August 2012

Ned Yost media session: August 31

When manager Ned Yost met with the media this evening, the health of outfielder Jarrod Dyson was the first topic of discussion.  Yesterday it was reported that in Wednesday’s game he was dealing with some tightness in his throwing arm and was looked at by the team trainers, but played the remainder of the game.  Today, Yost informed the media that they performed an MRI on Dyson and it showed he has a strained lat muscle which is what was causing the tightness in his right shoulder.  He said the Royals will be shutting him down from throwing for an undetermined period of time, but the strain will not affect his legs or his hitting therefore he will still play a key role with this team while he is unable to throw.

The Royals announced today that bullpen coach Steve Foster has been hired as a special assistant to the GM/minor league pitching coordinator for the organization.  Foster has served as the Royals’ bullpen coach since October of 2009 after three seasons in the same role with the Marlins.  Yost said Foster has done a great job with their bullpen and has had a huge hand in making them one of the best in the Majors.  Yost also said they will miss him out there, but the trade off of having him impact all the minor league pitchers is worth it.  He said the Royals believe the development of their position players in the minor leagues is right on track, but the development of pitchers is lacking and so they needed someone to go in there and get them back on track and Foster is the man to do it.  He said Foster has experience with the big league club and knows what they expect, therefore when the younger guys get up here they will be well versed in what is expected and be able to take off right away.  He finished by saying it is a great job and a great opportunity for Steve.

The next topic brought up was the sophomore seasons of Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.  A media member asked whether their personal seasons were good learning experiences for them and what they will take away from their first full season, second overall in the league, and whether any of it was disappointing or unexpected.  Yost said it is definitely a great learning experience for both of them, but there is no disappointment in any numbers they have had or have not had.  He said guys have to go through a full season to really start to get comfortable and there is a lot you have to learn and it takes time.  He said you have to learn the pitching, learn the different parks and ultimately learn the lifestyle and difficulty of playing 162 games and dealing with that.  He concluded saying, overall, it has really been a really good learning experience for all of the Royals young players.

Royals on FSKC: Dish Channel numbers for August 31 – September 6

If you catch Royals baseball on Dish, you’ll want to check out these channel numbers:

Friday, Aug. 31: 445

Saturday, Sept. 1: no TV

Sunday, Sept. 2: 445

Monday, Sept. 3: 445

Tuesday, Sept. 4: 446

Wednesday, Sept. 5: 443

Thursday, Sept. 6: 441

Friday, Sept. 7: 447

Saturday, Sept. 8: no TV

Sunday, Sept. 9: no TV

Royals name pitchers, players of the year for eight minor league affiliates

The Kansas City Royals have named their Minor League Pitchers and Players of the Year for their respective affiliates.  The Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year and George Brett Hitter of the Year will be announced this offseason.

A majority of the players are expected to be at Kauffman Stadium for Futures Night on Friday, September 14, where they will take part in an autograph session at Gate A from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m., as well as be honored in an on-field presentation prior to the Royals game against the Angels.

OMAHA (AAA)

Right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi has been named the Omaha Pitcher of the Year.  The 22-year-old is 11-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) for the playoff-bound Storm Chasers after going 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA in seven starts with Northwest Arkansas (AA) to begin the campaign.  Odorizzi’s 15 combined victories are tied for the second-most in the minors.  He started for the U.S. squad in the SiriusXM MLB All-Star Futures Game this July at Kauffman Stadium, tossing an inning.  Odorizzi, who was acquired with shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and right-handed reliever Jeremy Jeffress from the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2010, was the 2011 Wilmington Pitcher of the Year.

