Today in Chiefsville: June 21, 2016 – Double Dip in the Ocean State

Games #69 & #70 – Syracuse Chiefs (30-37) vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (37-33)

McCoy Stadium, Pawtucket, Rhode Island

Pregame 5:30 p.m. // First Pitch 5:35 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP A.J. Cole (5-3, 4.79) vs. LHP Henry Owens (4-3, 3.62)

LHP Aaron Laffey (4-2, 3.76) vs. LHP Robby Scott (3-0, 2.40)


Game One Lineup:

IMG_3800


Pregame Sound:

Yesterday’s Highlights


Today’s Headlines:

The Ups and Downs of 144: Last night’s loss continued the Chiefs struggles of late, now tallying just four wins in their last 20 games. This stretch followed one of Syracuse’s best of the year. The ups and downs of the Chiefs’ season are illustrated below:

Flick of the RISP: The Chiefs went 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position last night, and are now just 5 for their last 46 (.109) with RISP over the last five games. Syracuse has not scored more than two runs in any inning since June 6th.

Goody Two Shoes: Brian Goodwin doubled last night, extending his on-base streak to 11-straight games. Goodwin leads the Chiefs in average (.302), on-base percentage (.367), and slugging percentage (.455) this season. Over Goodwin’s last 19 games (May 31st) he has nine multi-hit games for a team-leading 19 this year.

Vote for Pedro: Pedro Severino went 3 for 3 last night, his 14th multi-hit game of the year. Severino has hits in 29 games this season, meaning he has multiple hits in 48% of the games where he has at least one. Since June 9th, Severino holds slashes of .379/.438/.517 in his last eight games.

‘Cuse Bites: Syracuse has played 28 one-run games this year, the most in the I.L. The Chiefs are 15-13 in those games…Syracuse is tied for the most home wins (22) in the I.L. (Rochester) and fewest road wins (9) this year…Syracuse is 12-10 in series openers this year but just 6-12 in series finales…The Chiefs have successfully stolen 58 bases in 67 attempts this year. At 86.6%, Syracuse holds the best percentage in professional baseball (Boston Red Sox 2nd, 47/55, 85.4%)…Syracuse had won 16 of its last 18 games against the PawSox before last night’s loss.

Minor League Mondays: June 20th

Today begins a new blog series where one of our broadcast interns, Sawyer Kamman, will take a look around the Nationals’ minors for his thoughts on a team or a player with a future in Chiefsville.

This Monday, Sawyer writes about a budding young star in the Nationals’ system, outfielder Victor Robles…

——

The middle of June commonly marks the return of many casual baseball fans. Gone is the excitement that the NHL and NBA playoffs provide, and not yet on the horizon is the kickoff to football season. With no real other competition, the everyday sports fan now can buckle into the best time of year- the months where baseball reigns king.

For newfound Washington Nationals fans, the transition back to the diamond will be an easy one. At 43-27, the Nats are atop the National League East, five and aonehalf games up on the second-place New York Mets. Last week also brought with it a possible postseason matchup when the Chicago Cubs traveled to Nationals Park for a three-game series. Those games not only gave us some idea on how things may play out in October, but was, perhaps more importantly, a fun, high-energy series of baseball that highlighted some of the game’s youngest stars. Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo all on the same field for three straight nights? Yes please. Dusty Baker and the team managed to take two of three games in that series, including a grind-it-out 12 inning win in the finale. After allowing Chicago to tie it in the ninth, and then take the lead in the 12th, the Nats came back from a run down with a two-run inning for the walkoff win. All in all, it was a huge victory for Washington with a level of pressure and intensity that may next be matched in October.

While the big league boys in D.C. are playing well, we now turn to take a view at some players on the rise. Let’s take a look around the farm system to see who may be playing in a Syracuse jersey soon en route to the big lights of Washington. I’ll highlight a player from a minor-league team in the farm system in an effort to provide information on who may be climbing the ranks and ending up on the field at NBT Bank Stadium. Today’s player comes from Class-A Hagerstown.

Victor Robles

Position: OF Age: 19 DOB: 05/19/1997 Bats: R Throws: R Height: 6′ 0″ Weight: 185 lb.

