Peoria’s Perdomo added to All-Star Futures Game roster

Peoria Chiefs RHP Luis Perdomo on the mound, with Beloit's Joe Bennie taking a lead off first base at Dozer Park earlier this season. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Peoria Chiefs RHP Luis Perdomo on the mound, with Beloit’s Joe Bennie taking a lead off first base at Dozer Park earlier this season. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Peoria Chiefs RHP Luis Perdomo has been added to the World Team roster for this year’s All-Star Futures Game. He replaces fellow St. Louis Cardinals prospect Alex Reyes, who is on the disabled list with an injured right shoulder.

Perdomo is 3-7 with a 3.12 ERA, 68 strikeouts and 25 walks in 69.1 innings (12 starts) for the Chiefs this season. Reyes pitched for the Chiefs last year, going 7-7 with a 3.62 ERA, 137 strikeouts and 61 walks in 109.1 innings (21 starts).

There are now three current Midwest League players selected for the All-Star Futures Game. The other two are Kane County Cougars RHP Wei-Chieh Huang and West Michigan Whitecaps RHP Joe Jimenez. Both of them are also on the World Team roster, which I wrote about here.

The game will be played at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 12, at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park.

Posted in 2015 All-Star Futures Game, Beloit Snappers, Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, West Michigan Whitecaps | Leave a comment

Davis hitless in Snappers’ comeback win

Milwaukee Brewers LF Khris Davis rehabbed with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Friday.

Milwaukee Brewers LF Khris Davis rehabbed with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Friday.

The Beloit Snappers drew a crowd of 2,282 to Pohlman Field on Friday — impressive for a team that typically has less than 1,000 fans in the stands — partly because it was a fireworks night, and partly because Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Khris Davis was rehabbing with the visiting Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

While Davis didn’t deliver, the Snappers did, winning their second straight game in walk-off fashion.

Davis went 0-for-4 with a walk. He struck out twice, hit two deep flyballs, and was tagged out in a rundown between third base and home plate. As you can see in the photo above, he wore his Brewers batting helmet instead of a Timber Rattlers one.

It was the third of five scheduled Midwest League rehab appearances for Davis, who played for the Timber Rattlers as a Brewers farmhand in 2010. On Wednesday he went 0-for-3 with a walk. On Thursday he went 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and two RBI.

Davis was one of only two Timber Rattlers without a hit Friday. Wisconsin controlled the early innings, taking a 4-0 lead into the 5th inning. Beloit’s offense came alive in the bottom half of the inning, tying the score on a two-run single by Iolana Akau and a two-run homer by Justin Higley.

Beloit Snappers catcher Iolana Akau

Beloit Snappers catcher Iolana Akau

The Timber Rattlers took back the lead in the 7th inning on an RBI bunt single by Carlos Leal. Wisconsin’s 5-4 lead held until the bottom of the 9th, when pinch-hitter Argenis Raga hit a two-out double to drive in the tying run.

Beloit won the game 6-5 in exciting fashion an inning later. Luis Ortega took the mound for Wisconsin and walked the first two batters he faced before getting the first out of the inning on a force play. He came close to getting out of the jam when Jose Brizuela hit a chopper to second that almost resulted in a double play, but Brizuela hustled to beat the relay throw and was called safe. Higley scored the winning run from third on the play.

Jose Brizuela played third base for the Beloit Snappers, who wore special jerseys honoring the National Guard.

Jose Brizuela played third base for the Beloit Snappers, who wore special jerseys honoring the National Guard.

Wisconsin has lost six straight games.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Rays trade Hot Rods pitcher to Marlins

Enderson Franco pitching for the Hot Rods in Bowling Green on June 25. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Enderson Franco pitches for the Hot Rods in Bowling Green on June 25. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Tampa Bay Rays traded Bowling Green Hot Rods RHP Enderson Franco to the Miami Marlins for an international bonus slot valued at approximately $500,000, the team announced Friday.

Franco went 5-6 with a 3.89 ERA, 47 strikeouts and eight walks in 71.2 IP for the Hot Rods this year. He gave up seven runs in four innings in his last start, against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Wednesday. His previous start (on June 25) was much better, a no-decision in which he gave up two runs (one earned) in six innings against the Dayton Dragons. I was at the latter game in Bowling Green; you can read my account and see photos from the game here.

Cubs trade Lopez for Rondon

The Chicago Cubs traded catcher Rafael Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels for LHP Manny Rondon and international signing-bonus money Friday.

Lopez is a former Midwest League player, and Rondon may be a future one. Lopez batted .265 with 12 RBI in 31 games with the 2012 Peoria Chiefs.  Rondon currently is a rookie-league player, which means he could be assigned to the South Bend Cubs if he is assigned to Low-A in the future.

Bour homers in 4th straight game

Former Chiefs first baseman Justin Bour has homered in four consecutive games for the Marlins. He batted .291 with 12 HR and 87 RBI in 127 games with the 2010 Chiefs.

Posted in Bowling Green Hot Rods, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

Correa, Pujols win American League awards for June

Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols were named winners of American League awards for June.

Correa is the A.L. Rookie of the Month after batting .287 with nine doubles, five home runs, 15 runs batted in, 13 runs scored, and four stolen bases. He played for the Quad Cities River Bandits in 2013, batting .320 with nine home runs and 86 RBI in 117 games.

