Results tagged ‘ Mike Aviles ’
The Royals have announced that the club has agreed to terms on 2011 Major League contracts with right-handed pitchers Henry Barrera, Kevin Pucetas and Kanekoa Texeira, left-handed pitcher Everett Teaford, catcher Lucas May, and infielders Mike Aviles and Alcides Escobar. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
The 29-year-old Aviles hit .304 for the Royals in 2010 with 16 doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 32 RBI and 63 runs scored. The career .298 hitter in 248 Major League contests was the Royals’ seventh-round selection in the 2003 Draft.
Escobar, 24, was acquired along with pitchers Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi, and outfielder Lorenzo Cain in the six-player deal that sent pitcher Zack Greinke and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt to Milwaukee on December 19, 2010. The shortstop batted .235 with 10 triples and 10 stolen bases in his first full season in the Major Leagues last year.
The 26-year-old May was acquired by the Royals from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with pitcher Elisaul Pimentel in exchange for outfielder Scott Podsednik on July 28, 2010. The catcher picked up his first action in the Majors in September for Kansas City, hitting .189 in 12 games.
Texeira, 25, was 1-0 with a 4.64 ERA in 27 relief appearances for the Royals in 2010 after being claimed on Outright Waivers from the Seattle Mariners on June 3. The 6-foot-2 native of Hawaii missed the final month of the season with a right elbow strain.
The 25-year-old Barrera returned in 2010 from Tommy John surgery pitching at both Wilmington (High A) and Northwest Arkansas (AA). The Royals’ fifth-round pick in 2004 was 3-1 for the Naturals with a 1.80 ERA in 16 relief appearances, covering 25.0 innings.
Pucetas, 26, was acquired by the Royals from the San Francisco Giants on October 14, 2010 as the player to be named in the trade that sent outfielder Jose Guillen to the Giants on August 13, 2010. The 6-foot-4 right-hander spent the entire 2010 campaign with Fresno (AAA) posting a 5-7 record with a 5.69 ERA in 26 starts.
The 26-year-old Teaford was the 2010 Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year after compiling a 14-3 record with a 3.36 ERA in 27 appearances (12 starts). The southpaw, who was added to the Royals’ 40-man roster this offseason, led the Texas League in victories. Teaford wrapped up his strong 2010 by going 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in two starts for Team USA at the Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico.
We’ll look at several of the topics discussed, starting with…you, the fans!
Yost has the utmost respect for the fans in Kansas City and described them as a classy group. He knows that they are dying for a winner and that they deserve one. He’s never been in a stadium where the fans chant “Let’s go (team name)” as well as at Kauffman Stadium. He knows that the fans want to see a good baseball game and like him, expect a team that plays hard and never gives up. Yost believes that nearly every time that he left the dugout, his players had left it all on the field. He was impressed that the fans acknowledged opposing players for a milestone (example – their first Major League hit).
Are the Rays a realistic comparison?
Is it realistic to compare the Royals to the Rays? (Tampa Bay built their farm system and now they are headed to the postseason for the second time in three years). Yost believes that it is a fair comparison because of the depth of talent in Kansas City’s minor league system. He believes that the Royals are bringing players along at a similar pace to Tampa Bay. Due to the mental and physical demands of the Major Leagues, a majority of the group that was in Double-A this year needs to continue their development at Triple-A in Yost’s opinion.
On the coaching side of things, Yost is looking at ways to improve the information flow to the players through advance reports. He knows that errors will happen on the field, but believes in minimizing the opportunity to make errors.
As reported yesterday, all of the coaches will be back in 2011. Yost does have one position to fill as Rusty Kuntz will be working as a roving coach and special assistant in 2011. Yost knows who that person will be and expects an announcement to be made in the next few days, once the “I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed”.
Yost expects Aviles to be much stronger heading into 2011 as he continues his way back from “Tommy John” surgery. He would like to see Aviles at third base but needs to see more of him there to make a proper evaluation. Yost believes that Aviles is up to the challenge.
