Tag Archive | "Handed Pitcher"

Royals Draft Day One


Kansas City, MO (June 6, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals completed the first day of the 2013 First-Year Rule 4 Player Draft today, selecting three players today, highlighted by the eighth overall selection, shortstop Hunter Dozier.  The Royals also selected left-handed pitcher Sean Manaea from Indiana State with the #34 overall pick and left-handed pitcher Cody Reed from Northwest Mississippi Community College at #46.

The Royals selected the 21-year-old Dozier, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound shortstop from the Stephen F. Austin University with the eighth overall pick on Thursday. Dozier batted .396 with 17 home runs and 52 RBI this season. He led the Southland Conference in batting average, slugging percentage (.755), doubles (25) and home runs, earning Louisville Slugger First Team All-America honors. He was a two-time All-Southland Conference selection, becoming the first shortstop in school history to earn that distinction, and was an All-South Central Region selection in 2012, when he hit .357 with 22 doubles, 10 homers and 37 RBI. A native of Denton, Texas, Dozier was a multi-sport star at Denton High School. He was the shortstop and ace right-handed pitcher on the baseball team and also quarterbacked the football squad. He was a 2008 all-area selection and the district Newcomer of the Year. After suffering a football injury as a junior, he came back to hit .400 during his senior season and earn all-district honors.

Kansas City picked the 21-year-old Manaea, a 6-foot-5, 215-pound left-handed pitcher from Indiana State with the #34 overall selection. Manaea was the second-ranked left-handed pitcher in the draft according to Baseball America. He was 5-4 with a 1.47 ERA in 13 starts for the Sycamores this season. The 6-foot-5 lefty fanned 93 in 73.1 innings pitched, ranking third in the NCAA in strikeouts per 9 innings at 11.4. He was named Second Team All-Missouri Valley this season and to the preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list. He burst onto the national scene last summer in the Cape Cod League. He earned both the B.F.C. Whitehouse Top Pitcher and the Robert A. McNeese Outstanding Pro Prospect awards from the CCBL, totaling a 5-1 record and a 1.22 ERA with a league-leading 85 strikeouts in 57.1 innings pitched.

The Royals drafted 20-year-old Reed, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound left-handed pitcher from Northwest Mississippi Community College with the #46 overall pick. He completed his eligibility at Northwest Mississippi CC this year, going 8-3 with a 2.39 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 73.1 innings pitched. Reed was ninth in the NJCAA in strikeouts, while his 5 complete games were tied for 14th. He was a NJCAA Division II third team All-America selection and was named Mississippi Association of Community & Junior Colleges(MACJC) Pitcher of the Week twice this year.

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2013 St. Louis Cardinals are very good, but could be great

The St. Louis Cardinals jumped out to a 28-16 record through roughly the first quarter of the regular season, and while that is the best record in the National League, the team still has noticeable room for improvement.

Jon Jay

The roster started to round into form nicely in early May as the hitters such as centerfielder Jon Jay and third baseman David Freese improved their swings, and the bullpen stabilized to provide reinforcements late in the game for a starting rotation that was by far the most dominant in all of Major League Baseball.

But then right-handed starter Jake Westbrook went on the disabled list May 12 with a sore elbow, and left-handed starter Jaime Garcia’s probably ended Friday when he left the game with left shoulder pain and is likely headed for surgery.

The Cardinals called up left-handed pitcher John Gast to fill Westbrook’s spot, and Gast has done well with wins in each of his first two starts. Gast has a 4.76 earned-run average, but that’s largely because he ran into trouble in the sixth inning after pitching five scoreless innings in each game.

Another lefty, Tyler Lyons, will start Wednesday in San Diego against the Padres in place of Garcia. Lyons had a 4.47 ERA through eight starts with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, but neither Lyons nor Gast should be the Cardinals’ largest worries.

If Gast continues to pitch well, the Cardinals could keep him in the rotation when Westbrook comes back and send Lyons back to the minors, but the bullpen is still more of a concern.

Mitchell Boggs returned to the Cardinals on Monday in San Diego after a nearly three-week long banishment in Memphis to straighten out his pitching since he racked up an ERA above 12.00 in his first 14 appearances of the season.

Boggs gave up a homerun to the first hitter he faced Monday, which was Padres centerfielder Will Veneble, but then settled in to retire the next six hitters in a row.

