October 2013

James Shields conference call notes (Joe Burke Special Achievement Award)

James Shields carved up the strike zone to the tune of 196 strikeouts in 2013.  He spent Halloween morning carving up pumpkins at his daughters’ elementary school.

Shields then participated in a conference call after earning the 2013 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award.  The Royals also picked up his 2014 option on Thursday.

He said he’s excited to be back with KC and says that he loves the city.  He loves the organization’s willingness to win and while he hasn’t thought about his future beyond 2014, he wouldn’t mind making KC his home.

Shields was asked about his post-victory celebrations at home (he helped to install a neon sign with a bullseye while catcher George Kottaras brought in a smoke machine).  Shields just wanted to help his teammates keep their minds off of the pressure of the 162-game season.  He says the wins are all that really matter, not the individual statistics.

James Shields named 2013 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award Winner

Royals vs. Rangers_9016The Royals announced that starting pitcher James Shields has been selected as the 2013 Joe Burke Special Achievement Award winner.  The award was voted on by the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).  The Joe Burke is awarded to an unsung player who contributed above and beyond what was expected, or someone who the writers felt deserved recognition for an outstanding season.
Shields, 31, was traded to the Royals on December 9, 2012 and immediately became the ace of the pitching staff.  He posted a 13-9 record with a 3.15 ERA in an American League-best 228.2 innings in his first season in Kansas City.  The veteran righty also led the league in quality starts (27), tied for the American League lead in games started (34) and ranked seventh in strikeouts (196).  His 27 quality starts were tied for the third-most by a Royals pitcher and were the top total since Kevin Appier posted 29 in 1993, while his strikeout total was the sixth-highest in club history.

Shields was one of the best pitchers in baseball after the All-Star break, going 9-3 with a 3.06 ERA in 14 starts after the Midsummer Classic.  His nine victories after the break were tied for the most in the Major Leagues.  He also collected a 10-3 mark with an American League-best 2.07 ERA in 18 road starts.

During the final month of the season, when the Royals were making their push for a postseason berth, he went 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA, allowing just four runs in his final 29.0 innings of the season.  He collected his 100th career victory with a 6-1 triumph over the White Sox in Chicago on September 27.
The Royals plan to announce the 2013 Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year on Monday, November 4 and the 2013 Les Milgram Player of the Year on Tuesday, November 5.

Afternoon Update: The Royals have exercised Shields’ 2014 club option.

Royals set club record with three Gold Glove winners!

Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., and ESPN2 announced tonight that a club record three Kansas City Royals ¬– left fielder Alex Gordon, first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez – have won American League Rawlings Gold Glove Awards.  The three Rawlings Gold Glove winners mark the first time since 1989 that Kansas City has had multiple honorees.  The Royals’ three Rawlings Gold Glove winners tied Baltimore for the Major League lead.

The awards were voted on by American League managers and coaches and honor the best individual fielding performances at each position in the American and National Leagues.  Center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar were also named finalists for the award.

Gordon became the first Royal to win three-straight Rawlings Gold Glove Awards since second baseman Frank White won six-straight, from 1977-82.  Alex joins Amos Otis (1971, 1973-74) as the only Royals outfielders to win three awards.  Gordon tied for the Major League lead with 17 outfield assists, after finishing second in 2012 and leading MLB with 20 assists in 2011.  His 54 assists since the start of 2011 are the most in the Majors, 16 more than the next-closest active outfielder (Torii Hunter).  He led American League left fielders in games (160), innings (1364.1), total chances (341) and putouts (323), while committing just one error for a .997 fielding percentage.  Gordon, a former third baseman, earned his first career Rawlings Gold Glove in 2011, his first full season in the outfield.

Hosmer became the first Kansas City first baseman to be honored with a Rawlings Gold Glove, and first Royals infielder to be honored since Mark Grudzielanek (2B) in 2006. A finalist for a Gold Glove in 2012, Hosmer earned the award after leading American League first sackers in games played (158) and assists (122), while finishing second in innings (1372.1), total chances (1,335) and putouts (1,205).  His .994 fielding percentage ranked fourth among the league’s first basemen with at least 1,200 chances.

Perez is just the second Royals’ catcher to be honored with a Rawlings Gold Glove Award, joining Bob Boone in 1989.  Named an All-Star for the first time in his career, Perez led American League catchers with a Royals’ record 71 assists as well as 23 base runners caught stealing, while his 35.2 caught stealing percentage ranked second among qualifying catchers.  Perez also ranked second among A.L. backstops in games (137), innings (1115.1), total chances (1,008), putouts (930).  He was also charged with just three passed balls, the fewest among American League catchers with at least 100 games behind the plate.
Gordon, Hosmer and Perez give the Royals 23 Rawlings Gold Gloves honorees in franchise history, while Hosmer and Perez become the 11th and 12th different players honored.  Gordon earned the ninth Gold Glove given to a Kansas City outfielder (fifth different outfielder).

For the first time in its 57-year history, Rawlings added a sabermetric component to the Rawlings Gold Glove Award selection process, as part of its new collaboration with the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).  The SABR Defensive Index comprised of approximately 25 percent of the overall selection total, with the managers and coaches’ vote continuing to carry the majority.

