Results tagged ‘ David DeJesus ’

A Look Inside: The Royals Clubhouse

8-28 Clubhouse.JPGGood afternoon Royals fans. Hope all is well today and you’re ready for a nice long Labor Day weekend. Around the Horn is ready for some baseball after the off day. We’ve got three in Detroit and then another off day Monday before the Royals open their second to last home stand.

Since there wasn’t any baseball for us yesterday, today is the perfect opportunity to give you a look inside a place many people don’t get to see. Today, we’re going inside the Royals Clubhouse. We didn’t want to intrude on the team’s privacy too much so we waited for the team to hit the road before we snapped our photos. So here we go…

8-28 Gordon's Locker.JPG

The first picture is a general overall shot of the clubhouse. For the most part position players are along one row and pitchers on the opposite side of the clubhouse. To kill time, you’ll often find the guys playing cards at the tables in the center.

Here’s a close up view of Alex Gordon’s locker. He’s got a few pairs of spikes, some turf shoes and some regular workout shoes in there. And you can see the pile of batting gloves.

8-28 Trainer's Room.JPGThe trainer’s room is a place a lot of guys will go when they get to the park. Many get massages before the game, after BP or after the game. Despite the recent rash of injuries, the team has been healthy this season and that’s a credit to Head Athletic Trainer Nick Swartz and his staff.

8-28 Whirlpool.JPGThe whirlpool/hot tub is a nice place to soak the bumps and bruises and aches that come from the grind of 162 games in 180 days.

8-28 Mailboxes.JPGThese slots are the player mailboxes. Now you might be saying, there’s not really any mail in those boxes. Well, Around the Horn was informed after taking this picture that all of their fan mail had been moved to the actual boxes which sit below the mail boxes on the wall.

Each box is numbered, so you can see the No. 4 which is sitting on top of another box. Yep, that’s Alex Gordon’s and yes he needs two boxes. He gets a lot of fan mail. Apparently he’s popular in Nebraska.

You can also clearly see David DeJesus (No. 9), Alberto Callaspo (No. 13) and John Buck (No. 14).

8-28 Player's Lounge 1.JPGThe player’s lounge is just down the hall from the Clubhouse. Like the trainer’s room, this area is off limits to the media and other Clubhouse visitors.

8-28 Player's Lounge 2.JPGIt’s a neat room. Photos of former players adorn the walls, many of them with their kids or candid shots of them just hanging out. There’s a cooler with plenty of cold drinks for them to relax with before going out to the field. The recliners are also vibrating, so you’ll often see pitchers using them and collecting themselves before starts.

8-28 Food Room.JPGThe food room is right next door to the lounge and is a heavily trafficked area. Often times, the players will eat two or three meals a day at the stadium. So having a full service room is a nice way to monitor what they are eating, making sure its healthy and a place for them to grab a bite to eat anytime they need a little extra.

8-28 Jars.JPGAlthough most of the food in the food room is healthy, a little snack never hurt anybody. And when you’re trying to serve 25 guys plus a handful of coaches, you never know what they might have a sweet tooth for, so they’ve got a little of everything in there. It’s almost like a candy store.

8-28 Clubhouse Enter.JPGAt the end of the hallway joining the Clubhouse to the players lounge, food room, trainer’s room and weight room, this stands. It’s a tribute to two of the greatest Royals of all-time and the only two players with retired numbers, George Brett and Frank White.

Hopefully its a bit of an inspiration too, to see the two greats who once lockered where the likes of DeJesus and Gordon and Gil Meche and Zack Greinke do.

8-28 Video Room Monitors.JPGJust before heading to the dugout, an essential room is always buzzing. Mark Topping, the Royals Video Coordinator and his staff work diligently to make sure all the high tech needs of a baseball team competing in the 21st century are met.

This state of the art room is decked out with computer monitors and TV screens everywhere.

It’s all to allow the players and staff to watch or review anything that might help, be it a previous at-bat, an opposing pitcher or a minor leaguer in the Royals system.