Before Boggs, Fernando Salas entered Monday’s game in the sixth inning to relieve right-handed rookie starter Shelby Miller, who held a 2-1 lead at the time but left with two runners on base. Salas promptly gave up a single to center by outfielder Chris Denorfia, walked catcher John Baker and hit pinch hitter Jesus Guzman to allow the Padres to take their game-winning 4-2 lead.

The bullpen doesn’t have to be perfect every game. That’s an unrealistic expectation, but the inconsistency is frightening now that the starting rotation is down to three of its original five members.

The relievers’ workload could quickly skyrocket if Gast and Lyons can’t make it past the sixth inning. Right-handed starter Lance Lynn tends to run up a high pitch count fairly regularly, and Miller hasn’t made it past the sixth inning in his two starts after the complete-game shutout he threw May 10 at Busch Stadium against the Colorado Rockies.

That, in turn, puts more pressure on right-handed ace Adam Wainwright to pitch deep into every game he pitches because the bullpen will likely be either overworked or on the verge of being overworked until Westbrook returns and Chris Carpenter completes another surprising comeback.

Wainwright will also have to pitch very well in his starts because the offense has yet to consistently put up large run totals this season. The lineup has produced more than four runs in a game three times in the last 13 games.

However, the Cardinals’ lineup is packed with five hitters who have combined for more than 3,000 RBIs in their careers, so any scoring droughts likely won’t last very long.

Given their start, the 2013 Cardinals have the potential to put together one of the best records in franchise history, but they currently still have a few too many questions on their roster to make that prediction become reality.

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Elliot Johnson Acquired By Royals

SURPRISE, AZ (February 12, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals today announced that infielder/outfielder Elliot Johnson was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays as the player to be named in the December 9, 2012 trade that also sent right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis to the Royals.


Johnson, who will turn 29 on March 9, was placed on the Royals 40-man roster while right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino was placed on the 60-day Disabled List effective today as he continued his rehab from Tommy John surgery.  Paulino will be eligible for reinstatement on June 1.  Johnson is expected to join the Royals Spring Training camp in Surprise, Ariz., on Thursday, February 14.

The switch-hitter played in 123 games for the Rays in 2012, batting .242 with 10 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 33 RBI and 32 runs scored.  The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder also stole 18 bases in 24 attempts playing mostly at shortstop (68 starts), but also making starts at second base and third base and appearing in the outfield.  Johnson is a career .223 hitter in 200 Major League games, all for Tampa Bay.

Johnson, born and raised in Arizona, now resides in Durham, NC, with his wife, Nicole, and their son, Blake.

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Jason Motte and Cardinals Reach Agreement

Motte I70

ST. LOUIS, Mo, January 22, 2013 – The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have agreed to terms with pitcher Jason Motte on a two-year contract for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, avoiding salary arbitration.

Motte, 30, tied for the National League lead with a career high 42 saves in 2012 and became the first Cardinal in franchise history to record every save during the season. The right-hander ranked 9th among N.L. relievers last season with a career high 86 strikeouts, 8th with a .191 opponent’s batting average and T11th in innings pitched (72.0). He also ranked second in the league with 58 games finished.

“We are excited to be able to have Jason under control for the next two years,” said team Sr. Vice President & General Manager, John Mozeliak. “We wanted to recognize what Jason has accomplished for the Cardinals and the role he has played in our bullpen. He exemplifies the type of player on and off the field we want in our organization, and we’re looking forward to having him part of the team for the next two seasons.”

Motte made his Major League debut with the Cardinals in 2008 and since that time has a 17-13 career record with 54 saves. His 54 saves rank 11th all-time among Cardinals relievers, and his 42 saves last season marked the 6th-highest total in a single season, becoming just the fourth Cardinal in franchise history to reach the 40-save plateau (Bruce Sutter, Lee Smith, Jason Isringhausen).

From MLBTradeRumors.com – The agreement buys out Motte’s two final years of arbitration, but won’t delay his path to free agency. He still projects to hit the open market following the 2014 season. Motte had filed for a $5.5MM salary for 2013 and the Cardinals had countered with $4.5MM, as MLBTR’s Arbitration Tracker shows. The 30-year-old set himself up for a raise from his 2012 salary of $1.95MM by posting a 2.75 ERA with 10.8 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and an NL-best 42 saves this past season.

The deal is worth $12MM and includes performance bonuses, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter).

Motte’s signing leaves two arbitration eligible players left unsigned: third baseman David Freese and left handed pitcher Marc Rzepczynski.