Pujols is the A.L. Player of the Month after batting .303 with 13 home runs, 26 runs batted in, and 23 runs scored. He was the Midwest League’s Most Valuable Player and co-Prospect of the Year (with Austin Kearns of the Dayton Dragons) in 2000 when he batted .324 with 17 home runs and 84 RBI in 109 games with the Peoria Chiefs.

Posted in Dayton Dragons, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment

Blue Jays trade two Lugnuts to Dodgers

The Toronto Blue Jays reportedly have traded two Lansing Lugnuts to the Los Angeles Dodgers for money that can be used for international player signings.

Both players — right-handed pitcher Chase De Jong and second baseman Tim Locastro — did well for Lansing this year. De Jong went 7-4 with a 3.13 ERA, 77 strikeouts and 18 walks in 86.1 innings (14 starts). Locastro batted .310 with 5 HR, 25 RBI and 30 SB in 70 games, and set a single-season Lugnuts record for number of times hit by a pitch (21).

De Jong was promoted to High-A last week, but he hasn’t pitched at that level yet. Locastro could be assigned to the Great Lakes Loons, who are the Midwest League affiliate of the Dodgers, or be sent to High-A.

The Lugnuts and the Loons are scheduled to play a two-and-two series (two games at home, two away) next week.

In other Blue Jays news, the team signed international prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr., son of former MLB All-Star outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. It is possible Vlad Jr., a 16-year-old outfielder, will play for the Lugnuts someday.

Vlad Sr. didn’t play in the Midwest League, but his nephew Gabriel “Gabby” Guerrero did in 2013. Gabby batted .271 with 4 HR, 50 RBI and 12 SB in 125 games with the Clinton LumberKings.

Posted in Clinton LumberKings, Great Lakes Loons, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League | Leave a comment

Twins call up former Snappers slugger Sano

Miguel Sano slugs a 3-run homer for the Beloit Snappers in 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Miguel Sano slugs a 3-run homer for the Beloit Snappers in 2012. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Minnesota Twins called up their top power prospect, Miguel Sano, to the major leagues today in time for the start of their big four-game series against the first-place Kansas City Royals. He will wear No. 22.

Sano — the Twins’ No. 2 prospect behind outfielder Byron Buxton, who made his MLB debut last month — was the Midwest League Prospect of the Year in 2012, when he batted .258 with 28 HR and 100 RBI in 129 games with the Beloit Snappers.

Despite a slow start, he batted .274 with 15 HR and 48 RBI in 66 games with the Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts this season. He batted .320 and hit 11 of his home runs since May 1, and was named the Southern League offensive player of the week for June 22-28.

A third baseman in the minor leagues, Sano is expected to serve primarily as a designated hitter for the Twins. He could occasionally see some playing time at the corner infield positions when manager Paul Molitor wants to give first baseman Joe Mauer or third baseman Trevor Plouffe a day off.

Sano takes the roster spot of former Snappers teammate Kennys Vargas, who was demoted after Wednesday’s Twins game. Vargas, who split time between first base and designated hitter, hit .245 with 5 HR and 15 RBI in 47 games with the Twins this season. He batted .318 with 11 HR and 36 RBI in 41 games with the 2012 Snappers.

Kennys Vargas (left) and Miguel Sano were teammates on the 2012 Beloit Snappers. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Kennys Vargas (left) and Miguel Sano were teammates on the 2012 Beloit Snappers. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Another member of the 2012 Snappers, Eddie Rosario, made his MLB debut this year and homered on the first pitch he saw as a major-leaguer.

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Chattanooga Lookouts, Midwest League, Southern League | Leave a comment

Brewers’ Khris Davis to rehab with Timber Rattlers

Khris Davis connects with a pitch as a member of the 2010 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. (Photo by Patrick S. Blood/PSB Foto)

Khris Davis connects with a pitch as a member of the 2010 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. (Photo by Patrick S. Blood/PSB Foto)

Milwaukee Brewers leftfielder Khris Davis is set to begin a five-game rehab stint with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers tonight.

Davis is returning from knee surgery that was necessary after he suffered a torn meniscus in a game at Miller Park in late May. He was batting .250 with 5 HR and 16 RBI in 46 games at the time of his injury.

Davis played for the Timber Rattlers in 2010, when he batted .280 with 22 HR, 72 RBI and 17 SB in 128 games. He set the Timber Rattlers record for home runs in a single season, a mark that was matched by Victor Roache in 2013.

His rehab stint with the Timber Rattlers will consist of three home games and two away games, all in Wisconsin. The Timber Rattlers host the Cedar Rapids Kernels in Appleton tonight, travel to Beloit for games on Thursday and Friday, and play against the Snappers two more times at home on Saturday and Sunday.

Perez to start at shortstop for Brewers

Former West Michigan Whitecaps infielder Hernan Perez will get his first start at shortstop for the Brewers tonight. He previously started at second base and third base for Milwaukee, but shortstop was his primary position when he signed with the Detroit Tigers as a amateur free agent in 2007.

Perez batted .160 in 66 games at the major-league level for the Tigers before being placed on waivers about a month ago. The Brewers claimed him on June 2, and he has been a solid addition to the team. He batted .360 (18-for-50) in his first 23 games with the Brewers, and currently has a nine-game hitting streak.

Perez played 265 games with the West Michigan Whitecaps, spending part of 2009 and all of the 2010 and 2011 seasons with the team. He cumulatively batted .246 with 13 HR, 97 RBI and 30 SB.

Hernan Perez bats for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2011. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Hernan Perez bats for the West Michigan Whitecaps in 2011. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Posted in Beloit Snappers, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Midwest League, West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment