Category: Chukars Extra

Voyagers only need home run to down Chukars, 2-0

By Post Register | Prsports@postregister.com
The Chukars just couldn’t get anything going Saturday night against the Voyagers.

Atleast, it was the quickest game of the season at two hours and 14 minutes.

Chukars’ Ramon Castro steals second base during game one of three against the Voyagers at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls, Id., Friday, August 11, 2017. (Photo/ John Roark, jroark@postregister.com)

Great Falls only needed a home run to outlast Idaho Falls, 2-0, Saturday night in Melaleuca Field, scoring two runs in the top of the second and holding on to earn its 20th win on the season. It was only the second time the Chukars had been shut out all season.

The Chukars fall to 22-27, 5-6 on the season. The Voyagers advance to 20-28, 5-5 and a top of the Pioneer League North standings.

The Voyagers scored their two runs late in the second frame, holding onto the lead after the Chukars failed to cross home plate for the first time since July 27 (3-0 loss to Orem).

It was a Franklin Reyes home run over the left field wall that scored Carlos Perez and got Great Falls on the board first. It ended up being the only offense necessary.

Despite starting pitcher Julio Pinto’s solid work on the mound — five hits, two earned runs and eight strikeouts in eight innings pitched — the Idaho Falls registered its lowest amount of hits since losing 13-2 to Orem on July 28 (four hits).

Saturday, the Chukars only mustered up five hits, with first baseman Robby Rinn going 1 for 4 at the plate. It was Rinn’s 10th-straight hit.

Pinto fell to 3-6 on the season. His eight innings pitched was also the longest start for any Chukar so far this season.

Chukars beat Voyagers, 6-3, with solid pitching

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Two of the Pioneer League’s bottom dwellers played Friday night at Melaleuca Field.

One team didn’t play like it, though.

Chukars’ Garrettson Harris pitches after replacing Chukars’ Janser Lara during game one of three against the Voyagers at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls, Id., Friday, August 11, 2017. (Photo/ John Roark, jroark@postregister.com)

The Idaho Falls Chukars beat the Great Falls Voyagers 6-3 Friday night in front of 2,329 fans to start its seven-game homestand.

In a relatively back-and-forth affair, the Chukars took control thanks to five runs in the final three frames. The win pushed the Chukars to 22-26 (5-5 in the second half) on the season. The Voyagers fall to 19-28 (4-5).

Chukars outfielders Travis Jones and Amalani Fukofuka led the way at the plate, going 2 for 4 and 2 for 3, respectively. They both reached home plate twice.

“Quality at-bats, really,” said Jones, when asked what went right Friday night. “Our at-bats were pretty quality today.”

Jones broke the stalemate first, scoring on a wild pitch during the second inning after hitting a triple to right field to get on base.

It was almost the only run the Chukars needed until Voyagers’ outfielder Tate Blackmon hit a line drive off starting pitcher Janser Lara, and past Amalani Fukofuka, to tie the game at one in the sixth frame.

Lara, a Pioneer League All-Star, pitched well up to that point, finishing the night with one run on two hits while walking three and striking out four in 5.2 innings pitched.

Garrettson Harris relieved him, earning his second win (2-0) on the season in 2.1 innings pitched.

The Chukars answered the Voyagers’ single run with three runs in the bottom of the six when Fukofuka scored off a failed rundown and Freddy Fermin and Brewer Hicklen plated two runs off RBIs.

“You can only hit the ball so hard, and it’s up to God where the ball goes and I think it’s been going in the hole lately,” Jones said.

The Voyagers made it close with two runs in the seventh, but two Chukars — Fukofuka and Robby Rinn — scored with bases loaded to put the game away.

Chukars’ Julio Gonzalez throws to first during game one of three against the Voyagers at Melaleuca Field in Idaho Falls, Id., Friday, August 11, 2017. (Photo/ John Roark, jroark@postregister.com)

“What really won the game was the good communication between the pitcher, catcher and the infield,” Fermin said through Chukars’ Andrew Scarlata, who translated. “It was superior tonight.”

What’s important:

The Chukars success against the Voyagers this season continued Friday night. Every time Great Falls seemed to score, Idaho Falls answered.

Player (s) of the game:

Travis Jones and Janser Lara. Lara, one of the Chukars best pitchers, showed solid command, not allowing a run until the sixth inning. Jones went 2 for 4 at the plate, including a triple in the bottom of the second.

Notables:

– Rain briefly hit Melaleuca Field during the first inning, causing some fans to ditch their seats. The rain lasted less than two minutes.

– Right fielder Amalani Fukfofuka registered his 14th hit in 11 games Friday after a line drive was mishandled by Voyagers’ third baseman Craig Dedelow.

– Travis Jones’ recent tear through the Pioneer League continued Friday when he tripled to right field. He later scored on a wild pitch. Jones has garnered nine hits in the previous four games.

Up next: The Chukars will return to Melaleuca Field tonight for game two of three against the Voyagers. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.

Mustangs halt Chukars’ sweep, win 14-9

By Post Register | Prsports@postregister.com
The Idaho Falls Chukars entered Wednesday’s game against Billings with a sweep on the line and instead took a 14-9 loss to the Mustangs at Dehler Park. 

The Chukars fall to 21-26 overall and 4-5 in the second half of Pioneer League play.

As in its previous two games against Billings, Idaho Falls again got off to a quick start on Wednesday with a 5-0 lead after the top of the first. Billings matched it to end the frame knotted at 5-5. Matt Morales scored with two outs in the top of the fourth to make it 6-5 Idaho Falls, but that was the last time the Chukars would lead.

The Mustangs (22-23, 4-4 second half), capitalized on a walk, two errors, a wild pitch, a balk, a stolen base, and two hits all with two outs to score four runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 9-6 lead. Billings scored another five unanswered runs in the next two innings before Idaho Falls got back on the scoreboard again with three runs in the top of the eighth.

After combining for 25 runs and five errors on Tuesday, the Chukars and Mustangs combined for 27 hits and seven errors on Wednesday. Five of those errors were committed by Idaho Falls.

Morales went 3 for 5 with three runs scored, Amalani Fukofuka went 2 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored while Robby Rinn went 1 for 5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored.

Starting pitcher Dillon Drabble took the loss, giving up seven runs (four earned) on seven hits while walking three and striking out four in 4.2 innings.

The Chukars return to Melaleuca Field on Friday for game one of three against Great Falls after a seven-game road trip to Montana. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Orem sweeps Idaho Falls after 17-7 win at Melaleuca

Post Register | Prsports@postregister.com
Orem blew past Idaho Falls 17-7 on Sunday at Melaleuca Field, behind five home runs and three big innings.
The loss is Idaho Falls’ fourth in a row, dropping the Chukars to 17-21 and 0-2 in the second half. Orem maintained its league-best record, 28-11.

Robby Rinn (via Chukars Media)

After scoring five runs in the top of the second, Orem scored six in the top of the fifth and three in the seventh to top Idaho Falls for the ninth time in 10 games this year.
I.F. pitcher Robert Garcia (0-2) struggled, allowing 13 runs (all earned), 14 hits and five home runs in 4.1 innings.
The Chukars had one of their better offensive performances against the Owlz this season Sunday. They registered 14 hits and trailed 7-4 after three innings.
But five home runs, which scored 11 runs for the Owlz, doomed the Chukars.
Robby Rinn led the Chukars at the plate, going 2 for 4 with three runs and an RBI. Four others had two hits: Amalani Fukofuka, Darrell Miller Jr., Freddy Fermin and Julio Gonzalez.
Idaho Falls is off through Wednesday for the All-Star break. Five members of the Chukars and the coaching staff will compete in Tuesday’s Pioneer League/Northwest League All-Star game in Hillsboro, Ore. The players are: pitcher Holden Capps, pitcher Janser Lara, catcher Darrell Miller, infielder Robby Rinn and outfielder Amalani Fukofuka. The Chukars resume action Thursday at Great Falls.

Owlz down Chukars with 14 walks

By Paul Lambert | Post Register
If Saturday night’s game at Melaleuca Field were a boxing match, the Vegas odds would have been somewhere in the Mayweather-McGregor range. 
Something like 7 to 1 against the home team, with the defending Pioneer League champion Orem Owlz (Mayweather) as the heavy favorites over the hometown Chukars (McGregor).
Always with a puncher’s chance, the Chukars went toe-to-toe with the league leading Owlz, but ended up on the canvas for the third-straight night, losing 15-8.
But it wasn’t a string of hits that dropped the Chukars. It was a string of walks.
Idaho Falls (17-22, 0-1) had at least one hit in every inning, out-hitting Orem (27-11, 1-0) 18-13.
But the Chukars’ pitching staff walked 14 in the loss. Orem walked only one. The worst of it came in the top of the sixth when Orem scored six runs on just two hits, taking advantage of five walks.
That sequence broke a 6-6 tie, leaving Idaho Falls trapped in the corner, down 12-6. Even without all those free passes to the Pioneer League’s best team, the tale of the tape didn’t look for the Chuks coming in. The Owlz came in hitting a throaty .374 against Idaho Falls. Conversely, the Chukars were hitting just .228 verse Orem. Also, Orem led the season series 8-1, including dominant wins Thursday and Friday.
And to top it all off, Orem delivered a straight shot with three runs in the top of the first off starter Julio Pinto — the Pioneer League’s leader in losses and walks. Pinto continued to struggle finding the plate, walking eight more over 5 innings, absorbing another loss to fall to 2-6.
Jeremy Gwinn had an even tougher time finding the plate in relief, walking five in the sixth without recording a single out. The Owlz batted around in that decisive sixth, sending 10 to the plate to offset a game-tying 3-spot posted by Idaho Falls in the bottom of the fifth.

What’s important:

Idaho Falls fell to 3-18 when the other team scores first, and 2-20 when trailing after six innings. The game was the first of the second half of the Pioneer League season for the Chukars (0-1).

Player of the Game:

Danny Hrbek struck out five over two shutout innings in relief, helping to bandage a pitching staff that seemed determined to suffer death by papercut.

What’s next:

The Chukars and Owlz wrap up their four game series with today’s Sunday matinee, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. Then its off to Montana for seven games beginning Thursday, with the Chukars coming back home on Aug. 11.

Chukars notebook: Midway through season, Chukars still seeking consistency

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Luke O’Roark will break down the Chukars, the Pioneer League, and give some insight on what’s going on inside the Kansas City affiliate.
Saturday is the start of a new season in the Pioneer League. Teams go back to 0-0 for the second half of the year.
For the Chukars, specifically, Saturday means a clean slate.
Idaho Falls finished in last the Pioneer League south division at 17-21. And if it wants to make the Pioneer League playoffs, it will need to use its clean slate to find some consistency.

Idaho Falls’ Julio Gonzales makes the throw to first base after getting the force-out on Missoula’s Dominic Miroglio at second base during Monday night’s game at Melaleuca Field. The double play ended the sixth inning.

“It feels good, as a team, to know that we get a clean slate,” catcher Darrell Miller Jr. said. “And we have an opportunity to make the playoffs in the second half.”
Even with a developmental mindset, as players attempt to perfect different components of their game, the Chukars’ play have fluctuated through the first 38 games.
On some nights, the hits have come in droves for the Chukars’ offense. Other nights, it’s been quiet.
The Chukars have plenty of hitters that have looked solid at the plate (Chris Hudgins, Matt Moralez, Amalani Fukofuka, Travis Jones, Robby Rinn and Miller Jr.) but it now needs more everyday players.
Only four players — Tyler Straub, Cristhian Vasquez, Fukofuka and Rinn — have played 30-plus games this year.
In general, the Chukars have only had 17 players come to the plate — a league-low.
Ogden, for context, had 25 players come to the plate during the first half of the season. The result: the Raptors are one of the best offenses in the league.
“I like the way the compete,” manager Justin Gemoll said. “We’re just striving for consistency, in all three facets of the game: pitching, hitting and defense. At this level, sometimes you have some of those, sometimes you don’t.”
Pitching has been hot-and-cold for Idaho Falls, too.
Midseason acquisitions like Holden Capps has tightened the Chukars’ command on the mound that lacked early in the year. But, the Chukars’ bullpen has statistically struggled.
They rank last in team ERA (6.86), hits allowed (474) and earned runs (256) allowed. The Chukars have allowed 10 or more runs in 13 games this season.
Defensively, the Chukars had 21-straight games with an error.
So, maybe, a clean slate is a good thing.
“Our goal as coaches is to get them better and move them through the system,” Gemoll said.

First half MVPs:

Robby Rinn — Arguably the Chukars best hitter. Rinn leads the team in hits, RBIs, total bases (with Fukofuka) and is third in batting average (.357).

Amalani Fukofuka — one of the Chukars’ most consistent players. Has played well in right field and at the three spot in the lineup. Leads the team in stolen bases (13).

Darrell Miller Jr. — Miller Jr. has shown plenty of power in 76 at-bats this season. He also garnered five hits in a game … twice.