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Jake Odorizzi Joins Royals

Jake Odorizzi Joins Royals

SPRINGDALE, AR – Right-handed pitcher, Jake Odorizzi, was brought up to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday, September 16.  Odorizzi becomes the 32nd former Natural to make it to the major leagues.

Odorizzi spent the beginning of the 2011 season with Wilmington (A Advanced) and the latter part in Northwest Arkansas pitching a total of 147.0 innings.   He went 10-7 on the season and posted a 3.73 ERA in 27 starts.

The Illinois native has spent the beginning of the 2012 season with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals going 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA over seven starts.  Oddorizzi was transferred to Omaha (AAA) on May 17 and has surrendered 35 earned runs in 107.1 innings with Omaha.

Odorizzi went into the 2012 season rated as the fourth-best prospect in the Royals organization by Baseball America.

The 22-year-old was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers along with RHP Jeremy Jeffers, INF Alcides Escobar and OF Lorenzo Cain in exchange for RHP Zack Greinke and INF Yuniesky Betancourt, December 19, 2010.

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St. Louis Cardinals need more Daniel Descalso

The St. Louis Cardinals have used a trio of second basemen this year as they’ve muddled to a 58-49 record heading into play Sunday that mirrors the mess the team has at the second-base position.

It’s time for the Cardinals to make a playoff push, but to do so they will also need a regular second baseman who plays fantastic defense and can get a key hit when necessary. That player is Daniel Descalso.

Descalso was a key part to the Cardinals 2011 run to the World Series championship, and he could play an even more important role this year if manager Mike Matheny gives him the chance.

Descalso has always played stellar defense, and he has flashed the leather lately. He filled in at shortstop for Rafeal Furcal for five games last week against the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies. In those games he made two outstanding defensive plays. He also had six hits during the weekend agains the Milwaukee Brewers and made a couple more fabulous diving plays.

Part of the Cardinals troubles this year have stemmed from their inconsistency in the field. The Cardinals have committed 69 errors and their fielding percentage ranks 17th in Major League Baseball. Beyond the errors, there have been countless plays fielders simply haven’t made. They don’t count as an error, but the runner still gets on base or takes an extra base and quickly ends up in scoring position.

Sure, Descalso is hitting just .241 on the season, but he gets hits when they matter most. He is hitting .281 in the late innings of close games. Of regular starters, only Furcal and Yadier Molina have a higher batting average in those situations.

The other option for the Cardinals at second base is Skip Schumaker. He is hitting .319 on the season and plays solid defense. Unfortunately, both Descalso and Schumaker bat left-handed. That means Tyler Greene continues to get at-bats when the Cardinals face a left-handed pitcher even though he is hitting .222.

Greene has long been an enigma for the Cardinals and their fans. The Cardinals drafted Greene in the first round back in 2005, but he has failed to hit above his current .222 batting average in any of his four seasons with the club.

Yes, Greene has speed. He has stolen nine bases and been caught just twice, but he doesn’t get on base enough to utilize that speed. Also, when he gets on base he sometimes tries to do too much. He has twice been thrown out at the plate to end a game this season.

So, while Schumaker has the better offensive numbers, Descalso has the intangibles that help a team win ballgames.

Descalso doesn’t have to be the starting second baseman for the entire final two months of the season, but he does need to be on the field more often than not if the Cardinals are going to make a run at either the NL Central title or a wild-card berth.

If not, the frustrating inconsistent play that has plagued the first four months of the Cardinals 2012 season will prevent the team from making a run at the playoffs in the final two months.

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Royals Promote Tommy Hottovy

KANSAS CITY, MO (April 25, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals selected the contract of left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy from Triple-A Omaha today and optioned right-handed pitcher Jeremy Jeffress to Omaha. With the selection of Hottovy, who is expected to be in uniform tonight (#46) in Cleveland, the Royals 40-man roster stands at 40.  In addition, the club returned outfielder Lorenzo Cain from his rehab assignment with Northwest Arkansas (AA).  Cain remains on the 15-day D.L.

Hottovy, 30, was 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in seven relief appearances with the Storm Chasers.  The 6-foot-1, 205-pounder had allowed three earned runs on eight hits in 10.0 innings, walking five and striking out 17.  A Kansas City, Mo., native, Hottovy made his Major League debut for the Boston Red Sox last season, recording no record and a 6.75 ERA (4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO) in eight relief outings.  Hottovy graduated from Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo., and Wichita State University.

