Results tagged ‘ Joey Gathright ’

Royals acquire Ryan Freel from Cubs

This just in…the Royals have acquired infielder/outfielder Ryan Freel and cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named.  Freel is expected to join the club in Detroit in time for Tuesday’s game.  A corresponding 25-man roster move will be made at that time.

Freel, 33, played a majority of his career with the Cincinnati Reds after breaking into the Majors with the Blue Jays in 2001.  He is a .269 career hitter with 98 doubles, 17 triples, 22 home runs and 119 RBI in 576 games.  Freel has stolen 143 bases in 191 attempts over his career, including 37, 36 and 37 in three consecutive seasons with Cincinnati from 2004-2006.

The versatile right-handed hitter has started at five positions in his career, including appearing at 214 games in the infield at second and third base and 373 games in the outfield at all three positions.  Freel has played with the Orioles and Cubs in 2009, struggling with injuries to post a .140 (6-for-43) average in just 23 games.  He was traded from the Orioles to the Cubs for former Royal Joey Gathright on May 8.  Freel was designated for assignment by Chicago on July 2.

The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder joins Billy Butler as Royals from the Jacksonville, Fla. area.  He was a 10th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1995 draft.  We welcome Ryan to the club!

Bale is back in K.C., Gathright inks with Cubs

bale_3097a.jpgJohn Bale has agreed on a one-year contract with the Royals.  The 34-year old left-hander was non-tendered last Friday, making him a free agent. Bale was 0-3 with a 4.39 ERA in 13 appearances (3 starts) in 2008.  After moving from the starting rotation to the bullpen and then dealing with multiple injuries, Bale responded with 10 scoreless relief appearances in September, covering 11.1 innings.  During that span, he retired 21 consecutive batters before issuing a walk in his final appearance of the season.  Bale figures to play a prominent role in the Royals bullpen in 2009.

Joey Gathright, also non-tendered by the Royals on Friday, is now a member of the Chicago Cubs. The 27-year old speedster signed a one-year deal with the North Siders on Tuesday. Gathright batted .254 with 22 RBI and a team-leading 21 stolen bases last season.

Joey will be remembered by Kansas City fans for his great plays that made Sportscenter. You can find your favorite Gathright plays here…and there are many, including his leaping catches to rob Toronto’s Aaron Hill of home runs on back-to-back days in 2007. Don’t forget spring training of8-27 Gathright.jpg 2008 when he leapt over Los Angeles pitcher Hiroki Kuroda while going to first base. After that game, a contingent of Japanese media waited outside of the Royals clubhouse. This was a typical site in spring training as the reporters talked to pitchers Hideo Nomo and Yasuhiko Yabuta on a daily basis. But that night, the reporters wanted to know about the media availability of Gathright, who had jumped over their countryman! Joey became a star in Japan, at least for one day. We wish Joey the best as he moves on to the Cubs.

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Double the fun

9-5 Walkoff.jpgWe doubled up the A’s and pulled of two sweeps in a day. The Royals played a lot of baseball (more than expected anyway) and brought home two wins.

With the Royals first sweep of a doubleheader since 2006 and first time sweeping the A’s twice in a season, we’ve got a lot of baseball to talk about, so let’s go Around the Horn…

First
Joey Gathright secured the Royals first win of the night with his walkoff and Ramon Ramirez put the finishing touches on victory #2 with his first career save. And just like that, the Royals completed their first doubleheader sweep since August 18, 2006 (which also happened to be against the A’s). The Royals took yesterday’s games 5-4 and 9-6. The ’06 games were 7-1 and 5-3.

With Tuesday’s win and the Boys in Blue’s first sweep in Oakland in 20 years back in July, the double-dip win gave the Royals a pair of sweeps versus the Athletics. It was the first time we’d broken out the brooms twice in a season since 1988.

K.C.’s offense was working yesterday, collecting 12 hits in Game 1 and 15 in Game 2. The 27 combined hits were the most since the Royals set a record on September 9, 2004 at Detroit with 33 hits during the two games. 9-5 Butler.jpgThe Royals were particularly nasty to the A’s Game 2 starter. Lefty Dan Meyer exited the ballgame in the fourth and was charged with eight runs (seven earned). The Royals went 9-for-17 (.529) with three doubles, two triples and two sac flies against Meyer. 

