Results tagged ‘ Kevin Barker ’


The Washington Nationals released veteran first baseman Kevin Barker.  The 36 year old former Chiefs player appeared in eight spring games at the major league level and had 2 hits in 11 at bats before being sent to the Nationals minor league complex last week.

He was competeing with the Nationals 1st round selection in the 2006 June draft, Chris Marrero and Mike Aubrey who was the Cleveland Indians 1st selection in the 2003 June Draft, for playing time.  Both are expected to start the season with the Chiefs.

Marrero, 22, spent all of last season with Harrisburg and batted .294 with 28 doubles, 18 home runs and 82 RBI in 141 games.

Aubrey, 28, batted .235 with 25 doubles, 22 home runs and 68 RBI in only 101 games for AAA-Norfolk (Baltimore Orioles organization) last season.



Its February and Spring training is just two weeks away and down in the warm tropics of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico the Carribean World Series is taking place. 

 From February 2nd thru the 7th the Tournament features teams from host country Puerto Rico, Mexico, Venezuela and the Dominican Republic.

Former Chiefs players Luis Figueroa (PR), Michael Martinez (DR), Hugo Castellanos (Mex), Saul Rivera (PR), and Gustavo Molina (VZ) are participating.

2011 Free Agent Nationals players Kevin Barker (DR), Alex Cora (PR) and Edgardo Baez (PR) are also on rosters.


When cautiousness attacks

Saw this in the Laguardia airport the other day:

If you shake your computer, the picture will rotate.
Hope you all can join us for the Hot Stove Dinner and Auction on the 21st (10 days from today).  There’ll be some great items, food, people and baseball conversation.  You’ll be able to hear from some of the guests on our Inside Pitch podcast…..Kevin will have exclusive interviews with some of the attendees.
Also, test your Chiefs 2010 pitching knowledge here:
All season, we’ll be quizzing you on Chiefs-related stuff.  Also, if you have an idea for a quiz, send it along to or  If we like it, we’ll draw it up and fire it away.
Building on the news of yesterday…’s great to see Kevin Barker as a likely 2011 Chief.  He’s one of the really good guys we’ve had here over the years.
We’re less than three months away from the opener….talk to you soon.


The Washington Nationals continue to bolster their AAA-roster by adding veteran first baseman Kevin Barker and infielder Alex Valdez.

Barker, 35 played three seasons for the Chiefs from 2005-2007 and averaged 20 home runs and 80 RBI during that period.  He has played 15 seasons of professional baseball beginning in 1996 and has slugged 260 home runs at the minor league level.

He ranks 8th all-time with 59 home runs as a Chiefs player and 11th with 232 RBI

The Virginia native has played in the International League with Louisville (1998-1999 & 2008-2009), Syracuse (2005-2007), Indianapolis (2000-2001) and Scranton (2004).

Last season he appeared in 80 games with Veracruz of the Mexican League and batted .291 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI.

Barker, Kevin - Glenn Gaston (7).JPG

Valdez, 25, has spent the past seven years with the Oakland Athletics organization after signing as a free agent in 2004.

Last season at AA-Midland he batted .262 with 13 home runs and 74 RBI in 134 games. He appeared in one game for AAA-Sacramento in 2009.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (8/27 – 9/2)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: Picking up a base hit in every game he’s played the past week has not only earned Kevin Barker a seven game hit streak but also the Chiefs Batter of the Week award. Barker has batted .407 (11-27) with three doubles, a triple and three home runs. The Virginia Tech product has scored four runs and driven in six more. Barker has four multi-hit games in the past seven games.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ryan Roberts ranks second behind Barker with 10 base hits in the past week. Roberts went 10-for-28 (.357). The native Texan drove in six runs with three doubles and a home run. Roberts has a base hit in every game to run his hitting streak to 10 games. Also, Wayne Lydon has hit successfully in every game. Lydon has two stolen bases while batting .303 (10-for-33).