Wil Myers was named the Omaha Player of the Year.  The 21-year-old, like Odorizzi, began the 2012 season with Northwest Arkansas.  After batting .343 with 13 home runs and 30 RBI in 35 games, the Royals third-round selection from 2009 was promoted to Omaha where he is hitting .293 with 23 home runs and 75 RBI in 95 games.  The 2010 Burlington (IA) Player of the Year’s 36 combined home runs are the second-most in the minor leagues while his 105 RBI place him seventh.  An outfielder on the 12-member All-PCL team, Myers also competed in the SiriusXM MLB All-Star Futures Game this July at Kauffman Stadium, was named the “Star of Stars” at the Triple-A All-Star Game and is a finalist for USA Today Minor League Player of the Year.

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (AA)

 Right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot, 23, has been named the Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year.  The University of Nebraska alum, who was recently promoted to Omaha, went 6-3 with one save and a 3.40 ERA in 31 games, including 14 starts, for the Naturals.  Mariot was the club’s eighth-round pick in 2010.

23-year-old Christian Colon is the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year.  The middle infielder saw his season end prematurely in mid-August due to a right eye injury after batting .412 in five games for Omaha.  Colon, the club’s first round pick (fourth overall) in 2010 out of Cal State-Fullerton, hit .289 with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in 73 games for Northwest Arkansas.  The right-handed batter drew 37 walks and struck out just 27 times in 85 combined contests in 2012.

WILMINGTON (A-ADVANCED)

Right-handed starter Yordano Ventura was named Wilmington Pitcher of the Year.  The 21-year-old, who started and tossed a scoreless inning for the World team in the SiriusXM MLB All-Star Futures Game this July at Kauffman Stadium, is currently pitching with Northwest Arkansas.  He opened the 2012 season with Wilmington, posting a 3-5 record with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts, striking out 98 in 76.1 innings.  The five-foot-11 Ventura was signed out of Samana, Dominican Republic, as a non-drafted free agent on October 8, 2008.

Whit Merrifield, 23, is the Wilmington Player of the Year.  Now at Northwest Arkansas, the former national champion from the University of South Carolina hit .258 with 20 doubles, eight homers, 59 runs scored and 25 stolen bases in 30 attempts in 101 games for the Blue Rocks.  Merrifield, who has played extensively in both the infield and outfield, was the Royals’ ninth-round pick in the 2010 Draft.

KANE COUNTY (A)

21-year-old Angel Baez was named the Kane County Pitcher of the Year.  The six-foot-three right-hander is 6-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) with the Cougars, striking out 83 in 76.2 innings.  Baez, a resident of Juan Baron, Dominican Republic, was acquired as a non-drafted free agent on July 21, 2008.

19-year-old outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was named the Kane County Player of the Year.  Bonifacio will make his third-consecutive trip to Kansas City after being named the 2010 Dominican Royals Player of the Year and the 2011 Burlington Royals Player of the Year.  The younger brother of Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, he is batting .282 with 20 doubles, six triples, 10 home runs, 61 RBI and 54 runs scored in 105 games for the Cougars.  Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Bonifacio was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on December 9, 2009.

IDAHO FALLS (ROOKIE-ADVANCED)

Left-handed pitcher Sam Selman, selected by Kansas City in the second round this June, is the Idaho Falls Pitcher of the Year.  Selman, 21, was recently named the Pioneer League Pitcher of the Year.  He is 5-3 with a league-leading 2.11 ERA in 12 games (11 starts), allowing just 41 hits in 55.1 innings, holding Pioneer League batters to a .202 average, best in the circuit.  The six-foot-three hurler from Austin, Texas, by way of Vanderbilt University, has struck out a league-best 84 and walked just 22.

Outfielder Ethan Chapman, 22, has been named the Idaho Falls Player of the Year.  Chapman, selected in the 30th round of the 2012 Draft out of Cal State San Bernardino, is batting .314 with eight triples, tied for third in the league, 52 runs scored, fifth in the league, and 22 stolen bases, tied for second in the league.

 BURLINGTON-NC (ROOKIE)

 18-year-old left-handed pitcher Colin Rodgers has been named the Burlington Pitcher of the Year.  Rodgers, the team’s third-round selection in this year’s draft out of Parkview Baptist School in Louisiana, went 3-1 with a 2.05 ERA in 11 starts for the B-Royals, allowing opponents to hit just .226 against him.  Rodgers made the start last night in the second game of Burlington’s first-round playoff series.

