Tag Archive | "Houston Astros"

Best record important, but St. Louis Cardinals should have Adam Wainwright ready to start playoffs

The St. Louis Cardinals will be the National League Central Division champions as they enter the playoffs, but where they begin the postseason is still an important mystery.

Wainwright

The Cardinals took a one-half-game lead over the Atlanta Braves for the best record in the National League into play Thursday when the Braves face the Philadelphia Phillies while the Cardinals wait to begin their final three-game series of the season at Busch Stadium against the Chicago Cubs.

As was the case in the Cardinals’ World Series championship season of 2011, they will face the worst team in the NL Central while the Braves play the Phillies. However, the Cardinals played the Houston Astros to close that season, and the Cardinals and Braves were fighting just to make the playoffs in 2011.

Now they are competing for the best record in the National League, which would guarantee them home-field advantage through the National League Championship Series.

The Cardinals don’t have Chris Carpenter to send to the mound in the final game of the season as they did two years ago, but they still have one of the best pitchers in the league ready to go in the final series, if necessary.

But here’s the thing. It is not necessary.

The Cardinals could pitch Adam Wainwright on Saturday, which would be his regularly scheduled day to start, or they could hold him back until Sunday if they need a win on the final day of the season to clinch the best record in the league.

However, if he pitches Sunday, that would put him on short rest to start Game 1 of the National League Division Series, and the Cardinals would almost certainly push him back to Game 2.

A third option would be to shut Wainwright down until the playoffs regardless, but that opens up a problem of too much rest if he goes from Monday until next Thursday between starts.

He will instead probably pitch Saturday or Sunday, and at this point Saturday would be the much better option.

Sure, the Cardinals might lost home-field advantage in the NLCS if they don’t win enough games against the Cubs this weekend, but with a playoff spot already in hand, the Cardinals would be more prudent to maximize their strategic advantages for the first round of the playoffs because there is no guarantee they will even make it the next round and be able to use what would be their home-field advantage.

At this point, Wainwright in Game 1 of the division series is more important than Wainwright on Sunday against the Cubs.

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny can still use Wainwright on Saturday and then use a pitcher such as rookie Michael Wacha on Sunday. That setup would still give the Cardinals a legitimate chance to win and gain home-field advantage throughout the National League playoffs, but it would more importantly position Wainwright to pitch the first game of the playoffs.

Plus, a winning performance from Wainwright against the Cubs is far from certain. Wainwright has struggled against the Cubs more than any team throughout his career outside of the Atlanta Braves, which would arouse another whole set of questions for later in the playoffs.

Anyway, Wainwright as a career 4.44 earned-run average and a 7-6 record through the seven full seasons he has pitched in Major League Baseball.

So a win from Wainwright on Saturday and Sunday is not nearly as likely as one might first assume, even though the Cardinals are 28 games better than the Cubs heading into play Friday.

The Cardinals would be smart to let Wainwright pitch Saturday on normal rest and be ready for Game 1 of the playoffs instead of having him pitch Sunday and risk losing that game while also losing him until Game 2 of the division series.

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Difficult Start To Second Half Could Help St. Louis Cardinals In October

The St. Louis Cardinals have unquestionably played their worst baseball of the season the past three weeks, going 4-11 against the four best teams in the National League, but that rough stretch could be a large dose of the medicine the team needs to be ready for the playoffs.

MikeMathenyArguing

Despite the awful finish to July and start to August, the Cardinals still entered play Saturday in the first wild-card spot and 6.5 games from falling out of a playoff position. Therefore, they have little reason to stress over making the playoffs, but a little frustration could add an edge any team needs to succeed in the postseason.

Sure, the Cardinals had their fair share of injuries during the first half of the season. Starting pitcher Chris Carpenter never recovered from his arm injury, closer Jason Motte underwent Tommy John surgery during spring training, Jaime Garcia had season-ending shoulder surgery in May and Jake Westbrook missed significant time while on the disabled list, but none of those problems were big enough to keep St. Louis from jumping out to the best record in Major League Baseball.

The Cardinals cruised to a 57-36 record in the first half while primarily playing teams that are not going to come anywhere close to making the playoffs. Their combined 28-11 record against the Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Miami Marlins, San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants largely accounts for why the team was more than 20 games above .500 by the All-Star Break.

They began the second half of the season 5-1 in six games against the lowly Padres and Philadelphia Phillies, who were each 11 games under .500 heading into play Saturday, but then they went out to play the good teams in the National League.

And they got smoked.

The Atlanta Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates, Cincinnati Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers would fill out the postseason bracket along with the Cardinals if the season ended anytime soon, and those teams won 11 of 15 games against St. Louis.

Of course, catcher Yadier Molina went on the disabled list with a sprained right knee less than a week into that stretch and that has certainly affected the offense considering he was second in the league with a .330 batting average when he got hurt.

Yet, the Cardinals’ problems have been bigger than just Molina’s absence. The team has hit .260 since the All-Star break, which is 16 points lower than it hit before the break.

The pitching staff’s earned-run average has ballooned from 3.40 to 3.98 in the second half as the team struggles to mix and match starters to fill in gaps left by an intense schedule and more injury problems such as Shelby Miller’s sore elbow that could cause him to miss a start after he took a line drive directly off it on the second pitch of his outing Wednesday against the Dodgers.

But more than anything, the team needs to relearn how to win, particular against good teams it will likely face in the playoffs.

Remember, the 2013 Cardinals are a young team. They have a second baseman (Matt Carpenter) and shortstop (Pete Kozma), who are in their first seasons at those positions at the major-league level, and they have used 11 rookie pitchers. All but four of those 13 players were on the postseason roster in 2012 and many had never spent a day in the big leagues until earlier this season.

Also, every team, good or bad, goes through a rough patch in their season. The 2006 World Series championship Cardinals team lost eight games in a row in late June, and the 2011 world championship team lost seven in a row in early June, along with a 3-8 stretch in mid-August before it caught fire through the rest of the season.

The 2013 team had not had a losing streak of more than three games in a row at any point before the seven-game losing streak a couple of weeks ago. The team had battled around injuries, but it had yet to develop the resilience that only a stretch of losing baseball can provide.

Plus, the team now knows the level of play required to compete with the best teams in the league.

It certainly isn’t fun for Cardinals fans to watch their team struggle, but the recent run of losses seemingly night after night could help the team develop the mental and emotional toughness it will need to make a run at the 2013 World Series championship.

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The Race For Last Place

Prospects and draft picks are becoming things of focus around Major League Baseball over the last few years.  That mentality can turn the world, or at least the standings, upside down.

HoustonAstrosError

Our friends over at MLBTradeRumors.com have introduced their next, great innovative tool for your use – Reverse Standings.

The reverse standings, which are updated automatically each morning, serve as a projection of the 2014 amateur draft order.  - from MLBTR founder Tim Dierkes

With this season’s hopes squarely out of reach, many teams take the time to evaluate their talent, bring young players to the big club to see how they fare, and to make subtle changes that will go into effect the following season.  The front office turns their attention to scouting and the following year’s draft, learning where they will pick and who they believe will be available.

The formula is simple, the worst team in baseball from the previous season picks first.  The draft proceeds up the ladder until the best team from the previous season picks last.  Draft picks are not eligible to be traded, so it holds a very simple result – finish dead last and you get first pick.

Should the season end today, the Houston Astros have that pick.  Not very surprising given the current state of the franchise.  Noteworthy, however, is that they also had the first pick in the last two drafts.  They are one of only two teams to secure the first pick in consecutive drafts, the Washington Nationals did it as well in 2009 and 2010.  The Nationals used those picks to secure Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg, showing that a few good drafts can change the direction of a franchise quickly.  Should they hold on and “win” the first pick for next year, the Astros will become the first team in history to do so for three consecutive seasons.  The last two seasons, they have used the first overall pick to choose Carlos Correa and Mark Appel.

The Astros will also join “elite” company, becoming only the third team in the history of the draft to pick first in five drafts, joining the San Diego Padres and New York Mets with that distinction.  Of the 22 franchises that have picked first since the draft was instituted in 1965, none have more than five picks.  Currently, the Astros have chosen first four times, tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Seattle Mariners at that level.

