June 2014

Royals trade Donnie Joseph to Miami for cash considerations

Royals vs Red Sox_7892The Royals announced today that they have traded left-handed pitcher Donnie Joseph to the Miami Marlins in exchange for cash considerations. Joseph was designated for assignment on June 24.

Joseph, 26, pitched in one game at the Major League level this season, tossing 0.2 inning on June 16 in Detroit. He was originally acquired by from Cincinnati at the trade deadline in 2012 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Jonathan Broxton.



Royals sign Raul Ibanez, recall Christian Colon; designate Pedro Ciriaco, Justin Maxwell

Ibanez2 jpgThe Royals announced today that they have signed outfielder/designated hitter Raul Ibanez as a Major League free agent.  In addition, Kansas City has also recalled infielder Christian Colon from Triple-A Omaha.  In corresponding moves with the Major League roster, the Royals have designated infielder Pedro Ciriaco and outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment.

Ibanez, 42, signed with the Los Angeles Angels prior to this season, but was granted his outright release on June 21 and cleared waivers three days later.  He played in 57 games for the Angels, batting .157 with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 21 RBI.  Ibanez is one of two active players with 300 career home runs and 50 career triples (Carlos Beltran).  The left-handed hitting outfielder spent three seasons with the Royals (2001-03), hitting .294 with 37 doubles, 24 homers and 103 RBI during the 2002 season, helping him earn the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award from the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  Ibanez was also named an All-Star starter in 2009, while with Philadelphia and has participated in 44 postseason games with three different teams: Seattle (2000), Philadelphia (2009-11) and the New York Yankees (2012).

Colon, 25, was the Royals’ first-round draft pick (fourth overall) in 2010 and was hitting .296 in 74 games at Triple-A Omaha this season, with 14 doubles, 4 homers and a .360 on-base percentage.  He ranks 12th in the Pacific Coast League with 48 runs scored, while his 14 steals are tied for 11th in the league.  Colon was named the Omaha Player of the Year in 2013, hitting .273 with 12 doubles, 12 homers and a .335 OBP.

Weekend rewind: Royals introduce Finnegan

Finnegan1FinnegansOn Saturday, the Royals introduced left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan, the 17th overall pick in this month’s draft.

KC had two first-round picks this year, with Finnegan at number 17 overall and prep left-hander Foster Griffin at 28.

Finnegan just wrapped up a successful junior year as he helped TCU reach the College World Series.  Now, he’s on his way to Class-A Wilmington, where the Royals will monitor his progress closely as he threw 105.2 innings for the Horned Frogs.  He is expected to pitch side sessions and batting practice before seeing game duty (likely in 10 to 14 days).

The lefty says he has a bulldog mentality and confidence in himself to compete.  The confidence along with three plus-pitches impressed Royals scouts last fall as Finnegan told them that he believed he could pitch in the Majors at that time.

Finnegan had a great first impression of Kansas City, saying that he felt at home as it reminded him of downtown Fort Worth.

Royals walk off with a 5-4 win!

Omar Infante delivered a walk-off single in the ninth today as KC won 5-4 over the Angels!  The win puts KC at 42-39 at the halfway-point of 2014.  Here’s a look at the walk-off and celebration, from all angles…

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Royals Wives host Alex’s Lemonade Stand fundraiser

Today (Sunday) is a warm day at The K – a perfect afternoon for a nice, cool lemonade!  Jamie Gordon, wife of Alex, led the Royals Wives in hosting a fundraiser for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which supports childhood cancer research.

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004).  In 2000, four-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer.  Since then, the foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement. For more information on ALSF, visit AlexsLemonade.org.

In 2004, after hearing about Alex Scott’s efforts, Kansas Citian Jacob Mozer, a seven-year-old in remission from cancer, wanted to do the same and had his first lemonade stand at the Hy-Vee store in Blue Springs, Mo.  His effort now includes more than 600 volunteers participating in lemonade stands at all Hy-Vee stores in greater Kansas City, St. Joseph, Mo., and Lawrence, Topeka and Manhattan, Kan.  Now in its 11th year, the Kansas City regional effort to fight childhood cancer has raised $1 million.


