Major League Baseball announced this evening that Kansas City Royals relief pitchers Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera have been selected to the American League All-Star team. In addition, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas has also been selected as one of five A.L. players up for the Esurance MLB All-Star Final Vote.
Both pitchers will be making their first All-Star appearances at the game scheduled for Tuesday, July 14 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark. Along with the four Royals voted to starting positions last night, KC has six player participants in the Midsummer Classic, setting a franchise record. The previous high for Royals players selected to an All-Star Game was five, with George Brett, Hal McRae, Dan Quisenberry, Frank White and Willie Wilson making the 1982 A.L. All-Star team.
Should Moustakas be voted onto the team, the seven All-Stars would be the most for any one team since Texas had eight players on the 2012 squad.
Davis, 29, has been one of the most dominating relievers the last two seasons, posting a Major League-low 0.25 ERA this year and has a 0.76 mark since the start of 2014. The righty has not allowed a home run over his last 117.0 innings, dating back to September 4, 2013. He’s gone 4-1 with nine saves this season, while his 13 victories out of the bullpen since the start of last year are the most in the Major Leagues.
Herrera, 25, has also been a strong presence out of the Royals bullpen the last two years. He’s 1-2 with a 2.20 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 32.2 innings this season. He’s held left-handed hitters to a .127 batting average this year, which ranks third among MLB hurlers that have faced at least 60 lefties. Herrera has posted a 1.67 ERA over the past two seasons, which ranks fourth among A.L. relievers.
Moustakas, 26, is off to the best start of his career, batting .301 with 16 doubles, a triple, seven homers and 39 runs scored. His batting average ranks 10th among qualifying A.L. hitters, while he’s also fourth in the league with a .339 average against right-handed pitching. His 87 hits this season are tied for 13th in the league, while he’s collected 25 multi-hit games, which are tied for 11th and more than he had in all of 2014.
Fans can vote for Moustakas online at royals.com/vote and MLB.com as well as via a mobile ballot and by SMS text voting. The Final Vote opened at 7 p.m. CT this evening and runs through Friday, July 10 at 3 p.m. CT.
A franchise record four Kansas City Royals will represent the American League as starters in the 2015 All-Star Game. Catcher Salvador Perez, shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon will all be in the starting lineup in the Midsummer Classic set for Tuesday, July 14 at Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark.
The four Royals starters are the most voted on by any one team since the Boston Red Sox had four elected A.L. starters in 2008, though David Ortiz could not participate due to injury. The total of four also passes the previous franchise record of three, set in 1979, when catcher Darrell Porter, second baseman Frank White and third baseman George Brett all started for the A.L.
Perez, 25, will make his second-straight All-Star start behind the plate, receiving 13,747,294 votes. The three-time All-Star has connected for six home runs since June 7 with his 13 roundtrippers overall tied for the most by an American League catcher. He recorded his 500th career hit a week ago, becoming the sixth-young Royal to reach that mark at 25 years, 49 days.
Escobar, 28, is also making his first appearance at the Midsummer Classic, accumulating 11,960,907 votes. In his fifth year with the Royals, Esky has recorded 23 multi-hit games this season, while he ranked fifth among A.L. leadoff hitters with 28 RBI heading into Sunday’s action. He was also tied for sixth in the league with a .357 batting average with runners in scoring position.
Cain, 29, will be making his first All-Star Game appearance, receiving 12,399,127 votes. The sixth-year outfielder entered Sunday fifth in the league with a .309 batting average, with 17 doubles, four triples, six homers, 36 RBI and 16 steals, which ranked third in the A.L. He was also tops in the American League, hitting .389 with two outs this season and fourth in the Majors, batting .384 since June 10.
Gordon, 31, was selected to his third-straight All-Star Game, but will be making his first start after getting 10,609,006 votes to finish third in the outfield balloting. Alex entered Sunday eighth in the American League in on-base percentage (.377), which included reaching via a hit or a walk in 23 of his last 26 games. A four-time Rawlings Gold Glove winner and 2014 Rawlings Platinum Glove winner for the A.L., Gordon has three outfield assists this season and a Major League-high 65 since the start of 2011.
Danny Duffy takes the mound for the Royals in the final match-up of a four-game series against Minnesota. The Twins will be starting Ervin Santana for the first time this year, as his MLB suspension recently ended. Manager Ned Yost said that he knows Santana has good stuff and they are going to have to execute at the plate to score runs.
Lorenzo Cain has been swinging an extremely hot bat as of late, batting over .500 in his last five games. “He’s using the whole field. That’s the key to his success,” said Yost, “His swing is extremely short and quick right now and hopefully he can keep this streak going.”
Alex Rios and Salvador Perez will not be in the lineup today for the Royals. Instead, Drew Butera and Jarrod Dyson will have a chance to get some swings and keep their skills sharp according to the Royals manager.