Victor Robles (MLB.com)

Victor Robles (MLB.com)

Victor Robles is a name you should remember. Even better perhaps, get to Hagerstown or a stadium where he will be playing at some point soon and snag an autograph, because one day that will likely be worth quite a bit. Robles is an above average player in every facet of the game, a rare combination of power and speed that earns him the “5-tool player” label. His dominance this season portrays that, with the seventh-best batting average, .317, in the South Atlantic League and the second-best on base percentage at .424. He is also among the league tops in runs scored with 44 and hit by pitches with 21 (!!), an astounding number that displays his tendency to find some way, any way, to get aboard the base paths. In all of professional baseball, from low-A to the MLB, Brandon Guyer of Tampa Bay ranks second in HBP with 15, six less than Robles. Once he is aboard, his speed shines and any defense has to be aware of his base-stealing capability. Robles can change the game on the base paths, shown by his 63 career stolen bags. Much like what we have seen with Trea Turner, Robles can turn a two-out, none on single into a threatening inning simply by swiping two consecutive bases. The outfielder was just recently named a 2016 South Atlantic League All-Star, a recognition he can add to his growing collection after being tabbed as a Washington Organizational All-Star last season in his efforts between the Gulf Coast Nationals and the short-season A Auburn Doubledays. Follow the link here to see a write up on Robles’ selection and to view the entire South Atlantic League Northern and Southern All-Star Game rosters. The Northern League team features four other Hagerstown players, and will also be coached by the Suns’ staff.

According to MLB Pipeline, Robles is one of the top baseball prospects in terms of raw tools. The outfielder ranks only behind Byron Buxton, the  #1 ranked prospect by MLB.com in both 2014 and 2015, when his tool grades are totaled up. Buxton was drafted second overall in 2012, making his MLB debut last June, a sign that bodes well for Robles. Keep in mind that scouts grade on a scale of 20-80, with a 50 grade being average and 65 being at an “all-star” level. MLB Pipeline has graded Robles as follows:

  • Hitting: 60
  • Power: 45
  • Run: 70
  • Arm: 65
  • Field: 60

That gives us a total of 300 points overall, behind just Buxton (340) and ahead of all other Major League prospects (next is Jorge Mateo, NYY, at 295). While his power is his “worst” facet of the game, Robles can hit the ball hard, and most importantly, to any field. Entering this season Robles had seven career home runs, but has nearly doubled that number in the first half of 2016, hitting five homers thus far. It is also worth noting that this seasons long balls have come against tougher pitching at the A level, compared to low-A ball and Rookie ball in years prior. Without home runs, simply putting the ball in play is just the beginning for Robles, who can use his speed, and ultra-aggressive mentality, to take an extra base. Robles can fly around the bases, making him an extra-base threat every time he steps up to bat. On the defensive side of the ball, Robles has made it clear he possesses a great instinct when tracking down fly balls. His first step is nearly always in the right direction, and that advantage doubled with his speed makes him a consummate outfielder with the range to take away what usually could be sure-fire base hits. Even if balls do get down in front of him, his strong arm will make any runner or base coach wary of attempting to take an extra base. Aside from his speed, his accurate, very strong arm is the best skill that Robles owns.

Another value of Robles is just that; his value. From the Dominican Republic, the Nationals spent just $225,000 when signing Robles. Had he been in the draft that year, many speculated he had the talent to become a first-round pick. Six outfielders were drafted in 2013’s first round. All signed bonuses of at least $1.8 million. The highest bonus came with Clint Frazier, who signed for $3.5 million as the fifth overall pick. While saving money is one thing, the return on investment is another. Of the six first rounders mentioned, just two, Aaron Judge at 18 and Austin Meadows at 22, outrank Robles on Baseball Prospectus’ Top 101 Prospects of 2016 list. The Nats signee doesn’t sit far back, ranking at 29th. One day Robles will be paid the big bucks, but for now the Washington organization can feel great about a top-ranked prospect signed for next to nothing.

That brings us to the long term position of Robles and where he will fit in the Nationals system. Many sites and scouts believe Robles will be MLB-ready in 2018. With his current skill set so prolific and at such a young age, that truly isn’t too far of a stretch. Praise is high on Robles for his wise beyond his years decision making, especially at the plate. Coaches have become accustomed to the young star being extremely patient and vigilant while batting. Robles doesn’t swing at balls and has become well trained in his batting approach, even with two strikes. All of these skills are normally possessed by older, veteran players, but for Robles are a trait that separate him from his youthful peers. While Robles would be very young on Opening Day of 2018, just over a month until he would be legally able to purchase his first beer, a recent Nationals corner outfielder has me thinking that debating age and skill set is just a clown question, bro. The aforementioned Bryce Harper will be a free agent in 2019, with the rest of his Nationals starting outfielder platoon, Ben Revere and Jayson Werth, becoming free agents the year prior in 2018. This not only leaves space for Robles, but if the Nationals were to retain Harper in what will likely be one of the largest, and most lucrative, bidding wars in MLB history, the organization would have to cut costs elsewhere, and a young prospect in the field would give that option. While there is no doubt that Robles will eventually make his way to the bigs, his path could converge with the Chiefs in short time. He has excelled thus far at every level, seamlessly making transitions to tougher competition with ease. For Robles, it seems as though he will be able to climb through the farm system rankings in an overall speedy manner. He has already shown his excellence at the beginning stages of professional ball, and looks ready to move up already after his Midseason All-Star selection in the A-level South Atlantic League. If Robles continues at his current torrid pace, which he has given no indication to believe elsewise, my guess is that 2018 could be a benchmark for Robles to see action in Syracuse. When 2018 rolls around, Robles could be on the path to the bigs, though in baseball years, with injury and season-long slumps always a possibility, 2018 is a long way off.

