Photos: Bark at The Park

Sunday was the annual Bark at The Park day. Here are a few photos from team photographer Chris Vleisides:

Bark1Bark2

Royals on FSKC: Dish channel numbers, June 23 – 29

Monday, June 23:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Tuesday, June 24:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Wednesday, June 25:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Friday, June 27:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Saturday, June 28:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Sunday, June 29: Dish 441 or 412-29

Royals move into first! We look at the streak

The Royals won a ninth straight game on Tuesday, moving into first place in the A.L. Central.

It’s the ninth winning streak of at least nine games in club history and second in as many years (KC won nine straight from July 13 to 20, 2013).  A Royals win on Wednesday would mark the fifth streak of 10+ games in franchise history and first since 1994, when Hal McRae’s squad won 14 straight from July 23 to August 5.

The Royals are batting .333 (107-for-321) as a team during the streak!  Alcides Escobar is batting .412, Billy Butler .406, Salvador Perez .400, Jarrod Dyson .389, Omar Infante .316, with Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas both at .313.  The starting rotation has been exemplary with a 2.59 mark (17 earned runs in 59.0 innings) with 7 of the 9 games going as “quality” starts.

KC has won seven in a row on the road, marking the longest road streak since 2008 (eight from September 13 to 27).

 

Royals on FSKC: Dish Channel numbers, June 16 to 22

Monday, June 16:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Tuesday, June 17: Dish 441 or 412-29

Wednesday, June 18: Dish 441 or 412-29

Thursday, June 19:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Friday, June 20:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Saturday, June 21:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Sunday, June 22: Dish 441 or 412-29

 

Ned Yost media session: June 11, 2014

With an off-day awaiting Kansas City before it begins a a six-game road swing through Chicago and Detroit, manager Ned Yost will take an opportunity to rest centerfielder Lorenzo Cain for multiple days.

“We gave Nori [Aoki] two days, we want to give Cain two days with the off-day tomorrow,” said Yost. “It’s good to pick your spots like that, especially when you’ve got a late night game and then coming back early the next day.”

Yordano Ventura will be on the bump for the Royals as they look to sweep the two-game set with Cleveland this afternoon, and Yost says his hard throwing right-hander will not have a leash.

“There’s never a [pitch] limit,” said Yost. “I’d take him to 110 [pitches]. That’s his limit.”

Several players have battled through early season swoons at the plate for Kansas City, but, if the past couple of weeks – and, more specifically, last night – are any indication, the offense appears to be well on its way to restoration. Yost spoke on the inherent advantages with winning the battle versus adversity.

“You want guys to have adversity, you want guys to battle through adversity, because that’s how you learn and that’s how you become stronger and better,” said Yost. “It’s painful when you go through it, but it can be a great teaching tool, and it can be a great experience tool to make you better when you go through adversity.”

According to Yost, the key to riding out the storm is a player’s belief in himself, a manager’s belief in his players.

“It always wears on them a little bit,” he said. “They all come into the year with expectations and goals and they know in their mind what they’re capable of doing. And when it doesn’t happen for them it wears on them a little bit. But they’ve got experience knowing that the exact same thing happened last year and at the end of the year, their home run totals were up. So they know that they’re capable of doing it.

“You’ve got to have faith in your players. If you don’t have faith in your players then you’re in trouble. But when you have faith in the players and you know in your mind what they’re capable of doing, it makes it easier to stay patient and keep the waters as calm as you can when everyone else wants to make them choppy.”

Royals sign 23 draft picks

The Kansas City Royals announced tonight that they have signed three more of their draft picks, outfielder Brandon Thomasson (ninth round), left-handed pitcher Nick Green (10th round) and left-handed pitcher Brandon Thomas (24th round).  These three are in addition to the 20 signees, which were announced earlier today.

The Royals have now signed 23 of their 42 draft picks, including: Foster Griffin-LHP (FA Comp pick for Ervin Santana), Chase Vallot-C (Competitive Balance, 40th overall), Eric Skoglund-LHP (3rd round), Dawon Burt-INF (4th round), Corey Ray-RHP (5th round), Logan Moon-OF (6th round), Ryan O’Hearn-1B (8th round), Brandon Thomasson-OF (9th round), Nick Green-LHP (10th round), Robert Pehl-OF (11th round), Emilio Ogando-lhp (12th round), Eric Stout-LHP (13th round), Ian Tompkins-LHP (14th round), Corey Toups-INF (15th round), Brennan Henry-LHP (17th round), Kyle Pollock-C (20th round), Evan Beal-RHP (21st round), Mike Hill-INF (22nd round), Brandon Thomas-LHP (24th round), Joshua Banuelos-1B (28th round), Timothy Hill-LHP (32nd round), Todd Eaton-RHP (34th round) and Cole Way-LHP (38th round).

Ned Yost media session: June 10, 2014

With dark, grey skies looming overhead and mist still falling nearly 24 hours since the final game of the Royals’ four-game set with the New York Yankees was postponed until August, Kansas City manager Ned Yost spoke about the rainout and the inherent benefit of the extra day off.

“It’s still raining now,” said Yost. “It rained all night and into the morning, so there’s not much you could do [about the rainout]. But rest was the biggest positive that comes out of it.”

Brett Hayes was scheduled to catch in place of Salvador Perez last night, but the rain-out gave Perez a night off without costing the team a game without its Gold Glover behind the plate. Additionally, Nori Aoki will take the night off tonight, with Jarrod Dyson replacing him in the outfield.