Jeffress, 24, combined to toss 1.0 scoreless inning over two relief appearances for the Royals, allowing four hits and walking two.

Cain, who has been on the Disabled List since April 13 with a left groin strain, made three rehab starts for the Naturals and was 1-for-9 at the plate. He exited last night’s game and is currently being re-evaluated by the Royals medical staff in Kansas City.

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Royals Invite Brandon Sisk To Surprise


KANSAS CITY, MO (February 2, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has invited left-handed pitcher Brandon Sisk to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.  Sisk becomes the 17th non-roster player to receive an invitation.  The Royals have now invited eight pitchers, three catchers, three infielders and three outfielders.

Sisk, 26, opened 2011 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, making 16 relief appearances.  The Elkhart, Texas, resident was then promoted to Omaha (AAA) where he went 4-2 with two saves and a 1.41 ERA in 25 outings, all in relief.  Signed from the Independent Bay Area Toros on July 8, 2008, Sisk was also a part of Major League camp in 2011.

Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 20.  Workouts for pitchers begin the following afternoon, Tuesday, February 21.  The remainder of the squad will report on Friday, February 24 and begin workouts for the 2012 campaign on Saturday afternoon, February 25.

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Royals Invite 16 To Major League Camp


KANSAS CITY, MO (January 25, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has invited 16 players to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.  The Royals have invited seven pitchers, three catchers, three infielders and three outfielders.

Pitchers (7):

Francisley Bueno, 30, made 15 starts last season for Monterrey in the Mexican Summer League.  Born in Havana, Cuba, the left-hander now resides in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and was signed by Kansas City as a minor league free agent on November 17, 2011.

23-year-old left-handed pitcher Chris Dwyer will participate in his second Major League spring training.  The Royals fourth round pick in 2009 out of Clemson University was 8-10 with a 5.60 ERA in 27 starts for Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2011, finishing third in the Texas League with 126 strikeouts.

Tommy Hottovy, 30, will make his first appearance in Major League spring training for his hometown Royals after inking a minor league deal on November 18, 2011.  Born and raised in Kansas City and a graduate of Park Hill South High School and Wichita State University, the left-hander received his first big league call with the Red Sox in 2011, making eight relief appearances.

29-year-old right-hander Zach Miner makes his second straight appearance in Royals Major League camp, although he did not pitch last spring due to rehab from Tommy John surgery.  Signed as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2011, Miner was 25-20 with a 4.24 ERA in 157 games (35 starts) for the Tigers from 2006-2009.

Recently rated as the top prospect in the Royals organization by Baseball AmericaMike Montgomery, 22, will make his second consecutive appearance in Major League spring training.  Montgomery was 5-11 with a 5.32 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) with Omaha last season.  The 6-foot-4 left-hander was the Royals supplemental first round selection (36th overall) in 2008.

21-year-old right-hander Jake Odorizzi joins Royals Major League camp for the first time in his second season in the organization.  Odorizzi was acquired with shortstop Alcides Escobar, outfielder Lorenzo Cain and pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the Milwaukee Brewers for pitcher Zack Greinke and infielder Yuniesky Betancourt on December 19, 2010.  Born and raised in Illinois, he made 27 combined starts during the 2011 season between Wilmington (A Advanced) and Northwest Arkansas, and was named the Wilmington Pitcher of the Year.

Will Smith, 22, will join Major League spring training for the third straight year, the second with the Royals after the club acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels along with pitcher Sean O’Sullivan for infielder Alberto Callaspo on July 22, 2010.  Smith, the 2011 Northwest Arkansas Pitcher of the Year, led the Texas League with 13 wins and 161.1 innings pitched.

Catchers (3):

Cody Clark, 30, enters his sixth season in the Royals organization after playing in 2011 with Omaha (AAA).  The resident of Conway, Ark., signed with Kansas City as a minor league free agent on October 26, 2006.

27-year-old Max Ramirez joins the Kansas City system after signing as a minor league free agent on December 14, 2011.  The resident of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, has appeared in the Majors with the Texas Rangers in 2008 and 2010.

Julio Rodriguez, 22, was acquired by the Royals with left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Wilson Betemit on July 20, 2011.  The Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic resident was a minor league All-Star in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and named the Dominican Tigers Player of the Year in 2008.