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP Lee Gronkiewicz made one of the best relief appearances August 30th tossing four perfect innings in support of Jeremy Cummings. Gronkiewicz faced 12 batters and dismissed them all with four strikeouts. He also made one other appearance throwing two more shutout innings. For the week, the University of South Carolina product threw 6.0 innings without giving up a run on two hits while striking out five.

HONORABLE MENTION: RHP Josh Banks finished his 2007 year with the Chiefs on a positive note. Banks made two starts picking up a win (1-0) while throwing 13.2 innings and giving up just four runs (2.63ERA). Banks added nine strikeouts to his Chiefs high total.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (7/23 – 7/29)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: 3B John Hattig put together the best week for the Chiefs going 8-for-20 (.400) with three doubles and three runs batted in. Hattig tied a Chiefs’ season-high with two doubles Friday in Rochester.

Honorable Mention: 2B Russ Adams hit  .304 over the past seven days (7-for-23) with a triple, a home run and four runs driven in. Adams has also scored four runs and stole a bag. Meanwhile, 1B Kevin Barker has continued his hot-hitting July. Barker hit .308 in the last week (8-for-26) with a home run and two runs driven in.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP Justin James made three appearances for the Chiefs in the last week and in all three James did not allow a run. The reliever has run his string of scoreless appearances to four straight. James tossed 8.0 shutout innings over three relief appearances giving up five hits and no runs while striking out four with no walks.

Honorable Mention: RHP Josh Banks continued to throw well. Banks earned his ninth victory of the season with 6.1 strong innings Friday in Rochester. Banks gave up seven hits and two runs on his way to the W. Elsewhere in the starting rotation, RHP Jeremy Cummings had his best start since coming over to the Chiefs. Cummings began the year with Rochester before signing with Toronto and being assigned to Syracuse July 5th. Cummings gave up only three hits and one run in eight innings against his former mates the Red Wings earning his first win with the Chiefs.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK (7/9 – 7/15)

BATTER OF THE WEEK: It was a shortened week coming back from the All-Star Break but OF Michael Vento got off to good start in the “second half.” Vento went 4-for-13 (.308) with a double and a home run while driving in a team-high five runs in the four games after the four-day long break.

HONORABLE MENTION: 1B Kevin Barker went 5-for-13 since the All-Star Break with a double in each of the three games he played. Barker drove in two runs and put together a 3-for-5 night at the dish on the 12th which was the first game back. Also, SS Ray Olmedo needs to get some props after belting his first home run of the season two nights ago. Olmedo batted .333 (5-for-15) with three runs scored and two extra base hits.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: The Chiefs have played four games after the All-Star Break and LHP Mike Venafro has pitched in three of the ballgames. Venafro has pitched in each of the last three games totaling 3.2 innings and did not allow a run.

HONORABLE MENTION: RHP Mike MacDonald earned the Chiefs lone win in the past four games. MacDonald tossed six solid earning scattering seven hits and two runs against Pawtucket. The righty struck out four and walked one.


BATTER OF THE WEEK: Chiefs 1B Kevin Barker drove in seven runs in the six games this week. Barker hit .348 (8-for-23) with a double and two home runs. He helped celebrate our nation’s independence with a fireworks display of his own on the Fourth of July and homered again the next night. His home run on July 5th came in the 10th inning in an 8-7 Chiefs victory.

Honorable Mention: OF Chad Mottola put together the best performance with a 4-for-4 night on July 6th where he scored four runs and socked a game-winning home run in the 10th inning. Mottola was 6-for-15 (.400) for the week.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: RHP Ryan Houston earned the distinction this week. Houston went 1-0 with a save in three relief appearances. The hard-thrower gave up just one hit and one walk in 4.1 innings while striking out five.

Honorable Mention: RHP Lee Gronkiewicz made two relief appearances over the past seven days. Gronkiewicz earned a win and tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out four batters while giving up just two walks.


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.


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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