 Outfielder Bubba Starling, 20, is the Burlington Royals Player of the Year in 2012.  The club’s first-round pick (fifth overall) in last year’s draft out of Gardner-Edgerton (Kan.) High School batted .275 with 10 home runs, 33 RBI and 35 runs scored in 53 regular season games.  The six-foot-five centerfielder also swiped 10 bases in 11 attempts.  Starling last night was 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBI as Burlington evened their best-of-three playoff series at a game apiece.

SURPRISE (ROOKIE)

Matt Tenuta, an 18-year-old left-hander, has been named the Surprise Royals Pitcher of the Year.  The six-foot-four hurler from Apex High in North Carolina went 3-5 with a 4.58 ERA in 13 games (one start) with Surprise, surrendering just one home run in 39.1 innings.  Tenuta was selected in the 25th round of the 2012 Draft.

 Outfielder Alexis Rivera has been named the Surprise Royals Player of the Year.  Rivera, 18, was sixth in the league batting .341 with seven doubles, four triples, three home runs, 34 RBI and 35 runs scored in 48 games and was named to the Arizona League All-Star team.  The left-handed hitter originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico, was the Royals’ 10th round pick 2012 out of Montverde Academy in Florida.

DOMINICAN ROYALS (ROOKIE)

Right-handed pitcher Miguel Almonte is the Dominican Royals Pitcher of the Year.  The 19-year-old made 10 starts for the Dominican Royals, recording a 6-1 record with a 1.44 ERA, allowing just 34 hits and 8 walks with 46 strikeouts in 50.0 innings.  The six-foot-two resident of Santiago, Dominican Republic, who signed as a non-drafted free agent on November 20, 2010, is currently pitching for Burlington after a brief stint with the Surprise Royals in Arizona where he went 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in six games (two starts).

Infielder Wander Franco, signed by Kansas City as a non-drafted free agent on September 26, 2011, is the Dominican Royals Player of the Year.  Franco, 17, hit .315 with 14 doubles, five triples, 38 RBI, 45 runs scored and 13 stolen bases in 66 games.  The switch hitter currently resides in Bani, Dominican Republic.

 

Ned Yost media session: August 30

Tonight’s competition will wrap up the Detroit series, although the Tigers will return to KC on October 1-3 to put a bow on 2012. Tomorrow, the Royals will be taking on the Minnesota Twins.

Ned Yost met with the media before tonight’s game. “(Jarrod) Dyson is a little sore in his throwing shoulder, so we are going to give him a day (or two) and let the doctors look at it. It doesn’t affect his running or hitting, so we will just give it a day or two to see what it looks like and go from there. I noticed it on a throw he made last night. He normally throws a ball in with a pretty good force behind it and he just threw it in and I thought that is not like him. When he came in I asked him are you ok and he said his shoulder was a little stiff and a little sore. So I had the doctors and trainers check him in the seventh inning and he said ‘look I am fine, I can do my job’. We can use him as a pinch runner and as a pinch hitter,” said Yost.

Greg Holland has earned two saves over the last two games against Detroit and will probably not be available in tonight’s game to pitch in the ninth inning, if needed. Yost said, “He has had two high-leverage situations, real intense situations. Normally he would be a guy I wouldn’t be afraid to go three or four days (in a row) if they were easier situations than the ones he has had the last two days.”

Royals Game Preview: August 30

The Royals look to sweep Detroit tonight at The K!  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with the game on the Royals Radio Network and FSKC. 

Here are the lineups:

Detroit:  Jackson – CF, Dirks - LF, Cabrera – 3B, Fielder – 1B, Young – DH, Boesch – RF, Peralta – SS, Infante – 2B, Laird – C, Porcello – RHP

Kansas City: Cain – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Francoeur – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Giavotella – 2B, Guthrie – RHP

and the game notes (PDF file):  Game_130_vs._Detroit

Royals Trivia Note:  The Royals have swept 15 three-game series against Detroit (home and away).  The last one in Kansas City was September 8-10, 2009.