8-28 Video Bank.JPGThe whole room is controlled through this bank. It’s home to the servers, tape decks, recorders and a host of other equipment that Around the Horn isn’t up to speed with.

The room was one of the first pieces to be re-done as a part of the renovation process.

8-28 Video Room Stacks.JPGWe had to take a picture of this. Around the Horn had never seen so many DirecTV boxes in one place. Each one is responsible for receiving a game to be recorded and each is marked with a Post-It note.

Everything from the high school prospect games, collegiate games, minor league games or even the Colorado-San Diego game tonight is recorder through this bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Game 2 vs. Minny



7-28 Aviles Safe.JPGShort
Zack Greinke returns to the hill tonight, looking to return the starters to form and extend his career high win total to 10…Mike Aviles grabbed his fourth four-hit games in his short career last night and raised his average to .341, which leads all MLB rookies…Aviles is also a scoring machine (the picture at right is him beating a play at home last weekend versus the White Sox). He’s plated 12 runs in his last 11 games…David DeJesus returned to the lineup last night and knocked in the Royals’ run. He tied his RBI total from 2005 and 2006 and needs two more to reach his 2007 total of 58…DeJesus’ RBI also upped is Major League leading RISP average to .437.

Thumbnail image for 8-8 Soria.jpgVote now for Joakim Soria’s nickname. The choices are El Lobo (The Wolf), El Castigador (The Punisher), The Mexicutioner and The Terminator. It’s up to you.

Tonight’s lineup:
Aviles SS
DeJesus CF
Butler 1B
Guillen LF
Olivo DH
Gordon 3B
Teahen RF
Buck C
German 2B

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Bumps 'n' Bruises

8-8 Grud.jpgWe’ve played 115 at this point and the season’s injuries are starting to add up a little.

The Royals woes have been nothing compared to some teams, who’s pitching staffs have been shredded to bits like the Cardinals, the Orioles or the Yankees. And the K.C. position players have been relatively healthy with only two players actually going on the Disabled List this season. But these are the dog days, so let’s go Around the Horn…

First
The latest development was Ron Mahay. Mahay is day-to-day with plantar fasciitis, a bruise to tissue that supports the arch of the foot, on his left foot. The bruise causes pain in the arch and heel on each step as the tissue transmits weight across the bottom of the foot.

8-8 DeJesus.jpgDavid DeJesus, who had a sprained ankle and sore back, is back in the lineup tonight after missing five games. He, as well as Mark Teahen and Jose Guillen, have been fighting back stiffness and other bumps. With the month of August rolling along, it’s not surprising the wear of playing everyday is getting to players.

The most recent serious injury was to Mark Grudzielanek, who was placed on the D.L. last Saturday after a collision with Ross Gload while chasing down a pop-up. Earlier this week, the team found that he has a torn deltoid ligament on the left side of his right ankle. Grudzielanek should be out four to six weeks, which might cost him the rest of the season.

Some good news on the injury front though, two players are in Triple-A Omaha on rehab assignments. Jimmy Gobble pitched earlier this week and throws again on Monday. Joey Gathright joined the O-Royals today and is most likely a lock to play until he’s ready to re-join the big club.

Also on the D.L. is John Bale, who will miss his 100th game tonight. Bale had a rehab assignment which he completed but he is still having some problems and is being re-evaluated. 

Second
Billy Butler is back at DH tonight. But not because he played poorly at first 
8-7 Butler.JPGbase over the last few days. In fact, manager Trey Hillman said Butler’s play was outstanding. He commented on Butler’s good glove work and a few plays where he showed good footwork moving around the bag as well.

Hillman said he wants to field the best offensive and defensive lineup he can. With Jose Guillen able to play the field tonight, that puts Ross Gload at first and Butler at DH.

