Peoria Chiefs Notebook: 2014 Week 5

The Cardinals' Single-A club had a good week get away due to a 32-inning scoreless drought.

The week that was

This report covers the period from Tuesday, April 29 to Monday, May 5.

For the second consecutive week, the Peoria Chiefs offense suffered a midweek outage. The team won three of four games against the Beloit Snappers (OAK) to start the week and slugged their way to a series-opening win against the Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN).

But the offense disappeared from there. The Chiefs lost the next three games without scoring a run, leaving them third in the Midwest League's Western Division with a 17-12 record.

Game Summaries

Tuesday, April 29 (Game 1): Peoria Chiefs 11 at Beloit Snappers 6
The Chiefs' offense scored ten unanswered runs to take the first of two seven-inning contests against the Snappers.

Juan Herrera picked up three hits, including a double, and two RBI. Cesar Valera added two hits and three RBI.

Alex Reyes earned the win, going five innings and allowing two runs on just one hit. He struck out eight and walked one. In relief, Kevin Herget allowed four runs on five hits in an inning and two-thirds.

Tuesday, April 29 (Game 2): Peoria Chiefs 6 at Beloit Snappers 3
The Chiefs broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the 9th inning en route to a 6-3 win and a doubleheader sweep.

Matthew Young doubled with one out and scored on Valera's double. Valera moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by C.J. McElroy Jr. Herrera's double scored McElroy from first and gave the Chiefs their three run lead.

McElroy led the Chiefs, going 3-for-5 and scoring twice. Kenny Peoples-Walls had two hits, as did Ronald Castillo. The Chiefs were 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Nick Petree got the start and gave up three runs in four innings of work. The runs were the first he allowed this season in what turned out to be his final start for the club.

Wednesday, April 30: Beloit Snappers 3, Peoria Chiefs 1
The Chiefs couldn't get anything going against Snappers starter Dylan Covey. The right-hander pitched seven innings, giving up just one run on three hits while striking out five.

Arturo Reyes took the loss for Peoria, yielding two runs on six hits in six innings. The 22-year-old walked two and struck out five.

Peoria's only run came on a solo home run by Jimmy Bosco in the fifth inning. The homer was Bosco's first this season and fourth in the minors. Valera (8) and Herrera (6) both saw hitting streaks come to an end.

Thursday, May 1: Peoria Chiefs 14 at Beloit Snappers 10
Starting pitching wasn't sharp on either side in the finale of the series. Jimmy Reed started for the Chiefs and allowed five runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. Ronald Herrera started for the Snappers and fared a little better, giving up seven runs (two earned) in five innings.

Chase Brookshire earned the win and was the only pitcher from either team that did not allow a hit. He went 2 2/3 innings and struck out three in relief of Reed.

McElroy led the Chiefs with three hits, all singles. Matthew Young's only hit of the game was a three-run home run in the Chiefs' six-run third inning. Six different Chiefs picked up at least one RBI while seven of the nine starters picked up at least one hit.

Only Valera and Mason Katz failed to collect a hit, but Valera scored a run and tallied an RBI while Katz walked three times and scored three.

Friday, May 2: Peoria Chiefs 12 at Cedar Rapids Kernels 3
Peoria's offense exploded for seven runs in the fourth inning, turning what was a close game into a 12-3 blowout.

Herrera totaled three hits and three runs batted in. The shortstop was one of three Chiefs players to triple in the game, along with Carson Kelly and Valera. Peoples-Walls totaled three hits, including his first home run of the season. McElroy went 0-for-5 in the leadoff spot.

Silfredo Garcia picked up the win, his second of the season, by tossing five innings and allowing two runs on six hits. The righty walked one but struck out seven. Herget pitched three scoreless innings, although he did walk three.

Saturday, May 3: Cedar Rapids Kernels 3, Peoria Chiefs 0
After scoring 12 runs the night before, the Chiefs offense was unable to get anything going against Kernels' starter Aaron Slegers. Slegers gave up just four hits and two walks while striking out six.

Castillo led the Chiefs with two hits in four at-bats. Kelly and Bosco collected Peoria's other two hits in the game.

Blake McKnight took the loss for the Chiefs, yielding two runs on six hits in his five innings of work. Chris Perry pitched two scoreless innings in relief, surrendering one hit while striking out three.

Sunday, May 4: Cedar Rapids Kernels 2, Peoria Chiefs 0
The Chiefs got a decent start from freshly-promoted Rob Kaminsky, but the offense again failed to produce a run.

Kaminsky went four innings, allowing one earned run on five hits. The first-round pick of the Cardinals in 2013 struck out two and walked two in his Peoria debut. Three Chiefs relievers (Brookshire, Kyle Barraclough and Chris Thomas) kept Peoria in the game by combining for four hitless innings.

But the Kernels staff combined to allow just four hits, two of which belonged to Ronald Castillo. The Chiefs struck out ten times as a team, with Peoples-Walls going 0-for-3 with 3 Ks.

Monday, May 5: Peoria Chiefs vs Beloit Snappers
The Chiefs returned to Dozer Park for a brief, three-game series against the Snappers and set a record in the process.

Unfortunately, it wasn't a good record. For the third consecutive game, the Chiefs offense failed to score a run. Including the last 5 1/3 innings against the Kernels in game one, the Chiefs have gone a franchise-record 32 1/3 innings without scoring.