During both games yesterday, only one Royals’ starter failed to get a hit, with the charge being led by David DeJesus. The Royals outfielder collected a pair of three hit games, falling one hit shy of the franchise double-header record. He entered Game 1 with a .288 average and left Game 2 hitting .296, which is a considerable jump this late in the season. He became the first player in the Majors this season to have at least 3 hits in each games of a double dip.

Billy Butler also continued to dispense damage. His hitting streak is at 10 games and he smashed three doubles between the two games, scoring three times and knocking in three runs.


9-5 Shealy.jpgSecond
So far, the September newbies have had success, though only one has seen real action. Ryan Shealy hit a homer in his first game back and has two RBI in two games.

That will change tonight when Kila Ka’aihue, the Minor League power sensation, takes the field for the first time. K.K., as they call him, ran from first to second last night and even got his uniform dirty. But he entered the game as a pinch runner in the sixth for designated hitter Jose Guillen and never came up to bat.

Manager Trey Hillman asked Ka’aihue if he felt like he was ready for his Major League debut today and K.K. responded, “That happened last night.” Hillman smiled and said, “Are you ready for your first career start as a Major Leaguer?” Ka’aihue told him he thought he could handle that.

“He’s excited and ready,” Hillman told the press during the pregame press conference. Hillman told the media that each call-up was to evaluate the talent in that particular player. They weren’t just rewards for strong play in the minors – if that were the case, Around the Horn could make an argument for a few other guys. No, Hillman said they truly want to evaluate what they have in the September call-ups.

So K.K.’s evaluation kicks into full gear tonight. He’s slotted in at ninth, playing first base.

Short
During Game 2, the No.1-5 hitters (David DeJesus, Esteban German, Mike Aviles, Jose Guillen and Billy Butler) went 12-for-22 (.545)…German and Aviles made some excitement in the Royals fourth when they hit back-to-back triples. Unfortunately, this feat is not a stat Around the Horn can research easily…Alex Gordon’s latest MRI showed healing, but the prognosis of a return is still uncertain…From Trey Hillman’s press conference: Joey Gathright said he was focused on where the third baseman was playing him during the Royals’ 10th yesterday. He saw Jack Hannahan was in tight and Gathright smacked a single by him and into left. Hillman said the fact the Gathright is noticing where defenses are playing him and then being able to adjust shows progress…Also: The hope is for Mitch Maier (on the DL with three facial fractures) to start taking batting practice again soon and possibly return to the lineup next weekend in Cleveland, the site of his injury…Finally: Omaha Royals manager Mike Jirschele also received a September call-up. He’s with the club to help in coaching the extra players and evaluate the players who played under him all summer.


9-5 Viva.jpgThird
For the second year in a row, the Royals are putting on Hispanic Heritage Night. That’s right…Viva Los Royals!

There will be a pre-game party and concert, featuring sensation Christian Castro, Ugly Betty star Tony Plana, and local favorite Las Estrellas performing with Ram Tejano. The festivities are set for 4 p.m.

9-5 Pena.jpgPackages are available for the event, with donations going to the Guadalupe Centers, Inc.

As part of the night’s fun, Tony Pena, Jr. bobbleheads will be given out to the first 20,000 fans in attendance.

Also: Be on the lookout for Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day on September 17, versus the Mariners.

  

Tonight’s lineup:
DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Guillen RF
Butler DH
Teahen 3B
Olivo C
Gload LF
Callaspo 2B
Ka’aihue 1B

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Quick Hitters

8-27 Greinke.jpgNo full-fledged Around the Horn today, just a few easy notes to digest…

Zack Attack
Zack Greinke was solid last night, despite a high pitch count early. He struck out five more and is in fifth place in the American League. Greinke’s 151 strikeouts top his own career high by 37 and he’s sure to down a few more with a little more than month left. He also produced his 18th quality start, which is tied for third in the A.L. and is five more than his previous career high.

Smile
The team took their annual photo today. Keep an eye out in September. The team is planning on giving out a copy of the photo in some fashion.

8-27 Gathright.jpgDoes Gathright need a nickname too?
The spectacular Joey Gathright made another remarkable catch in center last night. Gathright streaked across center and made a phenomenal leaping catch on a ball that was decidedly not a can of corn. It made the top plays and was the No. 1 Web Gem on Baseball Tonight. He just keeps racking them up in center.