A lot can happen to a prospect in a relatively short amount of time. Many come to fruition and become big league All-Stars while others fall along the minor league wayside, never establishing themselves in the pros. Cases of both are seen every season, though the success stories are naturally much more sensationalized. As for Victor Robles, his future is very bright. Barring unforeseen circumstances, this special young player will make an impact in the majors one day. He is built for baseball, and has displayed his above average abilities on every level thus far, and will likely continue to do so as he moves up the ranks. There are no signs that this highly touted prospect will slow down anytime soon, and the Nationals can feel very comfortable that they have one of the game’s top young players in their system as they move forward.

Today in Chiefsville: June 19th, 2016 – Father’s Day Flashback

The Chiefs celebrate Tony Gwynn Jr.'s Father's Day game-winning hit (Syracuse Chiefs)

The Chiefs celebrate Tony Gwynn Jr.’s Father’s Day game-winning hit (Syracuse Chiefs)

“There are days and moments when you question why you’ve put yourself through the torment, the agony, the grind of this game…

There are moments when you know exactly why. That is one of those moments”

– Kevin Brown, June 21, 2015

Kevin finished our broadcast with those words on Father’s Day 2015, as Tony Gwynn, Jr. gave everyone in the ballpark that day a memory that will rival any experienced at a baseball stadium. Nearly a year to the day after his   dad, Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, Sr., passed away, on the first Father’s Day Tony Jr. had to spend without his dad, in a scoreless tie in extra innings, Tony Jr. drove in the game-winning run for a Chiefs walk-off win.

I will always remember interviewing Tony on the field after the game, asking him about the moment, and seeing the realization of how special it truly was come across his face. The energy in the ballpark on the joyous occasion. It was, as Kevin said on the air that day, absolutely perfect.

Earlier this year, Kevin and I each wrote further in depth about our memories of that day, and if you weren’t lucky enough to be at NBT Bank Stadium that day, its worth a read (Part 1, Part 2). But if you only have a minute, here’s a look down memory lane:

I’m not sure anything this year can top last year. But Father’s Day is always one of the best days at the ballpark, and we hope you join us today as the Chiefs wrap up a series with the Clippers.

Happy Father’s Day


Game #67 – Syracuse Chiefs (30-36) vs. Columbus Clippers (37-32)

NBT Bank Stadium, Syracuse, New York

Pregame 12:50 p.m. // First Pitch 1:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Jaron Long (0-1, 8.00) vs. RHP Mike Clevinger (6-0, 2.75)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 10.39.24 AM


Pregame Sound:

Yesterday’s Highlights


Today’s Headlines:

Flick of the RISP: Last night’s loss dropped the Chiefs to a season-long seven-game losing streak. Syracuse is 3-15 since May 30th, averaging 3.1 runs per game. The Chiefs are hitting .230 as a team over that stretch, and only .207 with runners in scoring position (4-23 RISP last 2 games). The Chiefs don’t have a multi-run inning in 10 games.

Streaky Chiefs: Syracuse’s current 3-15 stretch comes on the heels of one of its best stretches of the season, when the Chiefs won 7 of 10. The Chiefs have seen their share of ups and downs this year, as illustrated below:

Goody Two Shoes: Brian Goodwin singled twice Saturday and brought the Chiefs within one in the eighth. Goodwin has now reached base in nine games in a row, holding a .314 average and .415 on-base percentage in that span. Goodwin leads the Chiefs in average (.306), on-base percentage (.372), and slugging percentage (.460) this season. Over Goodwin’s last 17 games (May 31st) he has nine multi-hit games for a team-leading 19 this year.

