The health and current status of Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza was the first question directed to manager Ned Yost when he met with the media this afternoon prior to batting practice. Mendoza was diagnosed with strep throat yesterday which has forced him to miss his start in the rotation which was scheduled for tonight. The change has also bumped everyone up one spot in the rotation. Bruce Chen is tonight’s starter with Mendoza’s absence, then Jeremy Guthrie Thursday and hopefully Mendoza will be able to get back into the rotation after that on Friday vs. Cleveland. Yost said Mendoza came out to the park earlier today, played some catch and also through a short bullpen session. He went on to say he may be able to start as soon as Friday in the series-opener against Cleveland, but they will wait and see how he is feeling tomorrow and again on Friday. If Mendoza does return for Friday’s game, then it will most likely be Will Smith getting the start Saturday and rookie Jake Odorizzi making his big league debut on Sunday to finish out the homestand. It is just a matter of Mendoza recovering and regaining his strength. Yost finished by saying he was feeling better and looked much better when he came in earlier today, so that is a good sign.
Billy Butler’s milestone season was the last topic with Yost and members of the media this afternoon. Butler surpassed his career high in single-season home runs a while ago and tallied his 96th and 97th RBI of the season last night, also a new single-season career high. The question was asked if it is that Billy is starting to come of age as a player or what explains his career numbers soaring this season. Yost said someone like Billy is expected to get better and better each year and you expect his numbers to keep increasing each year so, yes, saying he is “coming of age” can be an accurate statement when referring to the numbers Billy has put up this season. Yost finished by saying having Billy’s type of bat and hitting in the middle of lineup is very valuable to the future success of the club.
Ryan Lefebvre’s Gloves for Kids event was held on Monday at Rally House North in Kansas City. Nine Royals players and Manager Ned Yost attended the event, which raised more than $6,800. The donations will go toward baseball equipment for both Kansas City area kids as well as hundreds of kids in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. Those kids will receive new baseball gloves from Kelvin Herrera, Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar who will distribute the items when they return home in the off-season.
Bruce Chen takes the mound tonight as Kansas City hosts Chicago at 7:10. Come on out to Kauffman Stadium for a beautiful night of baseball!
This game will be televised on FOX Sports Kansas City and the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Bourgeois – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Francoeur – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Giavotella – 2B, Chen – LHP
Chicago lineup: De Aza – CF, Youkilis – 3B, Dunn – DH, Konerko – 1B, Rios – RF, Viciedo – LF, Ramirez – SS, Flowers – C, Beckham - 2B, Sale – LHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_148_vs._Chicago
Royals Trivia Fact: Greg Holland has five saves against the White Sox this year. Joakim Soria has the most of any Royal in one season vs. Chicago, with six in 2009. Jeff Montgomery recorded five in 1994 while Dan Quisenberry posted five in both 1984 and 1985.
Major League Baseball and Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, today announced that Alex Gordon was named the Royals 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Today marks the eleventh annual Roberto Clemente Day, which was established by Major League Baseball to honor Clemente’s legacy and to officially recognize local Club nominees of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet. Gordon is one of the 30 Club finalists for the annual award, which recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.
The Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet pays tribute to Clemente’s achievements and character by recognizing current players who truly understand the value of helping others. The Award is named for the 15-time MLB All-Star and Hall of Famer who died in a plane crash on New Year’s Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.
Among his charitable endeavors, Gordon has been a longtime supporter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF). Beginning during his rookie season in 2007, the 28-year-old outfielder has attended Alex’s Lemonade Stand events at area Hy-Vee grocery stores, participated in public service announcements, welcomed children diagnosed with cancer out to the ballpark and visited youngsters in the hospital. The Royals and ARAMARK, the official concessionaire of Kauffman Stadium, have partnered this year to donate a portion of the proceeds from each lemonade sale at the ballpark to ASLF. It is Gordon’s involvement in the charity that helped push this initiative to fruition. Gordon also serves as a local spokesperson for ALSF.
In addition, the Lincoln, Neb., native became a big supporter of the Diamond Dawgs – a 12-and-under baseball team from his hometown that were “Playing for Pink” by donning pink jerseys to raise awareness for breast cancer after two members of the team lost their mothers to cancer. Rather than sticking with tradition by having their names across the backs of the jerseys, the Diamond Dawgs selected words such as hope, conquer and fearless in tribute of the fight against cancer.
Gordon and his wife, Jamie, hosted the Playing for Pink Casino Night in Lincoln on November 19, 2011. The event raised more than $120,000 – half of which ($64,000) was donated to the American Cancer Society. The other half was used to send the team to a tournament this summer in Cooperstown, N.Y. – a trip one of the deceased mothers told her doctors that she wanted to live long enough to see her son take.
As the Royals honoree, Gordon will receive an award and donation to the charity of his choice, Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, from Chevrolet.
Tonight the Royals start a three-game series against the first-place Chicago White Sox. Kansas City has clinched the season series against the White Sox at 10-5 with these three games to go. Ned Yost met with the media to discuss tonight’s game and the pitching rotation. “We play good against these guys. We didn’t play Detroit good early in the year and the last couple times we have played them good. I think we are getting better as a team, but I don’t know why we can play so well against these guys and then go one and seven against Seattle,” said Yost.
Luis Mendoza was scheduled to start tomorrow, but he came in today with strep throat. Yost said, “With the off day (yesterday), we can bump everyone up and keep them on regular rest and be alright. So (Bruce) Chen will be (starting) tomorrow and then (Jeremy) Guthrie on Thursday. He (Mendoza) will be somewhere in the Cleveland series (this weekend) if he is feeling up to it, but we will see where his strength is and see how he feels and if we need to skip him throughout the whole turn, we can.”
