h, 0r, 1k.
Joe Scanio pitched for the Chiefs in all of 2013 and in April of 2014 before injuring his hand.

Joe Scanio pitched for the Chiefs in all of 2013 and in April of 2014 before injuring his hand.

Short-Season A – New York/Penn League

  • State College Spikes – St. Louis Cardinals: The Spikes won the NYPL Championship with eight players who have been in Peoria, seven this season. Two did not appear in their playoff run but the other six contributed greatly. Robelys Reyes (2014) played in six games going 4-for-22 with a 2b, 3b, rbi and walk. Jake Stone (2014)  was 2-for-13 in four games with a run scored and two walks. Brett Wiley (2013) played in three games going 3-for-10 with a 3b, r and rbi. Kenny Peoples-Walls (2014) did not play in the post-season run. On the mound Brandon Lee (2014) pitched twice without allowing a run or hit over 3ip. Josh Lucas (2013-14) earned a save and pitched four times. In 5.1ip he allowed seven hits and one run while striking out eight. Joe Scanio (2013-14) pitched twice allowing four hits over five scoreless innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Jeff Rauh (2014) did not pitch in the playoffs.

 

 

Former Chiefs Have Great Weekends in Majors

What a great weekend in the Majors for former Chiefs players. With the weekend callup of Brett Jackson by Arizona and the addition last week of Sam Tuivailala in St. Louis there have now been 44 former Chiefs players on MLB rosters in 2014! Ten of those players made their MLB debuts: Arismendy Alcantara, Javier Baez, Dallas Beeler, Justin Bour, Ryan Buchter, Eric Jokisch, Rafael Lopez, Jorge Soler, Matt Szczur and Tuivailala.

It was a great weekend for former Chiefs in the Majors. From the young rookies to the strong veterans, nearly every series in the Majors was impacted by an Ex-Chiefs player. Here are some of the highlights with video (some embedded, and others as links depending on MLB’s permissions) and articles from team websites and beat reporters going in reverse order.

SUNDAY:

So many highlights from Sunday but we have to start with a Triple Play. Josh Harrison (2008-09) started the 5-4-3 around the horn TP for the Pirates. Ironically the ball was hit by another former Chiefs OF Matt Szczur (2010-11) but more on him later:

In addition to starting the first triple play in PNC Park history, Josh also went 2-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored in the game. He leads the NL with a .317 batting average.

The main story from the Phillies-Marlins game was the implosion of Philly closer Jonathan Papelbon and his ejection. But that meltdown was keyed by former Chiefs first baseman Justin Bour (2011) who tied the game with a pinch-hit single. The appearance was the first ever in the Majors as a pinch-hitter for Bour and led to the Marlins 4-run 9th inning to beat Papelbon and the Phils.

In Toronto, Tampa Bay earned the win as Chris Archer (2009) delivered nine strikeouts over seven innings, Brandon Guyer (2008) collected three hits and two doubles and Jeff Beliveau (2009-10) earned his first career save.

Out in Seattle, Sam Fuld (2005) and Coco Crisp (2000) helped the A’s beat the Mariners. Crisp had two hits, a double and scored a run. Fuld had a RBI single and as the second batter of the game, went deep!

Yadier Molina (2002) had three hits, a double and scored a run as the Cardinals swept the Rockies.

Brett Jackson (2009) picked up his first MLB At-bat of the 2014 season as a 4th inning pinch-hitter for Arizona. And Robinson Chirinos (2005) went 3-for-5 with two RBI then talked to the Rangers TV network after Texas swept Atlanta:

Back to the Cubs/Pirates game, Matt Szczur capped a great weekend in Pittsburgh by robbing the reigning NL MVP with this fantastic diving catch:

Matt also went 1-for-3, Eric Jokisch (2011) threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out two and Javy Baez (2012) stole a base.

SATURDAY

On Saturday there were six former Chiefs in the Cubs -Pirates game at Matt Szczur hit his first MLB home run!

As you can see at the end of the clip, they had some trouble getting the ball for Matt but eventually did.

Earlier in the game Javy Baez also went deep

but again it was Josh Harrison who stole the show and got the Pirates even as they went on to win the game.

Not many players hit homers off Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez in Seattle. but on Saturday Josh Donaldson (2008) sure did:

FRIDAY

On Friday night there were NINE former Chiefs who played in the Cubs-Pirates game in Pittsburgh. Baez, Welington Castillo (2007), Arismendy Alcantara (2011), Logan Watkins (2010), Blake Parker (2006/2008), Rafael Lopez (2012), Szczur and Zac Rosscup (2012) with the Cubs and Harrison with Pittsburgh. Jorge Soler (2012) was gone from the Cubs for the weekend on paternity leave.

Harrison was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Baez crushed another baseball:

To cap off this post lets go back to how we started, with defense. Nice catch in Toronto Friday night by Guyer for the Rays!