Loaded, Docked: Included in the Chiefs ups and downs this season has been their success with the bases loaded. Syracuse started the season just 1 for 18 with a single RBI with the bags full. Then starting April 24th, the Chiefs strung together an 18 for 48 stretch (.375) with 46 RBIs with three on base. But in the last two games, Syracuse is just one for nine with a lone RBI, leaving the bases loaded four times.

‘Cuse Bites: Syracuse has played 27 one-run games this year, the most in the I.L. The Chiefs are 14-13 in those games…Syracuse holds the second-most home wins (21) in the I.L. (Rochester, 22) and fewest road wins (9) this year. The Chiefs are hitting .259 as a team at home, compared to just .234 on the road…Syracuse is 12-9 in series openers this year but just 5-12 in series finales…The Chiefs have successfully stolen 53 bases in 61 attempts this year. At 86.9%, Syracuse holds the second-best percentage in professional baseball (Boston Red Sox, 45/51, 88.2%).

Today in Chiefsville: June 18th, 2016

Game #66 – Syracuse Chiefs (30-35) vs. Columbus Clippers (36-32)

NBT Bank Stadium, Syracuse, New York

Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Austin Voth (3-2, 2.90) vs. RHP Adam Plutko (3-3, 3.27 w/Akron)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 3.50.09 PM


Roster Moves:

None


Today’s Headlines:

Recent Struggles: Last night’s loss dropped the Chiefs to their second six-game losing streak since May 30th. Syracuse is just 3-14 over that stretch, averaging 3.1 runs per game. The Chiefs are hitting just .231 as a team over that stretch, and just .206 with runners in scoring position. Over the last nine games (1-8), the Chiefs have not scored more than two runs in any inning.

Skole Survivor: Matt Skole walked Friday, and has reached base in all but two games since May 2nd. After starting the season just 6 for 49, Skole holds a .366 on-base percentage, .489 slugging percentage, nine home runs, 12 doubles, 31 RBIs and 23 walks since April 23rd.

Vote for Pedro: Pedro Severino tallied two hits and walked last night. In the 28 games that Severino has a hit this year, 13 times he has multiple hits, or 46% of the time. Severino’s .267 average would be the highest in any season of his career.

Austin Powers: Austin Voth has been outstanding over the course of his first Triple-A season. Voth holds the eighth-best ERA in the I.L. at 2.90. Austin has allowed two earned runs or less in eight of his 12 starts with the Chiefs this season. Voth walked three batters in his last three starts, but has walked three or fewer in all 12 starts. In fact, in Voth’s professional career, the right-hander has walked three or more only 13 times and walked more than three just once in 75 career games (four walks, 8/11/15 @ Reading w/Harrisburg).

‘Cuse Bites: Syracuse has played 26 one-run games this year, the most in the I.L. The Chiefs are 14-12 in those games…Syracuse holds the second-most home wins (21) in the I.L. (Rochester, 22) and fewest road wins (9) this year. The Chiefs are hitting .261 as a team at home, compared to just .234 on the road…Syracuse is 12-9 in series openers this year but just 5-12 in series finales…The Chiefs have successfully stolen 52 bases in 60 attempts this year. At 86.7%, Syracuse holds the second-best percentage in professional baseball (Boston Red Sox, 45/51, 88.2%)…The current 3-14 stretch for the Chiefs comes after Syracuse went 73-56 in 129 games from June 14, 2015-May 30, 2016.

Today in Chiefsville: May 27, 2016 – On That Midnight Train to Georgia

Game #46 – Syracuse Chiefs (24-21) vs. Gwinnett Braves (24-24)

Coolray Field, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Austin Voth (2-2, 3.25) vs. RHP Ryan Weber (0-2, 3.27)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 5.35.46 PM


Roster Moves:

None


Today’s Headlines:

Rocky Ground: Syracuse’s offense has gone through up- and-down stretches so far in 2016. Over the last seven games, the Chiefs offense has been red-hot, averaging nearly 10 hits and more than five runs a game. This followed an 11-game stretch where the offense struggled, averaging less than three runs per game. Below is a look at the Chiefs’ offensive stretches this year:

Upper Dekker: Matt den Dekker tallied a three-hit game last night, continuing to stay hot. After posting just six hits in his first 12 games with the Chiefs this year, den Dekker has eight hits in his last three games (.667), with three doubles, a triple, three RBI and four runs scored.

Ramrod: Caleb Ramsey tallied his ninth multi-hit game with Syracuse this year after a two hit night Thursday. Since Ramsey’s average dropped to a season-low .283 on May 4th, Caleb is hitting .367 (22 for 60). Ramsey multi- night was his 35th in Triple-A since last April.

