Results tagged ‘ Blake Wood ’
The Royals have announced that the club has agreed to terms on 2011 Major League contracts with right-handed pitcher Blake Wood, catcher Manny Pina, infielder Jeff Bianchi, and outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
The 25-year-old Wood spent the majority of the 2010 campaign in the Royals bullpen posting a 1-3 record with a 5.07 ERA in 51 appearances, all in relief. The Royals’ third-round selection from 2006 compiled a 3.27 ERA in his final 22 outings.
The 24-year-old Cain was also part of the aforementioned December 19, 2010 trade with the Brewers. The outfielder played in 43 games for Milwaukee in 2010, batting .306 with 11 doubles and seven stolen bases in eight attempts.
Dyson, 26, was a September call-up by Kansas City last season, hitting .211 in 18 games with nine steals in 10 tries. A 50th-round selection in 2006, Dyson has swiped 140 bases in 173 attempts (81%) in his professional career.
The 23-year-old Pina spent most of the 2010 campaign with Northwest Arkansas (AA), hitting .259 with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 44 RBI in 74 games. He also appeared in 17 contests with Omaha (AAA). Acquired from the Texas Rangers with outfielder Tim Smith for pitcher Danny Gutierrez on September 3, 2009, Pina nabbed 35 of 83 attempted basestealers (42.2%) in 2010.
Bianchi, 24, missed the 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last March. The club’s second-round pick in 2005 hit a combined .308 between Wilmington (High A) and Northwest Arkansas in 2009.
Save the date
Yost expects Gil Meche to begin his rehab assignment this Saturday in Omaha. He will start off throwing 20-25 pitches and will build his way to 40. When Meche eventually returns to Kansas City, Yost plans on using the pitcher only after the fifth or sixth inning and for only one or two frames at a time. The manager said Meche will not go back-to-back days this year because it doesn’t make sense to push him.
Saved by Soria
Joakim Soria is tied for second in the Majors in saves after notching his 35th last night against the Indians. Yost said it is a great feeling to have a guy like Soria as a closer because he has total confidence that the pitcher will get the job done. Yost realizes that Soria will eventually make a mistake or two, but as far as he’s concerned, Soria is as close to a robot or machine as you can get.
Filling the gap
With the trade of Kyle Farnsworth and the placement of Robinson Tejeda on the D.L., the Royals were left without some set-up relievers between the starters and Soria. Since then, other guys in the bullpen have had opportunities to try to fill the void. Yost believes opportunity is a wonderful thing, and the right guys will stand up and take charge when given the chance. Recently, Blake Wood has shook off some rookie stumbles to take the reins in the eighth.
Bryan for Brian
Yost said Bryan Bullington looked good in his start against the Angels last Tuesday and he’s going to give the pitcher another shot tomorrow against the Yankees. He explained how the next six weeks are about opportunities anyway, so letting Bullington fill in for Brian Bannister is consistent with the plan. Yost added that he liked how Bullington kept the team in the game against Anaheim and gave the Royals a chance to win, as well as how the right-hander kept the ball down and attacked hitters.
A work in progress
Yost also discussed similarities and differences between Gregor Blanco and Scott Podsednik, saying the two are comparable hitters, though Blanco bunts better. When it comes to batting leadoff, however, Yost believes Podsednik is as pure as they come while Blanco still needs to be molded a bit. Yost is looking forward to Blanco’s development in this position because he thinks it is fun to take guys with Blanco’s type of ability and help turn them into good leadoff hitters.
What a relief!
Last night’s one-run game was made even closer due to a pair of Royals errors and some other mistakes that could have resulted in errors. Yost expressed his disapproval, saying teams can’t give four or five outs to anyone and expect to survive, though the Royals somehow managed to do so last night. He added that errors are part of the game–it’s how you cover them that’s important, and he was very satisfied with how Blake Wood and Joakim Soria did just that.
According to Yost, Zack Greinke has been pressing too much and has been trying to be perfect every pitch, which was especially evident in Greinke’s last outing. Yost believes the pitcher needs to stay within himself and not force his pitches, like Luke Hochevar did last night when he softened up instead of muscling up. Yost told Greinke to focus on controlling what he can control and just take a half step back and let his stuff work.
