Results tagged ‘ Alberto Callaspo ’
“We win tonight we win the series, we split the season with Boston and we hold our heads high. That is a playoff bound team over there that we have competed hard with for the entire season, and we held our own against them. Fourth place is much better then fifth place, we are looking for bright spots this late in the season, and they are becoming not too difficult to find. It is always a plus to play good baseball against teams bound for the playoffs, and more importantly to play good baseball against teams made up of solid baseball players. This baseball we are playing is a catapult into the off season and the coming 2010 season,” said Manager Trey Hillman.
Coming along Callaspo
Hillman says he is very impressed with his second baseman, Alberto Callaspo’s ability to improve and progress at his position this late in the year. “The last couple of months he has really come around in the field, he is working extremely hard and it is starting to pay off. With regards to the double play, he is becoming very efficient at both the front end and back end of the double play. Alberto is relaxing and becoming more comfortable at second base, giving him the time to make the routine and unconventional plays. The agility program we have set up for our players is helping out tremendously, and it will continue to improve our player’s abilities leading into the off season and beyond.”
Coming along Callaspo
Manager Trey Hillman is very impressed with the seemingly natural progression of his second basemen Alberto Callaspo. “I am very pleased with his improvements this season, both at the plate and in the field,” said Hillman. He stated, “Laterally I think there is room for improvement and I would like him to slow down on double play possibilities, otherwise I am very happy with his fielding.” Hillman was asked about his home run capabilities in the future, “He is a doubles guy, if he starts thinking otherwise he won’t get that barrel where it needs to be and corrections will have to be made. I like the Alberto we have,” said Hillman.
Hillman was asked what he thought baseball would look like in ten to fifteen years. Hillman said, “You can pretty much expect to see more and more athletes on the field, who carry skills pertaining to agility, speed, and smarts. I think it will resemble the game of the past, with the emphasis put more on the finer points of the game, and not so much on the home run and how bulky can a guy get.”
One tough Crisp
Royals centerfielder Coco Crisp has been injured for a while now, but you wouldn’t know it if you asked him. Hillman says, “Crisp has quite the pain threshold, and is stubborn to a fault in dealing with his pain and playing. I thought the six days off would be enough, but his shoulder just isn’t healing up like we thought, the DL is not out of the question at this point.”
Here’s a look at Royals birthdays for April:
Third base coach Dave Owen (below) will be 51 on April 25. Renee Zellweger turns 40 on this day, which is also the 77th birthday for the Meadowlark Lemon, the “Clown Prince” of Harlem Globetrotter fame.
Royals Hall of Famer Amos Otis turns 62 on April 26, which is also celebrated by Carol Burnett (76).
Pitching coach Bob McClure rounds out our birthday list on April 29. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld will turn 55, while Andre Agassi, Master P, and Uma Thurman will celebrate their 39th birthday.
Trey Hillman has released a tentative lineup for Wednesday’s charity game against the Texas Rangers (the game will count in the Cactus League standings.)
Note that Mark Teahen is scheduled to get the start at second, which is expected to be a position up for grabs this spring. Here are photos of Teahen, Bloomquist, Alberto Callaspo, and Esteban German, who are all vying for the position.
The ATH crew is counting down the days until spring training after the Royals finished 2008 on fire. Kansas City won two of three in the Twin Cities, which secured the best September mark in Major League Baseball at 18-8.
Today’s post is stat-heavy. If you dig into the September stats, you’ll see that a few of the current Royals put themselves among elite company in the team history books.
Seventh Heaven: Ryan Shealy blasted 7 home runs during September, which tied him for the sixth-best September total in club history. (John Mayberry and Danny Tartabull share the record with 9 in 1972 and 1987, respectively. Steve Balboni, Carlos Beltran, and Jeff King clubbed 8 apiece.) Shealy, recalled from Omaha on September 2, also led the club with 20 RBI and a .603 slugging percentage.
Record-Setting Rook: Mike Aviles finished his storybook rookie campaign with a few more records and notes. Aviles led all MLB rookies with 33 hits during the month (Minnesota’s Denard Span has 30 hits. He could add to his total if Minnesota has to play Chicago on Tuesday.) Aviles’ 33 hits ties him with Carlos Beltran for the second-best September total by a Royals rookie. George Brett set the mark with 35 in 1974. Aviles also crossed the plate 22 times during the month, which ties him for third all-time in franchise history. Brett and Al Cowens scored 23 times apiece as the Royals rolled through September, 1977. Tartabull had 22 in 1987 and Beltran matched that mark in 2002 and 2003.