The Royals take on the Twins again tonight in the second game of a four-game series. Jeremy Guthrie will be taking the bump for Kansas City and is 9-4 with a 3.74 ERA (09 ER in 103.1 IP) in his career against Minnesota.
Kansas City has optioned Christian Colon down to AAA Omaha and selected the contract of infielder Dusty Coleman. Coleman was the Player of the Month for the Storm Chasers in June and the roster move gives Colon a opportunity to get more swings in the minors.
Before the game today, Ned Yost voiced his observations about how the Major Leagues have changed since he was a player. “Back in the day, when you were called up to the Majors there was a lot more expected of you. You did all your work in the Minor Leagues,” he said. “Nowadays, young players get called up to the Majors and can work on their game with help from the coaches. They aren’t expected to have completely developed.”
The Royals are back in Kansas City, taking on the second-place Twins tonight in an American League Central showdown. Chris Young will be taking the bump for the Royals and is looking to keep his success going against Minnesota this year. In his last appearance against Minnesota, Young tossed six and 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, earning a 2-0 win for his club.
Ned Yost made it clear in his pre-game interview that it is not a secret that this is going to be a big four-game series. “We just played a bunch of good teams on the long road trip,” said Yost, “It’s important that we come back and take care of business against team’s in our division, no matter what place they are in.”
Yordano Ventura’s comeback from the disabled list is going as well as expected and Yost said his fastball is looking as good as he has ever seen it. The Royals manager said he is experiencing very slight pain and once the symptoms are gone, he will be back in the rotation.
Here are the upcoming channel numbers for our friends with Dish Network:
Monday, June 29: Dish 443 or 412-31
Tuesday, June 30: Dish 444 or 412-32
Wednesday, July 1: Dish 441 or 412-29
Thursday, July 2: Dish 446 or 412-34
Friday, July 3: Dish 446 or 412-34
Saturday, July 4: on FOX
Sunday, July 5: Dish 446 or 412-34
The Royals announced today that they have returned left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy from his rehab assignment and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list for tonight’s 9:10 p.m. (CT) game against the Seattle Mariners. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals have optioned right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot to Triple-A Omaha.
Duffy, 26, has been sidelined since May 25 (retroactive to May 17) with left biceps tendinitis. He made a pair of rehab starts with the Storm Chasers, posting a 2.35 ERA (2 ER in 7.2 IP) with one walk, 10 strikeouts and a .179 opponents’ batting average.
Omar Infante has played through multiple injuries in his career including last year and this year; however, Yost said that Infante is “as healthy as he’s been”, “he’s running great, he’s moving great”.
Royals starter Jason Vargas played catch today to, “extend it out farther” said Yost referring to Vargas’ pitching motion. Yost doesn’t think that Vargas will require a rehab assignment before coming back to the Royals starting rotation.
Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas are getting the day off today mostly to get some rest, but also because of the extreme heat that is expected at game time. Expect both players to be back in the lineup for Monday’s opener at Seattle.
Aaron Brooks was recalled from Omaha today, taking the place of Yohan Pino, who started last night. Brooks will be used in the “back end” of the bullpen for now according to Yost.
After pitching well in his last rehab start, Danny Duffy is scheduled to return to the Royals starting rotation on Wednesday June 24. Yost wanted Duffy to be able to throw 100 pitches in a rehab start before bringing him up. He threw 85 in his last game, however with three starters currently out of the rotation, “he’s a good option for us” said Yost.
Salvador Perez was taken out of last night’s game in the eighth inning when the Royals were down six runs. According to Yost when he sees a good opportunity to give Salvy a few extra innings off, especially if he has played a lot of games in a row, Yost will take advantage of it. Perez will “probably” get the day off tomorrow “because it’s gonna be so hot” said Yost.
Yohan Pino will make his first Major League start of 2015 and first as a Royal tonight. Yost has confidence in Pino to pitch well, even though he hasn’t made a Major League start since last year with the Twins.
Royals starting pitchers Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy and Jason Vargas are on the disabled list. Earlier in the year, Yost eluded to Ventura and Duffy trying to do too much and getting away from who they are. Yost expects the strong performances of the veteran starters (Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Young, and Joe Blanton) to relieve some of that pressure when Ventura and Duffy come back.
The All-Star voting has drawn a lot of attention to the Royals as they currently have eight of the nine starting spots for the American League. Yost said that for the first time he actually looks forward to Mondays, when the latest voting totals come out.
Regarding the amount of young talent that has been coming up to the Majors quicker than ever before, Yost said “when we were coming up you had to pay your dues in Double-A and Triple-A, and now we’re bringing up guys a lot earlier”, “there is a lot more developing going on in the Major Leagues then there was 10 to 15 years ago, which is a good thing”. Yost used Houston as an example of how it has worked well, since they brought up their young talent last year to develop and they are off to a great start so far this year.
By Sal Defeo