Vance Vizcaino — Athletic and a utility-type of player during his tenure with the Chukars, Vizcaino has moved up the Kansas City Royals’ farming system. He now plays for single-A Lexington.

Chukars infielder Tyler Straub (18) gets ready to catch the ball while Brewers infielder Dallas Carroll (29) goes to slide to the base during a regular season game at Melaluca on Wednesday night.

Holden Capps — Selected to the Pioneer League All-Star team, Capps has been a good mid-season acquisition for the Chukars. In three starts, has a 4.05 ERA and a 1-1 record on the mound.

Janser Lara — Also an All-Star, Lara has gone 2-1 in four starts with the Chukars this season.

Michael Silva — A solid reliever for Idaho Falls. Has a 3.44 ERA in nine games and 18.1 innings pitched.

Team Transactions (as of July 23-29):

– The Chukars received right-handed pitcher Dillon Drabble from the Arizona League on July 25.

First half standings:

North division

Billings Mustangs (CIN): 18-18 (.500)

Missoula Osprey (ARI): 18-19 (.486)

Helena Brewers (MIL): 15-22 (.405)

Great Falls Voyagers (CWS): 14-23 (.378)

South division

Orem Owlz (LAA): 26-11 (.703)

Ogden Raptors (LAD): 23-15 (.605)

Grand Junction Rockies (COL): 18-20 (.474)

Idaho Falls Chukars (KC): 17-21 (.447)

Owlz chew up Chukars, 13-2

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
The Owlz have continuously stumped the Chukars all season. Friday night was no different.

Gray (via Chukars media)

Orem downed Idaho Falls 13-2 Friday night at Melaleuca Field behind 11 unanswered runs in the first five frames and strong command on the mound.

The loss puts the Chukars at 17-21. Orem, the best team in the Pioneer League, advances to 26-11.

It was the first time the Chukars allowed 20-plus runs since June 20 against Grand Junction.

And the Owlz almost blanked Chukars, if it wasn’t for Logan Gray. Gray scored after a passed ball by Owlz pitcher Keinner Pina in the bottom of the sixth — the first run scored by the Chukars since Wednesday. Robby Rinn then grounded out to first baseman Jeyson Sanchez, allowing Cristhian Vasquez to reach home.

Orem’s starting pitcher Cole Duensing and defense dominated early and throughout, however, as Duensing struck out two batters and didn’t allow a single hit or run in five frames of work.

The Chukars didn’t register their first hit until after Duensing left the mound and Gray reached second base after a shot to right field off Evan Smith.

The Chukars would finish with just four hits and five total bases.

Against the Owlz, a lack of offense has been a consistent trend this season for the Chukars. They’ve only garnered eight hits in the previous two games against the Owlz, and have scored more than five runs just twice (a 9-7 win against Orem on June 29; a 10-6 loss on June 23) in nine games.

What’s important:

The Chukars continue to struggle against the Owlz, losing 13-2 Friday night. Idaho Falls is 1-8 when its played Orem this season.

Player (s) of the game:

Logan Gray. Gray was the only Chukar to get any luck at the plate Friday. Gray went 2 for 4 and reached home once.

Upnext:

The Chukars return home Saturday for game three of four against the Owlz. First pitch is slated for 7:15 p.m.

Owlz blank Chukars 3-0

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Orem continues to be the antithesis of Idaho Falls.
The Owlz blanked the Chukars 3-0 Thursday night at Melaleuca Field, after the Chukars failed to score a run for the first time all season.

Chukars infielder Offerman Collado looks back to see if the ball is in during a game against the Orem Owls game on Thursday night.

The loss puts Idaho Falls at 17-20. Orem advances to 25-11. The Chukars are 1-7 against the Owlz this season.
“The game of baseball is crazy,” Darrell Miller Jr. said after Thursday. “We’ve been hot with the bats, and you know, these types of games happen.”
Miller Jr. is correct: baseball can be a difficult game to predict.
A day after littering Missoula’s Ogren Park with 23 hits, Idaho Falls’ offense only registered four against Orem starter Elvin Rodriquez at Melaleuca.
And although it was a relatively clean game through nine frames, it was Orem’s stout defense that kept Idaho Falls from lighting up the scoreboard.
Pitchers Dillon Drabble and Geoffrey Bramblett kept the Chukars in it, combining for seven strikeouts, 10 runs and three earned runs. The Chukars’ defense also didn’t commit an error.
The only Chukars, though, who could garner hits against Orem’s strong command on the mound: Matt Morales, Offerman Collado, Robby Rinn and Chris Hudgins.
“Their team did a really good job of throwing strikes, especially in the corners,” Morales said. “We were a bit unaggressive tonight, rather than last night where we put a lot of hard balls into play.”
Miller Jr., who didn’t suit up for Thursday’s game, said fatigue was a big factor in the series opener.
Before Thursday, the Chukars had played seven straight on the road, the last three reaching three hours-plus. Wednesday was four hours and 17 minutes, another was three hours and 56 minutes.
Thursday’s loss went for two hours and 33 minutes.
“We’re going to go get ‘em tomorrow,” Morales said. “We should be good.”

