Results tagged ‘ John-Ford Griffin ’

NON ROSTER INVITEES ANNOUNCED

The Toronto Blue Jays announced that they have invited 19 players to Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida that begins on February 16th.

Returning organizational players include Jesse Carlson (New Hampshire ’07), Jeremy Cummings (Syracuse ’07), Jamie Vermilyea (Syracuse ’07), Sal Fasano (Syracuse ’07), J.P. Arencibia (Auburn ’07), Brian Jeroloman (Lansing ’07), Chip Cannon (New Hampshire ’07), Hector Luna (Syracuse ’07), Wayne Lydon (Syracuse ’07), Ryan Patterson (New Hampshire ’07) and Travis Snider (Lansing ’07).

Players signed by the Blue Jays as minor league free agents include pitchers Shawn Camp, Lance Carter, Kane Davis, Mike Gosling, Ryan Ketchner, John Parrish, infielder Pedro Lopez and outfielder Matt Watson,

In addtion three Chiefs from last years squad have also been invited to big league camps. John-Ford Griffin (Dodgers), Ryan Roberts (Rangers), and Howie Clark (Twins).

Other former Chiefs in camps include Chad Hermansen (Angels), Tomas Perez and Jose Cruz (Astros), Scott Cassidy (Brewers), Josh Phelps, John Wasdin, and Hugo Castellanos (Cardinals), Mike Smith and Luis Figueroa (Cubs), Adam Melhuse (Rangers), Kevin Cash (Red Sox), Ken Huckaby (Royals) and Aquillino Lopez (Tigers).

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (8/13 – 8/19)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: OF Chad Mottola put together a historic week for the Chiefs. Mottola belted two home runs Thursday in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre which were homers number 99 and 100 in his Chiefs career. Mottola became the second member of the century club joining Dutch Mele and his 111 career Chiefs home runs. Other than the longballs, Mottola had four two-hit games in five games played. Mottola went 8-for-21 (.381) with two doubles, a triple and two home runs with four RBI.

HONORABLE MENTION: OF John-Ford Griffin hit two home runs in the past seven days which were his 25th and 26th jacks of the season. With homer number 25 Griffin became the first Chief ever to register two 25 or more home runs seasons with the Chiefs. Griffin his 30 dingers back in 2005.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: It hasn’t been a pretty week for Chiefs hurlers since the team has yet to pick up a win. But reliever Ryan Houston made two scoreless appearances. Houston threw three innings giving up only one hit and striking out one.

CHIEFS TO RETURN JULY 12

The Chiefs will take on the Richmond Braves tonight and tomorrow before taking four days off for the All-Star Game.

Chiefs outfielder John-Ford Griffin will suit up for the International League on Wednesday in Albuquerque, NM.  Game time is set for 7:30 pm and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN2.  Complete coverage of the game, including live audio and pitch-by-pitch gamecast, can be found at ilbaseball.com.

The Chiefs will be back at Alliance Bank Stadium on Thursday to open a four-game series with the Pawtucket Red Sox.  The Rochester Red Wings will follow for a four-game series from July 16-19.

Another pre-game concert and post-game fireworks show are on the schedule for Friday the 13th.  Dunes & The Del-Tunes, featuring Chiefs in-game host Gary Dunes, will play in front of the main gates from 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm.  Fans should plan on staying after the game as a fireworks show presented by Alliance Bank will light up the skies above the stadium.

Chad_mottola_frontDon’t forget that Sunday, July 15 is Chad Mottola Figurine Night presented by Time Warner Cable.  The first 2,000 fans 12 & younger through the stadium gates will receive a limited edition action figurine.  Each figurine is hand numbered and also features Chad’s signature on the base.

CHIEFS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (6/25 – 7/1)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: 2B Russ Adams put together a solid week hitting .440 (11-for-25). Adams picked up three doubles as well as drove in two runs. The University of North Carolina product had four multi-hit games including a three-hit night at Norfolk June 30th.

Honorable Mention: OF John-Ford Griffin hit four home runs and drove in six runs for the Chiefs. Also, Griffin learned he’d be representing the Chiefs on the field at the Triple-A All-Star Game.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP Victor Zambrano earned the knod over a slew of great starting pitching performances for the Chiefs. Zambrano made one start throwing 7.0 innings giving up just two hits and two runs against Charlotte. The righty earned the win while walking three and striking out a season-high eight batters. The former Met and Devil Ray retired the final 14 batters he faced.

