Results tagged ‘ Brian Bannister ’
Who is in and who is out?
For the time being, Royals starters Gil Meche and Brian Bannister will be sidelined with sore right shoulders. Both seem to be suffering from fatigue and tiredness, leaving their return to the starting rotation to be not far off, but undetermined at this point. Taking Meche’s spot tonight in the rotation against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be reliever Robinson Tejeda (RHP, 1-1, 4.07). Manager Trey Hillman thinks Tejeda should rise to the occasion tonight. “We’ll see what he can do, if he maintains his stuff, is effective in his delivery, and efficient with his pitch counts it should be a favorable night for us. There will be no pitch count for him tonight, we don’t want to put any more added pressure on him then there already is,” Hillman stated.
Hillman high on Moore
Hillman was asked about the vote of confidence he received from General Manager Dayton Moore these past couple of days with regards to him coming back as manager. “It’s nice to have a boss believe in you as a person, he believes in my track record and my ability to get these guys ready to play baseball. I came into this job knowing it would be challenging, I can’t control what other people do only what I can do for myself. I take full responsibility and accountability for everything that goes on in that locker room and will continue to do the very best I can. With Dayton signing a recent extension to his contract and my coming back next season, I look forward to the future of this organization. This community and organization deserve stability, and I hope I can contribute to making that a reality.”
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.
The Royals have recalled right-handed pitcher Brian Bannister from Omaha (AAA) and placed right-handed pitcher Doug Waechter on the 15-day D.L. (retroactive to April 18) with a lateral strain in his right elbow. Bannister is scheduled to make the start for the Royals on Wednesday night in Cleveland against the Indians.
Bannister, 28, was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in three starts for Omaha. He recorded 7.0 shutout innings on April 14 at Round Rock and followed that up with 2.0 perfect innings Sunday at home against Albuquerque.
The 28-year old Waechter posted a 4.50 ERA in three relief outings for the Royals.
Brian struggled a bit in 2008, recording a 9-16 mark. He did establish career highs in starts (32), innings pitched (182.2) and strikeouts (113).
The signing leaves Mike Jacobs and Mark Teahen as the only unsigned players among arbitration-eligible Royals.
Right-handed pitchers Brian Bannister and Kyle Davies, broadcaster Steve Stewart, and Royals Hall of Famers Frank White and John Mayberry are touring western Kansas this week. Senior Director of Community Relations Ben Aken and Senior Director of Publicity Lora Grosshans (a Minneapolis, Kan. native) are traveling with the group. They sent us these photos.
The day ended with a special visit to the KU-Texas A&M game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence. Brian Bannister caught up with a familiar face, Bob Davis, the voice of the Jayhawks and Royals baseball on the Royals Radio Network. Brian attended USC and loves his cardinal and gold, but he proudly sported KU blue as the Jayhawks cruised to a 20-point victory.
Inside the Post Exchange, it was all smiles as the Fort Riley FRG (Family Readiness Group) was presented a $25,000 check from Royals Charities. The donation to the Fort Riley Family Readiness Group will support the families of the 4,000 men and women from Fort Riley that were deployed to Iraq in October. Family Readiness Groups are organized to serve as an important source of inspiration, training and support for a unit’s family members during deployment.
Then, our group met with the troops and their families. RSS Feed (Subscribe to this blog)
On the left: Back row: Spc. Hernandez, Spc. Knox, Frank White, Cpt. Fultcher, Master Sgt. Sellers, John Mayberry, Sgt. Lee, Staff Sgt.
Schieble, Pvt. Doss, Sgt. Chisholm, Staff Sgt. Brooks, Kyle Davies.
Front Row: Maj. Hogan, Sgt. Castro, 1st Lt. Roshak, Spc. Henneberque, Spc. Nelson, Brian Bannister
Last night, the Royals inked left-hander Jimmy Gobble to a one-year contract, thereby avoiding arbitration. Today, catcher John Buck and right-handed reliever Joel Peralta (at left) reached terms with the club on one-year deals. Four arbitration eligible players remain unsigned: Brian Bannister, Zack Greinke, Mike Jacobs, and Mark Teahen. Teams and players are exchanging salary figures today. Arbitration hearings, if necessary, will start Feb. 1.
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.
The Boys in Blue are in Minnesota tonight, for the first time since the opening weekend of the season. If your counting, that’s 136 games ago. With un-balanced scheduling, our divisional games have been spread out and come in bunches.