Infielders (3):

Tony Abreu, 27, is a switch-hitting infielder who has batted .251 in 146 career Major League games with the Dodgers (2007, 2009) and Diamondbacks (2010).  The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic resident signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on December 1, 2011.

28-year-old switch-hitter Irving Falu batted .301 in 111 games for Omaha (AAA) last season. The Carolina, Puerto Rico resident was selected by the Royals in the 21st round in 2003.

Kevin Kouzmanoff, 30, signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on January 18, 2012.  The six-year Major League veteran from Evergreen, Colo., is a career .255 hitter with 137 doubles, 85 home runs and 261 RBI in 672 games for the Indians (2006), Padres (2007-09), A’s (2010-11) and Rockies (2011).

Outfielders (3):

Greg Golson, 26, joins the Kansas City organization as a minor league free agent, signing on December 13, 2011.  A native of Austin, Texas, Golson has seen time in the Majors with the Phillies (2008), Rangers (2009) and Yankees (2010-11).

22-year-old outfielder Wil Myers will be a part of Major League spring training for the first time in his career.  The converted catcher and Royals third-round pick in 2009 followed up his 2011 season at Northwest Arkansas with a tremendous campaign in the Arizona Fall League, hitting .360 while finishing in the top three in on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS.

Paulo Orlando, 26, was invited to his first big league camp.  The right-handed hitting outfielder played at both Omaha and Northwest Arkansas in 2011.  Acquired by Kansas City from the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2008 in exchange for pitcher Horacio Ramirez, Orlando is attempting to become the first player born in Brazil to make it to the Major Leagues.

Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 20.  Workouts for pitchers begin the following afternoon, Tuesday, February 21.  The remainder of the squad will report on Friday, February 24 and begin workouts for the 2012 campaign on Saturday afternoon, February 25.

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Royals Avoid Arbitration With Three Pitchers


KANSAS CITY, MO (January 17, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has agreed to terms on one-year Major League contracts with right-handed pitchers Luke Hochevar and Felipe Paulino, and left-handed pitcher Jonathan Sanchez for the 2012 season, avoiding arbitration with all three. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed. Outfielder Alex Gordon is the Royals lone remaining arbitration-eligible player.

The 28-year-old Hochevar compiled an 11-11 record with a 4.68 ERA in 31 starts in 2011. He set career bests in wins, starts, innings (198.0), strikeouts (128) and quality starts (16). The Royals Opening Day starter last season was 6-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts following the All-Star break, holding opponents to a .222 average which ranked sixth in the American League among starters. The first-overall selection in the 2006 June Free Agent Draft resides in Knoxville, Tenn., with his wife, Ashley, and daughter, Laney.

Paulino, 28, joined the Royals on May 26, 2011 in a trade with the Colorado Rockies for cash considerations. He was 4-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) for Kansas City following the deal, striking out 119 in 124.2 innings. He struck out 8.59 hitters per nine innings as a Royal, which ranks as the fifth-best in franchise history among hurlers with at least 120 innings. Paulino followed up his 2011 campaign by being selected as a member of the MLB All-Star team that toured Taiwan in early November, starting the third game of the five-game exhibition series. Paulino initially signed with the Houston Astros as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2001. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, he now resides in Pearland, Texas, with his wife, Paola, and daughter, Victoria.

Sanchez, 29, was acquired from San Francisco with left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo on November 7, 2011 in exchange for outfielder Melky Cabrera. He has posted a 3.75 ERA over his last three seasons with the Giants in 85 games (81 starts). In 2011, Sanchez was 4-7 with a 4.26 ERA in 19 starts before missing the final month and a half with a left ankle sprain. He posted a breakout 2010 campaign for the World Series champions, going 13-9 with a 3.07 ERA, tossing 5.0 shutout innings in Game 162 vs. San Diego as the Giants clinched the N.L. West. The 6-foot-2, 198-pounder is 38-46 with a 4.26 ERA in 174 career outings, including 118 starts. He tossed the 13th no-hitter in Giants history on July 10, 2009 vs. San Diego. Sanchez has posted 736 strikeouts in 708.0 innings, a rate of 9.355 strikeouts per nine innings which ranks as the third-best in baseball (min. 700 IP) since 2006, trailing the Giants’ Tim Lincecum (9.87) and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (9.360), who have won three of the last four National League Cy Young Awards. Sanchez was born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, and now resides in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico. He has one son, Christian.

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