Results tagged ‘ Mike Aviles ’

Trey Hillman Pregame Media Session: June 14

Coco to the D.L.

 

Add Coco Crisp to the list of Royals players who are currently on the Disabled List.  The centerfielder went on the 15-day Disabled List today with a sore shoulder.  Manager Trey Hillman said, “We are going to keep him out until that shoulder fully heals, he can take as much time as he needs.”  In his place on the active roster will be Tug Hulett.  “He’s a good ballplayer, he can be very versatile for us,” said Hillman. 

 

Misc.

 

John Buck has been up and throwing in the last couple of days, but that is about the extent to which he can participate in activities.  His back is quite sore and is need of constant and consistent rest.  Mike Aviles is still resting his elbow, and Sidney Ponson had another encouraging bullpen session. 

Trey Hillman Pregame Media Session – June 12

Short Term Memory

 

Manager Trey Hillman was asked about the importance of forgetting a difficult loss like yesterday’s against the Cleveland Indians. “I would like in some form or another like to put the last five weeks out of my mind, you have to learn from your mistakes and move on,” Hillman said.  He stated that being home and starting interleague play could be the spark this team needs to catapult them into a winning streak and propel them in the right direction.  “It’s always nice to see other teams from around the league, I’m a baseball fan too, it should be a fun a homestand,” said the manager.

 

No Pessimism in this Clubhouse

 

Manager Trey Hillman has told us on numerous occasions this season that at no point will he ever give up on this team, nor will they as a club ever count themselves out.  “Hey man, there is optimism in that clubhouse, it’s hard to play ball like this but you have to let it go,” Hillman said.  “We have not lost hope, our confidence is high, and we are thankful every day for our jobs, the ballpark we play in and the city we play for,” exclaimed Hillman. 

 

Injury Update

 

Alex Gordon has been doing two reps of ground ball drills, and has been taking light batting practice.  He is also jogging on a consistent basis, but his lateral movement is being watched rigorously and evaluated daily.

Robinson Tejeda pitched last night for the Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals and he is progressing nicely and is being monitored for reassignment.

Mike Aviles is still resting his elbow and there can be absolutely no movement in his elbow for up to one more week.

Sidney Ponson threw a promising bullpen session yesterday, and is scheduled for another in the coming days.

John Buck is felling much better then he had in past days, but is nowhere near being ready to put on a uniform for the Royals.

 

With all of these players, Hillman says, “There is not a set timetable for any of our injured players, as each day comes they get healthier and when they are ready to perform, we will let you know.”

March Birthdays: Mike Aviles turns 28

9-24 Aviles 2.jpgToday is Friday the 13th which is also, coincidentally, the 28th birthday for 2008 Royals Player of the Year Mike Aviles! Kansas City farmhand Matt Wright is also celebrating as he turns 27. Matt and Mike share birthdays with former All-Star first baseman Will “the Thrill” Clark (45) and U2 bass player Adam Clayton (49). Aviles is currently with his Puerto Rico teammates in Miami getting ready for Round 2 of the WBC.

Here are your Royals birthdays for March:

Cookie_Rojas_S_0a003.jpgRoyals Hall of Famer Cookie Rojas turned 70 on March 6. Cookie’s birthday is shared by Shaquille O’Neal (37) and former Tonight Show sidekick Ed McMahon (86).

Prospects Kiel Thibault (25, March 2), Danny Cortes (22, March 4), and Jose Duarte (24, March 7) celebrated early in Spring Training.

Both Tony Pena, Jr. and Joel Peralta celebrate birthdays on March 23. Tony, like Mike Aviles, will be 28, while Joel turns 33. Joel was born on the same day in 1976 as actress Keri Russell from “Felicity” fame. Other notable birthdays include Kauffman Stadium groundskeeper Trevor Vance, and Roger Bannister, the first person to run a mile under four minutes.pena_dsc_5344.jpgPeralta.jpg

Trevor Vance.jpg

 

The Royals have FOUR birthdays on March 24! Devon Lowery turns 26, Chris Lubanski will be 24, and both Robinson Tejeda and Heath Phillips are 27. The quartet share their day with Peyton Manning, who will be 33. Also, Harry Houdini was born on this day in 1874.

