Royals sign left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders to minor league deal

The Kansas City Royals announced today that they have signed veteran left-handed pitcher Joe Saunders to a minor league contract.  He opened the year with the Texas Rangers, but was released on July 4.  He will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha.

Saunders, 33, made eight starts for the Rangers this season, going 0-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 39.2 innings.  He also made four starts combined between Round Rock (AAA) and Frisco (AA), posting a 3.80 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 21.1 innings.  An All-Star in 2008 with the Angels, the veteran lefty is 89-86 in his career, with a 4.35 ERA in 10 seasons pitching for Los Angeles (2005-10), Arizona (2010-12), Baltimore (2012), Seattle (2013) and Texas (2014).  He recorded a career-best 17 wins during his All-Star season.

Gordon, Holland, Perez are repeat All-Stars; Perez to start

For the second-straight season, three Kansas City Royals – catcher Salvador Perez, outfielder Alex Gordon and relief pitcher Greg Holland – will represent the club at the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball announced this evening.  All three players will be making their second consecutive appearances at the Mid-Summer Classic, with the trio being voted onto the American League squad by their peers.  It was also announced that Perez will start the game due to injury to Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, who received the most votes among A.L. catchers.  This marks the first time since the 1987 and 1988 seasons that the Royals have had three players named to the All-Star team in consecutive seasons.
Perez, 24, becomes the first Royals position player to start an All-Star Game since Jermaine Dye in 2000, while he’s the first KC catcher to be named to back-to-back games since Darrell Porter did it in 1979-80.  Salvy is hitting .285 this season with 17 doubles, 10 homers and 29 RBI.  He entered play today ranked sixth in the A.L., hitting .317 (72-for-227) against right-handed pitching and also led the league’s backstops in hits (85), doubles (17), slugging (.449) and multi-hit games (22).  Perez singled and scored a run in last season’s Mid-Summer Classic, catching the final three innings.

Gordon, 30, makes his second-straight All-Star team, becoming the first Royals outfielder to make consecutive appearances since Willie Wilson played in the 1982-83 contests.  He’s batting .263 with 23 doubles, 9 homers and 42 RBI.  He hit .319 (22-for-69) over the first 19 games in the month of June and entered the day tied for seventh in the league with 23 doubles.  Gordon has recorded six outfield assists this season, which ranked seventh in the A.L., entering today, while his 60 assists 2011 are the most in the Majors.  He also played the final three innings in left field in last year’s tilt, going 0-for-1.

Holland, 28, will make his second-straight All-Star appearance, being voted on for the first time.  He’s the first Royals’ hurler to make back-to-back teams since Jeff Montgomery did it in 1992-93.  Greg is 1-2 on the season with 23 saves, a 1.93 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 32.2 innings.  His 23 saves ranked second in the league entering play today, while his 13.78 strikeouts per nine innings ranked sixth among A.L. relievers.  Holland has converted 70 of 74 save opportunities since the start of 2013, with his total leading the league. He faced two hitters in last season’s game, getting a ground out and allowing a single.

The 85th All-Star Game will be played Tuesday, July 15, at 6:30 p.m. CT at Target Field in Minneapolis.  The contest will be televised nationally on FOX and also broadcast on ESPN Radio.

Royals on FSKC: Dish channel numbers, July 4 – 13

Here are the Dish Network numbers through the All-Star Break:
Friday, July 4: Dish 441 or 412-29
Saturday, July 5: no TV (game is scheduled in MLB exclusive national TV window)
Sunday, July 6:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Monday, July 7 6:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Tuesday, July 8:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Wednesday, July 9: Dish 441 or 412-29
Friday, July 11: Dish 442 or 412-30
Saturday, July 12: no TV (game is scheduled in MLB exclusive national TV window)
Sunday, July 13:  Dish 441 or 412-29

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.

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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.

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