Congrats, Houston, you are well on your way to being the best at being the worst.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can talk baseball with him on Twitter or read more of his St. Louis Cardinals analysis on Yahoo!.

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Biogenesis: Is ACES To Blame?

By now baseball fans are very familiar with the word “Biogenesis” and the subsequent suspensions being handed down to players as a result of their involvement with the company.  A shocking similarity is starting to form when looking at the players being suspended and the agency that has represented them.

NelsonCruz

As of this morning, MLBTradeRumors is sharing reports from various sources claiming twelve players have accepted suspensions handed down by Major League Baseball for their involvement with Biogenesis.

The list currently: Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers, Jhonny Peralta – Detroit Tigers, Everth Cabrera – San Diego Padres, Antonio Bastardo – Philadelphia Phillies, Jordany Valdespin – New York Mets, Sergio Escalona – Houston Astros, Francisco Cervelli – New York Yankees, Jesus Montero – Seattle Mariners, Cesar Puello – New York Mets (Minor Leaguer), Fautino De Los Santos – San Diego Padres (Minor Leaguer), Fernando Martinez – Houston Astros, Jordan Norberto – Oakland Athletics

Nelson Cruz announced this morning that he had changed agencies from ACES to Wasserman Media Group, a move that is not uncommon and normally does not raise any flags.

However, that agency – ACES – has been popping up a lot lately.

They were the agency that represented, and were accused of assisting in a cover-up for, Melky Cabrera.  They are also connected to Gio Gonzalez, who has been linked to Biogenesis but not named in the suspension list as of yet.  Add to those two names Jhonny Peralta, Jesus Montero, Fautino De Los Santos, Jordany Valdespin, Antonio Bastardo, Sergio Escalona and Cesar Puello and you’ve got a staggering number of clients being accused of using performance enhancing drugs.

What does all of this mean?  It may not mean anything at all.  ACES is a large agency with a fairly large amount of clients (107 baseball players are listed in MLBTR’s Agency Database as represented by ACES).  Maybe it suggests that the clients were brought together by a common event.  Maybe it suggests that someone at ACES has planted the seed that Biogenesis could help their clients.

Either way, I would guess that Major League Baseball may further investigate the agency before all the smoke clears.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can talk baseball with him on Twitter or read more of his St. Louis Cardinals analysis on Yahoo!.

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The Royals stand pat by the trade deadline. Sort of.

The non-waiver trade deadline came and went and the Kansas City Royals still have everyone on their Major League roster. Ervin Santana is still in the starting rotation and make funny Twitter videos. Luke Hochevar is still in the bullpen and not with Boston. Chris Getz is still at second base, to the dismay of Royals fans.

justin-maxwell-73113

Despite an eight-game winning streak and being two games above .500, General Manager Dayton Moore didn’t make any bold moves to buy or sell. But he did make a trade: Reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros for minor-league pitcher Kyle Smith.

So the Royals “big” move was to trade off a High A starting pitcher who was the 12th ranked Royals prospect by Baseball America for a 29-year old right-handed career .222 outfielder. This year, Maxwell suffered a broken hand and concussion (he did recover by the All-Star break) and so far has played 40 games. His role seems to be a platoon outfielder against left-handed pitching.

Maxwell does pretty well against left-handed pitching with a .253/.370/.455 average, while the Royals as a team are .233/.283/.328 against left-handed starters.

The best case for Maxwell is to platoon him with David Lough, but if you look at Lough’s splits, he’s hitting .278/.302/.401 against righties and .283/.316/.415 against lefties, which is pretty even. It’s not like Lough struggles against left-handed pitching.

Some argue Lough might not have the endurance to go a full season, but he’s 27 years old and played the last four seasons in AAA Omaha, playing over 100 games in three of those four seasons. And Maxwell’s high game mark in the Majors was 124 games in 2012. In other seasons, he played 15, 40, 67 and 40 games. Perhaps a platoon situation would rest both players and help them improve, but that’s not a sure thing.