What’s important:

A clean game all around, the Chukars’ offense was fatigued after playing seven on the road and three straight three hour-plus games (one was over four hours and another was three hours and 56 minutes).

Player(s) of the game:

Pitcher Dillon Drabble. Drabble finished with four strikeouts, two walked, six hits and just one earned run in 4.2 innings pitched.

Quotable:

“There staff did a pretty good job of locating pitchers, making pitchers. That, mixed with a little fatigue, and I think we didn’t have our best stuff today. You know, it’s the game of baseball.” – Chukars catcher Darrell Miller Jr.

Notables:

– The Chukars won Wednesday night 15-12 in the longest game of the season. In four hours and 17 minutes, the Chukars registered a season-high 23 hits. The game also went extra innings (10) as the Osprey garnered 16 hits. The game finished past the Post Register’s deadline.

– Saturday will be the first game of the second half of the Pioneer League season.

– Thursday’s attendance was announced as a season-high 3,332.

Upnext:

Idaho Falls returns home Friday for game two of four against Orem. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m.

Chukars down Osprey late, win 14-7

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @LukeORoark
The Chukars’ offense started hot Monday and never cooled down.
Idaho Falls scored six runs in the first frame, two in the second and another in the top of the third to go up 9-0. It (technically) didn’t need another run Monday at Ogren Park, beating Missoula 14-7 late.

Robby Rinn (via Chukars Media)

The win puts the Chukars at 16-18 on the season. The Osprey fall to 16-18. Idaho Falls has won three of its previous five.
With their offense clicking early, the Chukars never eased up during the latter innings — as the Osprey scored four runs in the final five frames to make Monday’s first of a three-game series relatively closer than the first three innings indicated.
Chukars’ designated hitter Freddy Fermin had a positive outing, going 4 for 5 for four RBIs at the plate. Robby Rinn was responsible for three of the Chukars’ 19 hits, going 3 for 6 for two RBIs at the plate.
The Osprey also found offense, garnering 12 hits, but by the time they collected double-digit hits, it was too late.
The Chukars have outscored their opponents in the past five games, 47-29. And their offense may continue to improve, winning eight of their past 11 games by five runs or more.

What’s important:

The Chukars offense was electric Monday, winning 14-7 after 19 hits. The Chukars’ offense has found their groove as of late, outscoring their opponents 47-29 in the previous five games.

Player of the game:

Freddy Fermin. Fermin paced the Chukars’ offense early by hitting 4 for 5 at the plate for four RBIs and tagging home three times.

Upnext:

The Chukars return to Ogren Park to play Missoula in game two of a three-game series Tuesday evening. First pitch is at 7:05 p.m.

Sunday’s game:

At Kindrick Legion Field, Helena beat Idaho Falls 10-5 after scoring all of its runs between innings three and six. Three Brewers’ home runs probably didn’t hurt their chances, either.
The scoring started when the Brewers’ Jay Feliciano hit a three-run dinger to Helena a 3-0 lead. Then Yerald Martinez added two more runs with a home run off Chukars’ pitcher Julio Pinto (2-5) in the bottom of the third.
The Chukars’ answered the two home runs with four runs of their own during the top of the fourth, as Tyler Straub hit in Robby Rinn off a sac fly to right field before Freddy Fermin hit a two-run home run to cut into the Brewers’ lead, 5-4.
But a three-run triple, followed by a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth by the Brewers, downed the Chukars.
Pinto finished with the loss: four hits, five earned runs, two ome runs and six strikeouts in four innings pitched. Jeremy Gwinn had trouble, too, allowing five earned runs and eight hits in just three innings of work.
Fermin led all Chukars offensively, going 2 for 4 for three RBIs.
The loss put Idaho Falls at 15-18. Helena advanced to 15-18.