Short
The Royals have a chance to even their record out to .500 on trifecta days (like 08/08/08). They won last year on 07/07/07 but lost the two previous years on 06/06/06 and 05/05/05 (they didn’t play on 04/04/04)…If you haven’t noticed, the Hall of Fame building in left field is taking shape with two stories of steelwork completed now…From Trey Hillman’s press conference: Opposing managers have commented that the 2008 Royals are fulfilling some of Hillman’s wishes, they are more fundamentally sound…Also from Trey: As an organizational stance, players who can play multiple positions like Mike Aviles, Esteban German and Ross Gload have a high value and are great options to have on the bench…On the Farm: Lefty Danny Duffy and Juan Abreu combined to throw a no-hitter last night for Single-A Burlington (IA).

Third
It was just brought to Around the Horn’s attention today, but the Royals had another All-Star in New York. Danielle Menzel was honored as the 2007 Designated 8-8 DD.jpgDriver of the Year. Menzel frequents Kauffman Stadium and signs up for each game’s Good Sport drawing. By signing up each game, she unknowingly entered herself into the Responsibility has its Rewards drawing. She was selected to be the Royals DD of the Year. She won an all expenses paid trip to New York for the 2008 All-Star game.

Around the Horn might smell a Touch ‘em All interview, who knows. But regardless, huge congratulations to Danielle. Hope you had a great time in the Big Apple!

One final All-Star note today. Your 2008 Royals All-Star currently has a vote going on. The Royals are letting you pick his nickname. The choices are El Lobo (The Wolf), El Castigador (The Punisher), The Mexicutioner and The Terminator. Around the Horn isn’t ready to support one of the candidates just yet. We need to hear the debate and weigh the options. So it’s all up to you.


8-8 Soria.jpgTonight’s lineup:
Aviles SS
Teahen RF
DeJesus CF
Guillen LF
Butler DH
Gordon 3B
Olivo C
Gload 1B
German 2B

Davies P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Girls Night Out Recap

7-26 Girls Night Out.JPGGirls Night Out had it all Thursday, chocolate, massages, manicures, music and of course a two-hour happy hour with plenty of martinis… and oh, yea, a 4-2 Royals win over the Rays.

Team photographer Chris Vleisides waded through the pool of pink that converged on Parking Lot H and sent Around the Horn these images yesterday.

7-26 Girls 1.JPGThis is a view from the stage – the center of the attention. Around the Horn was proud to see such a strong showing from the female population in Kansas City.

Pink and white rhinestone Royals caps were given to the first 20,000 and women who bought the VIP package which included drink vouchers, and tickets also got a free T-Shirt.

7-26 Girls 2.JPGKMBC 9’s Karen Kornacki conducted player interviews with a few Royals who courteous enough to give up some of their preparation time to make an appearance in Parking Lot H.

David DeJesus, Joey Gathright and Mike Aviles answered questions for the crowd assembled around the stage.

7-26 Girls 3.JPGOne of the most popular activities at Girls Night Out this year and last year were the free massages. Massage therapist from around Kansas City set-up inside a tent and and helped relieve some of the ladies’ stress and tension – which is exactly what Girls Night Out is all about.

7-26 Girls 4.JPGHere are some of our happy patrons, stress-free and ready to head into the game.

7-26 Girls 5.JPGFor another perspective of the mass of people, here’s a picture of the women heading into the Stadium after Girls Night Out ended.

 

7-26 Girls 6.JPGAs a part of Girls Night Out, the Royals Charities helped to raise money for the American Heart Association. Before the game, a check for $30,000 was presented to the organization.

The money for the donation was was raised through the group sales VIP packages and straight T-shirt sales during the event. 

 The Royals would like to thank all of the ladies who came out and had a good time. You’re welcome back anytime.

Tomorrow: Look for an Around the Horn Touch ‘em All Interview with Seattle Mariners’ broadcaster Dave Niehaus and Hall of Fame broadcaster Denny Mathews, in honor of Niehaus’ induction into Cooperstown tomorrow. 

Tonight’s lineup: 

DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Guillen RF
Butler DH
Gordon 3B
Buck C
Gload 1B
German LF

Hochevar P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Pitch It, Catch It and We'll Find a Way to Score

It was a solid win last night over a first place team. Timely hitting, great starting pitching from Gil Meche and a couple glamorous defensive plays and viola! Its the recipe to beat a team which, even after the loss, holds a slight edge over the defending World Series champs. And even better it came on Girls Night Out, which by all accounts was another huge success.

True, its just one win and we talked just the other day about being able to move on from 7-25 Meche.jpgone game to the next, but on the same token, its good to enjoy the team’s high points. That’s what being a fan is all about right? To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Gil Meche never went anywhere, but a rough start skewed his numbers. Now he’s back on track and poised to pass his win total from last season, when he was undoubtedly the Royals ace and won Pitcher of the Year. Meche did not allow a run for the first time since May 4 at Cleveland, when he also pitched seven shutout innings. After that start, he dropped his ERA to 5.98. One rough start later and he jumped back up to 6.31.

Then he started whittling it down. After logging so many innings, it took a while, but he’s shaved a full two runs off his ERA since his May 9 start versus Baltimore. Over his last 14 starts, Meche has a 3.27 ERA in 88 innings with 69 strikeouts, which is 7.06 K’s per nine innings.

For a little more prespective, the 2007 Gil Meche set a career best with a 3.67 ERA with 156 punch outs in 216 innings, which is 6.5 K’s per nine innings. Granted, Meche kept his numbers up over 34 starts in 2007, but it looks like we’ve seen the return of the real Gil Meche.

Second
Defense is just as important to a win and three times already this homestand (we’ve only got video evidence of two), David DeJesus has made a spectacular play down the left field line. He’s laying out down there to save his pitchers runs.

His catch last night in particular – a head first layout onto the warning track gravel – became an instant replay on SportsCenter’s Top Plays, Baseball Tonight’s Web Gems, FSN’ Final Score, The Baseball Report and MLB.TV’s highlights. He literally stole a base hit or an extra base hit from the Rays’ Dioner Navarro.

Baseball Tonight’s Buck Showalter had some praise for the Royal, saying with him in the corner outfield position puts him among the elite defensively at that position. Oh and national media, his last name is pronounced “duh-HAY-soos” with the accent on the middle syllable, not “duh-hay-SOOS” with the accent at the end.  Mispronunciation is kind of a pet peeve of ours.  While we’re at it, it’s “WA-keem SORE-ee-uh”, not “Joe-uh-KIM” or “Sore-eye-uh” or whatever.

7-25 Maier.jpgNot to be completely overshadowed by DeJesus’ night, Mike Aviles also made an outstanding throw to first to help cut short the Rays rally in the eighth.And Mitch Maier* recorded six putouts in the first five innings in his first game in the big leagues this year.

*Maier went 1-for-4, recording his first hit in the Majors since he went 2-for-4 against Minnesota on September 28, 2006.

Short
Speaking of Mike Aviles, he has hit safely in 13 of 14 games after having his career high 12-game hitting streak snapped two days ago…The Royals induced a double play from Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura in the fifth, his first of the season. He’d gone 392 at-bats without hitting into a double-play, which led the Majors…Joakim Soria (did you pronounce it correctly?) picked up his first save against the Rays last night, leaving Boston as the only American League team he hasn’t recorded a save against…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pre-game press conference: Mark Teahen is still stiff and out of the lineup again. Hopefully he will resume outside workouts tomorrow…Also from Trey: Hillman saw the rehab DVD for John Bale, who is starting for Omaha tonight. He said Bale’s velocity is not back to where is was but the arm action looks okay…Finally: John Buck shaved his head last night before the game, reportedly because Gil Meche said he’d stay locked in better if his catcher had a shaved head. Hillman said Meche, who did the shaving, wasn’t going to come anywhere near him with the clippers.

Third
Minor League Notes:

Triple-A: Mike Aviles is still 5th in the Pacific Coast League in triples (six in 51 games), the leader, Tucson’s Tim Raines, Jr. has 11 in 98 games.

Double-A: Kila Kaaihue of Northwest Arkansas leads the Texas League in homers with 25 and is third in slugging percentage (.615) and RBI (71). He also leads the league with 79 walks and has 39 strikeouts in 87 games.