Seitzer,Kevin2.JPGRoyals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer turns 47 on March 26, which is shared by a variety of musicians including country artist Kenny Chesney (41), Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler (61) and Motown’s Diana Ross (65).

Kila Ka’aihue rounds out our list with his 25th birthday on March 29. Kila shares his day with former tennis phenom Jennifer Capriati (33). Also born on this date – baseball great Cy Young (1867) and Wal-Mart co-founder Sam Walton (1918). Both Kila and Mr. Walton made quite an impression on Northwest Arkansas! Kila_Home_Run.jpg

 

Now you’re caught up on Royals birthdays for March…check back next month!

 

Winter League Notes — Brayan Pena smacks three home runs

BrayanPena.jpgSeveral Royals players are staying warm this winter in the Caribbean. The goal isn’t just to stay out of this current snowstorm that’s hitting Kansas City…these Royals are staying sharp by playing winter league baseball.

Last night, Royals catcher Brayan Pena belted three home runs for Cibao in the Dominican Republic. That’s half of his 2008 total with the Omaha Royals. Pena has 18 career minor league home runs in 2,003 at-bats and two Major League home runs in 127 at-bats with the Braves. He is batting .346 with 8 home runs and 33 RBI in 34 winter contests. Pena, claimed off waivers from the Braves on May 30, is currently on the Royals 40-man roster.

A few other notes from the Caribbean:

* Esteban German is third in the Dominican Winter League with a .355 average.

* Tony Pena, Jr. is batting .294 with a .373 on-base percentage for Cibaenas in the Dominican.

* Robinson Tejeda, teaming with German on Azucareros del Este, has 25 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

* Minor leaguer Dusty Hughes is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA over 34.0 IP for Escogido in the Dominican.

* Mike Aviles is batting .302 with Santurce in the Puerto Rican Winter League. Mike’s club is managed by his uncle, Ramon Aviles, who played in the Majors in 1977 and 1979-81 with Boston and Philadelphia.

Photo credit: Gregory Bull/AP

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Baseball Awards Dinner Returns

Another great event has been added to FanFest weekend…a baseball awards dinner. The January 16 event at the Sheraton Overland Park Hotel will be the first awards dinner held by the Royals since 2001. Kansas City’s 2008 award winners, Pitcher of the Year Joakim Soria, Player of the Year Mike Aviles, and Special Achievement winner Zack Greinke will be honored.  Ten additional honors, listed below, will be presented.

Dan_Quisenberry_S_0b004.jpgDan Quisenberry Special Achievement Award –  recognizing an outstanding member of the community

Matt Minker Award – recognizing an outstanding minor league affiliate employee

Art Stewart Scout of the Year - recognizing an outstanding scout

Dick Howser Player Development Person of the Year – recognizing an outstanding member of player development

Mike Sweeney Award - recognizing a player who best represents the organization on and off the field

Willie Wilson Base Runner of the Year - recognizing the organization’s top base runner



White,Frank_defense5.jpgFrank White Defensive Player of the Year
- recognizing the organization’s top defensive player

Paul Splittorff Pitcher of the Year - recognizing the organization’s top pitcher

George Brett Hitter of the Year - recognizing the organization’s top hitter

Ewing Kauffman Mr. Baseball Award – recognizing an overall contribution to baseball in the Kansas City area

Frank White, Willie Wilson, and Mike Sweeney will all be on hand to present awards. Ticket information for the awards dinner will be announced at a later date, as will the award winners. Check back for more details!