Chukars’ notebook: Just like the rest of the MLB, Chukars’ games can go long

By Luke O’Roark | Post Register | @Lukeoroark
Editors note: Every Sunday, Luke O’Roark will break down the Chukars, the Pioneer League, and give some insight on what’s going on inside the Kansas City affiliate.

Fans enjoy witnessing a Chukars’ win, but, it may take them a while to see one.
Friday the Chukars beat the Brewers easily, 13-1, in… three hours and 38 minutes. It wasn’t even the longest game of the season — that was Idaho Falls’ 13-10 win over Grand Junction on June 22.
It took four (!) hours.
For context: MLB games took about two hours and 56 minutes in 2015, according to a Fox Sports report. The average time increased to three hours and 26 seconds in 2016, per ESPN.
Intriguingly, MLB games are taking longer today than a they were decade ago, according to research from Baseball Reference.com.
“It’s tough,” Vance Vizcaino said of how long some games go. “We’ve got good opponents and our pitchers throw well and they throw strikes. And when we face good hitters, they’ll get hits.”
Still, the Chukars are trending around three hours a game in 2017.
In the month of July (so far), the average Chukars’ game takes two hours and 58 minutes. Eight of the Chukars’ 19 games took three hours or longer.

(FILE) Idaho Falls’ Julio Gonzales makes the throw to first base after getting the force-out on Missoula’s Dominic Miroglio at second base during Monday night’s game at Melaleuca Field. The double play ended the sixth inning.

The Chukars’ 12 games in June took even longer: three hours and 16 minutes. Nine of their 12 games went past the three-hour mark.
Considering the Chukars’ normal start time at home (7:15 p.m.), most games don’t finish until 10-10:30 p.m.
The quickest Chukars game this year was Tuesday’s 6-1 win against Missoula at two hours and 18 minutes.
“I mean, this game, it was 15-11 so that kind of explains (why it went long) a little bit,” Chukars catcher Chris Hudgins said on July 15. “I don’t know, really. We have extra time in between innings where we’re doing some stuff, entertaining the crowd so that could be a big part of it, but it could also depend on the tempo of the game.”
The justification behind why baseball games — whether at Melaleuca Field or the Kansas City Royals’s Kauffman Stadium — take so long? It depends on who you ask.
The length of baseball games has, historically, been longer than its major sports contemporaries because of pitches, time in between innings and the natural structure of the sport.
The MLB has tried to implement new rules in order to speed up the game. But baseball games are still about the same length of a “Lord of the Rings” movie.
“I wish I knew the answer,” Chukars’ manager Justin Gemoll said after Idaho Falls’ home opener. “Maybe an earlier start time would get us done earlier. We had a long day last night. We left (Grand Junction) around midnight and rolled in here around 8:30 in the morning, so quick turnaround.”
The Chukars are the only Pioneer League team to start home games at 7:15 during Monday through Saturday. Other teams start anywhere from 6:05 p.m. (Billings) to 7 p.m. (Ogden).
Pitcher David McKay said he actually enjoys the later starts.
“It’s not bad,” he said. “You get to sleep in.”
Secondly, the Pioneer League is also a developmental level for the MLB’s farming system. Players are trying different pitches and perfecting different components of their respective games.
With errors and mistakes being made, games have the potential to go longer because of more batters, pitches and chances for games to be extended. Vin Scully told the Boston Globe in a 2013 article that even minuscule changes, like Velcro, have added time to baseball games.

(FILE) Chukars infielder Offerman Collado (1) runs to second base during a regular season game against the Brewers on Wednesday night at Melaluca Field.

Other theories include the amount of promotions before first pitches and between innings.
“I don’t know,” pitcher Michael Silva said. “It’s just the game of baseball. Every game can be different and it happens everyday.”

Chukars transactions (as of July 18-22)

– The Chukars received outfielder Travis Jones from the Burlington Royals on July 19. Idaho Falls is Jones’ third destination this year. He played seven games for Burlington and nine games in the Arizona League before arriving in Idaho Falls.

Around the Pioneer League

With the first half of the regular season coming to a close, Orem leads the league at 23-8. Ogden is second in the Pioneer League South division (behind the Owlz) at 17-14. Grand Junction is third at 15-15. Idaho Falls is in fourth at 14-17.

In the North division, Billings (15-15) is only 0.5 games ahead of Missoula (15-16) atop of the standings. Helena is third (14-17), as Great Falls has the worst record in the league at 10-21.