Voting for the Rawlings Platinum Glove Award™ presented by SABR began at the conclusion of the awards show at www.rawlings.com, allowing the general public to weigh in as to who is “The Finest in the Field®” in both the American League and National League.  A combination of the international fan vote and the SABR Defensive Index will determine who takes home the honor of each League’s top defensive player.  The Rawlings Platinum Glove Award winners will be unveiled during the 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award Ceremony presented by Gold Sport Collectibles on Friday, November 8, 2013, at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

Jorge Bonifacio named to Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game

Royals prospect Jorge Bonifacio was named to the Arizona Fall League’s Fall Stars Game yesterday.  The game, formerly known as the Rising Stars Game, is an All-Star Game that includes representatives from each of the 30 MLB teams.

Player:  Jorge Bonifacio

Age: 20

Hometown:  Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Signed with KC: December 9, 2009

Position:  Outfielder

2013:  Batted .296 at Wilmington and .301 at NW Arkansas

Honors: Three-time club Player of the Year (Dominican Royals, 2010; Burlington Royals, 2011; Kane County, 2012); Dominican Summer League All-Star, 2010; Midwest League All-Star, 2012; Arizona Fall League Fall Star, 2013

Yes, they are related!:  Jorge’s older brother, Emilio, joined the Royals in an August trade from Toronto.

Today, we bring you photos of Bonifacio in Fall League action, thanks to Lee Magenheim of Arizona:

Jorge Bonifacio 4

Jorge Bonifacio 1

Jorge Bonifacio 3

Royals name Wakamatsu and Jirschele to coaching staff

The Royals have named former Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and long-time Omaha manager Mike Jirschele to the Major League coaching staff.  Wakamatsu will serve as the Royals’ bench coach and catching instructor after working as a special assignment scout for the New York Yankees during the 2013 season. Jirschele, who has managed KC’s Triple-A affiliate in Omaha since 2003, will carry the title of Major League coach.  Dale Sveum, who was added to the Major League staff on October 3, will serve as third base coach and also oversee infield instruction.

With the most recent hires, the Royals have finalized their coaching staff for the 2014 season. Wakamatsu, Jirschele and Sveum will join manager Ned Yost’s coaching staff along with returnees Dave Eiland (pitching), Pedro Grifol (hitting), Rusty Kuntz (first base/outfield/baserunning) and Doug Henry (bullpen). Head athletic trainer Nick Kenney and the entire Royals’ training staff will also return for the 2014 season.

Five Royals named finalists for 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Awards

Salvador Perez is a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist for the first time.

Salvador Perez is a Rawlings Gold Glove finalist for the first time.

Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Jarden Corportation, announced today that five Royals – center fielder Lorenzo Cain, shortstop Alcides Escobar, left fielder Alex Gordon, first baseman Eric Hosmer and catcher Salvador Perez – have been named 2013 American League Gold Glove Award finalists.  The Royals’ five finalists are second-most in the A.L., behind Baltimore’s six and tied for second-most in the Major Leagues with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Rawlings also announced that award winners will be revealed on Tuesday, October 29 at 7 p.m. CT, during a special edition of “Baseball Tonight/The 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award ® Announcement Show”, which will air on ESPN2.  The Rawlings Gold Glove Awards honor the best individual fielding performances at each position in the American League ™ and National League ™, as voted by Major League managers and coaches.

Arizona Fall League photos

Special thanks to Lee Magenheim of Arizona, who sent along these Fall League photos of Royals prospects Noel Arguelles and Cheslor Cuthbert.  The pair are among eight Royals prospects playing for the Peoria Javelinas.  You can keep up on the AFL at http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/afl/

Arguelles 1Arguelles 2Cuthbert 2 (1)Cuthbert 2 (2)

Arizona Fall League in full swing

The 2013 Arizona Fall League is underway!  You can follow the Fall League at http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/afl/index.jsp

There’s a twist this year…Royals prospects are playing for the Peoria Javelinas and not for the Surprise Saguaros.  The Peoria club is playing home games in Surprise due to renovations at the Peoria Sports Complex, so if you are in Arizona, you can still see Royals prospects at Surprise Sports Complex.

Eight Royals prospects are playing for Peoria.  A look at the early highlights:  Jorge Bonifacio (brother of Emilio) has three hits, two RBI and two runs through two games.  Cheslor Cuthbert hit a home run on Tuesday.  Cuthbert split 2013 between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas.

Greg Holland wins his second MLB Delivery Man of the Month Award

Greg Holland_2337Royals closer Greg Holland has been named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man of the Month for September.

Greg led the Majors with 11 saves, which also set a franchise record for September.  Holland, who won in July, is the first player to win the award multiple times in a season.  He capped the month by breaking the Royals single-season save record, setting the new mark of 47.  Holland also tied KC’s single-season strikeout record for a reliever at 103.

Congrats to Greg!


Royals add Dale Sveum to coaching staff

The Royals today announced they have added Dale Sveum to the 2014 coaching staff. The former manager of the Chicago Cubs will be in charge of infield instruction while his in-game responsibilities will be determined at a later date. The Royals also announced that the major league coaching contracts of Chino Cadahia and Eddie Rodriguez have not been renewed, with Cadahia offered an opportunity to be reassigned within the organization.

Sveum, 49, spent the last two seasons as the manager of the Chicago Cubs, after six years on the coaching staff of the Milwaukee Brewers, including three years with current Royals’ manager Ned Yost. An infielder during his 12-year major league career, Sveum served as both third base and bench coach during his time with Milwaukee. He also spent two seasons (2004-05) as the third base coach for the Boston Red Sox, including their World Series title year of 2004. Sveum’s playing career spanned Milwaukee (1986-91), Philadelphia (1992), Chicago White Sox (1992), Oakland (1993), Seattle (1994), Pittsburgh (1996-97, 1999) and the New York Yankees (1998).


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