July 28, 2014

Four Syracuse Chiefs Named to International League All-Star Team

Via a team press release on Wednesday afternoon, the Syracuse Chiefs, the Washington Nationals’ triple-A affiliate, announced that catcher Jhonatan Solano, outfielder Steven Souza Jr., and pitchers Taylor Hill and Aaron Laffey have been selected to the 2014 International League All-Star team. [Read more...]

Syracuse Chiefs on impressive run in International League

The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are on a remarkable hot streak of late. Per Kevin Brown, the team’s Director of Media & Public Relations, enjoy the following nuggets about the Chiefs’ surge in the International League.

The Syracuse Chiefs enter today’s homestand on a historic run of winning. Here’s a look at just how good times are for the Triple-A Washington Nationals…

  • Syracuse enters play Tuesday at 47-30. The Chiefs haven’t been 17 games over .500 since the final day of the 1998 season – September 7, 1998 – which Syracuse ended at 80-62.
  • Syracuse currently holds a 5.5-game lead on second-place Rochester in the I.L. North Division. That’s the Chiefs’ largest division lead since a six-game advantage on August 12, 1998.
  • Syracuse finished an eight-game season sweep of Durham yesterday, the first-place team in the South Division. Dating back to 1938, that’s the sixth time one International League team has swept the season series with another I.L. team, and first such occurrence in Syracuse history. It’s the first season sweep for an I.L. team since Rochester swept Toledo in 2012.
  • The Chiefs scored 40 runs in their four-game sweep of Durham which concluded yesterday. The Chiefs haven’t had that prolific of an output in a series since scoring 42 runs in the first four games of a five-game series with Pawtucket from August 29-September 2, 1996. (Syracuse scored 46 runs in total in the series.)

A few extra notes on Syracuse’s recent success…

  • Since May 1st, Syracuse’s 36-16 record is the best in professional baseball, one half-game ahead of 35-16 Hickory of the South Atlantic League.

  • Syracuse’s current seven-game winning streak is the Chiefs’ highest since a nine-gamer from June 18-26, 2012. Over the course of the streak, Syracuse has outscored its opponents 57 to 15 – an average score of 8.14 to 2.14.

  • Zach Walters returned to Syracuse from Washington on May 27th. Since that date, Walters’ 10 home runs rank tied for second in professional baseball, behind only Kris Bryant of the Triple-A Iowa Cubs.

  • Outfielder Steven Souza, Jr. currently leads the International League in all three slash-line categories: batting average (.363), on-base percentage (.456) and slugging percentage (.567). Souza’s batting average and on-base percentage with the Chiefs each rank second in professional baseball. No Syracuse player has led the International League in any of those categories since Kevin Barker posted a league-best .569 slugging percentage in 2005.

  • Syracuse hasn’t lost back-to-back games since May 17th and 18th, a streak of 34 consecutive games without back-to-back losses. While there’s no league record held for this streak, as a historical comparison, the 1998 New York Yankees (114-48) had a season-long streak of 31 games without back-to-back losses.

Washington Nationals Minor League and Prospect Report for Week Ending June 15th

Another week of minor league baseball is in the books. Here are some names around the Washington Nationals’ organization that are making headlines. Notice that the Auburn Doubledays have begun their schedule. [Read more...]

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Rename Stadium

Syracuse Chiefs Press Release Header

Syracuse Chiefs Rename Stadium Horse
Horse finds new home atop stadium gates

Syracuse, NY – The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are proud to announce that as of today, the horse outside NBT Bank Stadium shall be known as Homer. The name was selected as the winner in the organization’s “Rename the Horse” contest.

The name “Homer” was submitted by Chiefs fan Jay Bauer. He will receive a Chiefs sweatshirt and baseball hat as winner of the contest. “Homer” was part of a list of over 200 names submitted by Chiefs fans who submitted their ideas on the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The new name was ultimately chosen by artist Lisa Mattes who originally painted the fiberglass horse.

“There were so many good ideas,” said Mattes. “I laid awake at night thinking of what the name should be.”

“Homer”, formerly known was “Sportee”, is now perched atop the front gates of the stadium, welcoming fans to the ballpark. He was originally created in the early 2000s as part of the Syracuse’s Horses on Parade program, where he then found a home with the Syracuse Chiefs.

A few years ago, “Sportee” vanished and was not seen again until November 2013, when he reappeared atop the gates of the stadium. With a new home, new friends, and a new season, the horse deserved a new name.

“This is the year of the new Syracuse Chiefs, while we are proud of our past it is exciting to let the fans have a little fun as we continue on into our future,” said Jason Smorol, General Manager of the Syracuse Chiefs.

Make sure you stop by NBT Bank Stadium to see “Homer” in 2014. It’s a brand new ballgame!

Nats add five more with September roster expansion

The Washington Nationals added five more players to their active roster with September roster expansion, selecting SS Zach Walters from AAA-Syracuse and recalling OFs Corey Brown, Jeff Kobernus and Eury Perez and LHP Xavier Cedeno from Syracuse. All but Walters have been on the big league roster at some point in their tenure in the Nats system. Walters will make his MLB debut with his first appearance.

Walters hit .253/.286/.517  with 29 home runs and 77 RBIs in his first full season in AAA this year. The International League All-Star tied for first in the league in homers and led the league in extra-base hits.