Single-A Advanced: The Wilmington Blue Rocks, or 7-25 Robinson.jpgRunnin’ Rocks are tops in the Carolina League in stolen bases. They’ve stolen 200 bases in 102 games, 79 more than any other team in the league. They’ve broken a team record already, lead the league in walks (359) and have five of the top six base stealers in the CL. Derrick Robinson (pictured left) leads the league with 48 steals, followed by Jarrod Dyson at 33, Joseph Dickerson at 24, Winston Salem’s Paulo Orlando at 22 and Chris McConnell and Kurt Mertins at 21…Josh Johnson (11 SB) is third in the league with a .423 OBP and tied for second with 65 walks…Dickerson also leads the league in triples at 10 

Single-A: Burlington, Iowa’s Adrian Ortiz leads the league with 128 hits in 99 games…Jason Taylor lead the Midwest League with 60 walks…Mike Moustakas’ 12 homers is tied for 11th, but the league leader only has 19 in the pitcher’s league. Two are tied for second at 16, five players have 14 and two more have 13, so he’s not far off the pace…David Lough is second in the League with nine triples…Alexander Caldera is fifth in the league with 113.1 IP.

Rookie League-Advanced: Burlington, North Carolina’s Kelvin Herrera is second with a 1.83 ERA in 34.1 IP. He also leads the Appalachian League in WHIP with a 0.84 mark.

Rookie League-Advanced: Idaho Falls’ Nicholas Francis has a .582 slugging percentage, which is fourth in the Pioneer League. He’s also fifth with a .978 OPS and first in triples with five…The Chukars also have some runners with three of the top five base stealers, including the leader, Patrick Norris who has 14 in 31 games. Norris also leads the league in walks with 23…Bryan Casey holds a 1.93 ERA which is second in the PL. 

Rookie League: The Arizona Royals Jose Bonilla is fourth in the Arizona League with a .390 average, fifth with a .688 slugging percentage and fifth with a 1.129 OPS…Deivy Batista is fifth in doubles with eight…Deybi De La Cruz is tied for third (two tied at four) with three wins and is sixth in the league with a 2.73 ERA. He also has 26 K’s which is sixth and only one strike out behind teammate Carlos Fortuna who is tied for fifth. 

Tonight’s lineup: Remember, Emerson Drive and Dan Quisenberry Bobbleheads tomorrow. 

DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Grudzielanek 2B
Guillen RF
Gordon 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C
Maier CF

Meche P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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The Second Season

Whether you count the All-Star break as the halfway point or you’re technical about it and measure the year in 81 game halves, the season is past its halfway point.

The Royals have 96 games in the bag. Tonight is 97 and the start of a short three game trip to Chicago. Trey Hillman said it yesterday when he noted that we have a tough stretch ahead.

7-18 Grienke.jpgTo look a little further at what’s to come and where we’ve been, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
General Manager Dayton Moore and manager Trey Hillman addressed the media yesterday before the team’s workout at Kauffman. The biggest thing they stressed is more consistency from the bats and the arms. To get started off right, Zack Greinke will get the ball tonight. Greinke earned the No. 1 slot with consistent pitching. They want him pitching to both divisional foes, throwing tonight in Chicago and again on Wednesday in the last game of the series against Detroit.

He’s been nasty to hitters, striking out 104 so far this season and becoming the first K.C. pitcher to record 100+ punch outs before the All-Star break since 1997. Greinke also holds a .188 batting average against when there are men in scoring position, which is second in the A.L.

Trey said that pitching coach Bob McClure and the starters worked throughout the All-Star break at the Stadium. Trey cited a reason for the streaks the team has rattled off – both good and bad – has been because of the pitching, specifically the starting rotation which holds a 31-39 record. Last season the starters were 28-39 through 96 games.

Consistency is the motto and there is improvement. The biggest difference between 2007 and 2008, however is that seven pitchers have started games this year. 13 pitchers started at least one game last season.


7-3 DeJesus.jpgSecond
The state of the position players was also addressed by General Manager Dayton Moore. He said the organization is looking for Billy Butler to continue to improve, Alex Gordon to become more consistent and Mark Teahen to build upon the improvements he’s shown over the last month. Moore also mentioned David DeJesus and acknowledged the outfielder’s continuing success.