Honorable Mention: RHP Mike MacDonald was a tough luck loser twice this week. In total MacDonald went 12.2 innings giving up eleven hits walking just one batter and striking out seven in two starts. He was 0-2 with a 2.84 earned run average. And RHP Josh Banks was 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in one start against Charlotte. Banks struck out nine and walked none for his seventh win of the season.

CHIEFS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

It’s a day late but one of the new features to the Chiefs Blog gets kick started right now. This is the First Edition of Chiefs Players of the Week.

BATTER OF THE WEEK
OF John-Ford Griffin put together a great week at the plate. Griffin went 10-for-24 with three doubles, two home runs and drove in eight runs for Syracuse. The Florida State product also scored six times while putting together that weekly batting average of .417. Chiefs manager Doug Davis attributed Griffin’s recent success to more confidence as well as standing up taller at the plate.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK
RHP Jesse Litsch made his Triple-A debut Saturday with seven innings of two run baseball at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Litsch struck out five while only walking two batters. It was the only win of the series for the Chiefs. The righty was 7-2 in New Hampshire with a 2.35ERA at the time of his promotion to Syracuse. He’s also spent time in Toronto this year (1-2, 6.62ERA) where he won his first career MLB start lasting 8.2 innings and only giving up one run back on May 15th.

CHIEFS OPENER THURSDAY

The Chiefs open the 2007 season tomorrow night in Durham.  Dustin McGowan will take the ball for Syracuse against Jason Hammel for the Bulls. 

Chiefs’ GM John Simone traveled to Durham for the Opener and to take the team out to dinner tonight.  John reports that the team is a good bunch of guys and especially commented on how nice veteran catcher Sal Fasano is. 

John will be calling the Chiefs Office tomorrow once the Opening Day lineup is posted and we’ll have it for you right here on Inside the Chiefs blog as soon as we receive the call.

It seems the only major decisions new Manager Doug Davis will have to make will be in RF and DH.  He will have to choose from John-Ford Griffin, Mike Vento and Chad Mottola in right with the other two will be candidates for DH along with extra infielder Ryan Roberts.

While plans continue for the Chiefs home opener on Saturday April 14th, we would like to hear what you the fans would like to hear for music played at the stadium this season.  If you have a song that you think should be played at the stadium this season, email us at baseball@syracusechiefs.com.

FINAL ROSTER DECISIONS MADE

The Toronto Blue Jays made their final few decisions and the result caused a ripple effect on their minor league system.  The Blue Jays decided to send down to the Chiefs pitchers Geremi Gonzalez and Brian Tallet, catcher Sal Fasano and designate pitcher Francisco Rosario for assignment.

The Chiefs roster currently looks like this with still a few decisions to be made:
STARTING ROTATION:  Four kids and a veteran.  Dustin McGowan, Josh Banks, Ty Taubenheim and Ismael Ramirez made 60 AAA-starts in 2006.  They all should be improved in their second season.  Gonzalez a veteran will anchor the staff with Jamie Vermilyea and Jason Scobie also available for long relief or spot staring.

BULLPEN:  Tallet is the lone lefty and will be used in situational roles, while newcomer Blaine Neal assumes the closer role.  Set-up men include former Red Wing Beau Kemp, who helped Rochester to the I.L. Governors Cup Finals, Matt Roney who recorded an ERA under 3.00 with Sacramento last season, Ryan Houston who pitched exceptional from April-June last year before a terrible month of July balooned his ERA and newcomer Brain Wolfe, who was acquired in the Corey Koskie trade last season and bounced around from A-Dunedin and AA-New Hampshire in 2006.  Wolfe could be the sleeper in this group.

CATCHING:  Veteran Sal Fasano backs up big league catching prospect Curtis Thigpen.  A major improvement over last seasons defensively challenged duo of Mike Mahoney and Jason Phillips.