Cedeno has been recalled by the Nats on three occasions so far this season, pitching a grand total of 1 1/3 innings with one strikeout. He’s 2-0 with four saves and a 1.31 ERA and 1.136 WHIP for Syracuse.

Brown, 27, hit .254/.326/.473  with Syracuse with 26 doubles, 19 home runs and 56 RBIs in 107 games. Kobernus, 25, hit .318/.366/.388  with one home run and 42 steals in AAA. Perez, 23, hit .300/.336/.442 with seven home runs and 23 stolen bases in 96 games for Syracuse.

Washington Nationals officially activate from DL, then demote Danny Espinosa

The Washington Nationals Wednesday officially activated 2B Danny Espinosa from the disabled list, then optioned him to AAA-Syracuse. Espinosa was in Syracuse already on a rehab assignment after he was placed on the Major League disabled list with a fracture in his right wrist. In 20 at bats so far for Syracuse, Espinosa is 2-for-20 with 13 strikeouts.

Espinosa injured his shoulder late in 2012, which he revealed in spring training this season to be a partially torn rotator cuff. In April, he was hit by a Paul Maholm fastball in the right wrist, and initially took a couple days off to allow the swelling to go down. Initial X-rays did not show a break, but after two months of utter futility at the plate (.158/.193/.272 in 167 plate appearances) the team re-examined his right and found a fracture and bone chips.

Espinosa took a week off, then began a rehab assignment in Syracuse, but thus far hasn’t been any better there than he was for the Nats this season.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 5/5/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players in this columb, and give injury and suspension updates.

Here are some of the system’s notable performances from the first week of May:

[Read more...]

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/28/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

With April coming to a close, the Nationals’ organization is looking pretty strong from top to bottom. The big club is off to a decent 13-12 start. But more importantly, they’re looking strong and equipped to perform at a high level for the duration of the season. Their key players are all healthy, and their crop of young stars continues to move forward at a healthy pace.

Bryce Harper not only appears to have avoided (knock on wood) a slumping sophomore season, but he looks to be putting it all together even earlier than anyone could have hoped. The same goes for their young rotation, which is firing on all cylinders. And while Ryan Zimmerman and Wilson Ramos are sitting on the DL with minor injuries, the Nats used their system to overcome their temporary absence quite effectively. Luckily though, both players are on their way back anyway.

[Read more...]

NATS/CHIEFS: Syracuse Chiefs Introduce New Birthday Perk for Fans

Syracuse Chiefs Press Release Header

SYRACUSE CHIEFS INTRODUCE NEW BIRTHDAY PERK FOR FANS
Chiefs are one of 22 teams to form partnership with HULEDET

Syracuse, NY–The Syracuse Chiefs, Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, are pleased to announce that they will be partnering with HULEDET in order to give local fans a free ticket and hot dog for their birthday. HULEDET (http://www.HULEDET.com), a one-year old company based in New York City, partners with local and national companies to enable them to reward their loyal customers on their birthdays, and to bring in new customers with the incentive of a birthday perk.

As fans enter Chiefs home games this season, they will be given the opportunity to register to receive the birthday gift by simply providing their name, email address, birth month and day, and zip code. When the first day of their birthday month comes, they’ll receive an email from HULEDET giving them a free ticket and free hot dog voucher to use during their birthday month.

Fans with birthdays during the off season need not worry – they’ll get their gift from the team on their half birthday.

“We are very excited to work with HULEDET on this new promotion,” Chiefs general manager John Simone said. We look forward to offering a birthday present to each of our fans.”

The Chiefs are one of 22 minor league baseball teams who will be working with HULEDET during the 2013 season. Says HULEDET founder Michael Frankel, “We have seen great success with HULEDET at local restaurants and businesses, and we are excited to work with the Chiefs as we bring HULEDET gifts to sports fans around the country this spring.”

Fans may also join the Syracuse Chiefs birthday list online at http://www.HULEDET.com/SyracuseChiefs.

Washington Nationals Minor League Update for the Week of 4/21/13

Welcome back to District Sports Page’s weekly Minor League Update. Throughout the regular season we will continue to post up-to-date stats and brief scouting reports on the hottest and coldest prospects in the Nationals’ minor league system. We also will track the progress of top-rated players, and give injury and suspension updates.

So far this season, the Nationals’ minor league system has continued to be one of the most productive and exciting in pro baseball. Flashy young stars like Brian Goodwin and Anthony Rendon are off to loud starts, while an arms race of young pitchers has torn-through opposing lineups, resulting in heaps of strikeouts.

Things got even more interesting on Saturday though. The Nationals announced that they had promoted Rendon, who is widely considered one of the premier prospects in minors, to Washington to make his highly anticipated MLB debut. While the former  Dick Howser Award winner was originally slated to spend at least the first few months of the regular season in the minors at double-A Harrisburg, Ryan Zimmerman’s recent injury and Rendon’s hot-hitting apparently forced the front office’s hand. Regardless, this is yet another exciting development in a system full of exciting developments. Rendon follows a long line of homegrown stars on the Nats big-league roster, graduating after the likes of Ryan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Ian Desmond, Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen, Bryce Harper and others.

Though Rendon’s promotion has grabbed the attention of the Nats faithful, the club has plenty of other thrilling minor-league storylines. Here are a few of them–hot off the presses:

[Read more...]

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