Born to Run: Trea Turner’s stolen base Thursday night gave the Chiefs 10 in a row before Jose Lozada was caught stealing in the eighth inning. For the year, the Chiefs are 39-42 in steals, the best percentage (92.9%) in pro baseball.

Darkness on the Edge of Town: Syracuse opens its longest scheduled road trip of the year having struggled away from its home ballpark. While the Chiefs lead the league with 19 home wins (four more than the next closest team) they have the fewest road wins (5) in the league (three fewer than anyone else). The Chiefs are hitting 44 points higher at home than on the road (.269 vs. .225).

‘Cuse Bites: After starting the season just 1 for 18 with a lone RBI with the bags full, the Chiefs are 14 for their last 38 (.368) with 36 RBIs since April 24th with the bases loaded…Syracuse is 16-11 in night games this year, compared to 8-10 in day games. The Chiefs are 11-6 in their last 17 night games, but they’ve dropped six straight day games…After starting 2015 19-43, the Chiefs are 70-56 (.556) over their last 126 games since June 14th, 2015. More specifically, dating back to August 3rd, the Chiefs are 47-32 (.595) in their last 79 games…The Chiefs won their 24th game of the season Thursday night in game #44. Syracuse did not record its 24th victory in 2015 until game #70.

Today in Chiefsville: May 18th, 2016 – That’s Baseball

IMG_7988

Coca-Cola Park in Allentown featuring breakfast and baseball today. (Eric Gallanty)

Baseball. It is really something. Sometimes a perfectly set up double-play ball turns into a bad hop single over Trea Turner’s head and leads to a run. Sometimes an attempt to intentionally walk a batter turns into a wild pitch and a walk-off win. And sometimes you can get no-hit through six innings, trail 4-0, and then five batters into the seventh inning, the game is tied.

It has been a wild first two games of the series, with all of the above happening so far and more. Great catches, great comebacks, and some crazy moments you would’ve had to have been at the park to believe.

It is no doubt early, but just over a quarter of the way through the 2016 season, the North division is tight as can be, with Syracuse, Rochester and Scranton/WB tied for first, and Lehigh Valley just half a game out. It’s setting up for a quality race all season.

The Chiefs will leave the North division tomorrow, the first of 13 straight games against the South Division (Norfolk, Charlotte, at Gwinnett, at Charlotte). Of the Chiefs’ next 30 games, 26 will be out of division. How the Chiefs perform in this stretch may be a good indicator of where this race might go.

Hope you can join us from Allentown this morning. You bring the eggs, we’ve got the bacon…


Game #38 – Syracuse Chiefs (20-17) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (20-18)

Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Pregame 10:20 a.m. // First Pitch 10:35 a.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Paolo Espino (1-3, 3.22) vs. RHP Zach Eflin (4-0, 2.79)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 9.38.48 AM


Roster Moves:

None


Pregame Sound:

Yesterday’s Highlights


Today’s Headlines:

If I Should Fall Behind: For the second night in a row, the Chiefs came back to tie a game after not tallying a hit through at least the first five innings (first six last night). Last night marked the third time this month the Chiefs overcame a deficit of at least three runs to tie the game.

Trea Bien: Trea Turner continued his sizzling season by extending his hit streak to seven last night. Turner leads the I.L. stolen bases (14) and runs scored (32). He is tied for first in hits (47), and ranks second in average (.324), third in total bases (70), and fourth in at-bats (145). The streak marks Turner’s second hit streak of six or more games this year and fourth since his promotion to Triple-A last June 26th.

Jack of All Trades: Speaking of Brian Goodwin, he tallied his fourth straight 1 for 4 performance Tuesday night. Goodwin has done it all for the Chiefs in 2016, having reached base in 32 of his 35 starts this season. His average has not dipped below .310 at the end of any game since April 12th. The most impressive part of Goodwin’s success has been his ability to hit lefties. Goodwin is 19 for 49 with slashes of .388/.423/.551 against left-handed pitching.

Born to Run: Brian Goodwin stole a base Monday continuing the Chiefs’ success on the bases. Syracuse is now 32 for 34 in stolen bases, which is the best percentage (94.1%) in professional baseball.

Wrecking Ball: Pedro Severino is known as a defensive catcher, but over his last 13 I.L. games, he has dominated I.L. pitching. Severino is 17 for his last 44 (.386), with hits in ten of 13 and seven multi-hit games. The Chiefs starting catcher has four doubles, a home run, six RBIs and six runs scored in that stretch.

Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Chiefs wrap up their road trip this morning at Lehigh Valley. Syracuse has struggled away from home this season, posting a 5-10 road record opposite a 15-7 home record. The Chiefs are hitting 30 points lower on the road vs. at home this year (.231 vs. .261). Syracuse holds a 3.63 road ERA against a 2.87 ERA at home.

Glory Days: After starting 2015 at 19-43, the Chiefs are 66-52 (.559) over their last 118 games since June 14th, 2015. More specifically, dating back to August 3rd, the Chiefs are 43-28 (.606) in their last 71 games…Syracuse picked up its 20th win this season in game 36, 27 games faster than they did last year.

Today in Chiefsville: May 17th, 2016 – Podcast Episode #6

;Inside Pitch Logo

On Episode 6 of the podcast Eric is joined by Voice of the Chiefs Kevin Brown and Voice of the IronPigs Matt Provence. Plus hear from Billy Gardner, Jr., Trea Turner, Taylor Hill and Nick Masset.


Game #37 – Syracuse Chiefs (20-16) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (19-18)

Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

LHP Aaron Laffey (3-0, 1.55) vs. RHP Alec Asher (3-0, 0.40)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 6.08.30 PM


Roster Moves:

None


Pregame Sound:

Yesterday’s Highlights


Today’s Headlines:

If I Should Fall Behind: Despite tallying just one hit through the first five innings and eventually being out hit by seven in the game, the Chiefs came back from a 3-0 deficit to regain control of first place in the I.L. North. The Chiefs have spent more days in first (23) so far this year than every other spot in the standings combined.

Two Hits Are Better Than One: Trea Turner continued his sizzling season with his fourth straight two-hit game Saturday. Turner leads the I.L. in hits (46), stolen bases (14), runs scored (31), and ranks third in total bases (68), third in average (.324), and tied for fourth in at-bats (142),

Born to Run: Brian Goodwin stole a base last night continuing the Chiefs’ success on the bases. Syracuse is now 32 for 34 in stolen bases, which is the best percentage (94.1%) in professional baseball.

Jack of All Trades: Speaking of Brian Goodwin, he drove in the game-winning run last night, in a 1 for 4 performance with a walk and two RBIs. Goodwin has done it all for the Chiefs in 2016, having reached base in 31 of his 34 starts this season. His average has not dipped below .310 at the end of any game since April 12th. The most impressive part of Goodwin’s success has been his ability to hit lefties. Goodwin is 19 for 49 with slashes of .388/.423/.551 against left-handed pitching.

Ramrod: Caleb Ramsey reached three times yesterday with a single and two walks, extending his hitting streak to seven. After an 0 for 21 stretch from April 21st to May 2nd, Ramsey is 13 for his last 39 (.333) over his last 11 games with a .409 on-base percentage, four doubles, five runs scored and six RBIs in that span. For his Triple-A career dating back to last year (127 G), Ramsey has dominated away from Syracuse. Ramsey is hitting .341 in 64 road games compared to .220 in 63 home games.

Wrecking Ball: Pedro Severino is known as a defensive catcher, but over his last 13 I.L. games, he has dominated I.L. pitching. Severino is 17 for his last 44 (.386), with hits in ten of 13 and seven multi-hit games. The Chiefs starting catcher has four doubles, a home run, six RBIs and six runs scored in that stretch.

Glory Days: After starting 2015 at 19-43, the Chiefs are 66-51 (.564) over their last 117 games since June 14th, 2015. More specifically, dating back to August 3rd, the Chiefs are 43-27 (.614) in their last 70 games…Syracuse picked up its 20th win this season in game 36, 27 games faster than they did last year.

Today in Chiefsville: May 16, 2016

Game #36 – Syracuse Chiefs (19-16) vs. Lehigh Valley IronPigs (19-17)

Coca-Cola Park, Allentown, Pennsylvania

Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Austin Voth (2-1, 2.31) vs. RHP Mark Appel (3-2, 3.38)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 4.07.42 PM


Roster Moves (3):

OF Matt den Dekker optioned by Washington

OF Jose Lozada activated off Disabled List

OF Isaac Ballou reassigned to Double-A Harrisburg


Pregame Sound:

Saturday’s Highlights

Sunday Conversation w/Billy Gardner, Jr.


Today’s Headlines:

Austin Powers: Today’s starter, Austin Voth, threw six shutout innings in the Chiefs’ last win on Tuesday. Voth retired the final nine batters he faced and 11 of the final 12 Tuesday, with the lone exception coming on a passed ball on a strikeout. Voth’s allowed no runs in four of his six Syracuse starts this season. He’s allowed the fifth-fewest base runners per nine innings of any IL starter (9.26).