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Aviles, Soria, Greinke take home honors

8-5 Aviles.jpgA trio of Royals received special recognition for their 2008 campaigns today. Mike Aviles, who burst onto the scene with a .325 batting average, earned Les Milgram Player of the Year honors. Joakim Soria was a unanimous choice for Bruce Rice Pitcher of the Year after collecting 42 saves and his first All-Star appearance. Zack Greinke, who established career bests with 13 wins and and 183 strikeouts, garnered Joe Burke Special Achievement recognition. All of the awards were voted on by members of the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA). Aviles becomes the first KC position player to win the organization’s Minor League Player of the Year award and follow that up the very next season with the Major League award. Interestingly enough, Greinke is the only pitcher to do it, accomplishing the feat in 2003 and 2004.

Aviles spoke with the media via teleconference a few minutes ago. He described his season as a ‘whirlwind’ as he was a non-roster invitee to spring training, a minor league player in April and May, and now the Royals Player of the Year. Mike said he doesn’t think much about awards during the season, yet this gives him a sense of happiness. A key to his success was the family-like atmosphere of the club. His teammates welcomed him from the day he joined the Major League roster from Triple-A Omaha. After going 0-for-3 in his debut, Mike made adjustments as he realized that this was the same game he had played his entire life, just a little quicker. He loved the challenges that Major League competition posed as he was always facing new pitchers and learning new things.

Mike is playing winter ball in Puerto Rico until December 15. He noted that the league is very competitive and his goal is to keep his swing on the same path. Congratulations, Mike, and thank you for taking time away from your winter ball schedule (and trips to the beach, or ‘la playa’, as they say in Puerto Rico) to speak with the media today.

Check back for comments from Zack and Joakim, who will have teleconferences with the media later this afternoon.

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A September to Remember

The ATH crew is counting down the days until spring training after the Royals finished 2008 on fire. Kansas City won two of three in the Twin Cities, which secured the best September mark in Major League Baseball at 18-8.

Today’s post is stat-heavy. If you dig into the September stats, you’ll see that a few of the current Royals put themselves among elite company in the team history books.


Thumbnail image for 9-5 Shealy.jpg Seventh Heaven:
Ryan Shealy blasted 7 home runs during September, which tied him for the sixth-best September total in club history. (John Mayberry and Danny Tartabull share the record with 9 in 1972 and 1987, respectively. Steve Balboni, Carlos Beltran, and Jeff King clubbed 8 apiece.) Shealy, recalled from Omaha on September 2, also led the club with 20 RBI and a .603 slugging percentage.


Thumbnail image for 8-5 Aviles.jpgRecord-Setting Rook:
Mike Aviles finished his storybook rookie campaign with a few more records and notes. Aviles led all MLB rookies with 33 hits during the month (Minnesota’s Denard Span has 30 hits. He could add to his total if Minnesota has to play Chicago on Tuesday.) Aviles’ 33 hits ties him with Carlos Beltran for the second-best September total by a Royals rookie. George Brett set the mark with 35 in 1974. Aviles also crossed the plate 22 times during the month, which ties him for third all-time in franchise history. Brett and Al Cowens scored 23 times apiece as the Royals rolled through September, 1977. Tartabull had 22 in 1987 and Beltran matched that mark in 2002 and 2003.

Consistent Callaspo: Alberto Callaspo hit in 18 consecutive games during September. The streak was the longest by a Royal in 2008. Callaspo batted .344 (22-for-64) during the 18 games. His streak was tied for the ninth-longest in club history.

3 x 4: Kyle Davies, Zack Greinke, and Gil Meche each went 4-1 during September. The last time three K.C. pitchers won 4 games in the same calendar month was August, 1989. Bret Saberhagen went 7-0 while Tom Gordon compiled a 5-1 record and Mark Gubicza chipped in with a 4-2 mark. Davies, Greinke, and Meche became just the third trio to win at least 4 games in September. The last time, you ask? The year was 1978, when team Hall of Famer’s Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura, and Paul Splittorff accomplished the feat.


