The Peoria Chiefs first half came to an end on Sunday with Chiefs falling short of a playoff spot by four games. First here’s a rundown of how the Midwest League playoffs work…
First Half Qualifiers (4)
- 1. Team finishing in first place in the Western Division (“Western First Half Champion”)
- 2. Team finishing in first place in the Eastern Division (“Eastern First Half Champion”)
- 3. Team finishing in second place in the Western Division (“Western First Half Wild Card”)
- 4. Team finishing in second place in the Eastern Division (“Eastern First Half Wild Card”)
Each half determines playoff teams, so the Chiefs just missed being the wild card team for the first half. The fact that the Chiefs finished so close to a playoff spot is amazing given their start to the season. The Chiefs went 11-3 in June to close the gap on second place Beloit but they came up just short, here’s a recap of the first half.
First Half Stats:
The addition of 2011 first round draft pick Javier Baez was a big reason for the Chiefs resurgence. Baez appeared in 18 games and hit .317 with 4 HR’s, and 11 RBI’s, he also had 7 stolen bases in 7 attempts. Midwest League pitchers had a hard time keeping Baez off base as he finished the first half with a .419 OBP, and a .975 OPS. Dustin Geiger, and Anthony Giansanti were also late additions to the Chiefs team that had big impacts.
There were a number of standouts on the mound for the Peoria Chiefs as the entire pitching staff seemed to find a groove down the stretch. PJ Franceson who has since been promoted to double A was outstanding early on the help the Chiefs stay afloat amid a rough start. Franceson was 5-1 with a 1.86 ERA in nine starts before his promotion. Another pitcher who paced the Chiefs wasn’t even a pitcher for his entire career. Kyler Burke was an outfielder before making the change to become a pitcher, so far that decision seems to be the right one. Burke finished the first half 2-2 with a 2.31 ERA in 15 appearances (10 starts). Jeffrey Lorick, Hunter Cervenka, Sheldon McDonald, Luis Lira, and Michael Jensen all had great first half performances on the mound.
I’m expecting a big second half for the Peoria Chiefs. Continued progression from Baez, Geiger, Giansanti and an already talented pitching staff should only mean good things for Peoria. Not to mention the possible influx in talent from any 2012 draft picks that might be making the jump towards the end of the season. Add this all up and the future of the Peoria Chiefs and Chicago Cubs for that matter is very bright.
1B – Paul Hoilman
INF – Zeke DeVoss
LHP – Kyler Burke
Thanks for reading, go Chiefs!
A look at the minor leagues.
Boise had a 3-0 lead headed to the bottom of the eighth, however the bullpen could not hold it as they lost 4-3. Taylor Scott pitched well pitching five scoreless innings and striking out four. Hayden Simpson continued his struggles as he gave up two runs in two innings of work. Pete Levitt took his second loss of the season in only three games as he gave up two runs in an 1.1 innings. Shawon Dunston Jr., Gioskar Amaya, and Jeimer Candelario all had two hits on the day. Candelario added two RBI’s as well. Rock Shoulders and Brian Inoa each hit doubles and had a run scored a piece.
The offense got things going early scoring all ten runs in the first five innings of the game. That was easily all they needed winning 10-5 on Sunday. There was a lot of great offense performances as Pin Chieh Chen, Dustin Geiger, Paul Hoilman, Wes Darvill, Sergio Burruel, and Oliver Zapata all had two hit games. Hoilman also drove in four runs and hit a home run and a double. Javier Baez went 1-for-3 with a run scored as he raised his average to .317. On the mound Michael Jensen earned his seventh win of the season as he pitched six strong innings giving up two runs on six hits as he struck out three LumberKings. Jensen is now 7-3 on the year with a 2.58 ERA. Peoria ends the first half 35-34.
