On January 28, the annual Royals Caravan, presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors, will launch with three simultaneous trips that will make stops in cities across Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa and Nebraska.
Beginning in 1968, the Royals have embarked on the annual Royals Caravan to visit fans throughout the Midwest.
This year, several current and former Royals players, broadcasters and front office personnel will join Royals mascot Sluggerrr for Caravan events. In addition, on one leg of the trip fans will have the opportunity to see the 2014 American League Championship trophy as well as meet KayCee, the Kansas City baseball character who hangs the iconic “W” on the Royals Hall of Fame after each Royals home win at Kauffman Stadium.
Three Caravans will trek across the Midwest on separate bus trips including the Blue, White and Gold Caravans. Royals players scheduled to appear include pitchers Louis Coleman and Brandon Finnegan, infielder Christian Colon, outfielders Lane Adams and Terrance Gore, and catcher Erik Kratz. Royals Hall of Famers John Mayberry, Jeff Montgomery and Willie Wilson are also scheduled to participate. Joining the trips will be Royals Broadcasting team members including Joel Goldberg, Rex Hudler, Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.
Again this year, the Royals will partner with the USO chapters of Fort Riley and Missouri to collect items for military members. Fans may donate washcloths, individually-wrapped toothbrushes, beef jerky, drink packets and pudding cups, which will be distributed to military members serving overseas and returning from duty. Fans can also bring or make hand-written “Thank You” cards for troops at the Caravan stops. Royals Charities will donate $1 to the USO for every card received (up to $10,000).
Fans attending the Caravan stops can also register to win a weekend in Kansas City, courtesy of Missouri Tourism and Visit KC, with prizes including a hotel stay along with Royals and Kansas City Zoo tickets. At public Royals Caravan events, autographs may be limited to the first 150 people in line. Autograph cards will be distributed starting one hour prior to the appearance start time. Additional autographs will be signed as time allows.
Following the initial trips, the club will host Royals FanFest, presented by Commerce Bank, on January 30 and 31 at Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center. The event will feature appearances by current and former Royals, interactive games for fans of all ages, main stage events and more.
A “Salute to the Military” trip will take place on February 2, visiting Fort Riley, Kan. Scheduled participants include Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie, Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett and Royals Hall of Famer Dennis Leonard. Details of the trip will be announced soon.
A schedule of Caravan events for January 28, 29 and 30 is available at http://www.royals.com/caravan.
Single-game tickets for the Kansas City Royals 2015 season go on sale exclusively online at http://www.royals.com on Friday, February 27 at 10 a.m. (CST). The Royals will make every regular-season home game (excluding Opening Day) available during the online sale.
Due to the limited seat availability for Opening Day, fans may register online at http://www.royals.com/openingday starting today through Friday, February 20 at noon for the chance to purchase Opening Day tickets. The online lottery winners will be notified via email on or around Monday, February 23 and will receive a special passcode to use for their Opening Day purchase. The only way to guarantee Opening Day tickets at this time is to purchase a 2015 Royals Season Ticket plan.
In addition to online availability, single-game tickets for all home games, excluding Opening Day, will also be available by phone at 1-800-6ROYALS beginning Saturday, February 28 at 9 a.m.
Fans who choose not to use the club’s convenient online or phone options may purchase tickets at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office or at any of the 26 participating Hy-Vee stores in the metro area and Lawrence, Manhattan and Topeka, Kan., and St. Joseph, Mo., beginning Monday, March 2 at 9 a.m.
General Public On-Sale Schedule
• Friday, February 27 Online only
• Saturday, February 28 Online, 1-800-6ROYALS
• Monday, March 2 Online, 1-800-6ROYALS, Hy-Vee Outlets, Kauffman Stadium Box Office
The Royals will continue their variable pricing structure for all single-game sales in 2015, as games will be categorized as value, classic, select, prime and marquee. In addition, the club will employ its dynamic pricing structure for all 81 home games. Please note that the dynamic pricing structure affects the sale of individual game tickets only and does not affect the sale of season tickets. Season Ticket Holders will continue to receive substantial savings over individual game ticket prices.
In addition to single-game tickets, season ticket packages are currently available at http://www.royals.com and by calling (816) 504-4040, option 2. Fans can guarantee Opening Day tickets with the purchase of a full season ticket plan.
The Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on one-year contracts with right-handed pitcher Louis Coleman and left-handed pitcher Tim Collins for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Coleman, 28, pitched in both Kansas City and Omaha (AAA) last season, going 1-0 with a 5.56 ERA (21 ER in 34.0 IP) and a save in 31 appearances with the Royals. He has pitched in parts of the last four seasons in KC, going 5-4 with a 3.25 ERA, two saves and 185 strikeouts in 148 big league outings.
Collins, 25, also split the 2014 season between Kansas City and Omaha, making 22 regular season appearances with the Royals. He posted a 3.86 ERA (9 ER in 21.0 IP) and a 0-3 record. The left-handed pitcher also had four postseason outings, including three during the World Series. He’s recorded a 12-17 career record with a 3.54 ERA in 228 career relief appearances at the Major League level.
The signings of Coleman and Collins leave the Royals with seven unsigned arbitration-eligible players: pitchers Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland, first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson.
General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost spoke with the media today regarding Yost’s contract extension for the 2016 season.
Moore mentioned the importance of getting the deal done before Spring Training, noting that both parties were comfortable with the deal. Moore said that Yost has done a terrific job, noting that he brought hope and optimism when he joined the club in 2010. He also talked about Yost believing in his coaches, letting them do their work, and that Yost works well with staff throughout the organization.
Yost dialed in for his portion of the call from a deer stand – he’s hunting today on ground owned by good friend and comedian Jeff Foxworthy. Yost, who is 60, was asked about the year-to-year status of his contract extensions. He plans to continue managing as long as he enjoys it, and success like the Royals had in 2014 makes that an easy decision. When asked if he is in offseason mode or season mode, Yost said that he is thinking about lineups, ready to see the players and fans at FanFest, and ready to get Spring Training started.
When asked about the Royals’ offseason, Moore talked about the defense remaining strong with the signing of Alex Rios. As for other agent additions, he mentioned that the Royals liked the way that Edinson Volquez was trending last year and that designated hitter Kendrys Morales blends in well as a switch hitter. Much of the success in 2015 is predicated on improvement from returning players, which includes Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Salvador Perez. Moore expects Omar Infante to return to his 2013 form. And as for Gordon’s return from offseason surgery, Moore said that the training staff expects him to be ready by Opening Day, though he may not be 100 percent going into Spring Training.
He also noted that the bullpen remained strong and could be even better with Luke Hochevar’s return, a full year of Jason Frasor and a bounce back year from Tim Collins.
Yost, who has been the Kansas City skipper since May 13, 2010, led the Royals to their first playoff appearance in 29 years and became the first manager in Major League history to win his first eight postseason games, capped with the American League title. The Royals took San Francisco to a seventh game in the 2014 World Series. Last year’s squad won 89 regular season games, the most by a Royals team since the club won 92 games in 1989.
Yost is 830-904 in 11 seasons as a Major League manager. His 830 career wins are tied for 73rd all-time with Fred Hutchinson (Detroit, St. Louis and Cincinnati) and rank seventh among active big league skippers. During the 2014 season, Yost became the longest tenured manager in Royals history, passing Dick Howser (770) on September 24. He is third on the franchise’s all-time win list with a 373-402 record, entering 2015 behind only Howser (404) and Whitey Herzog (410).
The Royals announced their minor league coaching staffs today. Manager Brian Poldberg returns to Triple-A Omaha, with Vance Wilson once again at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. Brian Buchanan moves up to High-A Wilmington, with Omar Ramirez taking over for “Buck” at Lexington. Justin Gemoll moves from a coaching role at Wilmington to the manager’s seat at Idaho Falls. Scott Thorman, also a bench coach in 2014, is now manager at Burlington. Summer league action returns to Surprise, Ariz., after a one-year hiatus with Darryl Kennedy resuming a familiar role. Jose Gualdron is the manager of the Dominican Summer League squad.
A few notes: Former Royals pitching coach Al Nipper (2001-02) has rejoined the organization as Omaha’s pitching coach. Two-time Royals Pitcher of the Year Jeff Suppan is entering the professional coaching ranks as the pitching coach at Idaho Falls. Click here for a full listing of field staffs and coordinators.
The Royals and Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations/ General Manager Dayton Moore today announced a restructuring of the Baseball Operations Department. The redesign of the department starts with the retirement of Dean Taylor from the role of Vice President of Baseball Operations/Assistant General Manager. Taylor, a veteran of 39 years of Major League service, will continue to serve the Royals as a consultant to baseball operations.