The Royals played Minnesota the first two weekends of the season went over a month without seeing them again, then went two months without a game versus the Twins. Now, we visit Minneapolis twice in three weeks, once on each of the remaining road trips. For a look at how things shake out the rest of the way, let’s go Around the Horn…
John Buck was on the radio this morning talking about the season and what’s left to play for. Obviously Dayton Moore and Trey Hillman both have said they want to evaluate certain players to see how they fit into the team’s future. But Buck also mentioned playing the role of spoiler. He said while he’d rather be in a different position, there is something to be taken from playing well against teams fighting to make the playoffs.
The most publicized example in recent Royals history was in 2006. The Royals entered Detroit in the final weekend of the regular season and swept the Tigers right out of the playoffs, by taking all three games. Detroit finished one game back from the Twins, and finished as the Wild Card team instead of the Central Division Champs. Torii Hunter, who is now an Angel, sent over some champagne to the Royals’ clubhouse during the Twins first trip to Kauffman Stadium in 2007 as a thank you (the Royals eventually had to give the gift back to avoid Hunter getting a fine).
With two series left versus the Twins and one with the White Sox, the Royals stand in a position to have a serious impact on who represents the Central in the playoffs. Currently Minnesota trails Chicago by two and half games, after going 5-9 on their long road trip. The Twins are seven back from Boston in the Wild Card hunt.
So the Royals will see a team desperate for wins this week and face three pitchers whose ERA sits under 4.00 in: Nick Blackburn (tonight, 3.71 ERA), Kevin Slowey (tomorrow, 3.75 ERA) and Francisco Liriano (Thursday, 3.33 ERA). It will be a tough test, but will certainly help with the team’s ongoing evaluation.
The Burlington Bees are the Western Division Champs and are just three wins (best-of-five series) from becoming Champions of the Midwest League. They finished their second sweep of the playoffs on Sunday, downing Cedar Rapids 2-1. Luis Cota was the star of the game, limiting the Cedar Rapids Kernels to one run on three hits in seven innings of work. Cota, a Royals 10th rounder in 2003, had seven K’s during Sunday’s game.
It took the Bees just four wins (two best-of-three series) to get where they are after finishing as the Western Division Champs for the second half of the season. Now they’ve blown through the playoffs, sweeping the Kane County Cougars and the Kernels to become one of the last two teams alive. It’s their first MWL Championship appearance since 1999.
Now they await the end of the Eastern Conference Championship, which is scheduled to resume play after being rained out last night. The South Bend Silverhawks currently hold the 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series. With a win tonight, South Bend would face Burlington tomorrow and Thursday. If the Dayton Dragons win tonight, the series will go to Game 3 tomorrow and the Midwest Championship will open on Thursday with the first two games at Burlington’s Community Field.
Burlington is currently home to the Royals No. 1 overall draft pick from 2007, Mike Moustakas. The third baseman led the MWL in homer with 22 and won the Bees’ Player of the Year Award. He and the rest of the Minor League Player of the Year winners will be at the K to sign autographs on Futures Night, which is the last Friday home game of the season (September 19).
The Royals are 4-2 in September…Mike Aviles has played 82 games now (half a season), and he owns a .324 batting average which is tops among American League rookies. He’s also first in on-base percentage (.354), third in slugging (.476), fourth in doubles (24), fifth in hits (109) and sixth in runs…Tonight’s starter Brian Bannister has a 2.91 ERA over his last three starts, despite a 0-2 record…Zack Greinke made his 100th start Sunday, becoming the third youngest Royal to reach the milestone at 24 years and 321 days. Only Bret Saberhagen (23 years and 133 days) and Jose Rosado (24 years and 286 days) were younger when they reached 100.
We’ve got just one week left here at the K. Around the Horn has been trying to clean out the offices all day in anticipation of the renovations kicking into full gear immediately following the season. On that note we’d like to say thanks to all of the season ticket holders and those who bought advanced tickets. Those of you who moved seats to accommodate the renovation process were extremely helpful and understanding. Thank you!
Promotions list: Remember retro-pricing for the four games during the Seattle series.
Tuesday 16: Final T-Shirt Tuesday this season. It’s a blue long-sleeve tee for the fall.
Wednesday 17: One last Ink College Night, plus Halfway to St. Paddy’s Day.
Firday 19: Minor League Futures Night, plus Fireworks Friday.
Saturday 20: Stocking caps from FSN-KC. We’ve also added a “Shirts Off Our Backs” promotion in which you can buy a scratch ticket for $1 and have a chance to win one of the jerseys which will be worn that night. More info on this coming soon.
Sunday 21: The final home game of the season. One last Sprint Fun Run and Bob Evans Family and Friends Day.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The Minor League seasons are winding down. But with the end of the season come a lot of things that shed hope on the future. Yesterday we mentioned some of the post-season awards which have already been won, but today we have two more things to celebrate down on the farm.
