Results tagged ‘ Brayan Pena ’
Royals catcher Brayan Pena continues to be a work in progress, but manager Trey Hillman says he sees a lot of upside. “Offensively I love what I am seeing in Brayan, but there is work to be done behind the plate. He’s an accurate thrower, he doesn’t fumble the ball, he blocks the ball very well, but we just need to continue to work with him on his release and his timing. Brayan needs to pop up quicker and get the ball out faster, but other then that, we really couldn’t ask for much more out of him. We will continue to evaluate Brayan through the rest of the season and see the progress that has been made at that point,” Hillman stated.
Brian Bannister has had many quality starts this season but Hillman wants to see more consistency out of his starting pitcher. “It’s all about location with Brian, as his location goes so too goes his opportunity to record a win. He does a great job with no one on and two outs, but when people are on base with two outs he seems to struggle. Also, because of the accumulated innings to this point in the season, he is also having a tougher time throwing his cutter with the effectiveness that is necessary,” Hillman said.
This ain’t Coors Field!
Something rarely mentioned by the media and spectators alike is how difficult it is to hit home runs at the “New” Kauffman Stadium. So what are the reasons? Why is it such an arduous task to rip one out of the “New” K? “The ball really gets knocked down here, whether it’s warm or cold. It takes a pretty good poke to jolt the ball out of this stadium, you have to really get into one to get it out of here. I think with the constantly changing wind currents, the way our tunnels are set-up and the level with which the field is at makes it quite difficult. The swirling winds get a hold of that ball and just bring it down,” manager Trey Hillman stated.
Pena in Progress
A continual work in progress, Royals catcher Brayan Pena is constantly working on becoming a better catcher and better ballplayer. “We are consistently working on his footwork behind the plate, blocking the ball is really coming along, but we want to nail down when and when not to throw the ball. Recognition of situations is paramount, and it comes with experience, so we are working hard, and he is doing a great job. We are really going through some grueling and difficult drills, but Brayan is doing fantastic,” said Hillman.
Billy (Super Boy) Butler
What is Billy Butler doing at the plate that is making him such a terror for opposing pitchers these days? Manager Trey Hillman says it is a multitude of things, “First, he is not trying to add power during hitters counts, he is taking what they are giving him. He’s being more selective and he is doing very well when he gets behind in the count. Billy is growing up and becoming a more complete baseball player, it happens with maturity.”
Hillman says he is going to be taking long hard looks the rest of the season at some of his younger players on the roster. Case in point is Royals catcher Brayan Pena hitting fourth tonight against the Oakland Athletics, as he did last night. “We are going to keep looking at him closely. He’s calling games very well. Brayan is a talented baseball player and we like what he is doing at the plate.”
The Royals fought back with 3 runs in the eighth to earn a 6-4 win today, their first at the “New” Kauffman Stadium. John Buck launched the first home run at the renovated park and finished with 3 hits and 3 RBI.
The Royals host the Cleveland Indians on Monday and Tuesday at 7:10 and on Wednesday at 1:10. Come on out to the stadium to root for your Royals in a division showdown while checking out the renovations!
The Dominican Winter League slate has reached postseason play, and two Royals players are right in the middle of the action. Royals catcher Brayan Pena padded his regular season stats (.341 average, 8 home runs, 38 RBI) with a two-run walk off home run that gave Gigantes del Cibao a 9-7 win over Azucareros del Este in the round-robin format. Pena has had a December to remember – he hit three home runs on December 7.
Esteban German went 3-for-5 with a RBI for the losing Azucareros squad. The utility player finished the regular season sixth in the circuit with a .344 average. Pena was right behind German with his .341 mark.
Pena will report to Spring Training with the rest of the pitchers and catchers on February 13 — that’s only six and a half weeks away!
Several Royals players are staying warm this winter in the Caribbean. The goal isn’t just to stay out of this current snowstorm that’s hitting Kansas City…these Royals are staying sharp by playing winter league baseball.
Last night, Royals catcher Brayan Pena belted three home runs for Cibao in the Dominican Republic. That’s half of his 2008 total with the Omaha Royals. Pena has 18 career minor league home runs in 2,003 at-bats and two Major League home runs in 127 at-bats with the Braves. He is batting .346 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI in 34 winter contests. Pena, claimed off waivers from the Braves on May 30, is currently on the Royals 40-man roster.
A few other notes from the Caribbean:
* Esteban German is third in the Dominican Winter League with a .355 average.
* Tony Pena, Jr. is batting .294 with a .373 on-base percentage for Cibaenas in the Dominican.
* Robinson Tejeda, teaming with German on Azucareros del Este, has 25 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.
* Minor leaguer Dusty Hughes is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA over 34.0 IP for Escogido in the Dominican.
* Mike Aviles is batting .302 with Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Mike’s club is managed by his uncle, Ramon Aviles, who played in the Majors in 1977 and 1979-81 with Boston and Philadelphia.
Photo credit: Gregory Bull/AP