INFIELDERS:    Kevin Barker returns for his third season at 1B, Russ Adams returns to Syracuse this time to play second base, Slick fielding Ray Olmedo takes over at shortstop while John Hattig returns for his third season at 3B.  Ryan Roberts will man the utility role and is very good at all three positions 2B, SS and 3B.   The Chiefs should be very much improved up the middle with Olmedo and Adams, both have played in the major leagues, while Barker is very good around the bag at first.  Hattig’s range is average at best, but should make up for it with his bat (.277 with 30 doubles last season).  Roberts had a great spring and will see plenty of action.

OUTFIELDERS:  Three spots with five quality players.  Jeff Duncan will see most of the action in center field and can play defence.  His speed on the turf at home should make him a .300 hitter.  Super prospect Adam Lind will play left field while veterans Mike Vento (AAA All-Star at Columbus two years ago) and Chiefs Fan Favorite Chad Mottola share time in rightfield.  2005 MVP John-Ford Griffin is healthy and will get most of the DH at bats.

The Chiefs still need to drop one pitcher and will add Francisco Rosario and Brandon League at some point in early April with more changes yet to be made.

CHIEFS KEEP WINNING

The Syracuse Chiefs won for the 5th straight time today as they roughed up former Chiefs pitcher Justin Miller for five runs in a 5-4 victory.  Lefthander David Purcey went 5-strong innings and picked up the win.  Purcey is expected to begin the season in AA-New Hampshire after starting last year in Syracuse.

John-Ford Griffin hit a monster home run at the Blue Jays complex today, while Chad Mottola collected 3-hits.

Blue Jays will hold a camp day on Sunday with the Chiefs playing New Hampshire-AA and Dunedin-A taking on Lansing-A.

WAYNE LYDON IN CAMP

2006 Chiefs outfielder Wayne Lydon was in camp today after being released by the Washington Nationals last week.  Lydon played center field for the Chiefs all of last season leading the team in runs scored, triples and stolen bases.  After the season Lydon became a free agent and elected to sign with the Nationals despite an offer to return to the Blue Jays organization.  Pending a physical, Lydon will likely begin the 2007 season with AA-New Hampshire.  The Chiefs currently have a wealth of outfielders that include Adam Lind, Mike Vento, Chad Mottola, John-Ford Griffin, Justin Singleton and Jeff Duncan, who is still in major league camp with the Blue Jays.

WEEKEND UPDATE

Minor League camp is underway and it’s time to turn our attention to more significant matters – like reporting baseball.   We have made our point and we are not going to waste your time by beating a dead horse on this space.   Again only here on “Inside the Chiefs” will you receive first hand knowledge of what’s going on in spring training with the major league club, Toronto and the Syracuse Chiefs.

Non-roster catcher Erik Kratz was the first player to be sent to minor league camp as the Jays minor league affiliates reported this weekend.

Jays righty Josh Towers pitched two innings today vs the Pirates and allowed only 1 hit, a solo home run to Pirates first baseman Brad Eldred in two innings of work.  Towers also struck out two batters and looked good in his first outing.  Also pitching today in a B-game were righthanders Dustin McGowan and Casey Janssen.  In the lineup today are: Royce Clayton -ss, Greg Zaun -c, Lyle Overbay – 1B, Vernon Wells -cf, Troy Glaus – 3b, Matt Stairs – rf, Aaron Hill – 2b, Adam Lind – lf, Jason Phillips -c.

Over the weekend John Thomson also pitched well – two shutout innings and Shaun Marcum  pitched 2 innings, 1 run, 3 strikeouts. Francisco Rosario, who was slowed by back pain earlier this spring, pitched one shutout inning.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has said that Russ Adams would begin the season in Syracuse and play second base.  The Blue Jays hope that Adams can return to his 2004-2005 form when he played for the Chiefs and Blue Jays and batted over .280 playing shortstop.

Former Chiefs pitchers Dave Stieb and Pat Hentgen are in camp helping with the younger pitchers and throwing batting practice.

In yesterday’s win Curtis Thigpen (2), John-Ford Griffin and John Hattig combined for 4-RBI in their 7-4 win over the Rays.  On Saturday, Rob Cosby went 1 for 3 with Curtis Thigpen providing another RBI and, on Friday, Kevin Barker had a two-run home run and Ryan Roberts went 2 for 2.

Don’t forget that “Inside Pitch” will broadcast live from Dunedin, Florida beginning on March 19th when the voice of the Chiefs Bob McElligott and Chiefs General Manager John Simone provide player interviews beginning at 7PM all week long.

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