Royals support 4ALS

Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs proudly support 4♦ALS, an initiative that raises awareness and support for the fight against ALS, otherwise known as “Lou Gehrig’s disease.”

The Royals are celebrating 4ALS Day tonight, August 30, at Kauffman Stadium. Working with the ALS Association-Keith Worthington Chapter, Muscular Dystrophy Association and ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALSTDI) who are all working to raise awareness of the disease and to find a cure.

The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Treg Charlton, a married father of 2 who was diagnosed with ALS at in March of 2010. Though the disease has weakened him considerably, it hasn’t taken his voice, and he still does all he can to raise funds and awareness for ALS.  He serves as Director of Real Estate for CVS in Missouri, Kansas and surrounding states.  Treg is well aware a cure may not be found in his lifetime, but with tremendous support from his family and co-workers at CVS, he commits much of his time to raising awareness and supporting initiatives that may lead to a cure.

In the Buck O’Neil Legacy seat will be Beckie Cooper who became The ALS Association Keith Worthington Chapter’s first and only Executive Director in January 1988.  Over the past 25 years it has grown to a regional organization that serves Kansas, Nebraska and Western Missouri.  She has helped raise millions of dollars to fight Lou Gehrig’s Disease, as well as put in place new and innovative services. Beckie, who resides in Mission, Kans., has been significant in the growth not only of the Chapter, but of The ALS Association nation-wide with her continued leadership and guidance.

All three organizations will have patients and supporters on hand at the game. One of the many people who will be either represented or honored tonight include Mike Winston who is 28 and has had ALS for 4 years. Mike went to The University of Kansas and is now living back in his homestate of Minnesota. Here is more about Mike:

http://vimeo.com/15695388

The Royals and Major League Baseball stand behind those who have been affected by this disease. We look forward to one day finding a cure.

Ned Yost media session: August 29

When manager Ned Yost met with the media this afternoon the use of replay reviews in the MLB and its impact on last night’s game was the first topic discussed.  Last night with two outs in the ninth inning, Delmon Young hit a ball deep into the right field corner and out of the park, but it was called foul by the umpires.  It was a tough call because it was so close and only fans scattered around the base of the pole could have probably actually seen it in real-time with the naked eye.  So, the umpires turned to the replay review and ultimately got the call right, a foul ball.  Yost was asked if he supports the review of home runs and if they are good for baseball.  He responded saying yes it is good, even though last night he got the call right initially but there was some question.  Yost went on to say he could not tell from where he was standing whether it was fair or foul, but he feels replay is very beneficial in making sure they get it right.  He said the umpire got it right in the first place, but it was very close so using the replay eliminates all doubt and everyone can go about their business knowing they got it right.  He was then asked if he would like to see replay review used more and expanded to more than just home runs.  Yost said yes and that he is all for it.  He said the MLB is taking it one step at a time, but he is in favor of all of it and not just on home runs.

The Royals’ choice to walk Prince Fielder in the ninth last night was the next topic brought up by the media.  Yost said he was not going to let Fielder beat him in that situation.  He went on to say Delmon Young is a great hitter too and that trio of Miguel Cabrera, Fielder and Young is a tough group, but he said he has been around Fielder, managing him in Milwaukee, and he lives for that situation.   Yost said sometimes you can do that and it will work then you can do it several more times and it will not work.  He said he knows Prince is a phenomenal offensive performer and he is extremely clutch and just thrives in that situation so he made the decision to walk him and it paid off.  He then said it is only the second time in his career he has put the winning run on base in the ninth inning, but it worked.