DeJesus is among the elite in the game right now. He entered the break with a .460 batting average with men in scoring position, which leads the Majors and is 41 points higher than Rangers’ All-Star Ian Kinsler who is second. In fact DeJesus’ mark is the eighth best entering the All-Star break since 1974 when RISP became a stat. Among those higher than DeJesus at the Midsummer Classic, Tony Gwyn’s .500 in 1997, Barry Bonds’ .500 in 1990 and Rod Carew’s .467 in 1975. Needless to say, DeJesus established a Royals record, topping Mike Sweeney’s .438 in 2000 and Hal McRae’s .427 in 1982.

It should be noted that John Buck is 10th in the Majors with a .361 RISP average, the highest catcher in the Majors.

And as we wrap position players, Jose Guillen has to be mentioned. He’s had an outstanding season at the plate. So far: he’s tied a single game RBI record with seven in June 7, eclipsed last year’s RBI season high with 65 this year (tied for fourth in the A.L.), belted 13 homers (seven of which have given the Royals the lead) and he’s ranked in several other offensive categories. 

As a team, the Royals have four players at 10 or more home runs with another sitting on nine. In 2007, only two players hit 10 or more and four hit 10 or more in 2006. 

Short
Dayton Moore mentioned that the team is always looking to improve itself through trades or signings but does not want to compromise the current core of young players for a few months of service time or even a year of service unless the team felt it absolutely necessary…The team hired Sports Psychologist Andrew Jacobs, who was introduced to the team before yesterday’s workout…Leo Nunez was moved to Double-A Northwest Arkansas for rehab, because of Triple-A Omaha’s All-Star break. He pitched two innings of relief last night, recording a pair of strikeouts. 


7-18 Emerson.jpgThird
The Royals return home for seven games on Monday. Plenty of promotions are in the works for the home stand including Frank White powder blue T-shirts Dan Quisenberry bobbleheads an Emerson Drive concert and the return of Girl’s Night Out.

Tonight marks the first of 28 straight games against opponents with winning records, 16 of which are at Kauffman. The combined record for the seven teams is 368-297 for a .553 winning percentage.

Hope you didn’t miss the All-Star game coverage here from our man Swanee who was in New York on Monday and Tuesday for the festivities and in the dugout during the game.

Extra Innnings
The Royals are working on a number of things for Military Appreciation Day, which is August 2. Around the Horn would like to request some help from our faithful here at mlblogs.com. If you have pictures of loved ones overseas wearing Royals gear, you can send them to blog@royals.com and we might be able to use them for a presentation during that day’s events. If not, Around the Horn is also working on a special post for that day and may post some of these photos right here. Please include the name of the person, hometown, where they are stationed and what branch they are in.

Thanks for your help.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus 8
Aviles 6
Teahen 9
Butler DH
Grud 4
Gordon 5
Gload 3
Buck 2
German 7

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Final Game before the All-Star break

Walkoff DeJesus.jpgCouple notes:
David DeJesus delivered with a walk-off game winner last night. DeJesus hit the first pitch he saw from Brandon Morrow 371 feet into the Royals’ bullpen. Joey Gathright scored and then the Royals mobbed DeJesus.

It was the Royals first walk-off since April 19, 2005 when Alberto Castillo hit one against Cleveland. And for DeJesus it was his 10th homer of the year, a new career high. His previous high was nine in 2005.

Mark_Grudzielanek_2000_hit_0942.jpgNot to be overshadowed, Mark Grudzielanek connected for hits number 1,999 and 2,000 in his first two at-bats last night. Around the Horn covered his milestone some already and for you stat geeks, expect a full break down later this week with regular season play at a halt.

The Royals will be presenting Joakim Soria with an All-Star jersey. But Soria isn’t the only Royal who will be in New York. Director of Community Relations Ben Aken has already been in the Big Apple for a couple of days. He’s working with Major League Baseball’s community relations staff and was the only team representative chosen to work the game.