Yost said that the shortstop did a great job of staying focused this year and that Betancourt knows what he needs to work on. Betancourt lives in Miami, as does third base coach and fellow native Cuban Eddie Rodriguez. The pair will work regularly this offseason. Yost gave credit to Rodriguez for helping Yuni during the season. Betancourt is a clutch hitter and not an on-base percentage player, so Yost feels comfortable with Betancourt driving in runs from the seventh or eighth place in the order.
Yost believes that Butler will eventually become a 25-30 home run player who consistently drives in 100+ runs. The fact that his walks are up and his strikeouts are down is a sign that he is turning the corner. Yost sees Butler as a #3 hitter more than a cleanup hitter.
Yost believes that Greinke has the ability to be a Cy Young-caliber pitcher on a yearly basis. He said that 2010 was difficult for Greinke due to the notoriety that goes along with the award.
Both Brayan Pena and Lucas May were sent home with “prescriptions” on what they need to do to improve in 2011. Yost believes that Pena, an offensive catcher, did a fair job on game calling toward the end of the year. Bruce Chen’s shutout on Friday was a great example of Pena’s improvement.
Manny Pina, who played in a combined 91 games with Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, will get a good look in Spring Training. Pina is a defensive-oriented catcher and Yost believes that Pina’s offensive game will improve.
Moose on track
Yost will be traveling to Puerto Rico later this week to watch six of Kansas City’s prospects play on Team USA. He will see Mike Moustakas for the first time since early in the year, when he watched Moose at Northwest Arkansas.
Yost made it clear that it is important not to rush Moustakas. In his opinion, he would want to see the third baseman put up his Double-A numbers for a consistent period of time at Triple-A.
Between Fiore and Aviles, 255 Royals have combined for 107 grand slams, 94 inside-the-park home runs, 68 pinch-hit home runs (including four grand slams), 57 walk-off home runs, eight home runs by a pitcher and six home runs that were part of a cycle. George Brett is the franchise leader, accounting for 317 (or 6.34%) of the 5,000 home runs.
Mike Aviles and the Royals start their final road trek of 2010 in Detroit tonight. Aviles batted .520 last week with four home runs and seven RBI. Here’s a look at his home run on Saturday vs. Cleveland and the KC lineup for the 6:05 start:
(Blanco – CF), (Aviles – 2B), (Butler – DH), (Betemit – 3B), (Ka’aihue – 1B), (Pena – C), (Gordon – LF), (Betancourt – SS), (Maier – CF), (Greinke – P)
Aviles to see time at third
Mike Aviles took groundballs at third base in an early workout today. Ned Yost would like to give third baseman Wilson Betemit a day off here and there as Betemit has had hamstring and legs problems in the past. Yost said that Betemit does not have an injury now, but that this is a preventative measure. The use of Aviles at third base will also open up more time for Chris Getz at second base, who the club wants to get a longer look at. Aviles could play at third as early as tomorrow. He is doing well as he progresses in his recovery from “Tommy John” surgery.
Luke to the mound?
Luke Hochevar continues to throw on flat ground and has worked his way up to tosses of 75 feet. He could be throwing off the mound in the next 10 days.
A reporter asked about Zack Greinke and his struggles in his last start against Minnesota. Yost talked about his coaching experience in Atlanta with ace pitchers Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz. The three would have days where they would dominate, days where they would be ok and days where they would get hit hard. Yost said that no one is immune and there is no explanation for it. The best pitchers minimize the number of times that they are hit hard. He expects Zack to be fine.
Kicking and screaming
Yost expects tonight’s matchup between premier pitchers Jake Peavy and Zack Greinke to be interesting for everyone. Yost described Peavy as a fearless competitor and admitted he loves watching Peavy on the mound, especially when the pitcher screams and yells at himself.
Give ’em a break
The Royals will again have a different starting lineup in tonight’s game. Yost said the changes were not made because of injuries, but rather were meant to give players rest from the summer heat. He added that tonight will be the first day of rest for outfielder David DeJesus since his son was born on May 25.
