Replacing Wilson and Facing QC
After being “rained out” in Quad Cities last night the Chiefs face the River Bandits at 7:00 p.m. tonight in their first game without #3 hitter and second baseman Jacob Wilson. More on that in a bit. As for the on the field series, the Chiefs start these four games against Quad Cities in a playoff spot. Peoria is 1.5 games behind QC for the top playoff spot in the second half and 2.5 ahead of Clinton (who won Tuesday) for the wild card spot.
Tonight the Chiefs face the 2013 #1 overall draft pick Mark Appel who is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts for the Bandits. This will be his second home start and the first time both Appel and Carlos Correa (the 2012 #1 overall pick) are on the QC field together though they did both play in Ft. Wayne and Burlington in the same games. The Chiefs have never faced a pitcher drafted #1 overall in the same season in which he was drafted, or by the same team. Peoria did face Tim Belcher in 1984 with Oakland’s Madison affiliate. Belcher was the #1 overall pick by Minnesota in 1983 but did not sign with the Twins.
The Chiefs counter with Kyle Helisek (7-4, 2.97) tonight and the lefty is 2-0 against Quad Cities this season including a May win in Davenport. The two teams will play a DH on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. and a single game is scheduled for Friday at 7:00.
The Chiefs made two roster moves this morning with Wilson promoted to Palm Beach and reliever Zach Russell to Springfield. Peoria adds INF Bruce Caldwell and RHP Mike Mayers. I’ll have more on them tomorrow and there is a paragraph on each in the press release linked at the start of this paragraph.
The Chiefs offense must now replace Wilson, which will likely come from a variety of sources. Expect Caldwell and Breyvic Valera to split time at second base as Valera and WIlson had done in the previous weeks. Valera of course will continue to play SS, 3B and the occasional left field. As for the batting order, Valera has done nicely in the 3 slot the last week when Wilson moved down to fourth while Jordan Walton on the DL. Walton should be back for the end of this series and back in the cleanup spot. The Chiefs will need RBI production from Valera, Walton, Wisdom, Schaffer and Caldwell to offset losing 72 RBI from Wilson.
In addition to the numbers in the press release, Wilson left the Chiefs tied for 12th in Low A-ball in home runs, 7th in RBI, 13th in extra-base hits and 25th in slugging. He hit .359 with RISP, .327 with RISP & 2 outs, hit .286 in the three-slot in 67 games, batted .297 in the 7th inning or later and hit .358 in the first inning with five homers, six doubles and 19 RBI. Wilson also led the Chiefs with 11 game-winning RBI.
Our video team of Ryan, Kristin, Andrew and Aaron put together this compilation of a few of Wilson’s Home Runs at Dozer Park this season, along with our radio calls. Enjoy and good luck to Jacob in Palm Beach and Zach in Springfield. Listen live tonight at 6:45 or follow along on twitter. Thanks for reading!