No Place Like Home: The Chiefs continue a road trip today with a three-game set in Rochester. Syracuse is now just 4-9 in road games this year, compared to a 15-7 record at home. The Chiefs are hitting 22 points lower on the road (.239 vs. .261) and hold an on-base percentage 42 points lower on the road (.295 vs. .337). Syracuse’s road ERA of 3.50 is 63 points higher than at home (2.87).

Turn Style: Trea Turner continued his sizzling season with his third straight two-hit game Saturday. Turner leads the I.L. in hits (44), stolen bases (14), runs scored (29), and ranks fourth in total bases (64), fifth in at-bats (138), and fifth in average (.319).

Born to Run: Tony Campana and Trea Turner each stole a base Friday, continuing the Chiefs’ success on the bases. Syracuse is now 31 for 33 in stolen bases, which is the best percentage (93.9%) in professional baseball.

Ramrod: Caleb Ramsey singled Saturday to extend his hitting streak to six. After an 0 for 21 stretch from April 21st to May 2nd, Ramsey is 12 for his last 37 (.324) over his last ten games with a .375 on-base percentage, four doubles, five runs scored and six RBIs in that span.

Lefty Groove: Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole have bucked the usual trend of lefties struggling against left-handing pitching. Goodwin is hitting .388 against lefties this year (19 for 49) and Skole holds a .320 mark (16 for 50). As a team, the Chiefs have a .273 average against LHPs this year. That compares to a .240 average against RHPs.

Wrecking Ball: Pedro Severino is known as a defensive catcher, but over his last 12 I.L. games, he has dominated I.L. pitching. Severino is 16 for his last 41 (.390), with hits in nine of 12 and seven multi-hit games. The Chiefs starting catcher has four doubles, a home run, six RBIs and six runs scored in that stretch.

Ups and Downs: The Chiefs as a team hold a .211 average over the last eight games (2-6). That followed a stretch where Syracuse held a .298 average over the previous 13 games (11-2).

Today in Chiefsville – May 14, 2016

Game #35 – Syracuse Chiefs (19-15) vs. Rochester Red Wings (19-17)

Frontier Field, Rochester, New York

Pregame 6:50 p.m. // First Pitch 7:05 p.m.

Coverage: The Score 1260 // SyracuseChiefs.com

RHP Taylor Hill (1-2, 3.31) vs. LHP Logan Darnell (3-3, 4.25)


Today’s Lineup:

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 5.34.07 PM

*Goodwin starting in CF


Roster Moves:

OF Matt den Dekker recalled by Washington as 26th man for today’s Nationals doubleheader


Pregame Sound:

Yesterday’s Highlights

Today’s Interview – Voice of the Red Wings Josh Whetzel


Today’s Headlines:

Darkness on the Edge of Town: The Chiefs started what will be tied for their longest road trip to date yesterday with a loss in Rochester. Syracuse is now just 4-8 in road games this year, compared to a 15-7 record at home. The Chiefs are hitting 24 points lower on the road (.237 vs. .261) and hold an on-base percentage 42 points lower on the road (.295 vs. .337).

Prove It All Night: As tends to be the pattern, Trea Turner once again proved his worth with two impressive games in a row. After tallying just two hits in his previous 17 at-bats, Turner posted back-to-back two-hit games going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs yesterday. Trea hit his third home run of the season yesterday following a triple to lead off the game Thursday. Turner leads the I.L. in hits (42), stolen bases (14), runs scored (29), and is fourth in total bases (62), fifth in at-bats (133), and tied for sixth in average (.316).

Born to Run: Tony Campana and Trea Turner each stole a base last night, continuing the Chiefs’ success on the bases. Syracuse is now 31 for 33 in stolen bases, which is the best percentage (93.9%) in professional baseball.

Ramrod: Caleb Ramsey singled last night to extend his hitting streak to five. After an 0 for 21 stretch from April 21st to May 2nd, Ramsey is 11 for his last 33 (.333) over his last ten games with a .389 on-base percentage, four doubles, five runs scored and five RBIs in that span.

This Is Your Sword: Tony Campana’s lack of power has not hurt him over his last nine starts. Campana holds a nine-game on-base streak in games started dating back to April 12th. Campana is 10 for 30 (.333) in those nine starts, with five walks, three runs scored and three stolen bases.

