July 2013

Royals Game Preview: July 31 at Minnesota

The Royals moved their winning streak to seven games last night in Minneapolis.  They’ll look to continue the second-half push tonight in a 7:10 start.

Pitching matchup:  RHP Jeremy Guthrie (10-7) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (7-7)

Lineups:  Royals: Gordon – LF, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Lough – RF, Tejada – 2B, Moustakas – 3B, Escobar – SS, Dyson – CF, Guthrie – RHP

Twins:  Thomas – LF, Carroll – 2B, Mauer – C, Morneau – 1B, Doumit – RF, Plouffe – 3B, Herrmann – RF, Hicks – CF, Florimon – SS, Correia – RHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City or MLB.TV

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_104_Minnesota

Royals Trivia Fact:  KC’s last winning streak of eight or more was the season-opening nine-game stretch in 2003.

 

 

 

Royals acquire outfielder Justin Maxwell from Houston for minor league pitcher Kyle Smith

The Royals today acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Kyle Smith prior to the 3 p.m. CDT non-waiver trade deadline.

Maxwell, 29, was batting .241 in 40 games for the Astros this season with 10 doubles, 2 triples and 2 home runs and 21 runs scored.  The right-handed hitting outfielder is batting .302 with a .488 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching this year. He hit 18 homers and drove in 53 runs in 124 games with the Astros in 2012, which included a .272 batting average, .387 on-base percentage and .505 slugging percentage against southpaws. He’s in his fifth Major League season and has with 33 doubles, 29 homers and a .419 slugging percentage in 286 games with the Washington Nationals (2007, 2009-10) and the Astros (2012-13).  He’s also swiped 24 bases in 31 attempts in his career. Maxwell was a fourth-round selection by the Nationals in the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Maryland. He was traded to the Yankees during the offseason in 2011 and claimed off waivers by the Astros early in the 2012 season.

Smith, 20, was the Royals’ fourth-round selection in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He was 5-4 this season with a 2.85 ERA in 19 starts at Class A Wilmington.

Royals Game Preview: July 30 at Minnesota

The Royals have won six in a row heading into tonight’s 7:10 start at Minnesota.

Pitching matchup:  RHP Ervin Santana (6-6) vs. RHP Mike Pelfrey (4-8)

Lineups:  Royals: Gordon – LF, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Lough – RF, Tejada – 2B, Moustakas – 3B, Escobar – SS, Dyson – CF, Santana – RHP

Twins:  Thomas – LF, Carroll – 2B, Mauer – C, Morneau – 1B, Doumit – RF, Colabello – DH, Plouffe – 3B, Hicks – CF, Florimon – SS, Pelfrey – RHP

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City or MLB.TV

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game #103 @ Minnesota

Royals Trivia Fact:  Royals starting pitchers have gone at least 6.0 innings in 75 of 102 games.

Ned Yost media session: July 25, 2013

Kansas City manager Ned Yost met with the media this evening prior to the series finale with the Baltimore Orioles.  Ned first commented on today’s news of the George Brett stepping down as the club’s hitting coach.  “George is a tremendous asset to our organization, to have him here for two months was fun, it was a great experience for not only me and the coaches, but the players too, and we respect his decision.”  Brett will return to his position as Vice President – Baseball Operations, and plans to work with the players before home games for the remainder of the season.  Pedro Grifol assumes the role of hitting coach today, after working as a special assistant for the past two months.

Yost then addressed what he will be looking for starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie to do tonight against a potent Orioles’ lineup.  “That’s the idea, try not to let them get too much damage and then limit (it).  Jeremy always does that, he commands the baseball he changes speeds and he changes locations.  If you do that you’re going to have a good chance of keeping us in the ball game, and giving us a chance to win.”

Yost concluded the media conference by discussing the significance of the club’s chance to reach the .500 mark for the very tough 20-game and six series stretch that had them meeting five teams with winning records.  “I think that was important, going in to it that’s what we wanted to do.  We wanted to get through this twenty-game stretch and keep our head above water.  Aside from that one series (Cleveland) we’ve played pretty good baseball against some very very tough teams.  I thought it was important for us to play good during that twenty-game stretch and we’ve had games that we wish we could have back and we played some really good exciting games against some great teams.”

The Royals begin a nine-game road trip in Chicago tomorrow night against the White Sox.

By Henry Wear

Royals Game Preview: July 25 vs. Baltimore

Pitching matchup:  RHP Miguel Gonzalez (8-3) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (9-7)

Lineups:  Orioles: McLouth – LF, Machado – 3B, Markakis – RF, Jones – CF, Davis – 1B, Wieters – C, Hardy – SS, Urrutia – DH, Roberts – 2B

Royals: Gordon – LF, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Lough – RF, Moustakas – 3B, Escobar – SS, Getz – 2B, Dyson – CF

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City or MLB.TV

Royals Game Notes (PDF file):  Game_99_vs._Baltimore

Royals Trivia Fact:  KC can take the season series with Baltimore tonight as the clubs are currently tied at 3-3.  The Royals last won the season series in 2010 (4-2).

George Brett to return as Vice President – Baseball Operations

The Royals today announced that George Brett will step down as interim hitting coach and Pedro Grifol will take over the duties of hitting coach. Brett, who accepted the coaching role on May 30, will return to his previous position of Vice President-Baseball Operations.