Thumbnail image for 9-18 Soria.jpgClosing Points:
We can’t make it through this post without mentioning another dominant month from All-Star Joakim Soria. The right-hander converted all 9 of his save opportunities. The 9 saves surpassed Dan Quisenberry’s club record of 8 September saves, established in 1984. Soria tied Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels for the most saves in the big leagues during the month. KC’s closer posted a perfect 0.00 ERA while limiting opponents to an .091 batting average. His 42 rescues on the year ranks fourth in single-season club history, trailing only Jeff Montgomery (45 in 1993) and Dan Quisenberry (45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984).

A Look Ahead: Manager Trey Hillman is meeting with media members on Tuesday. We’ll bring you a wrap up of the press conference. During the off season, look for a few quick posts each week to keep you up to date on events in the Royals organization.

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Goin' to roam in the dome before coming home

9-26 Butler.jpgWe’ve come to that point. Just three games left and one final full-length regular season post. The Royals already closed out their home schedule and now they begin their final series of the regular season inside the Metrodome.

It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere in the dome as both teams are in a race of sorts. The Twins and the Royals hold leads in their respective races and control their own destiny, let’s control the destiny of this post and go Around the Horn…

First
To set things up right, here’s a quick team profile for the series:

The Twins: They are 5-5 over their last 10 and 8-7 in their last 15, boasting a current four-game winning streak. However, the three most important victories of the season – to this point – were their last three. 
9-26 Twins.jpgTheir sweep of Chicago took them from 2.5 games behind the White Sox to a half-game lead for the divisional crown. Minnesota’s magic number is four. That means any combination of four White Sox losses and wins for the Twins gets them into the playoffs without a tiebreaker or a make-up game (Chicago has played one less than Minnesota). Chicago is back at home playing out the season versus the Indians. A sweep by Cleveland means the Twins need just one win over the weekend. Likewise, if the Sox sweep their series and the Twins lose one game, Chicago is in. If the two teams are separated by a half game, the White Sox have to make up their rainout on Monday. Should the teams tie, they will play a tiebraker on Tuesday in Chicago. The Twins have been playing playoff baseball for about a week and they are tough in the dome, owning a .667 winning percentage at home.

The Royals: They’ve been as tough as any team in the Majors this month. After sweeping the Tigers under the rug for the third time this season
9-26 Banny.jpgthe Boys in Blue are riding a three-game winning streak and are 8-2 in their last 10 and have taken 11 of their last 13. September has been good to the Royals who have posted a 16-7 record. It’s their highest win total for the final month since the 1985 World Championship team won 18. The Royals race has much less riding on it, but its become big news over the last few weeks. The team’s goal is to finish out of last place for the first time since 2003. As it stands, Detroit is half a game back, and would only have to play the missed date if the Sox are within a half game of the Twins. Without taking into account their possible game against Chicago on Monday, the magic number for the Royals and Detroit is also four. So scoreboard watching is a must this weekend as the Tigers welcomed Tampa Bay to Comerica yesterday, winning the first of a four-game series.

 
9-26 royals logo.jpgIt will be a playoff atmosphere (in more ways than one) with large crowds on hand in the Metrodome. For their crucial series with the White Sox, the Twins hosted 120,952 fans. They drew no less than 35,000 each game and posted consecutive games with 42,000-plus.

9-26 twins logo.jpgSo there it is, the final showdown of the season. The red-hot Royals versus the streaking Twins. Minnesota holds the season edge with a 11-4 record and a 4-2 mark in the Metrodome. But they haven’t faced the September Royals, featuring the second-highest team batting average in the Majors (.299), the second lowest ERA in the American League (3.71) and the Majors’ second lowest opponents’ batting average (.237). Other notable September figures include: David DeJesus leading the A.L. in hits (33), while hitting .388 (fifth in the A.L.) and he’s tied for fifth in triples (2). He’s ninth in on-base percentage (.443). Alberto Callaspo is also tied for fifth in triples, as is Mike Aviles, who is second in runs (19). Jose Guillen is tied for fourth in doubles (8). Ryan Shealy’s seven homers are tied for the A.L. lead and his .661 slugging percentage is fifth-best.

