The Peoria Chiefs and Chicago Cubs have announced that outfielder Nelson Perez is returning to the Chiefs from Advanced-A Daytona in a series of roster moves. Also joining the Chiefs are right-handed reliever Yohan Gonzalez and corner infielder Charles Thomas have from Extended Spring Training. Right-handed reliever Andres Quezada and infielder George Matheus have been sent to Extended Spring Training while outfielder Jose Valdez went up to Daytona Thursday. Thomas and Gonzalez are with the team in Burlington, Iowa for Friday's game while Perez will be joining the team in time for Saturday's game against the Bees.
Perez spent all of the 2009 season in Peoria hitting .251 with 11 homers and 65 doubles. The slugging corner outfielder also collected 19 doubles and four triples while striking out 130 times in 120 games. He finished last season fifth on the Chiefs in home runs and fourth in RBI. Perez was also second on the Chiefs in outfield assists with 11, but first among all outfielders with 12 errors. This year Perez started slow for Daytona in the Florida State League hitting just .163 with one homer and seven RBI in 27 games. He struck out 29 times and walked just five times with five doubles for the Cubs. Perez joins the Chiefs in a 2-for-20 slump and he hasn't driven in a run since May 2. Perez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2006 and he hit .305 with nine homers and 37 RBI in 2008 in the Arizona Rookie League. Perez led the AZL in Slugging Percentage, extra base hits, triples and homers that season while being named one of the league's top 20 prospects.
Gonzalez, 20, pitched 23 times out of the bullpen for the Boise Hawks last season going 3-3 with a 4.21 ERA. In 47 innings the Dominican native struck out 31 and walked just seven. Gonzalez was signed as a non-drafted free agent in June 2007 and made his pro in 2008 for the Arizona Rookie League Cubs. He tied for Mesa's lead in wins with five while posting a 1.96 ERA in 14 appearances. For his career Gonzalez is 8-4 in 37 outings with 52 strikeouts and just 20 walks.
Thomas, 21, was selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2009 draft out of Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, FL, the same school that Negro League legend Buck O'Neil attended. Thomas led the Arizona League Cubs in doubles (11), hits (49) and RBI (23) last season while playing in 45 games. He finished the season with a .306 average after a seven-game hit streak in early August. Thomas hit his first professional home run on August 21 against the AZL A's as he finished 5-for-6 with three RBI. Thomas was the first player ever drafted out of Edward Waters College where he hit .336 with eight home runs and 30 RBI in 2009. Thomas will play first and third base for the Chiefs and he is a native of Jacksonville, FL and he attended Mandarin High School.
Matheus hit .160 in 16 games for the Chiefs this season with three doubles and four RBI. He last played on Tuesday when he went 0-for-3 with a run batted in on a groundout in the ninth inning of an 11-2 loss to Clinton at home. Matheus mostly played second base for the Chiefs though he did see limited action at shortstop and third base as well.
Quezada was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 10 relief appearances for the Chiefs this season. In 15 innings he struck out 13 batters and walked 10. He last pitched on Wednesday with two perfect innings and three strikeouts to stop a streak of four straight outings in which he allowed at least one run.
Valdez joined Daytona on Thursday after leading the Chiefs with 17 stolen bases in 33 games. Valdez was hitting .226 with one double, one triple and five RBI. Mostly a centerfielder, Valdez also played some rightfield and had six errors with two outfield assists. A Dominican native, Valdez led the Chiefs with 27 strikeouts while drawing just six walks. He was second on the team in runs scored and second in the Midwest League in stolen bases.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.