Consistent Callaspo: Alberto Callaspo hit in 18 consecutive games during September. The streak was the longest by a Royal in 2008. Callaspo batted .344 (22-for-64) during the 18 games. His streak was tied for the ninth-longest in club history.
3 x 4: Kyle Davies, Zack Greinke, and Gil Meche each went 4-1 during September. The last time three K.C. pitchers won 4 games in the same calendar month was August, 1989. Bret Saberhagen went 7-0 while Tom Gordon compiled a 5-1 record and Mark Gubicza chipped in with a 4-2 mark. Davies, Greinke, and Meche became just the third trio to win at least 4 games in September. The last time, you ask? The year was 1978, when team Hall of Famer’s Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura, and Paul Splittorff accomplished the feat.
Closing Points: We can’t make it through this post without mentioning another dominant month from All-Star Joakim Soria. The right-hander converted all 9 of his save opportunities. The 9 saves surpassed Dan Quisenberry’s club record of 8 September saves, established in 1984. Soria tied Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels for the most saves in the big leagues during the month. KC’s closer posted a perfect 0.00 ERA while limiting opponents to an .091 batting average. His 42 rescues on the year ranks fourth in single-season club history, trailing only Jeff Montgomery (45 in 1993) and Dan Quisenberry (45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984).
A Look Ahead: Manager Trey Hillman is meeting with media members on Tuesday. We’ll bring you a wrap up of the press conference. During the off season, look for a few quick posts each week to keep you up to date on events in the Royals organization.
We’ve come to that point. Just three games left and one final full-length regular season post. The Royals already closed out their home schedule and now they begin their final series of the regular season inside the Metrodome.
It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere in the dome as both teams are in a race of sorts. The Twins and the Royals hold leads in their respective races and control their own destiny, let’s control the destiny of this post and go Around the Horn…
To set things up right, here’s a quick team profile for the series:
The Twins: They are 5-5 over their last 10 and 8-7 in their last 15, boasting a current four-game winning streak. However, the three most important victories of the season – to this point – were their last three.
Their sweep of Chicago took them from 2.5 games behind the White Sox to a half-game lead for the divisional crown. Minnesota’s magic number is four. That means any combination of four White Sox losses and wins for the Twins gets them into the playoffs without a tiebreaker or a make-up game (Chicago has played one less than Minnesota). Chicago is back at home playing out the season versus the Indians. A sweep by Cleveland means the Twins need just one win over the weekend. Likewise, if the Sox sweep their series and the Twins lose one game, Chicago is in. If the two teams are separated by a half game, the White Sox have to make up their rainout on Monday. Should the teams tie, they will play a tiebraker on Tuesday in Chicago. The Twins have been playing playoff baseball for about a week and they are tough in the dome, owning a .667 winning percentage at home.
The Royals: They’ve been as tough as any team in the Majors this month. After sweeping the Tigers under the rug for the third time this season,
the Boys in Blue are riding a three-game winning streak and are 8-2 in their last 10 and have taken 11 of their last 13. September has been good to the Royals who have posted a 16-7 record. It’s their highest win total for the final month since the 1985 World Championship team won 18. The Royals race has much less riding on it, but its become big news over the last few weeks. The team’s goal is to finish out of last place for the first time since 2003. As it stands, Detroit is half a game back, and would only have to play the missed date if the Sox are within a half game of the Twins. Without taking into account their possible game against Chicago on Monday, the magic number for the Royals and Detroit is also four. So scoreboard watching is a must this weekend as the Tigers welcomed Tampa Bay to Comerica yesterday, winning the first of a four-game series.
It will be a playoff atmosphere (in more ways than one) with large crowds on hand in the Metrodome. For their crucial series with the White Sox, the Twins hosted 120,952 fans. They drew no less than 35,000 each game and posted consecutive games with 42,000-plus.
So there it is, the final showdown of the season. The red-hot Royals versus the streaking Twins. Minnesota holds the season edge with a 11-4 record and a 4-2 mark in the Metrodome. But they haven’t faced the September Royals, featuring the second-highest team batting average in the Majors (.299), the second lowest ERA in the American League (3.71) and the Majors’ second lowest opponents’ batting average (.237). Other notable September figures include: David DeJesus leading the A.L. in hits (33), while hitting .388 (fifth in the A.L.) and he’s tied for fifth in triples (2). He’s ninth in on-base percentage (.443). Alberto Callaspo is also tied for fifth in triples, as is Mike Aviles, who is second in runs (19). Jose Guillen is tied for fourth in doubles (8). Ryan Shealy’s seven homers are tied for the A.L. lead and his .661 slugging percentage is fifth-best.