Hosmer watch
Royals first round pick Eric Hosmer played his second game last night in Idaho Falls. The newest Chukar went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, a double, a run batted in and a run scored. His season stats after two games: .500 average (3-for-6) with two doubles, two RBI, two runs scored, three walks, one strikeout, a .700 on-base percentage and a slugging percentage of .833. He’s only played two, but he’s carrying a big stick so far. The Chukars have 10 games left.

Moose season
2007 first rounder Mike Moustakas parked his Midwest League-leading 22nd homer of the season last night. Apparently the blast would have been over 400 feet had it not hit the top of the Burlington Community Field Scoreboard. Thanks to wheelerrob, a loyal ATH reader for that info from Burlington!

8-27 Olivo.jpgMore Miguel
Another Royals bat with some sock in it right now is Miguel Olivo’s. Olivo is starting again today. Manager Trey Hillman said he likes the way Olivo is working behind the plate right now and he likes what Olivo’s bat brings to the lineup. He smacked a double that short hopped the left field wall last night. Royals broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre said that on most nights that ball probably would have carried out. Regardless, Olivo hit the ball hard and Billy Butler scored from first on the play.  Keep any eye out tonight since Miggy loves to swing against Southpaws.  

Hardware coming soon
Like we’ve mentioned the past couple days, the minor league seasons are winding down. With that, the minor league awards for Pitcher and Player of the Year will be announced within the next few weeks.

Future(s) coming soon
Yes, that seems redundant, but the Royals’ future is coming to Kauffman Stadium soon. September 19, in fact. That Friday night game versus the White Sox has been tabbed as Futures’ Night. Several of the top players in the Royals system will be on hand for you to meet and get autographs from.

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

Bannister 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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Pink = Blue

7-22 Girls.gifToday is a lot of things. It’s Girls’ Night Out. It’s the 25th Anniversary of the Pine Tar Game. And at the heart of it all, it’s the start of a four game series against the first place Rays.

Tampa Bay is bringing the heat to Kansas City with a .590 winning percentage and a half game lead over the defending World Series Champion Red Sox. The Rays aren’t messing around, so we won’t either as we go Around the Horn…

First
Girls’ Night Out brought huge crowds last summer and the demand was heard. So the event is back for another year. It will feature a two-hour happy hour, massages, manicures, players interviews, cheese and fruit and lots and lots of chocolate.

The party is out in Lot H, and lasts from 5:30 to 7:00.

The first 20,000 women through the gates tonight get a pink and white rhinestone Royals cap courtesy of Meierotto Midwest Jewlers. It should be a lot of fun for all the ladies who attend. And we’d bet some of the guys might enjoy themselves as well.


7-24 Pine Tar.jpgSecond
25 years ago today, Hall of Famer George Brett hit a home run off Goose Gossage, who will be inducted into the Hall this weekend. The only problem was Brett used an “illegal” bat. By rule no foreign substance can appear above the trademark of the bat (18 inches from the handle). Well, as Royals fans know Brett was a pine tar junkie. He got it on his uniforms, his helmet and it covered his bats.

The Yankees had noticed his bat was illegal a few weeks before and waited for the right moment. Brett’s two-run homer to put the Royals ahead in the ninth on July 24, 1983 seemed like the right moment. The rest is history. Brett was called out. He went ballistic. The Royals protested. The American League overturned the call. The Royals went back and finished the game on August 18, winning 5-4.

Short
Joey Gathright was put on the Disabled List with a bone bruise in his right shoulder…Mitch Maier, who was hitting .316 with 24 doubles, a triple and nine homers, was recalled from Triple-A Omaha to replace Gathright and will be playing center, batting ninth and wearing No. 35 tonight…Notes from Trey Hillman’s pregame press conference: Gathright’s injury is one that he’s been trying to play through, but because of the nature of the bruise, rest is really the only thing that will help him heal…Also from Hillman: He loves Maier’s ability to play the outfield and said he was one of the best defensive outfielders during spring training, and he definitely takes some of the best routes to fly balls…Two interesting Mitch Maier facts: He was in the same draft as Mike Aviles (2003) and Hillman’s compliments are more impressive because the outfield is Maier’s third position after being drafted as a catcher and then moving to third base.


