Fall/Winter League Weekend Roundup of Former Chiefs
While the main baseball focus is on the Championship Series, and rightfully so, the Arizona Fall League and a few Winter Leagues got underway late last week and a lot of former Chiefs are involved. Let’s take a look at what former Chiefs are playing where and how the first week of action has gone.
ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE
Jacob Wilson has appeared in two games so far for the 1-3 Salt River Rafters going 1-for-5 with a RBI. Other Cardinals prospects on the team include outfielders Stephen Piscotty and James Ramsey, pitchers Anthony Ferrara, Sam Gaviglio, Dean Kiekhefer and Lee Stoppleman.
Over on the Mesa Solar Sox, former Chiefs outfielder Jorge Soler (2012) is off to a slow start batting .188 (3-for-16) through three games. Soler missed most of 2013 with an injury and has two doubles, four RBI and four runs scored so far for the high-powered Solar Sox who have not lost as of Sunday night. Soler was supposed to team up with Javier Baez (2012) in the AFL but Baez was emotionally and physically drained from a great 2013 season in which he hit .282 with 37 home runs and 111 RBI. Baez was replaced by former Chiefs infielder Wes Darvill (2012) who homered in his first at-bat last week in the AFL and is 2-for-4 with 3 RBI in two games. Ex-Chiefs pitchers from 2011 Dallas Beeler (1-0, 3.00) and Matt Loosen (0-0, 0.00) have thrown a combined five innings for Mesa with Beeler getting a start. Beeler did not pitch after a May 18 outing for Double-A Tennessee so it’s great to see him healthy and pitching well this fall.
Not all of the other winter leagues have begun (Australia/Dominican/Puerto Rico) but Mexico and Venezuela have begun and include former Chiefs on the rosters. These winter league rosters are always changing as teams get eliminated from the playoffs or players get send to prospect camps, etc.
A pair of 2013 Chiefs are reunited back at home as Breyvic Valera and Silfredo Garcia are both playing for Bravos de Margarita. Valera is 0-for-3 in one start with a walk and Garcia has pitched twice allowing three runs in one total inning of work. Another 2013 Chiefs player who is from Venezuela, Ildemaro Vargas, is playing for Caribes de Anzoategui. Vargas has started two of the Caribes’ first four games and is 0-for-5. Vargas is joined by 2005 Chiefs pitcher Jon Hunton who has a 16.20 ERA in two outings while allowing three runs and four walks but no hits over 1 2/3 innings. Hunton last pitched in a MiLB game in 2010 with Triple-A Sacramento
Yoanner Negrin (2011)is 1-0 with five shutout innings for Leones del Caracas as he struck out seven and walked two in his first start. Erik Hamren pitched with the Chiefs in 2009 and made his MLB debut with San Diego in 2011. He has one save with a hitless outing for Navegantes del Magallanes. Eduardo Figueroa pitched briefly for the Chiefs in 2011 and is now on the Tiburones de La Guaira where he is 1-0 with one run allowed over 1 1/3 relief innings.
It has been seven years since Jesus Yepez wore the Chiefs jersey or played in a MiLB game and the current MLB free agent is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games for Aguilas del Zulia.
Ryan Buchter and Marcus Hatley were teammates with the Chiefs in 2009 and are now on the same Liga Mexicana del Pacifico team – Tomateros de Culiacan. Hatley is 0-1 in two outings with one save and a 0.00 ERA while striking out four in 1 2/3 innings. Buchter has two strikeouts and one walk in 2/3 of an inning. Both Hatley (Cubs) and Buchter (Braves) spent the 2013 season in AAA and had fantastic seasons.
Jay Jackson was with the Chiefs in 2008 and he is 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two games for Venados de Mazatlan. Jackson has two strikeouts and no walks in two innings while converting one save. Jackson is now in the Marlins organization and split 2013 between Jacksonville (AA) and New Orleans (AAA),
In other Former Chiefs News, Jonathon Mota (2006-10) and Marcus Hatley (2009-11) re-signed with the Cubs while Rafael Dolis (2007) and Trey McNutt (2010) were removed from the Cubs 40-man roster. Matt Pagnozzi (2004) elected free agency from Houston while Chris Narveson (2001-02) and Blake Lalli (2008-10) did the same from Milwaukee as did Josh Kinney (2001) from Seattle and Kyle McClellan (2004) from Texas. Jose Ceda (2007) was removed from the Marlins 40-man roster. Eric Patterson (2005) was released by Milwaukee. Geoff Klein (2013), Brad Watson (2013) and Ben O’Shea (2013) were released by the Cardinals.
Former Chiefs manager Pete Mackanin (1985-86) will be Ryne Sandberg’s third base coach in Philadelphia while former Chiefs player Wally Joyner (1983) will not return to the Phillies as assistant hitting coach.