Brilliant Disguise: Brian Goodwin and Matt Skole have bucked the usual trend of lefties struggling against left- handing pitching. Goodwin is hitting .395 against lefties this year (18 for 46) and Skole holds a .326 (15 for 46). As a team, the Chiefs have a .272 average against LHPs this year. That compares to a .241 average against RHPs.

Magic: Over the last five nights, Chiefs opponents have pulled out some late-inning magic. Syracuse has been outscored 8-1 in the eighth and ninth innings the last five games, with opponents scoring at least a run in one of those two frames in all five games. The Chiefs hold a 2.06 ERA in the first seven innings of the last five games and a 7.00 ERA in the eighth and ninth over the same span.

This Hard Land: Dating back to 2014, Syracuse has dropped seven of its last 10 games at Frontier Field.

Kevin’s Corner: And Now, A Word From Our Scouts

(Editor’s note: Yes, there’s probably a better name for this segment than “Kevin’s Corner”, but that’s what we’re going with for now. Leave your better ideas in the comments if ya have ’em.)

I sat down with Mark Scialabba, the Nationals’ Director of Player Development, last week for an interview that can be found here. At that link, you’ll find Scialabba’s thoughts on Trea Turner, A.J. Cole, and the Nationals’ defensive shifts. Off air, however, Scialabba was kind enough to take some more time to give his thoughts on a few more Chiefs prospects and their viability as future big leaguers. This is about as close as we’ll get to having a scouting report from a professional scout on here, so enjoy…

On Austin Voth:

Austin’s been doing great. He really commands the ball extremely well. His strengths are his deception, his strike-throwing ability, his ability to command the fastball. His curveball has evolved over time into a pitch that I think is a strikeout pitch now. He’s a good athlete. Very pleased with his development.

On Abel De Los Santos:

Lightning quick arm. He’s got two pitches, when he’s right, that have outstanding action. The changeup dives, drops right out of the zone. It’s late movement. He’s got a breaking ball with a downer shape. When it’s right and he’s commanding it, it’s a swing and miss pitch too. His biggest thing is repeating his mechanics, repeating his delivery and throwing quality strikes. When he’s up in the zone, he flies open and the fastball gets a little straight. Youth is on his side.

On Brian Goodwin:

We’re really pleased with where he is right now. Staying through the baseball extremely well. Making adjustments, hitting the ball to all fields. He really carried over his success he had in Venezuela in the offseason. He’s got a little sense of urgency now to his game. Not only maturing physically, but mentally as well, which is important. Right mindset to attack the fastball and attack pitches you know you should drive.


The best stories in baseball often come from scouts. Last Sunday in Buffalo, I sat down with Twins scout Earl Winn, one of the great storytellers I’ve met in the minors, who talked about how he helped give former Tennessee Titans G.M. Ruston Webster his first job. (Turns out Earl’s more than just a baseball guy.)

Later that day, a scout from Japan joined our table, turning the conversation to ex-Chiefs playing overseas. One of the first names to pop up was Brandon Laird. It wouldn’t be the last we heard of Laird this week…

With that home run, Laird – who hit .300 with 18 home runs, tied for the league lead in RBIs and finished third in total bases for the 2014 Chiefs – won a year’s supply of free Kirin Ichiban beer. Seriously. A professional sports team is giving one of its players – paid to be in the best possible physical shape and perform at the highest level – one full year of free alcohol.

I, for one, can’t think of any way that promotion could work out poorly.

Laird, who also won $10,000 for his bacon-slathered tater, had this to say:

Laird said he’d put the money toward his new house in Arizona, but didn’t yet know what he’d do with the beer supply.

“Definitely not drink it,” he joked. “Maybe give some to the batting practice pitchers or whoever wants it.”

Ooooooooooooooooookay, Brandon.


Another scout whom we’ve enjoyed meeting this year is Jason Lefkowitz of the Seattle Mariners. Avid listeners will know that we occasionally dabble in a “Minor League Name of the Night” segment, where Eric and I choose a ridiculous name from the world of the minors and break it down. Jason, our segment’s #1 fan, has contributed the following monikers:

  • Sitaifoni Fukofuka
  • Sicnarf Loopstok
  • Skye Boldt

If you have a weird Minor League name you’d like us to discuss, by all means – the more bizarre, the better. Leave it in the comments below, email kbrown@syracusechiefs.com or tweet us your suggestion @ChiefsRadio. We’ll show you some love on the next broadcast.


That’s all for now. The Chiefs and Indians, featuring two of the league’s best starting pitchers by ERA to date, take the field at 6:35 tonight. For now – enjoy some Bruce.

%d bloggers like this: