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Former Chiefs in Spring Training: Week 4 Update

The St. Louis Cardinals saw minimal action in Spring Training this week with a rain out on Monday and an off day on Tuesday. However, former Chiefs outfielder Charlie Tilson scored the game-winning run in a 1-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.

The Chicago Cubs went winless in the fourth week of Spring Training, but former Chiefs outfielder Matt Szczur has continued to play at an elite level. Szczur went two for five this week with a triple and is now batting .355. In his first at-bat of Spring Training, former Chiefs outfielder Pin-Chieh Chen recorded a double.

Elsewhere around the league, former Chiefs have been tearing up Spring Training, especially Albert Pujols. Pujols clubbed another two homers this week, including a mammoth shot off of fellow former Chief Jason Motte:

Former Chiefs infielder Marquez Smith, now with the Cincinnati Reds, arguably had the game of his career on Thursday. Six days after his 30th birthday, Smith was two for two with a double, a homer, and four RBI.

The homer was Smith’s first ever in his Spring Training career:

Josh Donaldson continued his red-hot Spring Training by belting out his third homer. Donaldson is now batting .333 with six RBI.

Chris Archer - 2009 Chiefs, 3rd in AL ROY

Chris Archer – 2009 Chiefs, 3rd in AL ROY

Former Chiefs hurler Chris Archer tossed his second straight start without yielding an earned run. Archer is 1-2 with an impressive 1.93 ERA in Spring Training and has reportedly been named the Rays’ Opening Day starter for the upcoming season. Archer is the first Opening Day starter for the Rays not named James Shields or David Price since 2007.

Opening Day is only nine days away so make sure to check out our update of former Chiefs in the final week, and our overall recap, of the 2015 Spring Training.

Former Chiefs in Spring Training: Week 3 Update

Week three of Spring Training is behind us and Opening Day is less than two weeks away. Some veteran former Chiefs are fine-tuning their skills for the regular season, while other, younger, former Chiefs are working harder then ever to achieve that coveted Opening Day roster spot.

Batting in 2013 (Dennis Sievers/Sievers Photgraphy)

Wilson Batting in 2013 (Dennis Sievers/Sievers Photgraphy)

The St. Louis Cardinals are 9-7 thus far in Spring Training and are currently tied for third in the Grapefruit League. Former Chiefs 2B Jacob Wilson’s bat has yet to slow down. The 24-year-old enters his fourth season with the organization and is definitely proving his worth. The workhorse has yet to sit out a game and is batting .323 with a homer and four RBI. Former Chiefs catcher Yadier Molina has found his stroke and has boosted his average to an impressive .308.

On the hill for the Cardinals, Zach Petrick has logged the most innings for former Chiefs, compiling an 0-1 record with a 4.91 ERA, three walks, and five punch outs over seven and a third innings of work.

Another week down, same story for former Chiefs batters sporting Cubs uniforms; they are tearing up Spring Training. Welington Castillo, Junior Lake, Jorge Soler, and Matt Szczur are playing outstanding. Castillo is batting .375 with a pair of homers and seven RBI. Lake is batting a solid .310 with five RBI. Soler is batting .353 with two homers and five RBI. Szczur rounds out the red-hot former Chiefs with a .346 average to go along with three homers and four RBI.

Below is Szczur’s third homer:

Elsewhere around the league, former Chiefs SS Darwin Barney has been sporting an impressive Spring Training. Barney, in his first full season with the Dodgers, is batting .321 with a homer and four RBI. That home run, was only Barney’s fourth in eight years of Spring Training. Former Chiefs infielder Albert Pujols has regained power to his bat over the past week, cranking out his first two homers of Spring Training.

An absolute bomb off the Dodgers for his first:

Followed up by a blast off the reigning World Series MVP for his second:

On the hill, 33-year-old veteran, and former Chiefs RHP, Dan Haren impressed in his latest start against the Braves. He allowed one run off four hits, walked two, and fanned four in five innings of work. He is 1-1 with a 1.93 ERA, 10 strikeouts, and only two walks over 14 innings of work thus far.

Below is the aforementioned performance against Atlanta:

Lastly, former Chiefs catcher Josh Donaldson has finally found the sweet spot of his bat. After a slumping first week, he started to raise his average in the second week, and has now taken off into a red-hot hitting streak during the third week. Donaldson is now batting .355 with two homers and five RBI.

His latest homer, a go-ahead blast against the Phillies:

We are in the home stretch of Spring Training and a ton of former Chiefs are heating up as we approach April 5. Lucky for us, that night features a showdown between two rivals who are each loaded with former Chiefs talent. The Cubs and Cardinals will square off at Wrigley Field to commence the 2015 season.

Former Chiefs in Spring Training: Week 2 Update

With week two of Spring Training nearing its end, certain things are becoming clear about former Chiefs. Jacob Wilson can hit, Tyrell Jenkins can make the pros look dumb at the plate, and Sam Tuivailala’s fastball has not slowed one bit.