Ned Yost media session: June 29, 2014

The Royals and Angels will complete the season series today at Kauffman Stadium as Jeremy Guthrie and C.J. Wilson toe the rubber in the finale. Manager Ned Yost will start Jarrod Dyson in center field against Wilson, a top lefty, shifting Lorenzo Cain to right. Yost said he wanted his fleetest outfield today because Guthrie is a fly ball pitcher and Yost wants as much ground covered as he can to help the righty out. Dyson has struggled at times against lefties but Yost likes his ability to do little things to reach base, like bunting or drawing a walk, to get an inning going or to keep a rally alive.

Yost was also able to watch Brandon Finnegan, Kansas City’s first round selection earlier this month, throw a bullpen while he was in town for his introductory press conference. The manager liked the way Finnegan commanded all his pitches, how he kept the ball down and his competitiveness. Ned said now they’ll look at how he adapts to the lifestyle of professional baseball, specifically in the minor leagues. Yost said in college the concerns involve the 3-4 hitters in the order but in professional baseball almost every guy is a “3-4, type hitter.”

Royals announce offer for fans with tickets to Saturday’s game (6/28)

Due to the extended rain delay in today’s game, the Kansas City Royals will allow fans to exchange today’s ticket stub for a $10 Hy-Vee Infield ticket for tomorrow afternoon’s finale with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Tickets can be redeemed at the Kauffman Stadium box office tomorrow, prior to the 1:10 game.

Ned Yost media session: June 28, 2014

Ned Yost was asked about several topics today, including Omar Infante, the bullpen, Jarrod Dyson’s role and the work that the coaches put in as they prepare for each series.

Infante hit a big grand slam on Friday, the first of his career. Yost said that Infante is seeing the ball better and hitting better, too.

The bullpen put together 5.0 hitless innings on Friday, just the second time in franchise history that the pen has accomplished that (the first was in 2013). Yost noted that Michael Mariot did a great job of getting out of the inning with just one run allowed.  Mariot, a former Nebraska Cornhusker, earned his first Major League win.

Jarrod Dyson is not playing on Saturday. Yost says that there is no concern with Dyson’s legs and that for now, Dyson is likely to be part of a platoon. He likes what Dyson can bring to the game as a late inning weapon off of the bench.

The final topic was scouting reports and how the coaches prepare for each series. Yost said that the coaching staff usually has a brief meeting (about 20 minutes) before the series begins. That meeting is a culmination of longs hours of work – usually six hours by each coach individually. He noted that Mike Jirschele and Dale Sveum are constantly looking at video – at this point, Jirschele is concentrating on the upcoming Twins series.

Photos: Diamond of Dreams

While the Royals did not have a game on Thursday, players, coaches, Manager Ned Yost and staff members took part in Diamond of Dreams on the field at Kauffman Stadium.  Proceeds from this year’s fundraiser will go to Royals Charities and The University of Kansas Hospital’s Neonatal Medical Home.



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Ned Yost media session: June 27, 2014

Lorenzo Cain will lead off for the fifth consecutive game tonight as the Royals open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels. Manager Ned Yost has liked what he has seen from Cain out of the leadoff spot and with Nori Aoki on the disabled list until at least July 5, Cain should continue to start atop Yost’s lineup card.

The injury to Aoki has allowed Jarrod Dyson to see more playing time and he has made the most of the opportunity. Dyson homered for the first time this season on Wednesday and has turned in several key defensive plays, taking extra bases away from multiple hitters. Yost said he’s looking for consistency from Dyson, both on the field and health-wise, during Aoki’s absence. Tonight’s outfield features Dyson in center, Cain in right and Alex Gordon in left, one of the better defensive outfields for any team in the Majors.  Cain ranks third among qualifying Major League outfielders in zone rating, trailing only Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton and Mike Trout of the Angels.  Dyson’s zone rating is better than Hamilton, Trout, or Cain, however, he doesn’t have qualify for the leaderboard.  And Gordon, as you know, has three Rawlings Gold Gloves.

Over the past week or so, Yost said his team has not gotten the breaks they did during their recent 10-game winning streak. Bounces went against Kansas City in the Mariners and Dodgers series, Yost said, but acknowledged that’s how things go over the course of a long season.

By Nate Rowan


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