Yet again, Dylan Covey was able to silence Peoria's bats. The righty allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings. Alex Reyes started for the Chiefs, yielding a run on five hits in six innings. Reyes also tied his season high with eight strikeouts, matching the total from the first game of the April 29 doubleheader.

As the Rotation Turns

On Saturday, Blake McKnight joined Peoria's rotation after spending the first month of the season in the bullpen. Chase Brookshire lost his hold on a starting spot after posting an 0-3 record with a 13.50 ERA in four starts. McKnight hadn't necessarily fared well as a reliever, posting a 7.71 ERA in 14 innings.

More changes were made to the rotation Sunday after Nick Petree was called up to High-A Palm Beach. Petree was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in four starts with the Chiefs. Left-hander and Cardinals' top-ten prospect Rob Kaminsky joined the team from the GCL Cardinals and made his Peoria debut Sunday night.

Take a seat

Chiefs pitchers combined to strike out 14 Kernels Friday, the team's highest single-game strikeout total to date. The previous high was 13, recorded in the April 14 game against Lake County.

Here's Jhonny

Jhonny Polanco replaced Joe Scanio on the Chiefs' roster last week, and has appeared in three games since, all of which happened to be against Beloit. In two of the three appearances, Polanco combined to shut out the Snappers without a base hit while tallying five strikeouts. In the third appearance, however, on May 1, the 22-year-old gave up five runs on three hits while walking four.

Family Affair

Congratulations to pitching coach Jason Simontacchi and his wife on the birth of their baby boy Landon on Friday. Jason did not make the trip with the team to Cedar Rapids, so Tim Leveque, the organization's pitching coordinator, filled in for him.

Who's Hot

Kyle Barraclough. The righty appeared in three games for the Chiefs last week, giving up just one hit in 2 2/3 innings of work. He also recorded a save against the Snappers April 29. Going back farther, Barraclough hasn't allowed a run since April 19. In that period, the 23-year-old allowed just two hits in 5 2/3 innings of work. On the season, Barraclough has allowed just two earned runs in 12 innings.

C.J. McElroy. A case could be made to put McElroy in the "Not" category this week, since he hasn't collected a hit in his last 13 at-bats. But, looking at the week as a whole, he actually had a pretty decent stretch. Even with that hitless streak, the outfielder still hit .290. In the four-game series against the Snappers, the switch hitter went 9-for-18, all singles, with three RBI and three steals. McElroy's average for the season sits at .294 and his six steals are second on the team to Juan Herrera.

Who's Not

Matthew Young. Young was on this list last week and things didn't get any better for the outfielder. He collected just three hits this week in 15 at-bats, leaving him with a .175 average for the season. The 24-year-old's double on Tuesday was just his fourth extra-base hit this season. 31 of his 57 at-bats have came with runners on base, and Young has only managed four hits in that situation.

Mason Katz. Normally, this space is reserved for a pitcher whose performance was less than standard over the last week. But when your offense goes as long as the Chiefs' has without scoring, the problem isn't the staff. The third baseman's single against the Snappers on May 5 made him 1-for-16 during the week, despite spending majority of the time hitting in the eight spot in the order.


Joe Scanio remains on the 7-day disabled list with a wrist injury.
Gerwuins Velazco remains on the 7-day DL with a knee injury.


5/4 – Nick Petree called up to High-A Palm Beach
5/4 - Rob Kaminsky assigned to Peoria from GCL Cardinals

Peoria Chiefs Team Stats

The Chiefs offense sits in the middle of the Midwest League in most categories, although the scoreless innings streak the team is currently in the middle of isn't helping things much.

Offense Season # MWL rank of 16
BA .251 8th
Runs 140 8th
OPS .682 T-9th
Doubles 41 15th
HR 13 T-6th
Steals 30 8th
Pitching Season # MWL rank of 16
ERA 4.03 10th
Strikeouts 237 7th
Walks 116 6th-Most
HR allowed 20 2nd-Most
Saves 9 3rd

Midwest League Western Division Standings

Despite the losing streak, the Chiefs find themselves just a half-game out of second place in their division. With two more games against the Snappers, they are in a good spot to move up should Cedar Rapids slip up.

Club W L PCT GB L 10 Streak
Kane County Cougars (CHC) 22 9 .710 - 7-3 W4
Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN) 18 12 .600 3.5 8-2 W3
Peoria Chiefs (STL) 17 12 .586 4.0 5-5 L3
Burlington Bees (LAA) 15 14 .517 6.0 3-7 L5
Clinton LumberKings (SEA) 15 14 .517 6.0 6-4 W1
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (MIL) 13 17 .433 8.5 3-7 L1
Beloit Snappers (OAK) 12 18 .400 9.5 5-5 W3
Quad Cities River Bandits (HOU) 12 18 .400 9.5 3-7 L3

What's Next

The Chiefs continue their brief homestand Tuesday night with the second game of a three-game set with the Snappers (OAK). Righty Arturo Reyes (2-2, 2.59 ERA) starts for the Chiefs against fellow righty Ronald Herrera (2-3, 3.46 ERA) for Beloit. Thursday, the Chiefs head to Clinton, Iowa for the start of a four-game series against the Clinton LumberKings (SEA).

Follow Garth Shanklin on Twitter @GarthShanklin.

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