This team also knows a thing or two about playing well in the final series of the season and keeping divisional crown hopefuls from achieving their goals. The title spoiler is bittersweet, but the Royals played it in 2006 when the Tigers needed one win for the Central Championship. Instead, the Royals swept them and the Twins snuck by.

9-26 Maier.jpgSecond
Mitch Maier had a career night two days ago. His bases-clearing triple – just the second extra base hit of his career – helped the Royals in producing their biggest inning of the season during the fifth, when they plated seven (it tied their other seven-run inning on July 3 at Baltimore during the sixth).

Maier joined Mark Teahen as the only Royals to get two hits in a single inning this season. In fact, Teahen joined that club only a week prior versus Seattle. Previous to Teahen, the Royals had not accomplished the feat since Tony Pena, Jr. did it in 2007.

Maier, a Petoskey, Michigan native, had at least one fan in the crowd on Wednesday. 9-26 Maier 2.jpgHis father stood up from his seat to cheer his son after the big triple – he was the lone fan in his section applauding the hit. Maier graduated from Novi High School – a suburb of Detroit, approximately 35 minutes from downtown.

Maier has played in 12 games since returning from the three facial fractures he suffered in August. While his average is not high in his return, his production has been there. In games when he’s registered at least four at-bats, Maier has five hits, four runs and five RBI. His three RBI night on Wednesday was a new career high. The only double and triple during his career have come since returning on September 13.

Short
David DeJesus’ 13-game hitting streak came to an end on Wednesday. He tweaked his right hip flexor and was taken out of the game after one at-bat…
9-26 Callaspo.jpgAlberto Callaspo’s career high 16-game streak is still alive and he is likely to make his return this weekend…Alex Gordon has hit in 10 straight, including all nine since returning from the Disabled List…Mike Aviles leads all rookies in batting average with just three to play (.322)…DeJesus, who may not see playing time this weekend, leads the Majors in batting with runners in scoring position (.419)…Kyle Davies will have his last start tonight, looking to build on two lights-out performaces during his last two starts in which he compiled a 15-inning scoreless streak, a season-high for a KC starter…The Royals pitchers have had 10 quality starts in their last 11 games.

Third
Dear fans,
 I am going to be a tad bit selfish right now, something I have never tried to do while writing and covering the team for this blog. But it was suggested to me to be a little self-indulgent with my final entry (by our team President Dan Glass, no less). I am going to “out” myself as one of the team’s bloggers to say good-bye (don’t worry, the blog isn’t going anywhere, just one of its writers). I have taken a position at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (and I’m hoping I can blog there too).

9-26 trevor.JPGFrom my days on K Crew, shooting T-Shirts and running in the Hot Dog Derby to working under the great people in my department, my time with the team has been amazing. It has been a privilege working on Around the Horn all summer and I’ve gotten the chance to meet some amazing people and tell the story of this team each and everyday. It’s been a lot of work but to sound a bit cheesy, it’s been a labor of love (for this team).

Thanks for reading. (Again, please keep checking the site. This is not the end of ATH, just the end for one, singular writer. In fact, I will even have one more post sometime next week. It’s one last Touch ‘em All interview for the 2008 season.) 

- Trevor Hayes, Media Relations Assistant (that’s my K Crew picture from 2007)

Couple quick notes: Just one more FSN-KC game left, with coverage starting today at 6:30 pm. Tomorrow is the Royals final televised game of 2008, with a 2:55 start scheduled on FOX.

Election Season: Mike Aviles for the Hank Aaron Award. Mark Teahen for the Roberto Clemente Award. And Buddy Blattner, Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre for the Ford C. Frick Award.

Please dont forget: The Royals Charities car auction is on September 26. And lastly: Fan Photos from the field after Sunday’s game are up and available right here.

Today’s lineup: Check back later today…and all weekend…Go Royals!

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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The Final (Con)Quest

The Royals opened their final road trip last night with a 6-2 victory over the Tigers. They are now one-game back from the Bengals as Trey Hillman’s club continues to play well in September.