This team also knows a thing or two about playing well in the final series of the season and keeping divisional crown hopefuls from achieving their goals. The title spoiler is bittersweet, but the Royals played it in 2006 when the Tigers needed one win for the Central Championship. Instead, the Royals swept them and the Twins snuck by.
Mitch Maier had a career night two days ago. His bases-clearing triple – just the second extra base hit of his career – helped the Royals in producing their biggest inning of the season during the fifth, when they plated seven (it tied their other seven-run inning on July 3 at Baltimore during the sixth).
Maier joined Mark Teahen as the only Royals to get two hits in a single inning this season. In fact, Teahen joined that club only a week prior versus Seattle. Previous to Teahen, the Royals had not accomplished the feat since Tony Pena, Jr. did it in 2007.
Maier, a Petoskey, Michigan native, had at least one fan in the crowd on Wednesday. His father stood up from his seat to cheer his son after the big triple – he was the lone fan in his section applauding the hit. Maier graduated from Novi High School – a suburb of Detroit, approximately 35 minutes from downtown.
Maier has played in 12 games since returning from the three facial fractures he suffered in August. While his average is not high in his return, his production has been there. In games when he’s registered at least four at-bats, Maier has five hits, four runs and five RBI. His three RBI night on Wednesday was a new career high. The only double and triple during his career have come since returning on September 13.
David DeJesus’ 13-game hitting streak came to an end on Wednesday. He tweaked his right hip flexor and was taken out of the game after one at-bat…
Alberto Callaspo’s career high 16-game streak is still alive and he is likely to make his return this weekend…Alex Gordon has hit in 10 straight, including all nine since returning from the Disabled List…Mike Aviles leads all rookies in batting average with just three to play (.322)…DeJesus, who may not see playing time this weekend, leads the Majors in batting with runners in scoring position (.419)…Kyle Davies will have his last start tonight, looking to build on two lights-out performaces during his last two starts in which he compiled a 15-inning scoreless streak, a season-high for a KC starter…The Royals pitchers have had 10 quality starts in their last 11 games.
I am going to be a tad bit selfish right now, something I have never tried to do while writing and covering the team for this blog. But it was suggested to me to be a little self-indulgent with my final entry (by our team President Dan Glass, no less). I am going to “out” myself as one of the team’s bloggers to say good-bye (don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere, just one of its writers). I have taken a position at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (and I’m hoping I can blog there too).
From my days on K Crew, shooting T-Shirts and running in the Hot Dog Derby to working under the great people in my department, my time with the team has been amazing. It has been a privilege working on Around the Horn all summer and I’ve gotten the chance to meet some amazing people and tell the story of this team each and everyday. It’s been a lot of work but to sound a bit cheesy, it’s been a labor of love (for this team).
Thanks for reading. (Again, please keep checking the site. This is not the end of ATH, just the end for one, singular writer. In fact, I will even have one more post sometime next week. It’s one last Touch ‘em All interview for the 2008 season.)
- Trevor Hayes, Media Relations Assistant (that’s my K Crew picture from 2007)
Couple quick notes: Just one more FSN-KC game left, with coverage starting today at 6:30 pm. Tomorrow is the Royals final televised game of 2008, with a 2:55 start scheduled on FOX.
Today’s lineup: Check back later today…and all weekend…Go Royals!
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The Royals opened their final road trip last night with a 6-2 victory over the Tigers. They are now one-game back from the Bengals as Trey Hillman’s club continues to play well in September.
David DeJesus placed the Royals on his back last night, collecting seven total bases and falling a homer shy of the cycle. In his seventh career four-hit effort, DeJesus scored twice and added his 73rd RBI of the season. He’s hit in 13 straight, averaging .420 over his streak.
That has been an absolute key to the September surge. Timely hitting has carried the Royals with three separate players compiling hitting streaks of 10 or more games this month. Joining DeJesus is Jose Guillen who had a career-high 14 gamer from Sept. 4-17 and has hits in 17 of his last 19 games. The Royals also have found a regular second baseman in the wake of Mark Grudzielanek’s season ending early with Alberto Callaspo, who has both looked solid turning the double play and is in the midst of a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Callaspo’s streak is tied for the longest by any Royal this season. Guess who has the other 16-game hitting streak in 2008? Here’s a hint, his initials are D.D. and he wears No. 9.
Thanks to these three, the Boys in Blue are delivering for their manager in a big way. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and 14-7 in September. They own the highest American League September batting average at .295, they are second to only Cleveland in the A.L. in wins this month and the pitching staff’s 3.88 ERA is third with their .239 opponent’s average second.