Closer Greg Holland was brought up next and how far he has come in the last few seasons.  Yost said he has made dramatic improvements from when he got to Kansas City in 2010 to now.  He said in 2010 he was kind of wild, but had great stuff. Then when he got to spring training in 2011, something had clicked and he was a new pitcher with great command and impeccable stuff.  He said command made all the difference for him because he has all the makeup for a great pitcher.  Yost then said he has the most confidence in him as a closer than any he has had in his whole career.  He said Holland has a great approach to closing and does not dwell on the save factor or tight game aspect with nerves.  It is three outs and that is the way Holland approaches it when he gets the call to close it out.

Royals Game Preview: August 29

The Royals will look to make it two in a row tonight as the series continues vs. Detroit.  The first pitch is at 7:10, so load up the car and come on out!  If you can’t make it to The K, tune in on FSKC or the Royals Radio Network.

Detroit lineup:   Jackson – CF, Dirks – LF, Cabrera – 3B, Fielder – 1B, Young – DH, Peralta – SS, Baker – RF, Avila – C, Santiago – 2B. Sanchez – RHP

Kansas City lineup:  Dyson – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Moustakas – 3B, Cain – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Pena – C, Giavotella – 2B, Chen – LHP

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game 129 vs. Detroit

Royals Trivia Note:   Bruce Chen needs one win to have 10 or more in three straight seasons.  Charlie Leibrandt (1984-88) is the last KC lefty with three or more consecutive seasons of 10+ wins.

Ned Yost media session: August 28

The Royals are back for a 10-game homestand and will kick it off by playing the Detroit Tigers tonight.  Manager Ned Yost met with the media in the Royals dugout before batting practice. He discussed the Royals offense during the seven-game road trip. “I am happy with (Alex) Gordon’s production in the three spot, he’s swinging the bat really well , driving in more runs and having opportunities to drive in more runs. I mean we went on a seven-day trip and really the two most productive players we had were (Eric) Hosmer and Gordon and Gordon hit right at .400 clip the whole road trip against some of the best pitching in the American League,” said Yost.

Conversely, Lorenzo Cain had a rough go in the leadoff position during road trip, batting .111.  Yost said, “He’s more of a guy that will be a five-six-seven type hitter. When I think of a prototypical leadoff guy I’m thinking of a guy like (Jarrod) Dyson. Gordon did a good job there, but Alex is not going to steal second or steal third. Lorenzo can steal bases, but we are looking for a higher on base percentage and guys to get on base so we can get them in.”

Hosmer had a good trip on offense, but it has been a struggle for him most of the season. Over his last 12 games, he is batting .378 which improves his season average over .240 for the first time since April 9.  Yost said, “He is swinging the bat a little better. He is starting to get to the ball middle-in better, driving the ball much better, shortening his swing and playing down his approach a little bit. Just things we knew he needed to do to get on track and he is doing it.”

Luis Mendoza will be taking the mound against the Tigers’ ace, Justin Verlander, in tonight’s matchup. Yost talked about what the key is for a pitcher who goes up against a guy like Verlander. He said, “You can’t focus on it, but you have to pitch your game. If you want to give your team a chance to win, you have to match him pitch for pitch. You don’t have to match him stuff for stuff, but you can’t go up there and give up four runs and expect to win a ball game against Justin Verlander.”

Royals Game Preview: August 28

KC opens a 10-game homestand tonight!  Come on out for the 7:10 start vs. Detroit – and if you can’t make it to The K, tune in on FSKC or the Royals Radio Network.  Here are the lineups:

Detroit:  Jackson – CF, Dirks – RF, Cabrera – 3B, Fielder – 1B, Young – DH, Avila – C, Peralta – SS, Infante – 2B, Berry – LF, Verlander – RHP

Kansas City:  Dyson – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Francoeur – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Giavotella – 2B, Mendoza – RHP

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game 128 vs. Detroit

Royals Trivia Fact:  The longest game between Detroit and Kansas City took place on July 29, 1995 at Kauffman Stadium.  The Royals won 5-4 in 16 innings!

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