Tag: Greg Billo

Ex-Chukar updates, July 22

Left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez (1999-2000 Padre) has reinvented himself as a relief pitcher with the Seattle Mariners.

The New York Mets released Perez, 30, prior to the 2011 season with $12 million still left on his contract, and he spent the entire 2011 season in Double-A with the Washington Nationals. But the Mariners picked him up prior to the 2012 season, and after starting the year in AAA, they called up him to the big leagues in June.

Since then, he has appeared 12 times out of the bullpen and owns a 3.18 ERA. In 11 1/3 innings, he struck out 11 and walked four.

Kansas City Royals DH Billy Butler (2004 Chukar) made up for his pitching staff blowing a pair of leads Wednesday when he cranked a ninth-inning, walk-off home run to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-7.

The ball traveled an estimated 395 feet into the left-center field seats.

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Weekly ex-Chukar update

  • SP Greg Billo (2010 Chukar) is dominating the Midwest League after struggling in the homer-happy Pioneer League. Just one year removed from a 5.17 ERA campaign in Idaho Falls, Billo leads all of minor league baseball with a 1.38 ERA with the Royals’ Low-A affiliate, the Kane County Cougars. The next closest pitcher is the Brewers’ Tyler Thornburg with a 1.89 ERA between the Midwest League and the High-A Florida State League. Part of Billo’s success comes from a bump in his average fastball to 88 to 92 mph. He’s topped out at 94. In his last 10 appearances, he’s allowed more than one run just once. And on the season, he’s averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

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Ex-Chukar highlights

  • The Kansas City Royals sent RP Everett Teaford (2006 Chukar) down to Triple-A Friday to make room for starting pitcher Bruce Chen, who just came off the disabled list. In 14 appearances out of the bullpen, Teaford was 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA. Left-handed batters were 3 for 19 (.158) against him.
  • SP Danny Duffy (2010) struck out nine straight in 3.2 innings with the Royals on June 19 before a calf cramp forced him to leave the game. But with Kyle Davies set to return from the DL, he may be the next arm headed back to AAA Omaha.
  • OF Wil Myers (2009) was selected Thursday to the 13th annual XM All-Star Futures Game on July 10 in Phoenix. The all-star game pits the best prospects in the minor leagues against each other on U.S. and World rosters as part of MLB’s all-star weekend. ESPN2 will air the July 10 game at 4 p.m. Mountain Time. The 20-year-old is hitting .295/.366/.418 (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) in AA this year as he makes the transition from catcher to right field.

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Wednesday’s links and notes

  • Congrats, Chukars. Your 20-0 loss to Ogden on opening night is no longer the biggest butt kicking in the Pioneer League. The Orem Owlz let the Chukars off the hook last night with a 23-1 home win against Casper. Orem cranked out 26 hits and six home runs, one shy of the league record for most home runs in a single game. But second baseman Taylor Lindsey did tie a league record with six runs scored. Lindsey matched a record held previously by four players. The most recent one was Helena’s Eric Whitford, who scored six times against Idaho Falls on Aug. 14, 1991.
  • Billings starting pitcher Stalin Gerson tossed six scoreless innings while the offense tallied16 hits, including home runs from Devin Lohman and Yovan Gonzalez in a 17-1 win against Great Falls.

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Former Chukars inch closer to bigs

While Major League Baseball’s opening day was a full week ago, opening day for the full-season minor league clubs kicks off today around the country. And it kicks off with ex-Chukars dotting the rosters of the Royals’ affiliates.

In Triple-A, eight ex-Chukars are on the 24-man roster. In AA, it’s more than half, as 15 of the 26 players played in Idaho Falls. And in A-ball, it’s 11 of 28 in High-A and 12 of 25 in Low-A.

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