This GIF  from Thursday night demonstrates Jenkins’ ability as he fools Carlos Beltran.

The St. Louis Cardinals are now 5-3 in Spring Training. Wilson has been hitting everything thus far, batting .438 with a homer and two RBI. Wilson has played in every Spring Training game. Former Chief Yadier Molina has played in half those games and is batting .222 with an RBI.ReyesPitch2

On the mound, former Chief Alex Reyes saw his first action in yesterday’s 8-2 win over Baltimore. Reyes tossed a scoreless inning of relief. Former Chief Zach Petrick has yet to allow a hit in four innings of relief. Former Chief Mike Mayers improved to 1-0 after tossing two scoreless innings of relief in a 5-2 win over the Marlins on Sunday.

Numerous former Chiefs have gotten off to a red-hot start at the plate for the Chicago Cubs. Jorge Soler has already cranked out two homers. Javier Baez, Welington Castillo, and Matt Szczur have also each blasted out one.

We got to witness something special in Tuesday’s game against the Indians that really demonstrated the lethalness of Baez and Soler in the same lineup:

On the hill for the Cubs, former Chief Zac Rosscup has yet to yield a baserunner while fanning four batters over three innings of work. Former Chief Jason Motte, now in an unfamiliar Cubs uniform, has allowed two runs off four hits, walked none, and struck out two in an inning and two-thirds of work.

Elsewhere around the league, former Chief Ryan Buchter has compiled a 2-0 record with his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his first start, now sporting the south side of Chicago’s team uniform, former Chief Jeff Samardzija surrendered two runs off three hits, walked one, and struck out one as he notched a win over his former team from last season, the Oakland Athletics.

Albert hitting for the Chiefs in 2000

Albert hitting for the Chiefs in 2000

Former Chiefs Marwin Gonzalez and DJ LeMahieu have each gone deep once in these first two weeks of Spring Training. Albert Pujols is batting an incredible .471, but they have, surprisingly, all been singles. Josh Donaldson seems to be getting back into rhythm, batting .286 with a homer and three RBI for the Blue Jays.

Back-to-back-to-back homers for the Cubs young prospects, Pujols not yet recording an extra-base hit, and Samardzija besting his former team wraps up an exciting week two update of your favorite former Chiefs in Spring Training

Former Chiefs in Spring Training: Week 1 Update

Spring Training is under way for the 2015 baseball season and, with it, comes a lot of differences. Some notable former Chiefs have switched uniforms, while other former Chiefs are just trying to make a major league squad. Lets update you on the action of the opening week of Spring Training.

The St. Louis Cardinals opened up their Spring Training with an impressive 4-1 win over the Miami Marlins on Thursday. Former Chiefs Yadier Molina and Jacob Wilson both went 0-2 at the plate; Wilson had two strikeouts. As for on the mound, former Chief Mike Mayers saw an inning of action in the eighth and gave up the only run of the game off two hits, walked one, and fanned two.

The Chicago Cubs started off one of their most hyped-up seasons in the past decade with an 8-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday; they blew a 5-0 lead. Later in the day, The Cubs Split Squad team tied the Athletics 2-2.  An absolute load of former Chiefs got playing time on Thursday. Javier Baez, Junior Lake, and Matt Szczur all went 0-2 at the plate. Arismendy Alcantara notched an RBI with a sacrifice fly. Welington Castillo, Wes Darvill, Bijan Rademacher, and Jorge Soler each collected one hit. Pitcher Hunter Cervenka was saddled with the loss to the Giants after giving up five runs off four hits, and walking two in only a third of an inning pitched. Austin Kirk had to come in and retire the next two batters to end the inning.

Some former Chiefs, elsewhere around the league, that have gotten off to a hot start at the plate include Colorado Rockies’ second baseman DJ LeMahieu. LeMahieu was perfect at the plate going two for two in the Rockies opening game loss to the Diamondbacks. Houston Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez cranked out a home run to help propel them to a victory over the Phillies. Robinson Chirinos started off his Spring Training with a two for three day with a RBI, but the Rangers fell to the Royals 5-4.

On the hill, former Chief Al Alburquerque is looking forward to a productive 2015 season with the Detroit Tigers. Albuquerque tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout in the Tigers 5-4 win over the Orioles on Wednesday. Pairing up with Albuquerque in Detroit is former Chief Rafael Dolis. Dolis spent the entirety of his career in the Cubs system before spending 2014 with the Giants, playing for Triple-A Fresno. Now, Dolis is playing for a spot on the Tigers active roster and has been off to a good start. Dolis has tossed two scoreless innings, allowing only one baserunner thus far.

Former Chiefs Josh Donaldson and Dan Haren started this Spring Training with a completely new team. Donaldson, who will now play home games in a different country, was hitless with a walk in the Blue Jays 8-7 loss to the Pirates on Tuesday. Haren, now with the Marlins, gave up two runs off three hits, struck out one, and was charged with the loss in their matchup with the Cardinals on Thursday.

That wraps it up for the first couple days of an exciting Spring Training. We will be sure to keep you posted weekly on all of your favorite former Peoria Chiefs in Spring Training

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!

