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:
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):
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.
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!
St. Louis won another wild one in ten innings, this time against the Reds. The Cards jumped out to a 3-0 lead before Justin Masterson gave up four runs, including a three-run homer off the bat of Jay Bruce. The Cardinals came back and had a 5-4 lead headed into the ninth thanks to a clutch RBI single by A.J. Pierzynski. Trevor Rosenthal blew his fifth save of the year after giving up a RBI double to Bruce and the game was knotted at five. Jhonny Peralta had the clutch hit in the bottom of the tenth:
The Memphis Redbirds extended their winning streak to nine games after beating El Paso 7-4. Ed Easley fueled the Redbirds by drilling his eighth homer of the year, two doubles, and four RBI. Marco Gonzales improved to 3-1 in a Memphis uniform after allowing two runs off eight hits, walking none, and striking out three over six innings of work. Kevin Siegrist tossed a scoreless inning of relief in his first appearance since being optioned to Memphis.
Both Johnson City and the GCL Cardinals suffered a loss on Monday. Johnson City fell to Bristol 6-3 and the GCL Cards took a 4-3 loss to the GCL Mets. Jack Flaherty allowed one run over five innings and received a no decision for the GCL Cards.
Former Chief James Russell tossed two scoreless innings of relief for Atlanta in their win over the Pirates. Former Chief Albert Pujols was one for three with a RBI single as the Angels topped the Red Sox. Former Chief Javier Baez absolutely crushed his fifth home run of the year into the upper deck at Citi Field in the Cubs’ 4-1 win over the Mets.
The parent club narrowly escaped with a 7-6 win over the San Diego Padres. Matt Carpenter launched his seventh home run of the season and drove in three runs to help propel the Cardinals offense. Trevor Rosenthal came in to close out the ninth with a three-run lead. Rosenthal managed only one out and had walked the bases loaded before Seth Maness relieved him. After a two-run single by San Diego’s Abraham Almonte, Matt Adams made an incredible diving stop at first and Maness got a fly out to end the game. Adam Wainwright won his 15th game of the year. Check out the Game Recap.
Memphis won their eighth straight game after taking care of El Paso 7-5. Randal Grichuk drilled his 23rd homer for Memphis. It was his 24th overall, which is good for best in the entire Cardinals organization. Tim Cooney won his 12th game of the season, which is most in the Pacific Coast League. Xavier Scruggs was a homer shy of hitting for the cycle. Read about it here.
Springfield won their fourth consecutive series after beating Midland 5-1. Former Chiefs David Popkins and Charlie Tilson each had a RBI single. Jonathan Cornelius improved to 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA on the year. Below is Stanley’s homer:
Palm Beach suffered a tough 7-6 loss to Fort Myers in 11 innings. Former Chiefs Bruce Caldwell, Mason Katz, and David Washington each had a RBI. Washington hit a RBI double to start the scoring off in the second inning. Former Chief Corey Baker suffered his second loss of the year after allowing three runs off five hits over three and and third innings of work.
State College swept Auburn in their double-header. Former Chief Brett Wiley had a fantastic day. He was a combined 4-8 with two doubles, two runs scored, and a RBI. Former Chief Brandon Lee picked up the win in game one and former Chief Josh Lucas secured the win in game two. Former Chief Robelys Reyes hit his third home run of the year, a two-run shot in game two. Read about the games here.
Johnson City split their double-header with Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate Bristol. Bristol crushed them in game one 14-6 as Steven Farinaro was charged with his fourth loss of the year. In game two, Casey Turgeon spanked his fourth home run of the season and Johnson City won 8-2.
Former Chief Darwin Barney was two for three with a RBI double in the Dodgers loss to Milwaukee. Former Chief Josh Harrison had a pair of hits and a run scored.
It was a huge day for former Chiefs in the majors. They combined to record 15 hits, two doubles, five homers, and eight RBI on Tuesday.
A pair of former Chiefs launched homers for the Cubs in their extra-inning victory over the Rockies.
Welington Castillo drilled a solo shot in the sixth inning to put the Cubs on the board and jump-start the comeback. Castillo finished the night going one for three with a run scored, a homer, a pair of RBI, and two walks. Castillo is batting .236 with eight homers and 32 RBI on the season.
Javier Baez made his MLB debut batting second in the Cubs lineup last night. He struggled to start the game, going hitless in his first five at-bats with three strikeouts. However, his sixth at-bat was the only one that mattered last night:
Albert Pujols, who has the most homers for former Chiefs in the majors, added another one on Tuesday. Pujols deposited his 21st home run of the season over the left field wall to knot the game at four in the eighth inning against the Dodgers. It was his 513th career home run, passing Ernie Banks and Eddie Matthews for sole possession of 21st place on the all-time home run list. Pujols is batting .277 with 21 homers and 70 RBI thus far in 2014. Below is the game-tying homer:
Robsinon Chirinos belted two homers in Texas’ 16-0 rout of the White Sox. He hit a solo shot in the second to make it 3-0 and added another solo shot in the fifth to make it 9-0. Chirinos finished the day going three for five with three runs scored, two homers, and three RBI. Chirinos is batting .240 with 11 homers and 31 RBI on the season for Texas.