Hillman has said he wants to finish out of the cellar and the team is responding. 9-23 DeJesus.jpgThey have shaved 7.5 games off their fifth-place deficit since August 31. How? Let’s go Around the Horn…

First
David DeJesus placed the Royals on his back last night, collecting seven total bases and falling a homer shy of the cycle. In his seventh career four-hit effort, DeJesus scored twice and added his 73rd RBI of the season. He’s hit in 13 straight, averaging .420 over his streak.

That has been an absolute key to the September surge. Timely hitting has carried the Royals with three separate players compiling hitting streaks of 10 or more games this month. Joining DeJesus is Jose Guillen who had a career-high 14 gamer from Sept. 4-17 and has hits in 17 of his last 19 games. The Royals also have found a regular second baseman in the wake of Mark Grudzielanek’s season ending early with Alberto Callaspo, who has both looked solid turning the double play and is in the midst of a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Callaspo’s streak is tied for the longest by any Royal this season. 9-23 Guillen.jpgGuess who has the other 16-game hitting streak in 2008? Here’s a hint, his initials are D.D. and he wears No. 9.

Thanks to these three, the Boys in Blue are delivering for their manager in a big way. They are 8-2 in their last 10 and 14-7 in September. They own the highest American League September batting average at .295, they are second to only Cleveland in the A.L. in wins this month and the pitching staff’s 3.88 ERA is third with their .239 opponent’s average second.

Second
The Royals may have only three game left on FSN-Kansas City, but it turns out they have four more TV games. Saturday’s game against the Minnesota Twins, who are 2.5 games behind the White Sox at the moment, has been moved to FOX. The Twins, who are home against Chicago now, may still be vying for their playoff lives.

Instead of a 6:10 start, the game will now begin at 2:55 with Gil Meche making his last start of the season. The change will mark the Royals second exposure to the FOX spotlight this summer. You may recall the blisteringly hot day in Kansas City on August 2, when the Royals played the White Sox on FOX.

In the first of two-straight 19-hit affairs, the Royals beat the Pale Hose, 9-7. 9-23 Meche.jpgThe temperature at first pitch that day was 95, but the heat index soared to over 110. So don’t miss it this Saturday, the Royals will get in on the playoff action again, playing the second game of a three-game season-ending series.

Short
David DeJesus’ four-hit effort last night is his third at Comerica, where he is hitting .357 in 36 career games…Gil Meche became the Royals first 13-game winner since Paul Byrd notched 17 wins in 2002…The team’s 14 September wins are the most since 2000 (14-14) with a 15th victory being the best since 1987 (15-13).

Third
Around the Horn would like to announce that due to the ongoing renovations at Kauffman Stadium, we had to vacate yesterday, leaving behind our old press box and working environment. The only thing left populating the offices where we once worked are construction workers who are busy tearing those offices apart. It was a sad day for all of us who were moving yesterday. That press box was the original, created in 1973. We just thought you, our loyal readers, would like to know what’s up with us.

Reminders: The Royals Charities car auction on September 26. Vote for Mark Teahen for the Roberto Clemente Award and Buddy Blattner, Fred White and Ryan Lefebvre for the Ford C. Frick Award

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus CF
Aviles 2B
Guillen RF
Shealy 1B
Teahen LF
Butler DH
Gordon 3B
Olivo C
Pena SS

Greinke P

Today’s <official a NotesOfficial Game Notes.

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The Future's now

9-19 Minor NLBM.JPGTonight 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…

First
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.

9-19 Minor harvest.JPGBut 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.

9-19 Minor tour 2.JPGAmong 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.

9-19 Minor work.JPGBilly 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.

Second
Seven straight wins is the longest winning streak since 2003, 9-19 Banny.jpgwhen the Royals opened the season 9-0. The Royals are 8-2 over their last ten.

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, 9-19 Callaspo.jpgwill 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.

Short
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.

9-9 Stocking Cap.jpgThird
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 lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Guillen RF
Shealy 1B
Teahen 3B
Butler DH
Callaspo 2B
Buck C
Maier CF

Bannister P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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