Forget about it
After allowing three runs on three hits last night, there were some concerns regarding Blake Wood and his ability to bounce back. Yost, however, has no doubts. He believes Wood has incredible poise and won’t be affected by yesterday’s outing. In fact, Yost said he’d be shocked if there were any lingering issues.
He can do it all
Yost also discussed Willie Bloomquist’s start in left field. The utility man will be replacing Scott Podsednik for the day, so Podsednik can essentially get two days rest since tomorrow is an off day. Bloomquist will also be replacing Podsednik in the lead off spot, which Yost feels very comfortable with because Bloomquist has a very professional approach, has been hitting the ball well, can steal bases, and is overall a complete player.
There were also a couple questions concerning the upcoming draft, but Yost quickly responded by saying he’s just trying to win baseball games and has no idea who the Royals are looking at.
All revved up
Yost is very pleased with the way the bullpen has come around, saying that the pen is firing on all cylinders. He thinks practicing before games and creating a relaxed atmosphere have helped. Yost realizes that the players aren’t robots, so they will inevitably have hiccups, but it’s important to forget about them and move on to the next day. The manager expects everyone’s best effort when they are on the mound because he knows that the game revolves around pitching and good teams have effective bullpens. He believes two keys in particular include working ahead and not letting inherited runners score.
A ball that bites
Yost believes Blake Wood has been phenomenal since he’s been up with the Royals. He said Wood’s fastball has “teeth”, boring in hard on right handed hitters and moving away from lefties and is very difficult to handle, which is why he doesn’t need to use his secondary pitches too often.
Yost also praised Kevin Seitzer for his job as hitting coach, saying Seitzer is a big key to the offense. Yost added that player development at the organization’s minor league levels has also added to the club’s offensive success. Even at the Single-A level, draftees are learning the two-strike approach, which includes having the right mindset as well as having a short and quick swing. Yost sees the results of this in his Major League players, noting that no one on the team is afraid to hit with two strikes.
Let the good times roll…
Ned Yost is excited about the positivity felt in the clubhouse since becoming the Royals manager. His goal is to get his players to play relaxed and stay on an even keel, stating it is necessary to temper the high points and reinforce confidence during the low points throughout the season.
On the mend…
Yost touched on two key pieces of the Royals’ roster currently on the disabled list; centerfielder Rick Ankiel and left-handed reliever John Parrish. Neither player has a firm date to return to the active roster, but Yost is encouraged by both players’ progress. Ankiel is continuing light work and Parrish threw off flat ground yesterday stretching his arm out to 105 ft.
What a relief!!!
Yost mentioned several of his bullpen hurlers this afternoon; including Robinson Tejeda, Blake Wood, and Joakim Soria. Yost has been extremely impressed by recent call up Blake Wood, specifically citing the efficiency of his pitches. Yost would like to get Tejeda in for a low pressure outing, but isn’t afraid use him immediately if the situation calls for it. Yost finished by saying that closer Joakim Soria will get an inning today after not seeing action in four straight games.
Royals’ Manager Trey Hillman met with the media prior to this afternoon’s game.
Hillman was asked about the health of catcher Jason Kendall:
Kendall’s forearm was x-rayed during last night’s rain delay and the results came back negative. Kendall would not react to the contusion after being hit by a pitch last night and declined to be taken out of the game. Hillman was impressed by Kendall’s gritty toughness, but made the decision to hold him out of today’s lineup.
Hillman also commented on pitcher Blake Wood who made his Major League debut last night:
Hillman is dead-set on keeping Wood in the bullpen; stating the he assessed the young right-hander during Spring Training and that he has the perfect mental make-up to be a successful reliever. When the team broke Spring Training for Opening Day, Hillman was strongly considering Wood for one of the bullpen spots. Had it not been for some forearm issues slowing down Wood, Hillman believes he likely would have broken with the Major League club.
Hillman finished by talking briefly about today’s starting pitcher Zack Greinke:
Hillman thinks that Greinke will be comfortable with today’s starting catcher Brayan Pena. Pena caught Greinke a few times last season, developing a positive rapport between the two. Hillman continued by addressing the lack of offensive contribution during Greinke’s starts this year. A major reason behind the lack of run support is due to hitters putting added pressure on themselves to score runs for the ace pitcher, especially coming of the Cy Young Award.
