June 2011

Friday lineup, Celebrity Wiffle Ball

Kansas City hosts Chicago at 7:10 tonight.  This is the first time that the Cubs have been in town since 2000!

The gates open at 5:00 and at 5:30, it will be time for wiffle ball at the U.S. Toy Little K!  KC natives Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd and Jason Sudeikis are among the participants in tonight’s wiffle ball contest.

Here’s the lineup for the Royals:

(Cabrera – CF), (Hosmer – 1B), (Butler – DH), (Gordon – LF), (Francoeur – RF), (Moustakas – 3B), (Pena – C), (Escobar – SS), (Getz – 2B), (Chen – P)

 

Royals Wives Food Drive tonight and tomorrow

Royals Wives will host the 29th Annual Royals Wives Food Drive to benefit Bishop Sullivan Center in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday and Saturday.  In addition to daily food collections, the drive also features special fundraisers and a premier concourse auction. 

During both days of the drive, fans are encouraged to drop off non-perishable, kid-friendly food items.  Suggested food items for donation include peanut butter and canned soups, pastas, canned fruits and vegetables.  Fans should refrain from bringing glass containers.  Bins will be located inside Hy-Vee Gate B and Gate D.

In addition, Royals Wives will offer $20 grab bags that feature baseballs autographed by select Royals players both evenings.  Fans can also receive autographed player cards for a $10 donation.

The drive will be highlighted by a premier silent auction held on Friday in the Outfield Experience across from Rivals Sports Bar.  The auction will feature one-of-a-kind Royals memorabilia.

Below is a complete rundown of the events surrounding the Royals Wives Food Drive.

Friday, June 24

6 p.m. – end of the 5th inning
Silent auction and mystery grab bags/autographed player cards available outside Rivals Sports Bar

Food collection bins located at Hy-Vee Gate B and Gate D
 
Saturday, June 25

5 p.m. – end of the 5th inning
Mystery grab bags/autographed player cards available outside Rivals Sports Bar

Food collection bins located at Hy-Vee Gate B and Gate D

Bishop Sullivan Center is one of the largest providers of emergency assistance in the Kansas City area.  Along with its sister site, St. James Place, the center serves 1,200 to 1,400 area families each month, including 200 to 250 people each week at the soup kitchen.

 

Ned Yost media session: June 23

Before wrapping up a three game series with tonight’s 7:10 contest vs. the Diamondbacks, Royals manager Ned Yost raved about rookies, first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas. Yost explained that the two are superb examples of players that work both on their hitting and defensive skills.

“That’s the mark of a complete player is somebody that focuses not only on their offense but their defense too…for  these kids that’s a priority for them to be complete players,” Yost said.

The Royals skipper praised the squad’s defensive work, touching on the outfield assists that the Royals have excelled in during the 2011 season so far. Left fielder Alex Gordon (8), center fielder Melky Cabrera (7), and right fielder Jeff Francoeur (8), enter today ranking in the top six in the American League in outfield assists.

“Our defense has saved us a tremendous amount of runs this year and our outfield defense, if you look at our assists it’s in the mid-twenties…we’ve made a marked improvement in terms of our defense,” Yost said.

Despite the one-run loss in last night’s contest against Arizona, Yost understands that his squad is continuously learning to play consistent baseball and create run scoring opportunities. Yost stresses the importance of his players learning from their mistakes to come back a better, smarter baseball team.

Thursday lineup vs. Arizona

The series finale between Arizona and KC starts at 7:10.  Here’s the lineup:

(Cabrera – CF), (Hosmer – 1B), (Butler – DH), (Gordon – LF), (Francoeur – RF), (Moustakas – 3B), (Treanor – C), (Escobar – SS), (Getz – 2B), (Paulino – P)

 

 

Kelvin Herrera, Wil Myers named to XM All-Star Futures Game roster

Kansas City Royals prospects Kelvin Herrera and Wil Myers  today were named to the World and U.S. roster, respectively, for the 13th annual XM All-Star Futures Game.  The game will match the two squads and begin at 5 p.m. CDT on Sunday, July 10 from Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz.  It will be televised live on ESPN2, ESPN2 HD and MLB.TV and also available on the radio at XM 89.

The 21-year-old Herrera opened the 2011 season with Wilmington (A Advanced) making eight relief appearances before joining Northwest Arkansas (AA) for 14 outings.  The 5-foot-10, 188-pound right hander is a combined 4-1 with a 1.27 ERA in 22 relief stints, allowing just five earned runs on 23 hits in 35.1 innings.  The resident of Tenares, Dominican Republic, who signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on December 13, 2006, has struck out 40 and walked just three in his 35.1 innings.

Myers, 20, is the Royals third-round selection from the 2009 June Free Agent Draft.  The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder is spending his first season in the outfield after serving as a catcher during his first two pro seasons.  The right-handed hitter has batted .295 with nine doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI and 23 runs scored in 39 games for Northwest Arkansas in 2011, missing several games with a knee infection.  The native of Thomasville, N.C., was ranked by ESPN.com as the eighth-best prospect in baseball prior to the season.

Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 MLB teams selected the 25-man rosters for each club.  2011 will mark the second straight season the Royals have placed two players in the Futures Game.  Current Royals Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas represented the U.S. team in the 2010 contest, while Billy Butler and Alex Gordon did so in 2006.

 

Ned Yost media session: June 22

Before Wednesday’s middle game against Arizona, Royals manager Ned Yost spoke about changing the lineup and what prompted him to shake things up. He said that 19 different lineup options were considered before deciding to go with tonight’s order.

 

“[I wanted to] just freshen it up a little bit,” Yost said. “We’re trying to take a little pressure off some of the younger guys. It gives guys a different look in a different spot for a while.”

 

Notably, Alex Gordon moves from the leadoff spot to the No. 4 hole. Yost explained that Gordon’s plate discipline allowed him to excel while hitting first in the order, but the skipper envisions his left fielder more as a run producer. Batting in the cleanup spot will provide more opportunities to hit with runners on base.

 

“He’s been swinging the bat well, and he’ll swing the bat well no matter what spot you put him in,” Yost explained. “Ideally, I would like to have Alex in that three, four or five spot.”

 

Melky Cabrera will now handle leadoff duties while Eric Hosmer moves up to the second slot. Billy Butler will now bat third. Yost said that Butler deserves to hit in that spot because his hitting numbers are the best on the squad.

 

“He’s our best performer offensively. He has the highest on-base percentage,” Yost described. “Having Billy down in the five [spot] bothered me a little bit because at the end of the game, typically, your top four hitters are the guys that are going to end up in spots that can help you win or score runs that you’re going to need to win those games. You need those guys at the top of the order so when that turns back around, you’ve got them.”

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday lineup: 7:10 vs. Arizona

The Royals host Arizona at 7:10 tonight.  It is INK Student Night…Rivals Outfield Box or Hy-Vee Infield tickets are just $7 for high school and college students with a valid ID.

Here’s the lineup:  (Cabrera – CF), (Hosmer – 1B), (Butler – DH), (Gordon – LF), (Francoeur – RF), (Moustakas – 3B), (Pena – C), (Escobar – SS), (Getz – 2B), (Francis – P)

Photo: Alex Gordon’s leadoff home run

A look at the bat meeting the ball on Alex Gordon’s home run in the first…thanks to team photographer Chris Vleisides!

Ned Yost media session: Longtime friend Jeff Foxworthy at The K

Prior to the 7:10 contest vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, Royals manager Ned Yost brought along longtime family friend and comedian Jeff Foxworthy to swap stories and talk Royals baseball. Foxworthy teased that he follows the Royals and gets to see the serious side of Yost.

“He [Yost] is one of the funniest people I know. We love watching him during the baseball season because he gets very intense, very competitive…” Foxworthy said.

Yost shared with the media about the current roster move, bringing up outfielder Jarrod Dyson and sending starting right-handed pitcher Vin Mazzaro to Triple-A Omaha. Starting lefty Bruce Chen will continue to stay on the disabled list and will be activated Friday for the 7:10 series opener vs. the Chicago Cubs. The Royals skipper raved about shortstop Alcides Escobar’s recent hitting streak during the squad’s current road trip.

“I can’t think of another shortstop I’d rather have on my team… what he [Escobar] has done in the last two weeks is next to impossible, raised his average .50 points in two weeks… it just shows you what kind of talent he has,” Yost said.

The Royals will continue their Interleague play opening up this series with three games vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks and entering another three game series vs. the Chicago Cubs beginning Friday for a 7:10 contest.

Mike Moustakas meets with the media before his first home game in the Major Leagues

Before Tuesday’s 7:10 home opener vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks, third baseman Mike Moustakas sat down with theKansas City media as a big league player for the first time to share his excitement for his impending first Major League game at Kauffman Stadium. The rookie infielder spoke about his adjustment to the Major League lifestyle and praised his fellow teammates for making the transition easier.

“Being able to come up in this organization with this group of guys has just been unreal, comfortable, and just amazing,” Moustakas said.

Since his call up from Triple-A Omaha, Moustakas has appeared in eight Major League games with the Royals during the past road trip. The rookie raved about the opportunity to start off the trip playing in front of his family and friends in Southern California and now finally being able to come home and play inKansas City. Moustakas spoke about the advantages of Triple-A Omaha and credited his coaches for helping him make it to the Major Leagues.

“In Triple-A you face guys that have been in the big leagues for awhile… it really helps you out, getting that big league pitching and those at-bats against guys that have had maybe two or three years in the league… being able to play against those guys and learn from them is a part of the whole learning experience that helps you out as a player,” Moustakas said.

Moustakas praised his Triple-A Omaha hitting coach, Tommy Gregg, for his progress against left-handed pitchers. The third baseman shared that Gregg put in countless hours with him improving his swing and focusing on staying through the middle when facing left-handers. As for the future, Moustakas mentioned that he and fellow teammate Eric Hosmer look forward to bringing home a championship someday for the Kansas City Royals but for now the two of them focus on today and winning ballgames for their squad.

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