Trey McNutt took the loss on Sunday as Tennessee lost to Birmingham 5-3. McNutt pitched 5.2 innings giving up nine hits and allowing five runs. Junior Lake raised his average to .301 as he went 3-for-4 on the day. Elliot Soto also had three hits as he drove in a run and scored a run as well. Logan Watkins had a two hit day including a triple and two RBI’s. Alberto Cabrera pitched in relief striking out two batters in an inning of work. The Smokies go into the All Star Break 35-35.
Iowa was trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh when Anthony Rizzo came to the plate and he delivered driving a two-run game winning home run. Michael Bowden relieved Chris Volstad got the win striking out four in 1.2 innings. Volstad had a solid outing for Iowa pitching six innings giving up two runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking two. Alfredo Amezaga, Dave Sappelt, and Josh Vitters all had two hits on Sunday. Amezaga connected on his fourth homer of the year and Vitters raised his average to .282. Scott Maine recorded a four out save, his fifth of the season. Iowa has the day off on Monday and there record now stands at 30-41.
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Here is your minor league recap from June 11, 2012.
Games don’t get much more wild than this one last night. The Peoria Chiefs trailed 6-0 in the second inning only to come all the way back for a walk-off 10-9 victory, their seventh in a row. Gerardo Concepcion struggled again as he was beat up early and often. Concepcion lasted four innings, giving up nine runs on 11 hits while walking three and striking out one. His offense came to the rescue however as the Chiefs pounded out 15 hits resulting in 10 runs. Dustin Geiger, just back from injury was the hero for the Chiefs. Geiger was 4-for-5 at the plate with a home run, three RBI’s, and three runs scored, he also had the game winning single in the 9th. Paul Hoilman also had a big day going 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI’s in the win. With the win the Chiefs are now the only team in the Cubs organization to be at .500 or better, they are on a roll.
Matt Loosen was at his best Monday Night as he shut down the Tampa Yankees en route to a 5-0 win. Loosen was outstanding tossing six shut-out innings while walking three and striking out seven. Loosen has quietly had a great year for the D-Cubs as he is now 5-1 on the season with a 2.63 ERA. Arismendy Alcantara was a force again at the top of the lineup as he was 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and two stolen bases, he now has 18 on the season. Greg Rohan continued his strong 2012 campaign as he was 2-for-4 at the plate with his 20th double of the season, he also had two RBI’s which bring his season total to 54.
Trey McNutt finally had a bad outing on Monday as he allowed nine runs, eight earned in just three and a-third en route to a 14-7 loss to Mississippi. McNutt had been pretty good all year-long, the loss drops him to 4-5 and his ERA climbs to 3.65, still very respectable despite giving up eight earned runs. Junior Lake was 1-for-5 at the plate with his 4th home run of the season, a solo shot. Welington Castillo, still rehabbing from a sore knee was tremendous once again as he nears a return to the Cubs. Castillo was 1-for-2 with another home run, and two RBI’s, he’s now hitting .429 with two home runs and five RBI’s during his rehab stint.
It was the Anthony Rizzo show once again in Iowa. Rizzo was 3-for-4 at the plate with two home runs (21, 22) and a double, he drove in four runs and scored two more. Rizzo is now hitting .370 on the season with 22 home runs and 57 RBI’s, wow. Unfortunately that wasn’t enough to lift Iowa to a win as they fell to Omaha 9-7 in a wild one. Jay Jackson started for Iowa and was roughed up. Jackson allowed seven runs on 11 hits in just three and two-thirds innings of work. Jeff Beliveau was hung with the loss as he gave up two runs on four hits as he only lasted one inning. Geovany Soto made his first rehab start and was 0-for-2 with a run scored after being hit by a pitch. Soto is expecting to be at Iowa for a week as he recovers from minor knee surgery. Josh Vitters, Dave Sappelt, and Blake Lalli all had two hits in a losing effort.