“George did an incredible job,” said Dayton Moore, Royals’ Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “His expertise as a baseball man and his passion to win will have an everlasting effect on our team. I’m thrilled that he will be more involved in all aspects of baseball operations.”
“My lifelong passion after playing was not to be a hitting coach, but Dayton asked me if I would consider it, and I did, but only on the promise that it would be on an interim basis,” said Brett. “There is a ton of talent here and doing this for almost two months has prepared me to be a better advisor to Dayton and his staff. This has been an unbelievable experience for me and now I’m energized to contribute more to this organization as I return to my non-uniformed role.”

 

George Brett discusses the Pine Tar Game, 30 years later

Brett PresserToday marks the 30th Anniversary of the infamous “Pine Tar Incident” at Yankee Stadium, which involved Royals Hall of Famer George Brett.  Yesterday Brett sat down with the media to discuss the game, and the life-long connection that has since been created.

When Brett was asked if he every gets tired of discussing the incident he responded very candidly.

“Not at all, it’s a positive thing, it was something that I did good, I hit a home run off one of the toughest relief pitchers in baseball, and a Hall of Fame guy, and if I was not suspected of using an illegal bat we wouldn’t be doing this.  It would have been a July 24th game thirty years ago that no one would have remembered.  But when the umpires called me out and my protest kind of made it famous.  All in all I’m very proud of my actions during the time, and after the time.  It showed the kind of player I was.”

As for his reaction?

“I couldn’t believe it.  I had no clue that I did that.  I knew that I had ran out on to the field, but I didn’t know I was….That was just the type of player I was, I wore my emotions on my sleeve, and I played hard, and when call like that goes against you you’re going to react.  I think I totally blacked because when I saw the video, I was amazed by my reaction.”

The incident has become infamous not just in baseball, but American sports as well.  For Brett, he doesn’t mind being the “pine-tar guy” because it could have been much worse.  “Every time I went in the on-deck circle from 1980 to July 24, 1983, I heard every hemorrhoid joke in the world and I was the ‘Hemorrhoid Guy.”  And, all of a sudden, after July 24, 1983, until now I have to remind people I had hemorrhoids. So how would you rather be remembered? Let’s be realistic — the slippery stuff or the sticky stuff?”

By Henry Wear

Ned Yost media session: July 24, 2013

Alex Gordon is a main stay in the Royals lineup, having played in 94 of the Royals 97 games this season. He is not in the lineup tonight against the Orioles.  Ned Yost was asked today at his daily media session why his All-Star left fielder is out of the lineup.  This is what the manager had to say, “It is a day off. We all had a four-day All-Star break, Alex had one day. By the time you fly and do all the stuff on Monday and Tuesday and fly your family back the following day (the day after the All-Star Game) you don’t get any rest. We have two off-days in the next 50 so I have to find spots to give Alex a break and I have to find spots to give Sal (Perez) a break.”

With the two-time Gold Glove winner not in the lineup the skipper inserted Lorenzo Cain at the top of the order. Yost was asked why he chose to go with Cain at leadoff. “We looked at a bunch of different things. Lorenzo is hitting .313 when leading off an inning with 70 at-bats. That is kind of why we put him there,” said Yost.

By Kent Klooster

Royals Game Preview: July 24, 2013

KC hosts Baltimore in a 7:10 start tonight.

Pitching matchup:  LHP Wei-Yin Chen (5-3) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (6-6)

Lineups:  Orioles: McLouth – LF, Machado – 3B, Markakis – RF, Jones – CF, Davis – 1B, Wieters – C, Hardy – SS, Urrutia – DH, Roberts – 2B

Royals: Cain – CF, Hosmer – 1B, Butler – DH, Perez – C, Tejada 3B, Lough – LF, Escobar – SS, Getz – 2B, Johnson – RF

Radio:  Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC)

TV:  FOX Sports Kansas City or MLB.TV

Royals Game Notes (PDF file): Game_98_vs._Baltimore

Royals Trivia Fact:  Last night’s winner, Bruce Chen, and tonight’s Baltimore starter, Wei-Yin Chen, are the only current players in MLB with the last name of Chen.  Chin-Feng Chen, an outfielder, spent parts of the 2002 to 2005 seasons in the Majors.

Ned Yost media session: July 23, 2013

Kansas City skipper Ned Yost met with the media prior to this evening’s game with the Baltimore Orioles.  Yost first addressed questions following Wade Davis’ outing yesterday and what Davis can improve upon.  “We think there are some things we can do.  One: he had not pitched in 11 days, two we think there are some things that we can do to improve his game.  His stuff was as good as it’s been all year long, it was just command.  We’re going to try a couple of things and see if we can make it better.  He needs to get it going, we need to get him going and being productive.”

Yost then stated the need for increased urgency by the club as they enter the final two months of the season.  “It’s time for us to get consistent and start winning baseball games, we’re almost at the 100 game mark, and it’s time to win some games.  We want to try and find some consistency in our offense, consistency in our pitching and put together a run.”

Yost concluded by discussing what he liked from the approach of Bruce Chen in his last start, and what he would like to see in this evening’s start.  “I liked everything about his start.  He threw strikes, he changed speeds, he moved the ball up, he moved the ball down, he moved the ball in, and he moved the ball out.  Commanded the ball very well, and got us through six innings with no runs.”

The Royals and the Orioles meet tonight for the second game of their current four-game set.

by Henry Wear

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