“It’s just a day off, but, you know, Dyson has had some success against [Corey Kluber] and it was an opportunity to give Nori back-to-back days off with the rain-out yesterday,” said Yost. “It’s hard to pick spots to give Nori days off because he hits lefties so well. This was a day when Dyson had some good match-up numbers.”

Dyson will take Aoki’s lead-off spot in the order, a decision made with an eye toward maintaining continuity in a lineup that has shown significant signs of life of late.

“It’s just a comfort level, especially with younger players,” Yost said of a player’s spot in the batting order. “When you start moving the lineup around, you’ve got guys that think that they’re three-hitters, guys that think that they’re four-hitters, that they’re two-hitters, and they come in and they’re hitting seventh. Now they think they’ve got to get four hits to get back to three. That just makes the process longer. You stay with it as long as you can.”

Yost has shown a desire to leave the heart of his lineup largely in place throughout the season, a discipline he says he learned while coaching under former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox.

“Bobby said what he always did was wait until he got to the point that he was ready to move them, and then wait another week,” explained Yost. “That’s coming from a Hall of Fame manager. He understood the importance of continuity and comfort in a spot in the lineup. The back end of it, too, though, is you’ve got to be productive in that spot. If I didn’t have faith that these guys would produce, we would have made a change a long time ago.”

The Indians enter the two-game series as arguably the hottest team in baseball, winners in nine of their last 10 games – a fact that is not lost on the Royals’ manager.

“They’re swinging the bats really well,” said Yost. “They’re an athletic team, they play with a lot of energy. They’ve got guys that are hot. [Lonnie] Chisenhall out there has been swinging the bat well all year long. Michael Brantley, I think, is one of the better players in the American League. [Asdrubal] Cabrera is a guy who has always been consistent. They’ve got switch hitters. They’ve got power. They’ve just got a really, really good team.”

Chisenhall, specifically, is coming off of one of the most prolific outings in Indians history, a 5-for-5, three home run, nine RBI effort in a 17-7 victory over Texas last night. Already enjoying a break-out season, the 25-year-old former first round pick is now hitting .385 with seven home runs and 32 RBI.

“Last time we went in there, he was hitting .340 or .350 and your first thought was, ‘Okay, how much longer is this going to last,’” said Yost. “He comes back, and he’s doing the exact same thing.”

By Kolby Paxton

Royals on FSKC: Dish Channel numbers, June 9 to 15

Monday, June 9:  Dish 440 or 412-28

Tuesday, June 10: Dish 442 or 412-30

Wednesday, June 11: Dish 441 or 412-29

Friday, June 13:  Dish 441 or 412-29

Saturday, June 14:  Dish 440 or 412-28

Sunday, June 15: Dish 441 or 412-29

Royals complete final day of First-Year Player Draft

The Kansas City Royals completed the third and final day of the 2014 Rule 4  First-Year Player Draft today, selecting a total of 42 players over three days.
The Royals selected 21-year old Brandon Finnegan, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound left-handed pitcher from TCU, with the 17th overall pick on Thursday. He earned his ninth victory of the season this afternoon in the Horned Frogs’ 3-2 Super Regional win over Pepperdine.  After today’s game, Finnegan has a 2.12 ERA (23 ER in 97.2 IP) and 129 strikeouts for the Horned Frogs this season.  The 2013 member of the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team earned All-Big 12 First Team Honors this year.

Kansas City selected another left-handed pitcher, 18-year-old Foster Griffin with the 28th overall pick in the first round.  Griffin, a native of Orlando, Fla., pitched at The First Academy in Florida, going 5-1 with a 1.15 ERA, and posting 65 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, leading The First Academy to a 20-2 record during his senior season.

The Royals also announced that prior to completing the draft, the club agreed to terms with shortstop Dawon Burt (123rd overall), right-handed pitcher Corey Ray (153rd overall) and outfielder Logan Moon (183rd overall) to contracts.  The Royals selected third baseman Vance Vizcaino, son of KC National Cross Checker, Junior Vizcaino with their 29th round selection (873rd overall).  With their final pick of the draft (1203rd overall), Kansas City selected second baseman Diego Francisco, who is the son of Royals’ Assistant General Manager-International Operations, Rene Francisco.

Here is a breakdown of the Royals 42 selections from the 2014 draft:

-    12 high school selections
–    30 college selections (27 four-year and three junior college)
–    19 pitchers (12 left-handers, seven right-handers)
–    Five catchers
–    nine infielders
–    nine outfielders

Ned Yost media session: June 7, 2014

Manager Ned Yost was asked several times about his patience with his team and the lineup he puts out each day. He acknowledged that nobody likes to lose but in order to win with younger players you have to develop them. Over the last three or so seasons Yost feels the Royals have done a good job with that development. At this point, Yost said “my patience comes with our guys playing with energy, playing with life and playing with intensity on that field. As long as they’re doing that you can’t ask them to do anything else.”

Yost firmly believes the Kansas City offense will ignite at some point and he said he hopes it comes before it did last year, which wasn’t until after the All-Star break. The three hottest hitters on the team, according to Yost, are Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar.
“When we get it turned around and we get on a run you’ll find out that Hosmer, Butler, Gordon, Perez will be our hottest hitters,” Yost said. “You stay steady, you stay persistent with the lineup that you know is going to work and just wait it out until it does work.”

By Nate Rowan

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