And there’s the roster spot the Royals need to clear before they put Maxwell on the roster. The team plans to add Maxwell by Thursday’s game against the Twins, but they haven’t made a decision who will be sent down. Lorenzo Cain and Chris Getz are nursing injuries, but they’re not going on the DL. And the Royals aren’t planning to send a bullpen arm down either.

So who will it be? Knowing the Royals, it will be David Lough. Never mind he’s hitting .291/.308/.432 and is a defensive asset in right field. And never mind the Royals drafted him in 2007 and he’s been with the Royals organization his whole career. The Royals didn’t make this trade to send Maxwell to Omaha, so they will put him on the Major League roster. When the Royals got Elliot Johnson, they sent longtime farmhand Irving Falu to Omaha and it wouldn’t surprise me if they do the same thing with Lough.

I’m not saying Lough is the caliber of Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer or Salvador Perez. But Lough is a good role player who’s making a positive contribution to the team. And if Lough was right-handed, the Royals wouldn’t make this trade.

Maybe the Royals will prove me wrong and send someone else down besides Lough and this article will be moot. I hope they do, but I’ve hoped for a long time when it comes to the Royals.

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The Steal Of Home

It is one of the lost plays in baseball.  Stealing home plate is a risky and dangerous move.

JonathanVillar

Stealing home has been attempted by very few players at and accomplished by even less.  What we are talking about here is not the “stolen base” that one gets when he is the runner on third in a double steal.  It’s not the “stolen base” that a player gets when he advances during a pick-off attempt.  The straight steal of home by a runner on third is a thing of beauty.

It’s rare and usually requires the stars to align in a specific way.  A lefty on the mound is a good start.  A right handed hitter improves the chances.  A great amount of speed and precise timing for the runner are imperative.

Here is the video from MLB.com

The stars aligned on Tuesday night and Houston Astros’ rookie Jonathan Villar broke for the plate.  He surprised the announcers.  He surprised the pitcher.  He surprised the cameramen.  He even surprised his own hitter.  And he was safe.

Bill Ivie is the editor here at i70baseball.
You can read more of his thoughts on the Yahoo Contributor Network and discuss baseball with him on Twitter.

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St. Louis Cardinals better without designated hitter

The St. Louis Cardinals lost one a spot for one of their many sluggers Friday when they mercifully returned to Busch Stadium to face the Miami Marlins.  The loss of the designated hitter in their return to National League play might actually help the team.

MattAdams2

The Cardinals 6-5 Independence Day loss on Thursday to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim finished the worst two-week stretch of the Cardinals’ 2013 season.

They went 2-8 against nearly the entire American League West Division. The Texas Rangers swept the Cardinals at home, the Houston Astros split a two-game series in Houston, and the Cardinals lost two of three on the road to the Oakland A’s and the Angels.

The Cardinals had the designated hitter available for all of those games except the three against Texas since the rest were played in American League ballparks, but the Cardinals were actually worse with the extra hitter. They lost a key bat off the bench, and the DH created an unbalanced lineup that disrupted what had been the National League’s best team.

The Cardinals scored four or fewer runs in six of the recent 10 games against the American League teams, but the larger factor was how much the designated hitter disrupted the team’s lineup, and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny still couldn’t get all of his hitters regular at-bats.

For much of the season, the pitcher’s spot appeared to be a roadblock that simply didn’t allow first baseman Matt Adams to play every day. At 6 feet, 3 inches tall and 260 pounds, Adams has the look of a designated hitter. He could walk up to the plate four times a day, hit a homerun, get a base hit and his team would get a win more often than not.

But that wasn’t how interleague play worked out this season. Adams went 7-for-30, including six starts, in those 10 games, but rightfielder Carlos Beltran, first baseman Allen Craig, third baseman David Freese or leftfielder Matt Holliday were often placed in the DH role while Adams played first.

Holliday had a pinched nerve in his neck during the series against the Angels, and Matheny surely wanted to give the other hitters half a day off while he could, but the disjointed lineup showed on the field as the Cardinals made seven errors in those 10 games, or nearly one-third of the 36 errors they have committed this season.