7-18 Emerson.jpgThird
Emerson Drive is the next huge thing to hit Kauffman Stadium. The country rockers will play a concert on Saturday night following the Royals-Rays game, which starts at 6:10. Along with Emerson Drive on Saturday, Royals fans will be treated to Dan Quisenberry Bobbleheads.

The following Saturday, Aug. 2, is Military Appreciation Day with Royals camo caps. The game has been changed to a 2:55 p.m. because its getting national coverage on FOX.

But none of the festivities are being canceled. There will be several special presentations going on that day and we’re still looking for pictures of your loved ones who are serving our country. Any pics will do, but Around the Horn would especially like to see pics with Royals gear in them. If you have anything you’d like to send us, please do so at blog@royals.com.

Tonight’s lineup:

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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Honoring the past, playing for the present



6-23 Aviles at second.JPGSorry for the late post… It’s been a long day, you know with the four-hour game, the seven-run comeback and the end to a Giant weekend (we had to get one more in before they left town).

We wanted to get this up, we’ve got a good story:

Royals outfielder Joey Gathright has a sense of history. He understands what the game he plays was built upon. He volunteered to don Jackie Robinson’s uniform number earlier this season to honor the man who broke the color barrier. He was one of four Royals to do so on Jackie Robinson Day this year. 6-23 High Fives.JPGGathright credits Robinson with influencing his education and showing him the opportunity in the world of baseball.

Today gave him another chance to honor the history of the game, while making some Royals’ history too. After all, seven-run comebacks don’t happen everyday. They are pretty unique. And Gathright had the game-winning hit, while wearing the same jersey Robinson did – a Kansas City Monarchs’ jersey.

It was Salute to the Negro Leagues Day held in conjunction with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. It was the second largest comeback in Royals history (nine runs is the largest deficit the Royals have ever overcome along with six other seven-run comebacks).

Technically, Gathright didn’t actually wear the same jersey Robinson wore. Robinson played for the Monarchs in 1945 only. The uniforms the Royals wore today honored the 1951-52 Monarchs. The Royals did wear Robinson’s jersey last season in honor of the 60th anniversary of Robinson playing in the Majors. Over the years, the Royals have also worn the 1924, 1942, 1945, 1948 and 1949 uniforms.


6-22 Monarchs 2.JPGDirector of the Royals Hall of Fame Curt Nelson said the Royals will try to pair their uniforms with a historic date in Monarchs history, like Robinson’s 60th Anniversary year, his lone year with Kansas City (1945 and 2005) and the Monarchs’ first championship (1924 and 2004).

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants put on throwbacks honoring the 1927 Royal Giants, a team which barnstormed up and down the California coast and traveled abroad. With roots in northern California, the all-star team traveled to Hawaii, Korea and Japan hoping to spread the game. The Royal Giants went 35-2-1 on the Goodwill Tour.

6-22 Lincecum.JPGThe tour’s impact, along with the other Negro League teams and Major League all-stars who traveled abroad, is still felt today. Two Japanese pitchers threw today (The Royals’ Yasuhiko Yabuta and The Giants’ Keiichi Yabu). Trey Hillman managed in Japan and the country won the inaugural World Baseball Classic. There is even a team in Japan called the Yomiuri Giants which formed in 1936. Coincidence?

Nelson said today’s Giants uniforms were based almost solely off one picture of the barnstormers. The only picture the Negro Leagues Museum had. It features Hall of Famer Raliegh “Biz” Mackey and a few other Royal Giants players. They are wearing grey pin-stripes with an interlocking “RG.”

6-22 Giants 2.JPG“We only have the one black and white picture,” Nelson said. “So we don’t really know what color that ‘RG’ was, so we took a little bit of license.”

Nelson said Ray Doswell, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Curator, believes the jerseys featured a brownish-orange or brownish-yellow logo.

Nelson said a lot of teams call the Royals for advice on their Negro Leagues throwbacks. A very non-exhaustive search turns up quite a few examples of throwbacks over the last couple of years, including the Oriolesthe Cardinals, the Nationals, and the Brewers who played the Royals in Milwaukee last season. 

But it all originates in Kansas City, with the Museum being the defining authority on uniform accuracy and respectfully honoring the past. The Royals have been partnering with the Museum since 1994. Gathright has been here for three of them and he said was significant.

“They paved the way for me and to wear the uniform of the Monarchs, one of the major teams in that league, is very special. And it’s even better to get the game-winning hit on a day like today.”

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