September is next week and that means September call-ups aren’t too far away, and with so much success going on in the minors, we’re not even going speculate what might happen, but we can talk about the positives in the system right now. To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…
The first moment of celebration for the organization was the debut of Eric Hosmer (wearing No. 21) last night at Idaho Falls. Hosmer was hit in his first professional at-bat – as if to say welcome to the pros Mr. No. 3 overall pick. But Hosmer showed some of what earned him his draft position, ending the night 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, a run batted in and a walk. Hosmer’s Chukars mustered 10 hits, but could not hold off the Raptors. ATH expects he’ll be back out there again tonight as Idaho Falls finishes its season series with Ogden. The Chukars have 10 games left after tonight, a five-game series versus the Orem Owls through the weekend and then five game in Casper to face the Ghosts (we still love that Casper nickname).
The other big celebration for the organization includes another First Rounder. 2007 first round pick Mike Moustakas and his Burlington Bees are in the playoffs. They officially entered the postseason on Sunday despite losing. They are still in contention for their division title but are guaranteed a playoff spot and a postseason series starting next week in Burlington. Moustakas leads the Midwest League with 21 homers, is second in total bases, sixth in slugging and is in the top 10 in hits and runs.
While we’re mentioning high draft picks, this year’s sandwich pick is tearing up his first professional assignment. Michael Montgomery is throwing very well in Surprise for the Surprise Royals. He owns a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 innings and has 31 strikeouts to 11 walks. Opponents are hitting just .217 off him.
Finally, yesterday we devoted some space to Kila Ka’aihue, the slugging first baseman who won Double-A Texas League Player of the Year despite playing the last month in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The pronunciation of the Hawaiian’s name has been a question mark among several media outlets. Well, we’ve got an official ruling on how to say his name. It’s Kila (KEY-luh) Ka’aihue (Ky-uh-HOO-A). Or, you can call him K.K., which is what manager Trey Hillman and the baseball operations people call him. And for those curious on his status because he left Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch, Ka’aihue hit a double in going 1-for-3 with a run and two walks last night. He has walked 98 times this season and struck out 62 times and owns a .462 on-base percentage with a .635 slugging (combined Double-A and Triple-A stats).
Manager Trey Hillman has his rotation set – hopefully – for the remainder of the season. The current quintet is locked in to finish out. Tonight’s starter is Zack Greinke, with Brian Bannister throwing tomorrow. Kyle Davies will open the Detroit series on Friday followed by Brandon Duckworth on Saturday and last night’s starter Gil Meche draws Sunday’s assignment.
Hillman said he’s comfortable with the rotation as it is. He said last night Meche just didn’t have the same he has of late and it probably wouldn’t have mattered as much if he were facing a lesser hitting team. Hillman said tonight, Greinke needs to have all of his pitches working to have success.
This group has combined to start all but 35 games for the Boys in Blue this season. Duckworth is the low man on the totem pole, making his first start last Sunday, while Gil Meche leads the team with 28 starts.
Hillman said Kip Wells is probably stretched out the most in the bullpen and would merit the emergency start if need be, but that’s without knowing exactly which players will get the September 1 call-up. Triple-A Omaha finishes its season on Monday the 1st, an off-day for the big league Royals.
Currently nine players on the O-Royals are on the 40-man roster. Of those players, five are pitchers and four have spent time in the Majors this season (Jimmy Gobble – 31 MLB games, Tyler Lumsden – no MLB experience, Neal Musser – one MLB game, Josh Newman – four MLB games and Carlos Rosa – two MLB games). Although Rosa is on the 7-day D.L. and Gobble is finishing a rehab assignment.
Double-A Northwest Arkansas, which is still in the playoff hunt, has two players on the Royals 40-man. The lone pitcher is Julio Pimentel, who threw a scoreless inning in the 2008 MLB Futures game during the All-Star festivities. But with the Naturals entering today’s play tied for the division lead and fighting for the post-season, Around the Horn doubts the Royals will subtract any players from their roster on Sept. 1.
Two other quick Naturals notes: Pitching Coach Larry Carter was selected as the Texas League coach of the year…Veteran Minor Leaguer Cory Aldridge drove in seven yesterday with two homers.
David DeJesus knocked in his 58th run last night, tying his career high set last season…10 of John Buck’s last 15 hits have been for extra bases including six doubles, a triple and three homers…Alberto Callaspo collected his first RBI since before going on the Disabled List in late June. His last RBI was June 22 versus San Francisco…From Trey Hillman: He does not expect Alex Gordon back anytime soon. He told Gordon there is no timetable because there is no precedent for how the third baseman heals from an injury of this type since he’s never had one…Also from Hillman: With Gordon out and veteran Mark Grudzielanek out, Callaspo will see a the majority of the time at second…Last word from Hillman: He thinks instant replay will be a good addition and will take pressure off of umpire crews. He respects the umpire’s way of life, living on the road for the sixth-month season and anything that can help alleviate their stress and is good for the game is a good thing in Hillman’s opinion.
