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.
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:
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.
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.
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)
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.
|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|
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).
|18||Greg Maddux||P||1990-2002 & 2004-08|
|7||Devon White||OF||1988-89 & 1991-95|
|4||Mark Grace||1B||1992-93 & 1995-96|
|3||Placido Polanco||2B/3B||2007, 2009 & 2011|
|2||Albert Pujols||1B||2006 & 2010|
- 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)
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 A’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!
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. With 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.
Two 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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
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)
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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!
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.