The Royals called up right-hander Jake Odorizzi on Sunday from Triple-A Omaha and he will be looking for his first Major League debut in the near future. “I won’t start him against a contending team. When we play Chicago and Detroit, we will put our best team and best pitchers on the field against them. We won’t put any rookies in there unless it’s absolutely out of necessity. It is just the way I have always done it and it is the way it should be.” He followed with, “In my mind, when you are playing a contending team you have a responsibility to play your best team, out of fairness to both clubs. Against Cleveland, it’s a different story. That’s when you will see Odorizzi make a start and maybe some of these other guys that haven’t been starting.”
Kansas City opens a three-game set against Chicago tonight, with the first pitch set for 7:10 at Kauffman Stadium. Tonight’s game is on FOX Sports Kansas City and the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Lough – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Francoeur – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Abreu – 2B, Hochevar – RHP
Chicago lineup: De Aza – RF, Youkilis – 3B, Dunn – DH, Konerko – 1B, Rios – LF, Pierzynski – C, Ramirez – SS, Wise – CF, Beckham – 2B, Floyd – RHP
Royals Notes (PDF file): Game_147_vs._Chicago
Royals Trivia Fact: Kansas City’s bullpen has amassed 495 strikeouts this year, a club record. They need five strikeouts to become the 20th team since 1921 to record 500 or more in relief. The record is held by the 2006 Cubs, who posted 553. The 2012 Rockies currently lead the Majors with 524.
On Monday, September 17, fans will have the chance to help provide baseball equipment for Kansas City’s disadvantaged youth at a special Gloves For Kids event presented by the Royals and Ryan Lefebvre’s Footprints Foundation. Additional support is provided by Rawlings, Rally House and 610 Sports Radio. The event will be held at Rally House-Kansas City North, located at 8650 N. Boardwalk Ave. in Kansas City, Mo., from 6-8 p.m.
Select Royals players will sign autographs for fans who donate at least $25 toward new baseball gloves and other baseball/softball equipment for underprivileged youth in both the Kansas City area as well as the native countries of some of the event participants, including the Dominican Republic and Venezuela.
Royals players scheduled to appear include:
Pitcher Louis Coleman Second Baseman Johnny Giavotella
Pitcher Tim Collins Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie
Pitcher Danny Duffy Pitcher Kelvin Herrera
Shortstop Alcides Escobar Catcher Salvador Perez
Second Baseman Chris Getz Manager Ned Yost
Session participants will be announced at Rally House at 5 p.m. One group of players will sign from 6-7 p.m. with the other group to follow from 7-8 p.m. Please note that a $25 donation is required for each session, and fans will be allowed to have one item autographed by each Royals player participating in that session. Sales for both sessions will begin at 5 p.m., and each session will be capped at 150 people. For details, visit www.royals.com/glovesforkids.
The event will also include a Royals Charities silent auction featuring unique Royals memorabilia, including autographed items from players including Billy Butler, Mike Moustakas and George Brett, which will run until 7:45 p.m. In addition, Bob Fescoe, host of “Fescoe in the Morning” on 610 Sports Radio, the home of the Royals, will be reporting live from Rally House from 5-7 p.m.
Created in 2001 by Lefebvre’s Footprints Foundation, the Gloves For Kids event has raised more than $85,000 to provide new baseball gloves and related equipment for Kansas City area youth.
When manager Ned Yost met with the media this morning he was first asked about one of the five players called up from Triple-A Omaha this morning, right handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi. The Storm Chasers were defeated last night in the PCL championship series, ending their successful season and allowing the Royals more freedom for calling players up. Yost said Odorizzi threw the ball well for Omaha this year and they wanted to see him at the big league level. He went on to say the reports on Jake have been consistently good all year and he will be with the big league club for the remainder of the season and they will try to get him a few starts during that time. He said he will look at him out of the bullpen as a possibility as well and he is going to be in the pen today and Tuesday. The Royals are looking at giving him a start against Cleveland next weekend.
The second player discussed with Yost was catcher Adam Moore who was also among those called up from Omaha this morning. The addition of Moore now gives the Royals four catchers and Yost was asked if he plans on getting all the catchers a shot in that position at some point. Yost said the Royals will try and give Moore one or two starts up here before the season is over. Yost said he is a guy they have not really seen yet since he came over from the Mariners organization in July and want to get a look, which is the reason he was part of this morning’s call up.
The decision to start Jason Bourgeois in centerfield against right handed pitcher for the Angels Dan Haren was the final question directed to Yost this morning. He said the numbers have shown that right handed batters have had good success against Haren this season and they want to see Bourgeois in center today, therefore they are going with him out there.
The Royals look to build on last night’s dramatic win in today’s 1:10 start. The game will be televised as it was added after a rainout on August 31 vs. Minnesota. As always, you can tune in on the Royals Radio Network.
Kansas City lineup: Bourgeois – CF, Escobar – SS, Gordon – LF, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Moustakas – 3B, Francoeur – RF, Hosmer – 1B, Abreu – 2B, Smith – LHP
Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_146_vs._LAA
Royals Trivia Fact: Four of the last five Kansas City walk-off home runs have come against the Angels. The homer by Salvador Perez on Saturday was the 62nd in franchise history. Lou Piniella hit the first walk-off in team history on June 30, 1969, also against the Angels.
What a win for the Royals! KC trailed 2-0 entering the ninth. Alex Gordon singled off of former teammate Zack Greinke with one out. Greinke was replaced at that point, with Billy Butler due up. KC’s DH hit a long homer to center on the first pitch and Salvador Perez followed with his first career walk-off homer. Below are photos of Butler’s homer and the reaction after the walk-off by Perez.