Plus, Matheny shuffled the batting order to try to fit in the extra bat. All of a sudden catcher Yadier Molina was a regular sight in the No. 2 spot and Holliday dropped to the No. 5 spot.

Second baseman Matt Carpenter was about the only hitter not moved from his regular spot atop the lineup, and he mashed during the 10-game stretch, hitting .340 with eight hits for extra bases and 10 runs batted in.

The Cardinals lineup returned to normal Friday outside of a day off for Beltran to rest. Centerfielder Jon Jay filled the No. 2 spot, and the team broke out for four runs in the first three innings to establish their lead for a 4-1 win.

The lineup felt comfortable again, and it will be even more so with Beltran as a regular presence near the top of the order. Yes, Matheny will still have to be creative to get Adams enough at-bats, but the Cardinals played 20 games above .500 with that problem. They were six games under .500 when American League rules allowed the team an extra hitter.

The Cardinals have enough good hitters to produce an American League lineup, but as a whole they are still a National League team. Perhaps they can get back to their dominating ways now that they’re back in their own league.

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Is George Brett making the Royals a better team?

A couple of weeks ago, the Royals were in their worst funk of the season. After losing seven games in a row by May 29 and with a 21-29 record, the Royals made a change and reassigned hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David to the Minor Leagues. In their place, the Royals hired interim hitting coach George Brett. Yes, the Royals legend George Brett.

George and Ned

At the time, it appeared to be a move done by the Royals to show they’re trying to do something and placate a cynical fan base. Hiring the Hall of Famer and the all-time Royals hits leader on an interim basis could either be a brilliant move that sparks the team into winning or become another flop that’s plagued the Royals for almost two decades.

So what happened on Brett’s first day of his job? The Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2, snapping the losing streak. Then the Royals went on to an 8-4 run with a six-game winning streak thrown in. Sure, the majority of the winning streak was against the Minnesota Twins and Houston Astros, teams they should beat. But a win streak is a win streak and they did take two out of their last three games with the A.L. Central leading Detroit Tigers.

So with the addition of George Brett, the Royals should be hitting for higher average, hitting more home runs and scoring more runs per game, right? Well, not exactly. When Brett joined the Royals, the team had a .261/.314/.375 average. Now they have a .256/.310/.365 average. They’re still last in the A.L. with 33 home runs, with just two home runs hit in June. Since Brett was hired, the Royals average 3.3 runs a game. They averaged 4.0 runs before Brett was hired. And if that’s not enough, Mike Moustakas has a .184/.250/.286 average, Chris Getz is at .211/.247/.319 and Alcides Escobar is at .238/.263/.313. The Royals won’t win many games if these team and individual stats don’t improve.

So does Brett bring any value to the Royals? I believe he does. Just his presence in the dugout should inspire confidence among the players to play better and the coaches and manager Ned Yost to perform better. When Brett talks about hitting, offense and baseball, I’m sure the players will listen. And while the stats don’t reflect it, the bottom line is the team is getting timely hits and winning games. It doesn’t hurt the pitching staff has an A.L. leading 3.45 ERA either.

George Brett didn’t need this job. He had a good life as a retired Royals legend. He could do what he wanted when he wanted. His legacy as a Royal was secure. Brett knows he’s risking his legacy and perhaps reputation by taking this job, even if it’s only an interim basis. As the hitting coach, Brett will work long hours and spend a lot of time on the road, making players less than half his age listen to him concerning hitting, offense and baseball. But at 60 years old, Brett still has that competitive fire and still looks for a challenge. And it’s obvious Brett has a passion for the Royals to succeed or else he wouldn’t take the job.

The Royals have made it clear Brett will decide at the end of the month if he stays with the team or lets someone else be the hitting coach. And if the Royals keep playing well, Brett might have a real hard decision to make.

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Texas League All Star Rosters Announced

TexasLeagueAllStarGame

Springdale, AR – Four Naturals have been selected to represent the host team at the 77th Annual Texas League All Star Game presented by Castrol on June 25th at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR.

Texas League President Tom Kayser announced the 48 Players elected to the June 25th exhibition game between the North and South divisions that recognize the tops stars in the league.

