Spring Training is just around the corner…pitchers and catchers report on February 17 – less than three months from now!
The Royals announced their 2010 Spring Training schedule today. The club will open its eighth season as members of the newly-expanded 15-team Cactus League by playing a charity game against its Surprise complex mates, the Texas Rangers, on Thursday, March 4. The game benefits the Surprise Sundancers.
Kansas City’s 31-game Spring Training schedule features 15 home games at Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz., including the March 4 charity game. The club will also face the Texas Rangers as the visiting team in one additional game at the facility.
The slate includes a road affair against the newest member of the Cactus League, the Cincinnati Reds, who will join their cross-state rival Cleveland Indians at the complex in Goodyear, Ariz.
The Royals will host every Cactus League squad at Surprise Stadium at least once with the exception of the Reds. The March 30 home game against the Indians is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. (CT). In addition, the Royals will play a 9:05 p.m. (CT) contest on March 15 in Glendale against the White Sox. All other games will start at 2:05 p.m. (CT) until Daylight Saving Time on March 14 when the games will start at 3:05 p.m. (CT). The April 1 game against the Diamondbacks will begin at 2:05 p.m. (CT) as the Royals will break camp immediately following the contest.
The Royals will conclude their 2009 Spring Training schedule by traveling to Texas to meet the Rangers for a pair of exhibition games. The clubs will play at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Friday, April 2 at 7:05 p.m. (CT) and then travel on Saturday, April 3 to the Rangers’ Double-A ballpark in Frisco, Texas, for a 1:05 p.m. (CT) start. The Royals will not play on Sunday, April 4 before opening the season at Kauffman Stadium on Monday, April 5 against the Detroit Tigers.
The Surprise Recreation Campus will accept mail orders beginning on Tuesday, December 1. For these orders, call 623-222-2222 or visit www.royals.com/springtraining to obtain a ticket brochure. Individual Spring Training game tickets will go on sale January 9, 2010 beginning at 9 a.m. CT. The tickets will be on sale at the Surprise Stadium Box Office, through Royals.com or by calling 800-745-3000. Various spring season ticket packages are available now by calling 623-222-2222. For more information, including information on special spring training travel packages, fans may visit royals.com.
Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Wednesday, February 17. Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Thursday, February 18. The remainder of the squad will report on Monday, February 22 and begin workouts for the 2010 campaign on Tuesday, February 23.
Please follow the link below for the full Spring Training schedule:
* Dates and times are subject to change
* April 4 – Charity game
February 17 – Pitchers and Catchers Report
February 18 – Pitchers and Catchers First Workout
February 22 – Full Squad Reports
February 23 – First Full Squad Workout
The Royals have agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Brad Thompson on a minor league contract for the 2010 season.
The 27-year old Thompson has made 185 appearances (32 starts) for the St. Louis Cardinals over the past five seasons, posting a 21-17 record and a 4.36 ERA. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder was 2-6 with a 4.84 ERA in 2009 for the Cardinals in 32 games, including eight starts. Thompson had spent his entire professional career in the Cardinals organization. He was a 16th round selection in the 2002 Draft out of Dixie State College. Thompson debuted in 2005 and was named the Cardinals’ Rookie of the Year after going 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA in 40 relief appearances.
Thompson and his wife, Andrea, currently reside in Las Vegas, Nev. We welcome Brad to the club!
Fans will have the opportunity to purchase special Cy Young baseball plaques beginning today, exclusive Cy Young T-Shirts in adult and youth sizes on Friday, photos, hats, pennants and signs early next week and bracelets by the first few weeks of December.
The Royals Majestic Team Store is open this week through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed on Sunday and Monday, November 22 and 23. The store will be open Thanksgiving Week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on November 24, 25 and 27. The store is closed on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, the store will be open on Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. prior to the University of Kansas and University of Missouri football game at Arrowhead Stadium at 2:30 p.m.
The Royals have announced that in 2010 the club will don a New Authentic New Era alternate powder blue cap in conjunction with their home alternate powder blue jerseys, which have been worn for every home day game since the beginning of the 2008 season. The cap will go on sale exclusively at the Royals Majestic Team Store near Gate C of Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday, November 24 at 10 a.m.
The Majestic Team Store will be open on November 24, 25 and 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store will also be open on Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. prior to the University of Kansas and University of Missouri football game at Arrowhead Stadium at 2:30 p.m. On Friday, November 27, Royals alumni Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer and Willie Aikens will be signing autographs at the Majestic Team Store from noon to 2 p.m.
The powder blue caps are priced at $38. To contact the Majestic Team Store, please call 816-504-4045 or visit www.royals.com/teamstore.
The caps will be available for pre-order on-line at royals.com beginning on November 24, but won’t be available to be shipped until December 1.
The Royals have announced the field staffs for their minor league affiliates in Omaha, Northwest Arkansas, Wilmington, Burlington (Ia.), Idaho Falls, Burlington (N.C.) and Surprise. Coordinators and roving instructors were also announced. For a full listing, please see the press release:
Zack was resting Tuesday morning when he received word that he was the 2009 A.L. Cy Young Award recipient. All of a sudden, there was “a lot of stuff going on” at a time in the offseason when Greinke likes “doing nothing.” He passed the word along to his dad and fiancée, who were very happy for him. His mother and brother had yet to find out.
Zack was pleased, but it was the usual low-key Greinke reaction. He thought it would be a much closer balloting process as the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez also had a fantastic season.
One reporter asked where the coveted trophy would be housed. Greinke said that it would probably go at his parent’s house, with his other trophies.
Thanks for the help
Throughout the afternoon, several baseball players, coaches and baseball minds were noted by Zack as people who helped him mature as a pitcher.
Zack credited former Royals manager Buddy Bell, former general manager Allard Baird, reliever David Riske, and current pitching coach Bob McClure for helping him overcome his anxiety issues. Greinke described McClure as a “really smart” coach who challenged him to pitch inside this season.
He has sought advice from two of the top pitchers in the league, who he did not wish to name.
Miguel Olivo caught a majority of Greinke’s starts in 2009. Zack was happy to have the same catcher throughout the season, saying that Olivo did a fantastic job.
We learned that Brian Bannister’s interest in pitching statistics has rubbed off on Greinke. FIP, or Fielder Independent Pitching, is the stat that Zack is now following. FYI, he led the AL and was second in the Majors in that stat in 2009.
Zack read Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Feller’s book a few years ago. Feller talked about pitching at an 85-90 percent mark for the first few innings, then turning it up at the end. It took a while for Zack to embrace the philosophy, but now he sees that it is the best way to pitch.
Next year and beyond
Reporters focused on whether Zack can improve upon this incredible season. He says that he still makes mistakes and can improve in the physical aspect of the game. He wants to stay with the same mental approach as it worked in 2009.
Dayton Moore comments
General manager Dayton Moore took questions from the local media after the Greinke video conference. He said that people around baseball see the command of a Greg Maddux and the electricity of John Smoltz in Zack. Moore mentioned Bob McClure’s toughness as a pitcher and how he has brought that out in Zack. When asked if Zack can repeat or top the incredible season, Moore noted that Greinke’s one pitch at a time, one game at a time approach would help him.
It’s shaping up to be a busy afternoon at the office. Stop by Around the Horn later today for recaps of the various press conferences regarding Zack’s Cy Young triumph.
Royals right-handed pitcher Zack Greinke today was the overwhelming choice as the 2009 American League Cy Young Award winner in balloting by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Greinke’s Cy Young season is the fourth in Royals history as he becomes the third pitcher to win the award, joining two-time winner Bret Saberhagen (1985, 1989) and David Cone (1994).
The 26-year old Greinke was named first on 25 ballots and second on three ballots of the 28 total ballots cast by two writers in each American League city. He received a total of 134 points, based on the 5-3-1 tabulations system for first, second and third-place votes. The Mariners’ Felix Hernandez was the runner-up to Greinke, with 80 points and two first-place votes. The Tigers’ Justin Verlander picked up the other first-place vote. The Yankees’ CC Sabathia and the Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay also picked up votes.
Greinke has also been named the 2009 Royals Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year, his second such award after taking home the honor in 2004. The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Greinke was a unanimous selection for the Bruce Rice Award.
The Florida native posted arguably the greatest pitching season in Royals history and was already named both The Sporting News A.L. Pitcher of the Year and the A.L. Bullet Rogan Award winner by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The right-hander was 16-8 with a Major League-leading 2.16 ERA, the lowest in the circuit since Pedro Martinez posted a 1.74 ERA for Boston in 2000. In addition to ERA, the Cy Young winner also paced the AL in opponent on-base pct. (.276), baserunners per nine innings (9.81) and fewest home runs per nine innings (0.43) while finishing second in numerous other categories including strikeouts, posting 242, second-most in Royals history.
Billy Butler was pleased to win the 2009 Les Milgram Royals Player of the Year Award and hopes that it is the first of many. However, team performance outweighs individual accomplishments for Butler.
On playing first base
Billy is comfortable at first base. Butler believes he proved he can play there. He knows that he will continue to make progress as this was his first full season at the position.
Goals for 2010
Butler played in 159 games this season and is focused on staying healthy again next year. He believes that the Royals will surprise people next year.
Butler is spending time with his family this offseason. In addition, he has been focusing on the same strength training and conditioning programs that he employed last offseason. His spare time includes coaching basketball and watching his beloved Washington Redskins.
Billy batted .361 with 16 of his 21 home runs at Kauffman Stadium. The 16 home runs are the most at home by a Royals player since 2002 and the third-highest total this decade. He attributes his success at home to the fans. Butler loves playing at Kauffman Stadium and says that the fans are the best. He believes that the atmosphere at home in April and May helped the club when the fans of KC showed their true passion for the Royals.
The American League Cy Young Award will be announced on Tuesday. Will Zack Greinke join former Royals Bret Saberhagen (1985, 1989) and David Cone (1994) in the winner’s circle? Stay tuned to royals.com and Around the Horn. The Bruce Rice Royals Pitcher of the Year Award will also be announced.
The Royals today announced that Billy Butler has been named the 2009 Les Milgram Player of the Year. The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). The 23-year old Butler, who was a unanimous selection, becomes the youngest Royals player to win the award since George Brett picked up the honor in 1976, also at the age of 23.
Butler led the Royals with a .301 average, 51 doubles and 93 RBI, while finishing second with 21 home runs. The first baseman became the fifth player in Major League history to record at least 50 doubles and 20 home runs in a season prior to the age of 24, joining Hank Greenberg (1934), Alex Rodriguez (1996), Albert Pujols (2003) and Miguel Cabrera (2006). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Butler became the first player in the modern era (since 1900) to record four three-double games in a season.
The American League Player of the Month for September ranked third in the AL in home batting average (.362), tied for sixth in extra-base hits (73) and 10th in total bases (299). He also placed 12th in the league in hits (183) and tied for 13th in multi-hit games (52). Butler was the Royals’ first-round selection (14th overall) in the 2004 Draft.
Butler will take part in an afternoon teleconference. Check Around the Horn for an update.
The Royals plan to announce the 2009 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year tomorrow afternoon. Last Friday, Alberto Callaspo was honored with the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award.