 

 

Monday’s Org Report and Former Chiefs Update

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.

Sunday’s Org Report and Former Chiefs Update

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.

Four Former Chiefs homer in the Majors on Tuesday

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.

 

 

 

Rowan Wick looks to jump-start the Chiefs offense

Rowan Wick has steadily become one of the most talked about prospects in the Cardinals organization. The buzz started when Wick made State College history in his 2014 debut. Wick blasted two homers and five RBI, becoming the first player to hit two homers in their State College debut and only the eighth player for State College to hit two home runs in a game.

Wick didn’t slow down from there and engraved his name in the record books just four days later. Wick launched another two homers in State College’s 6-3 win over Williamsport on June 16. Wick become the only player for State College to have two multi-homerun games in a season. This feat was accomplished just four games into the season.

Wick would solidify himself as one of the greatest power hitters to play for State College on the night of July 2. Wick drilled a three-run homer over the right field wall, his 11th of the year. This blast made Wick the record holder for home runs in a season, breaking former Chief David Washington’s record of 10. Wick accomplished this feat in only 19 games. Wick was also named the Cardinals Player of the Month in June.

Wick was finally promoted to Peoria on July 23 after batting .378 with 14 homers and 38 RBI. In his first game with the Chiefs, Wick collected his first hit as a Chief and, wouldn’t you know it, it was a three-run home run, which cleared Legends Landing in right field. Below is the homer:

Wick showed that he could provide runs without having to belt one out of the stadium in his very next game with the Chiefs. He ripped a clean RBI single into right field, which plated the speedster Vaughn Bryan.

So now that the awe from his absolute bomb at Dozer Park on July 23 is starting to wear off, let’s take a look at what Wick means to this lineup moving forward. Wick is most likely going to be slotted in the 3-6 range of the lineup, which has him batting either in front of or behind the likes of Justin Ringo, Carson Kelly, Ronald Castillo, Steve Bean and sometimes Luis Perez.

In Wick’s debut with the Chiefs, the 3-4-5-6 hitters were Kelly, Ringo, Castillo, and Wick. They combined to go 5-17 with four runs scored and Wick’s homer and three RBI. In last night’s game, it was Ringo, Castillo, Wick, and Bean combining to go only 2-14 with another RBI by Wick.

Having Wick in the middle of the Chiefs lineup will lead to a much needed boost to the offense. In only two games, Wick already has produced four RBI. There were also numerous times during those two games where there were runners in scoring position, but Wick was left in the on-deck circle and the Chiefs were unable to produce runs.

Imagine slotting Wick in the three hole. Yes, it may be premature as it is only his third game with the Chiefs, but having Wick batting directly behind Bryan and CJ McElroy is a deadly combination. Bryan and McElroy both have incredible speed on the base paths and high on-base percentages. Having Wick step into the batters box with Bryan and McElroy on base is just asking for some Peoria Chiefs runs.

Wick being added to our roster couldn’t have come at a better time as we are chasing a playoff spot, something we have not obtained since 2009. Wick’s power could possibly be the necessary addition we need to end that drought.

Rowan Wick shows off his smooth swing in a Chiefs uniform

Rowan Wick shows off his smooth swing in a Chiefs uniform

Tuesday’s Org Report and Former Chiefs Update

The Cardinals won the second game of their four game series with Pittsburgh in exciting fashion for the second night in a row. Kolten Wong started off the scoring with a two-run double in the second. Pittsburgh would come back and lead the Cardinals 4-2 after an Andrew McCutchen two-run homer in the fifth. Matt Holliday wasted no time and hit a two-run double in the bottom half of the inning to knot the game at four. They would remain tied until Wong drilled a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth, his third homer of the season. Below is the line-drive shot:

John Gast had a perfect game going through five and two thirds innings for Memphis, but after two rain delays he would come out of the game. Angel Castro took over for Memphis and blew the game as they would go on to lose to Nashville 4-2. Stephen Piscotty was two for four with two RBI. He is batting .306 with six homers and 51 RBI on the year. Read about it in the Game Story.

State College rolled Auburn 10-2 behind Rowan Wick’s 12th home run of the season and former Chief Robeyls Reyes’ three-run shot. This was Wick’s first homer in four games, the longest drought of the season thus far. Reyes finished the game going two for five batting leadoff for the Spikes. Check out the Game Recap.

Johnson City lost their series with Elizabethton after losing 9-3 Tuesday night. The GCL Cards have now lost two in a row, their longest losing streak of the season, after being shutout by the GCL Mets 7-0 in a game shortened by rain.

Former Chief of the Day Sam Fuld had a perfect night at the plate for the Minnesota Twins in their 2-0 shutout of the Seattle Mariners. Fuld was three for three with a solo home run, his second of the year. Former Chiefs Coco Crisp and Marwin Gonzalez also tacked on a RBI on Tuesday while former Chief Brandon Guyer delivered a three-hit performance for the Tampa Bay Rays.

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