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Paul Hoilman hit a three-run home run to give the Peoria Chiefs their sixth straight win. The Chiefs won the game 4-1. Oliver Zapata had three hits, stole a base and scored a run. Taiwan Easterling went 2-for-2 and walked twice, stole a base, and scored a run. Javier Baez also had a hit, stole a base, and scored a run. Austin Reed pitched out of the bullpen and got the win as he pitched three scoreless innings while only allowing two hits. Yao-Lin Wang recorded his eighth save of the season striking out one batter. Peoria’s record improved to 31-32 on the season.
Daytona dropped a tough one on Sunday, losing the game 5-4. Ronald Torreyes went 3-for-4 with a run scored. John Andreoli, Taylor Davis, Rubi Silva, and Elieser Boone all scored a run, And Davis and Silva both had RBI’s as well. The Cubs took a 4-3 lead in the seventh inning, but Scott Weismann could not hold the lead giving up a two-run homer to Ramon Flores in the bottom of the seventh. Austin Kirk received a no decision as he pitched six innings allowing three runs, only one of which was earned. A tough loss no doubt, but they will look to rebound.
Eric Jokisch was stellar once again allowing only one run on three hits in 7.1 innings of work. Jokisch ERA is now down to 1.40 and he improved his record to 3-0 as Tennessee won 4-2. Offensively Nate Samson went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Elliot Soto and Jokisch also contributed with RBI’s. Logan Watkins, James Adduci, and Michael Brenly all had hits in the win on Sunday as well. Alberto Cabrera closed out the game pitching 1.2 innings allowing one run and striking out four.
Iowa exploded for 14 runs on Sunday, putting up a five-spot in the third and adding six more in the fourth. It was a great day for most of the Cubs, especially for the top prospects in Iowa. Brett Jackson 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBI’s, and a stolen base. Not to be outdone, Anthony Rizzo went 3-for-5 hitting two bombs and driving in four. Rizzo is now hitting .363 with 20 homers, and 53 RBI’s. Ty Wright also had three hits, two of which were doubles, and he scored three runs on the day. Juan Apodaca went 2-for-4 with a homer and four RBI’s. Josh Vitters and Dave Sappelt also had a hit and an RBI on Sunday. All that offense was plenty for Chris Rusin who went 7 innings giving up two runs on six hits and striking out two. It was a great day for Iowa as every starter had at least one hit.
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Another busy day around the Cubs minor league system as Iowa played their second straight double-header. Regardless of how busy they might be, a couple of teams are red-hot, let’s see if they continue their torrid pace, here is the recap for June 9th…
Five in a row for the red-hot Peoria Chiefs as they knocked off the Kane County Cougars 4-1 in Peoria. Kyler Burke was outstanding as he tossed seven almost un-hittable innings giving up no runs on two hits while striking out nine, doesn’t get much better than that. Burke got just enough offense as the Chiefs put up a four spot in the first inning, it was enough but it was all they would get. Anthony Giansanti back from a scary injury went 3-for-5 at the plate, he’s now hitting .333 on the season. Paul Bunyan, I mean Paul Hoilman and Wes Darvill each had two hits in the victory, each guy had a double as well. Zeke DeVoss, somewhat overshadowed but a great prospect in his own right, was 1-for-2 in the lead off spot with three walks, and a stolen base, doing his job right.
Daytona had a rough go of it tonight as they were blanked by Tampa 7-0. Not much went right at all as the D-Cubs only managed three hits while making two errors. Frank Del Valle started for Daytona and didn’t pitch too poorly but he didn’t get any help from his defense. Del Valle lasted five innings giving up three runs, two earned on four hits while walking two and striking out four. The loss drops Del Valle to 4-2 on the season while his ERA sits at 4.28. As I mentioned not much going on for the D-Cubs at the plate, only Arismendy Alcantara, Ronald Torreyes, and Rubi Silva had hits, all singles.