Vice President of Communications and Broadcasting Mike Swanson hopped a plane today to head to New York. He’ll be working in the press box and helping with the Media Relations staff to support the huge media contingent covering the game. So congratulations go out to both Aken and Swanson.    

Today’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Teahen RF
Guillen LF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C

Davies P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Christmas in July – Game 2 vs. Seattle

Just a couple notes: Good win last night for Luke Hochevar…Joakim Soria tied a pre All-Star Break franchise record with his 25th save in his 27th try. Jeff Montgomery had 25 in 28 opportunities in 1993.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Teahen RF
Guillen DH
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Buck C
Gload 1B
German LF

Meche P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Two Times

Four games in Baltimore with two wins and two four-run comebacks. Twos are wild. And four as well, we suppose. We had a big sixth inning last night. Seven runs big and it led to a 10-7 win.

7-4 Grud.jpgAfter dropping two games in which they had their chances, the Royals bounced back to split the series with the Orioles and take a little momentum to Tampa for their showdown with the first-place Rays. For a look back on the series before we play our first-ever game against the Tampa Bay Rays (they had been the Devil Rays until this season), let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Since we’ve established that two is the number of the day, the Royals all-around “two guy,” the second baseman and typical No. 2 hitter is more than worth mentioning.  Mark Grudzielanek posted his second four-hit game in five days. Last night he collected five total bases, Sunday he had six. Grudzielanek’s average is up to .315, which is ninth in the American League, and he has a five-game hitting streak, collecting 11 hits in 22 at-bats, a .500 batting average during the streak.

Grudzielanek has three 4-hit games this season and 31 in his career He is dominating lefties and at home (last night’s starter was a lefty and Sunday’s four-hitter was at home). He’s hitting .371 at home this season, good for third best in the A.L. and his .403 average against lefties is second best in the A.L.

Should we remind you, the guy turned 38 on Monday. Like Trey said, he sure isn’t playing like a 38-year-old.

Second
So yesterday under Second, we mentioned two guys who are putting together big seasons for the Boys in Blue. Both helped the Royals to victory last night and both are worth mentioning again.

Jose Guillen knocked in three RBI last night and has 64. Emil Brown’s team-leading total last season was 62. For the record, Brown held the previous two year’s RBI highs with 81 in 2006 and 83 RBI in 2005. For a higher total than 83, you have to go back to 2003 when Carlos Beltran knocked in an even 100. So here’s to seeing just how high Guillen can go.

The other guy we mentioned? David DeJesus, who is on a mission at the plate right now. He tied a career high last night by hitting in his 15th straight game. To extend his streak, he knocked in Mark Teahen from third base – yet another hit with runners in scoring position. DeJesus leads the Majors with a .473 batting average with runners in scoring position.

Short
Billy Butler is in the midst of a three-game hitting streak after a double and a home run last night, his second homer of the season and first since April 14 at Seattle…Tony Pena broke a span of 180 at-bats with his solo shot last night…Mark Grudzielanek is eight hits short of 2,000, so he may break that over the weekend with how he’s hitting, although with the artificial turf in Tampa, he may get a day or two off…Omaha’s Jason Smith was named to the Pacific Coast League’s All-Star team, the only O-Royal to make the squad…Joakim Soria is two saves shy of tying the Royals pre All-Star record of 25 set by Jeff Montgomery in 1993.


White,Frank_defense6.jpgThird
This is a little way out there, but the Royals were notified today that the August 2 game versus Chicago has been changed from a 6:10 start to a 2:55 start to allow for national coverage by the FOX network. The game will still be Military Appreciation Day with the first 20,000 fans receiving camouflage Royals caps.

Please Vote: Jose Guillen is up for the Pepsi Clutch Award for June. Vote here.

Reminders: The Frank White special on FSN-KC will air after tonight’s game. Tomorrow’s game is on TV as a makeup for a previous rainout with pre-game starting at 5:30 p.m. CT.

Also: The Royals will sell View Level Infield seats for $12 during two games next weekend, donating $5 from each ticket to the American Red Cross on Friday July 11 and the Salvation Army on Saturday July 12..