In today’s pregame meeting with manager Trey Hillman, the first topic of discussion concerned the roster move in the bullpen. Hillman announced that Blake Wood (RHP) will replace Josh Rupe (RHP) who was designated for assignment. The Royals skipper added that Rupe has been too ineffective against right-handed hitters and needs to work ahead more. Rupe can elect free agency if he chooses, but Hillman said he hopes Rupe doesn’t take that route. Hillman sees Wood, who will wear #38 and be here for tonight’s game, as a two-inning pitcher who will be used as needed.
With this roster move came questions regarding future changes in general. According to Hillman, it’s time to mix things up a little bit, which is why Scott Podsednik will bat leadoff tonight and David DeJesus will be in the three-hole. Hillman claimed that DeJesus is the purest number three hitter on the roster and one of the best hitters he has ever managed. Though the outfielder doesn’t have the numbers the manager would like to see right now, Hillman still believes DeJesus is a .300 hitter and hopes that putting him in the three-hole will help him reach that mark.
While tonight’s lineup tweaks will not be the final adjustment made, Hillman does hope the rate of change slows down as the team makes progress. In the meantime, however, he also hopes that fans see he isn’t afraid to make changes and try new things. Because just like the fans, Hillman is as frustrated as he’s ever been, and at the end of the day, all he wants is for the Kansas City Royals to be a contending club.
The Royals today announced their winter 40-man Major League roster. The Royals have selected the contracts of infielder Jeff Bianchi, outfielders Jarrod Dyson and Jordan Parraz, catcher Manuel Pina and right-handed pitcher Blake Wood from the Omaha (AAA) roster.
To make room on the Major League roster, the Royals outrighted right-handed pitchers Devon Lowery and Doug Waechter to Omaha. Both can elect free agency beginning tomorrow. In addition, the Royals designated infielder Tug Hulett for assignment and requested Unconditional Release Waivers on right-handed pitcher Julio Pimentel.
Parraz, 25, was acquired by Kansas City from the Astros on December 11, 2008. The right-handed hitter and thrower opened 2009 at NW Arkansas, batting .358 with 17 doubles, three triples, seven home runs, 42 RBI and 35 runs scored in 64 games, compiling a .451 on-base pct. and .553 slugging. After rehabbing at Idaho Falls (R) for four games, the Henderson, Nev., native hit .298 in 13 games for Omaha.
The 23-year old Bianchi, the 2008 Frank White Defensive Player of the Year, split his season between Wilmington (High A) and NW Arkansas, hitting over .300 at each stop with a combined 29 doubles, 70 RBI and 22 stolen bases in 28 attempts. The Royals’ second-round pick in the 2005 Draft played mostly shortstop for the Surprise Rafters in the Arizona Fall League, batting .265 with 13 RBI in 17 games.
The speedy Dyson, 25, was Kansas City’s 50th round pick in the 2006 Draft. The left-handed hitter and right-handed thrower opened the season at Burlington (A) before spending the final two and a half months of the season with NW Arkansas. The center fielder hit .258 for the Naturals in 63 games, stealing 37 bases in 43 attempts. The McComb, Miss., resident continued his season in the Arizona Fall League for Surprise, hitting .310 with two steals in 16 games.
Pina, 22, was acquired by the Royals from the Rangers organization on September 3 of this year. The Venezuelan did not appear for NW Arkansas after the trade, but hit .259 for Frisco (AA) prior to the deal and was selected as the starting catcher for the South Division in the Texas League All-Star Game.
The 24-year old Wood, the Royals’ third-round selection in 2006 out of Georgia Tech, was 2-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 17 games (13 starts) for NW Arkansas. The 6-foot-5, 240-pounder also made three rehab appearances for Surprise (R). Wood returned to the desert in October to pitch for the Surprise Rafters in the Fall League, going 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in eight games, including three starts.
The Arizona Fall League season kicked off on Tuesday. Four Royals minor league player/pitcher of the year honorees are on the Surprise roster (David Lough, Mike Moustakas (at right), Brandon Sisk and Ben Swaggerty). The quartet is joined by Royals prospects Jeff Bianchi, Federico Castaneda and Blake Wood on a team that includes players from the Cardinals, Mets, Rangers and Yankees. You can follow all of the action on mlb.com. The official Twitter account for the AFL is
Thursday afternoon update – Mike Moustakas hit a 3-run home run in today’s game!