“I can’t thank Dean enough for the contributions he has made to our organization since accepting my invitation to return to Kansas City in 2006,” said Moore. “His knowledge of the game, its history and the intricacies of the administrative aspects of our sport made him an invaluable part of our success. I’m thankful he has accepted the role as consultant while also transitioning into retirement. As for the restructuring, we have promoted several members of our staff and given them more responsibility in their roles of expertise. I’m confident this group, as well as the others who remain with the department, will continue to work at a high level and make huge contributions to our future success.”
The restructured Baseball Operations Department:
J.J. Picollo – Vice President/Assistant General Manager of Player Personnel
Rene Francisco – Vice President/Assistant General Manager of Major League and International Operations
Scott Sharp – Assistant General Manager/Baseball Operations
Jin Wong – Assistant General Manager/Baseball Administration
Chino Cadahia – Senior Coordinator/Player Development
Kyle Vena – Director Baseball Administration
Ronnie Richardson – Director Minor League Operations
Mike Groopman – Director Baseball Operations/Analytics
John Williams – Director Baseball Analytics/Player Personnel
Daniel Mack – Director Baseball Analytics/Research Science
Chris Getz – Baseball Operations Assistant/Player Development
Phillip Stringer – Baseball Operations Assistant
Nick Relic – Minor League Video Coordinator
Outfielder Alex Gordon underwent successful right wrist extensor retinaculum repair this morning by hand and wrist specialist Dr. Bruce Toby at the University of Kansas Hospital. While no formal timetable is being announced, the 30-year old Gordon is expected to be recovered in plenty of time for the 2015 season opener against the White Sox on April 6 at Kauffman Stadium.
“Alex reached out just prior to Christmas to report that he was experiencing some right wrist discomfort during his off-season workouts,” said Nick Kenney, Royals’ Head Athletic Trainer. “We asked him to come to Kansas City after the holiday for an evaluation and it was determined he needed to have this repaired now to avoid any further complications and any delay in his start to the upcoming season.”
Gordon, a two-time American League All-Star, dealt with right wrist irritation just prior to the 2014 All-Star break, but it did not lead to a significant loss of playing time. He aggravated the area during his winter training sessions which led to this diagnosis and repair.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed free-agent right-handed pitcher Edinson Volquez (pronounced: VOHL-kehz) to a two-year contract with a mutual option for the 2017 season. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed. In a corresponding roster move, shortstop Ryan Jackson was designated for assignment.
Volquez, 31, led Pittsburgh’s staff in wins in 2014, going 13-7 with a 3.04 ERA (65 ER in 192.2 IP), holding opposing hitters to a .235 batting average. His ERA ranked 15th among qualifying National League starting pitchers, while his 7.75 hits allowed per nine innings ranked eighth among the league’s starters. He ended the regular season by tossing a career-best 18.0 consecutive scoreless innings and posted the second-lowest ERA in the N.L. in September (1.08), behind only Chicago’s Jake Arietta (0.97). The righty was 9-1 with a 1.85 ERA after June 23, spanning his final 17 starts of the year.
Volquez will begin his 11th Major League season in 2015, after debuting for the Texas Rangers in 2005. The righty is 66-59 with a 4.44 career ERA, holding opponents to a .252 batting average. He was a National League All-Star and finished fourth in the league’s Rookie of the Year voting in 2008 with Cincinnati, posting a career high 17 wins, going 17-6 with a 3.21 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 196.0 innings. He was originally signed by Texas as an undrafted free agent in 2001. Along with the Rangers (2005-07) and Reds (2008-11), Volquez has also pitched for San Diego (2012-13) and Pittsburgh (2014). He has also pitched in the World Baseball Classic twice for the Dominican Republic, helping them win the tournament in 2013.
A native of Barahona, Dominican Republic, Volquez resides in Santo Domingo during the offseason with his wife, Roandy and twin daughters, Eylin and Aylin, who were born November 5, 2013.
The Royals announced today that the club has secured outright waivers on right-handed reliever Casey Coleman and outfielder Moises Sierra. Both players have been assigned outright to Triple-A Omaha, with Coleman having until tomorrow to accept the assignment or elect free agency. Coleman was designated for assignment on December 15, with Sierra designated on December 16.