 

 

 

Soler Starts With a Bang

Soler posing at Beloit Aug 12, 2012. (Paul Gierhart)

Soler posing at Beloit Aug 12, 2012. (Paul Gierhart)

We didn’t get to know Jorge Soler all that well in 2012, as the then 20-year-old, joined the Peoria Chiefs on August 10 and played in just 20 games. However he made quite the impact on those who saw him play with a .338 average, three homers, five doubles and 15 RBI in those 20 games. He also stole four bases and drew six walks to just six strikeouts. Injured off and on over the two years since, Soler made his MLB debut last night (162nd former Chief in the Majors) for the Cubs, exactly two years after playing in his 14th Midwest League game. In his first at-bat, he did this:

Wow.

We saw the power with the Chiefs and while they all came on the road, fortunately all three of his Peoria home runs are on YouTube. The first is from my account and includes my Chiefs Radio Network call. The other two are fan videos from Wisconsin and Kane County (Go to 1:45, ball clears the LF deck and lands in the trees):

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As for Chiefs in MLB history, Soler is the 7th former Chiefs player to homer in his first at game:

  • Hector Villanueva: June 1, 1990 off Ken Dayley at Busch Stadium in his 2nd AB after pinch hitting.
  • Alex Cabrera: June 26, 2000 off Yorkis Perez (Hou) in Arizona as a pinch hitter in first MLB At-Bat.
  • Keith McDonald: July 4, 2000 off Andy Larkin (Cin) at Busch Stadium as a pinch hitter in first MLB At-Bat
  • Eliezer Alfonzo: June 3, 2006 off Orlando Hernandez at Shea Stadium in his 3rd at-bat
  • Brandon Guyer: May 6, 2011 off Zach Britton at Camden Yards in 1st at-bat
  • Javier Baez: August 5 off Boone Logan at Coors Field in 6th at-bat (12th inning game winner)
  • Jorge Soler: August 27 off Mat Latos in Cincinnati in 1st at-bat

Two other Chiefs have homered in their first MLB at-bats but not in their first game*. Both are pitchers:

  • Gene Stechschulte: April 17, 2001 off Armando Reynoso (Ari) at Busch Stadium as a pinch-hitter in the 6th inning of a 17-4 Cardinals loss. The homer was in his 26th MLB appearance in his 2nd MLB season. He didn’t even pitch in the game, just batted for Mike James with St. Louis down 15-1.
  • Mark Worrell: June 5, 2008 off Tim Redding at Nationals Park. Homered in his 2nd MLB game as a reliever, a 2-run homer in the 6th inning of a 10-9, 10-inning loss. Another former Chief, Joe Mather his his 1st MLB home run in the 10th inning of this game as well.

*Thanks to both Dave Eminian and Kevin Capie of the Peoria Journal Star for providing Associated Press information on the above lists.

Behind the Numbers of Juan Herrera’s Promotion

Juan Herrera was promoted to Palm Beach following Wednesday’s game, in which he crushed his second home run of the season in front of St. Louis Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. Mozeliak was in attendance for the Chiefs 7-4 win over Beloit. Below are the highlights from the game with Herrera’s bomb starting them off:

Herrera was acquired in the deal that sent Marc Rzepczynski to the Cleveland Indians back in 2013. Herrera started out playing for the Indians in the Dominican Summer League where he batted .297 with a homer and 20 RBI in 2011. The following year, Herrera batted .283 with 15 RBI for the Arizona Summer League Indians.

Herrera started out with Mahoning Valley (Cleveland’s Short-A affiliate) and batted .275 with a homer and 11 RBI in 39 games before being traded. Herrera played four games with the State College Spikes before being moved up to Peoria for the remainder of the 2013 season. Herrera batted .271 with four doubles and three RBI in 23 games with the Chiefs that year.

Herrera was named the starting short stop for the Chiefs this year and has proven to be one of the top prospects in the entire organization. Mlb.com currently has Herrera ranked as the No. 9 prospect in the system and the No. 1 infielder.

This season, Herrera batted .274 with a pair of home runs and 56 RBI, which is good for best on the team; he is 10 RBI ahead of Carson Kelly. In 101 games with the Chiefs, Herrera had 104 hits, 22 doubles, and three triples. He had 24 multi-hit games, three of those were three-hit games and one was a four-hit performance, which was good for a career-best. Herrera’s 27 stolen bases were second-best on the team behind CJ McElroy Jr’s 38. Herrera was a Midwest League All Star.

Herrera had a clutch, walk-off hit against the Burlington Bees at home on May 28. The highlights from the victory are shown below:

Herrera has been an intricate part of this 2014 Peoria Chiefs team and he will certainly be missed as we are now in the thick of the race for a wildcard spot. However, we wish Juan the best of luck with Palm Beach and their quest for a playoff spot!

 

 

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