Things are looking up
Yost also discussed the play of the infield, saying that it has been good and is only getting better. He credits Eddie Rodriguez with helping develop Mike Aviles’ skills at second base. Additionally, Yost has been impressed with the corners, stating that Billy Butler has done great at first and Alberto Callaspo has been fantastic at third.
Take it from media relations intern Hillary who was dripping after two minutes into this interview…it’s hot! Yost said that unlike the old days when he was a player, the team is taking valuable precautions to stay healthy in this summer heat, such as by eating right and staying hydrated. In particular, Yost is helping catcher Jason Kendall take special precautions by giving him a day’s rest. Though Kendall nearly always wants to play, Yost is keeping the big picture in mind so that Kendall will be strong and healthy late in the season. Members of the media asked when Jose Guillen might have a day off, but Yost responded that he doesn’t want to remove Guillen from the lineup because he is currently on a 19-game hitting streak, the longest of his career.
With Kendall out of today’s lineup, second baseman Mike Aviles will move into the two-hole. Yost knows that there is a lot more to a successful two-hole hitter than what shows up in the box score. Rather than only looking at hits, the manager looks for someone who can move runners and hit ground balls when needed.
Kanekoa in K.C.
The Royals acquired Kanekoa Texeira off waivers yesterday from Seattle. Yost sees the reliever as a sixth or seventh inning guy and someone who the Royals will use for up to two innings. He talked about Texeira’s sinker and slider (according to Baseball America, the righty had the best slider in the White Sox organization entering 2008). Seattle’s coaching staff had good things to say about Texeira.
Yost was asked about the #2 position in the batting order and using Jason Kendall there vs. Mike Aviles. Yost sees Kendall as a perfect number two hitter. Kendall likes to take pitches and is a good situational hitter. Aviles is more aggressive and Yost doesn’t want the second baseman to alter his game. He believes that Aviles could eventually become a number two hitter in the Majors.
John Parrish threw well in live batting practice today. Rick Ankiel took live batting practice and ran the bases. Yost believes that they could both start rehab assignments next week. Gil Meche is still going through treatments and has not begun to throw.
When Royals manager Ned Yost met with the media this morning he was asked about today’s starting pitcher Zack Greinke in his follow-up to his AL Cy Young season. Yost feels that Greinke has pitched great this year, keeping his ball club in games. Yost said, “He just needs to keep doing what he has been doing.” Yost doesn’t believe his hitters are putting any extra pressure on themselves; stating they just need to improve offensively with Greinke on the mound.
Yost also commented on today’s starting second baseman Chris Getz. Yost believes that Getz gives the Royals the best infield defense combination, which is a key for him with Greinke on the mound. While Yost also sees the time off for infielder Mike Aviles as a good opportunity for him to step back and refocus on his defense.
Yost also was asked if he saw last night’s near perfect game by Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga. Yost said he felt for the game’s first base umpire Jim Joyce, on what appears to be a blown call that cost Galarraga the perfect game in the ninth inning last night. Yost still thinks that Joyce is one of the top five best umpires in the game today, but also believes MLB should do anything within reason to get the call right.
Moving on up…
Royals Manager Ned Yost hasn’t been known for altering his lineup since becoming the Royals skipper. However, he wanted to give infielder Mike Aviles the night off and decided to move catcher Jason Kendall into the two hole; while tonight’s starting second baseman, Chris Getz, will hit ninth. Yost feels that Kendall is a perfect fit there with Aviles sitting. He said that Kendall’s situational hitting and patience make him a good hitter for the second spot in the lineup.
Live for the Moment…
Yost stressed the importance for his players to focus day-to-day; not allowing the highs and lows of a season to affect their mental approach. He said his players’ concentration should be on what needs to be done to win today’s ballgame and playing every game hard.
Sunny side up…
Yost was asked if his management style is to approach the game from a positive angle. Yost said that he always tries to find the best in any situation because he knows how difficult baseball is to play at the Major League level. He also said that in his experience, if you approach players with their successes it gives you a starting point for which to build off of instead of constantly harping on the negative.