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen LF
Butler DH
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Buck C
Aviles SS

Bannister P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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Going Deep

7-3 DeJesus.jpgThe Royals have dropped four bombs in three days at Oriole Park in Camden Yards. Last night David DeJesus didn’t wait to let the entire stadium and all the Royals fans at home watching know that he was fine.

DeJesus deposited a 2-2 pitch into the right field seats. After missing two games because of bruised ribs, the Royals centerfielder made his bat heard last night, going 3-for-3.

The Royals may have lost, but they have been torrid at the plate lately. To look at just a couple of those contributor’s numbers, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
DeJesus’ leadoff homer last night was his ninth home run this season, tying his career high from 2005. He played in 122 games in 2005. He’s seen action in just 69 this year.

DeJesus is putting together a career year. His batting average is currently tied for 6th in the Majors – not just the American League (where he’s tied for 2nd) but the Majors. The names ahead of him are the names you expect to see leading the Majors in batting average. Atlanta’s Chipper Jones is No. 1 and still flirting with .400, then comes Houston’s Lance Berkman, the Cardinals’ Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday from the Rockies and the Twins’ Joe Mauer are the only guys in the game who have seen the ball better than DeJesus in 2008.

As expected with his homers and average, DeJesus’ current .382 on-base and .496 slugging percentages are also at career highs. Here are the rest of his 2008 numbers followed by his career bests in parentheses 84 hits (157 in ’07), 12 doubles (36 in ’06), three triples ( nine in ’07), 42 RBI (58 in ’07) 22 walks (64 in ’07) 30 strikeouts (70 in ’06; had 53 in ’04 but played only 96 games) six stolen bases (10 in ’07), and 37 runs (101 in ’07). His career highs for average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage all came in 2006 (.295 AVG, .364 OBP, .446 SLG).

Second
David DeJesus was one of two Royals to receive votes for American League Player of the Month in June. The other Royal, 
7-3 Guillen.jpgJose Guillen has been on a tear since May 1 and leads the Royals in most categories. For today, we’re going to focus exclusively on homers and RBI. Guillen sits at 13 and 61.

Those numbers are huge. How huge? The Royals leaders for 2007 were 18 and 62, by John Buck and Emil Brown respectively.

If Guillen were to really, really get hot over the last 11 games before the All-Star break he could eclipse them both and still have the remaining two and a half month to spare. The RBI number is almost without a doubt in the bag. The homer number would be tough, but he’s gone on stretches like that in his career before.

Maybe not that hot, but it’s something to cheer for right?

Short
Hope everyone made it through the DirecTV channel switch last night, if you didn’t you can find the Royals on 672 now…Notes from Trey Hillman: Joey Gathright will sit tonight to recover some after re-dislocating his shoulder bringing back a ball from the great beyond…However he is available…And: Mike Aviles is also sitting tonight to get a breath of air and relax because he may be pressing…Lastly: Trey wants to see more consistency out of Davies tonight…Congratulations is deserved, the Royals named J.J. Picollo as the Assistant GM/Scouting and Player Development.


Third
Reminder about a couple of things coming up:

In My Own Words with Frank White will air on Friday night after Royals Live. The show will detail his journey from a kid in K.C. to a hero in K.C. Again, that will air immediately after the coverage of Royals-Rays ends on the 4th.

Saturday: The Royals game versus Tampa Bay is on TV. Coverage starts at 5:30 with Royals Live. This is a makeup from earlier this season.

Also: Hats Off weekend is back and looking to help out some good causes. Special ticket deals were detailed on the blog yesterday. The short of it, the Royals will sell View Level Infield seats for $12 and donate $5 from each ticket to the American Red Cross on Friday July 11 and the Salvation Army on Saturday July 12.

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Tonight’s Lineup:

DeJesus CF
Grudzielanek 2B
Gordon 3B
Guillen 7
Butler DH
Olivo C
Teahen RF
Gload 1B
Pena SS

Davies P

Here’s today’s Official Game Notes.

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