Yesterday we mentioned in passing the Hot Dog Derby contest. You, yes you, can sign up to be either Relish, Mustard or Ketchup. If you’d like the opportunity to don the color of your condiment, you can do so right now, all you have to do is enter.
The last weekend of the season, nine lucky fans will become hot dogs and compete for the ultimate glory – winning the Kauffman Stadium Hot Dog Derby Race. September 19-21 is your chance.
Today’s Official Game Notes.
The quiet from the Kansas City front office says that General Manager Dayton Moore likes this team. Yes, there have been some low points this season. But the team is riding a four-game winning streak and has won five of its last seven, including its first sweep in Oakland in 20 years. With the good vibes rolling today, we’re going to look at a few trends and maybe some on-pace numbers…
The Royals have won five of their last six on the road dating back to the All-Star break. If you include their last road game before the break, they’ve won six of seven.
Billy Butler is hitting
He’s got a .289 average and a .578 slugging percentage since the All-Star break. He’s had five homers and 15 RBI in July, with four and 14 post-break.
The pitchers are mowing down opponents
Zack Grienke and Brian Bannister set and tied career highs in K’s with 11 and seven, respectively, in games one and game three of the Oakland series. As a team, Royals pitchers punched out 31 A’s during the series.
At the back of the pen is Joakim Soria – the All-Star. He saved all three games in Oakland and has finished four straight. With today’s off day, he should be recharged to face the Sox over the weekend. And yet again, we’d like to make another plea to ESPN’s anchor desk. His name is pronounced “Wah-KEEM SOAR-ee-a.” Not “Joe-ah-kim” like the former Florida basketball player. The man’s an All-Star, treat him like one.
Walking the line
Alex Gordon set a Royals record yesterday with five walks. Gordon didn’t record an official at-bat. He is the second player this season to record five in a single game, but the only player to walk five times in only five plate appearances. The Rangers’ Milton Bradley walked five times in eight trips to the plate on April 16.
Alex Gordon easily leads the team in walks, with 16 more than Mark Teahen. Gordon is currently at 51 walks and is on pace to have 76. To compare, Teahen is on pace for 52.
The Royals currently have four guys with 10 or more homers. The team has another two players sitting at eight and nine dingers. And then Billy Butler and Mike Aviles, who both have time at Omaha this season, are at six round-trippers. If both keep hitting at the pace they are on right now, they’ll reach 10. That amounts to eight Royals with 10-plus home runs.
The 2003 club is the last K.C. team to have eight slug double-digits. Those players were? Carlos Beltran (26), Raul Ibanez (18), Angel Berroa (17), Joe Randa (16), Mike Sweeney (16), Aaron Guiel (15), Ken Harvey (13) and Michael Tucker (13). The ’03 squad ended with 162 home runs for the year.
Butler has played 80 games and according to pace numbers should hit 10 exactly. Around the Horn would like to predict a few more because of his July numbers – five homers in 25 games would be a pace for 32 in a season, which projects to 10.6 over the remaining 53 games.
To be fair, we’ll look at a few predictions for pitching. Joakim Soria, who we talked about earlier this season when he tied Jeff Montgomery’s 1993 pre-All-Star game save record (25), is on pace for 45 saves. He’ll stencil his name into the record books again with that total. It would tie the club record, set by Montgomery in ’93 and Dan Quisenberry in 1983. Monty had an 88.2 save percentage and Quiz ended ’83 with an 84.9. Soria is at 93.7 after saving 30 of 32 games.
Ron Mahay, maybe the most reliable man in the bullpen aside from Soria, has 18 holds this year. That’s already third on the Royals all-time list. At his current pace, he’ll reach 27 (26.7) which would fall one short of the team record of 28, set by Jason Grimsley in 2003.
One more note to think about, Zack Greinke has 125 strikeouts. That’s a pace for 186 (185.6, but you round up when talking about the kind of stuff he has), which would place him tied for eighth in the Royals record books.
An exciting nine-game homestand starts tomorrow with Ken Griffey, Jr. and the White Sox. Yep, the “kid” and his 600+ homers will make his first appearance at “The K” since 1999. Saturday has a lot going for it. It’s Military Apprecitation Day with camo caps to the first 20,000. It’s a FOX national broadcast and a 2:55 start time.