The Royals may have only three game left on FSN-Kansas City, but it turns out they have four more TV games. Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, who are 2.5 games behind the White Sox at the moment, has been moved to FOX. The Twins, who are home against Chicago now, may still be vying for their playoff lives.
Instead of a 6:10 start, the game will now begin at 2:55 with Gil Meche making his last start of the season. The change will mark the Royals second exposure to the FOX spotlight this summer. You may recall the blisteringly hot day in Kansas City on August 2, when the Royals played the White Sox on FOX.
In the first of two-straight 19-hit affairs, the Royals beat the Pale Hose, 9-7. The temperature at first pitch that day was 95, but the heat index soared to over 110. So don’t miss it this Saturday, the Royals will get in on the playoff action again, playing the second game of a three-game season-ending series.
David DeJesus’ four-hit effort last night is his third at Comerica, where he is hitting .357 in 36 career games…Gil Meche became the Royals first 13-game winner since Paul Byrd notched 17 wins in 2002…The team’s 14 September wins are the most since 2000 (14-14) with a 15th victory being the best since 1987 (15-13).
Around the Horn would like to announce that due to the ongoing renovations at Kauffman Stadium, we had to vacate yesterday, leaving behind our old press box and working environment. The only thing left populating the offices where we once worked are construction workers who are busy tearing those offices apart. It was a sad day for all of us who were moving yesterday. That press box was the original, created in 1973. We just thought you, our loyal readers, would like to know what’s up with us.
Tonight is Futures’ Night, which means Kansas City will get to take a peak at the future of the organization. With the team on a seven game roll, tonight is a great night to make it out to the stadium.
The Minor League Players of the Year will be on hand. We’re going to have one last fireworks spectacular here at the “old” Kauffman Stadium, it’s Buck Night and of course the Royals pit their surging brand of baseball against the first-place White Sox. Let’s go Around the Horn…
The past few years the team has given Royals fans a glimpse of what is to come and not just with September call-ups (though it’s been exciting seeing the successes of Ryan Shealy and Kila Ka’aihue and Devon Lowery this month). Futures’ Night is that chance. Names like Mike Moustakas, Dan Cortes, Derrick Robinson, and Mike Montgomery are just a few of the players we’ve mentioned in this space who will be here to meet the fans.
But these players got a taste of what it means to be a Kansas City Royal earlier today. Some of the front office accompanied the players as they helped out at Harvesters and then toured the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The future of the Club then made its way to Kauffman to take in the Royals batting practice earlier this afternoon. It is important that these young players understand about the community they hope to play in and their short tour was designed to do just that. It’s worked in the past.
Among some of the names you might recognize from the last few years, Mike Aviles has won Minor League Player of the Year for his respective team three times (2007 at Omaha, 2004 at Wilmington and 2003 at Surprise), including the title of 2007 Minor League Player of Year last season for the entire organization. In 2006, three players who’ve seen time in the Majors this season were given the award. Zack Greinke and Alex Gordon – two of the building blocks for the team – won Pitcher and Player of the Year at Wichita and Carlos Rosa, who had three strikeouts in three innings earlier this season, was the Burlington Pitcher of the Year.
Billy Butler joins Aviles as a two-time winner of the award. He also won at two different levels. At 18, he won the Idaho Falls Player of the Year and followed that performance with the honor at High Desert as a 19-year old.
Some of the lower-level award winners over the past couple of years are already starting to help the organization win. Luis Cota and Nick Van Stratten won the award for Burlington Pitcher of the Year (2005) and Arizona Player of the Year (2006), respectively. Both were key to the success of the Burlington Bees in their run to the Midwest League Championship.
The team has clicked. Through the streak, the starter has won every game. They’ve bashed 12 homers and run their season win total to 69, matching their 2007 win total. With one more victory, they can secure their first 70-win season since going 83-79 in 2003.
After their last loss, a week ago in Cleveland, the Royals were 19 games back and eight behind Detroit. While they haven’t shaved much off their deficit to the division-leading White Sox, they are just three behind the Tigers.
Manager Trey Hillman told the media today that the strong play will get a test tonight. Matching up against the White Sox, a team who is playing for the postseason, he said the Royals will see just how well they have been playing. He hopes that they can continue their run, but doesn’t want to diminish what the Royals did in Cleveland. The Indians have been strong for most of the second half and Hillman’s boys shut them down (with the exception of the eventual Cy Young winner Cliff Lee).
Hillman sees tonight as a chance to measure his team. He believes comparing his team to the rest of the division, his main competition, will give him an accurate read on where he sits. Chicago will bring a playoff atmosphere to the K and the Royals will need to stand up to the division leaders – “the pride of the division,” – if they want a shot at not finishing in last place, which is a goal the manager thinks shows something.