The Smokies are on fire as they beat Mississippi tonight 6-4 for their sixth straight victory. Dallas Beeler started for the Smokies are had a decent outing but did not figure in the decision as he gave up three runs on five hits in five innings of work. Frank Batista worked the final two innings of the game to earn his first win of the season as he gave up one run on three hits, his ERA is now 1.96 on the season. Nate Samson had a big day at the plate going 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Rebel Ridling gave the Smokies the lead in the 3rd inning with his seventh home run of the season, a two run shot on his way to a 1-for-4 day.
Pitching stole the show in game one as the I-Cubs scratched out a 1-o win over Nashville. Brooks Raley was outstanding as he went the distance (7 innings in a DH) to earn his second victory of the season for Iowa. Raley held Nashville scoreless while giving up six hits, walking no one, and striking out six. Matt Tolbert was 2-for-3 at the plate with the big blow, a solo shot in the first inning providing the only run of the game. Dave Sappelt also had a good game at the plate as he went 2-for-2 and had a big outfield assist gunning down a runner at second.
Much of the same in game two as offense was at a premium, this time Nashville came out on top 3-2 scoring the game winning run in the top of the 6th inning after the I-Cubs rallied from two down to tie it in the 5th. Esmailin Caridad got the start for the I-Cubs, tends to happen when you play four games in two days. Caridad was good, and provided the innings the Cubs needed, he last four innings giving up two runs on two hits while walking three and striking out three. The I-Cubs couldn’t get much going offensively, Ty Wright was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double. Josh Vitters drove in one of the I-Cubs runs and was 1-for-2 at the plate with a walk, he’s now hitting .271 on the season.
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A look at the minor leagues on June 6.
The Chiefs got a good performance out of Gerardo Concpecion as well as the rest of the staff as they blanked Cedar Rapids 4-0. Concepcion recorded his second win of the season as he went 5.2 innings only giving up two hits and striking out four. Starling Peralta, Austin Reed each pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Yao-Lin Wang notched his sixth save of the season. Taiwan Easterling had three hits including his second home run of the season and two RBI’s. Javier Baez continued his hot hitting as he also had three hits including a triple raising his average to .343. Zeke DeVoss and Paul Hoilman each had a double and DeVoss scored two runs.
Matt Loosen recorded his fourth win of the season going 5.2 innings while striking out six and giving up only three hits. Eduardo Figueroa and Scott Weismann also pitched well as the Cubs blanked the Bradenton Marauders on Wednesday. John Andreoli had three hits including a triple and also drove a run in. Taylor Davis, Micah Gibbs, and Chad Noble all added an RBI a piece.
Tennessee scored a run in both the second and the third inning and added one in the seventh. Montgomery’s comeback came up short as Tennessee won 3-2. Trey McNutt had a strong outing winning his fourth game of the season. He lowered his ERA to 2.35 as he went 5.2 innings giving up three hits and allowing no runs and striking out three. Kevin Rhoderick threw another scoreless inning lowering his ERA to 0.76. Frank Batista closed the game out recording his eighth save of the season. Offensively Justin Bour went 2-for-3 and had a double. He also drove in two runs bringing his season total to 45. Luis Flores also added an RBI.
Pitching was the story throughout the Cubs system on Wednesday as they only gave up two runs in the three games combined. It would be nice to see that become the trend as the season continues.
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Born on Third traveled to Kane County today to take in the Peoria Chiefs game against the Cougars, here’s a recap, mostly pictures, from the day.
We actually bought the tickets before Javier Baez was assigned to Peoria, so it was a bonus that he was playing for the Chiefs and we couldn’t wait to see the 2011 first round draft pick of the Cubs. Unfortunately, the Peoria Chiefs politely warned us of something on the way to the game..
Yes, that was the Peoria Chiefs twitter account letting us know that Javy Baez was not in the lineup today, oh well I guess, at least we still get to see the Chiefs and Kyler Burke pitch. We got to the park around 11:30 because we were expecting the gates to open at 12 which is what the website said but they had the gates open already.
NOTE: Click the picture for the full size, it’s worth it! (Please feel free to use my pictures, but please ask, I would like some credit, thanks!)
Massive picture recap after the jump!