Alberto Callaspo has hit in 12 straight, a career high…David DeJesus picked up his 70th RBI yesterday. DeJesus and Jose Guillen (95 RBI) are the first pair of Royals to knock in 70 or more runs in a season since Emil Brown (86) and Mike Sweeney (83) did it in 2005…DeJesus currently has a .402 average with runners in scoring position and is trying to become just the third Royal to end a season with a .400 RISP mark. Sweeney (.402 in 2002) and George Brett (.469 in 1980) are the only others to do it…Mark Teahen had two hits in the fourth inning yesterday, which was the first time a Royal had done that since Tony Pena, Jr. did it in the second versus St. Louis on June 14, 2007…The 500th strikeout of Zack Greinke’s career was former Royal Raul Ibanez in the first inning yesterday.
Tonight is the final Buck Night and Fireworks Friday. But tomorrow has plenty for the fans as well. Stocking caps and “Shirts Off Their Backs” Night will highlight the rest of the weekend’s promotions.
With the season coming to a close and Around the Horn running out of time, we here at ATH and the K want to again voice our deepest gratitude to you – the fan – for your support and for your patience with the renovation process. You will not be disappointed when we re-open on April 10, 2008 versus the Yankees.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
Why? Powder blue symbolized the World Series, the playoffs and the glory of the franchise.
This year is a “New. Blue. Tradition.” And we can assure you, something good is going on with this color. We’ve decided that today we’re going to chat about light blue, so let’s go Around the Horn…
Mark Teahen and Jose Guillen powered the powder blue-clad Royals to a win yesterday. Light blue is apparently a strong statement for the Royals and we’re not talking about just fashion. Teahen had a big role in the Royals’ last blue beatdown. He scored the winning run on Tony Pena’s walk-off single in extras versus the Twins. And yesterday he provided again, knocking in three.
Guillen apparently likes blue as well, as he’s contributed 12 homers during day games (not all of those have been at home), including his monster shot into the construction area in left during the second inning (if you haven’t been paying attention and missed Around the Horn’s renovation update a few weeks back, that ball will be a souvenir next year).
The powder blue jerseys were set to be alternates. They were planned to be worn just on Sundays. But they became a home day game staple and have been on the backs of the Boys in Blue for every game under the sun minus the home opener. And what have they done in them? 11wins. 5 losses. Yep. The Royals are 11-5 wearing powder blue.
Those jerseys have provided some memorable moments too from the moment they debuted in their lone night game back on April 12… including the first home run of Mike Aviles career, Pena’s walk-off winner and back-to-back 19 hit attacks versus the White Sox, one of which was showcased on the FOX national broadcast.
Royals fans have been clamoring about Kila Ka’aihue all season. Now that the end is near for the Minor Leagues, the Hawaiian is seeing some of the positives from his monster season. He was named Texas League Player of the Year today in a vote by managers, beat writers and play-by-play announcers. In case you forgot, Ka’aihue was promoted to Triple-A about a month ago. He was that good.
His 26 home runs still lead the Texas League (he’s up by three) and his 80 walks are tied for the lead entering today’s play. As Billy Butler (a former Texas League batting champ) might say and did while he was in the Texas League, Ka’aihue raked this season. He compiled 79 RBI and scored 64 runs in 91 games with a .463 on-base percentage and a .624 slugging percentage. With Triple-A Omaha, Ka’aihue hasn’t missed a beat. Hitting .341, he has nine homers and 17 RBI in 25 games.
Dan Cortes, 9-4 with a 3.98 ERA was also named to the Texas League Post-Season All-Star Team. Cortes’ nine wins are tied for the most in the league and he’s fifth with 106 Ks. He’s gone 7-1 since the All-Star break and is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in five starts this month.
Alex Gordon is also a former Texas League Player of the Year, taking that title in 2006…Brandon Duckworth’s win yesterday was his first as a starter since June 24, 2006 and his first win in the Majors since September 25, 2007…Duckworth was the 15th different Royal to record a win this season…Robinson Tejeda’s August numbers: He is averaging 12.4 K’s per nine innings and opponents are hitting just .093 against him….Mike Aviles is hitting .448 during his current seven-game hitting streak…The Royals are 12-4 during day games at home…12-4 is also the Royals record when Jose Guillen homers.
With three left this week/this month, the Royals home dates are dwindling down. Just four clubs come to town in September and only 13 games are slated to be played before we close our doors…until the Grand Re-Opening event next April!
Today’s Official Game Notes.