Orlando Calixte leads the list of Naturals selected. The Shortstop is the Royals #5 Prospect according to MLB.com. Fueled by a May to remember, he will represent the Naturals as a starter for the North Division. Other Naturals selected include Angel Franco and Mitch Canaham ,who will back-up the Infield positions and Catching position respectively. RHP Yordano Ventura was also voted to the team. After eleven starts for Northwest Arkansas to begin the season, the Royals promoted the right-hander to AAA-Omaha last week. Former Texas League Manager of the Year Brian Poldberg will lead his usual field staff of pitching coach Jim Brower, hitting coach Nelson Liriano, trainer Masa Koyanagi, and conditioning coach Nate Dine as the coaching representatives of the North Divison’s squad.

Corpus Christi’s phenom George Springer highlights the list of South Division All-Stars. The slugger is the Houston Astros’ #3 prospect according to MLB.com and currently leads the league in homeruns and RBI. The League’s winningest pitcher David Martinez (9-0), ERA leader Jake Buchanan (0.80 ERA), and Catcher Rene Garcia also join Springer as representatives from Corpus. RHP Mike Foltynewicz, the #5 Houston prospect according to Baseball America, and OF Domingo Santana (Baseball America’s #11 Astros Prospect) round out the selections from the first-place Hooks.

The eight Arkansas Travelers elected as All-Stars represent the most by any team. The Frisco Rough Riders are represented by seven players which count as the most selections on the South Division side. Frisco Manager Steve Buechele and his staff of pitching coach Jeff Andrews, hitting coach Jason Hart, athletic trainer Carlos Olivas, and strength and conditioning coach Eric McMahon will lead the South Division All-Stars.

In total fifteen players who sit in their respective organization’s Top 30 Prospects lists, according to Baseball America, were chosen for the North-South Showdown. Players were selected through polling each division’s managers and broadcasters. A voter was not allowed to choose players from their own club.

All-Star Festivities in Northwest Arkansas include a Gala at Razorback Stadium on Monday June 24th with proceeeds going to the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the Tyson Foods Home Run Derby at 6pm on Tuesday June 25th, and a Post-Game All-Star Fireworks Spectacular.

Some tickets are still available for these events by visiting nwanaturals.com/tickets, visiting the Arvest Ballpark Ticket Window or Guest Services during a Naturals Game, or by calling the Naturals Front Office at 479-927-4900.

The complete list of 2013 Texas League All-Stars are listed below.

 2013 North Divison All-Star Team

Starters                               

POS PLAYER TEAM
C JETT BANDY ARK
1B C.J. CRON ARK
2B ANGELYS NINA TUL
SS ORLANDO CALIXTE NWA
3B RUBEN GOTAY SPR
OF KENT MATTHES TUL
OF MIKE O’NEILL SPR
OF KYLE PARKER TUL
DH KIEL ROLING TUL

Reserves

POS PLAYER TEAM
C MITCH CANHAM NWA
INF ANGEL FRANCO NWA
INF TAYLOR LINDSEY ARK
OF RANDAL GRICHUK ARK
OF THOMAS PHAM SPR

Pitchers

PLAYER TEAM
LAY BATISTA ARK
CHRISTIAN BERGMAN TUL
KEITH BUTLER SPR
DERYK HOOKER SPR
BRANDON HYNICK ARK
KEVIN JOHNSON ARK
TYLER MATZEK TUL
MIKE PIAZZA ARK
KEVIN THOMAS SPR
YORDANO VENTURA NWA

2013 South Divison All-Star Team

Starters                               

POS PLAYER TEAM
C RENE GARCIA CC
1B ANTHONY ALIOTTI MID
2B ODUBEL HERRERA FRI
SS DUSTY COLEMAN MID
3B JAKE BLACKWOOD SA
OF REYMOND FUENTES SA
OF RICO NOEL SA
OF GEORGE SPRINGER CC
DH BRETT NICHOLAS FRI

Reserves

POS PLAYER TEAM
C TOMAS TELIS FRI
INF GUILDER RODRIGUEZ FRI
INF JUEDY VALDEZ SA
OF JAKE GOEBBERT MID
OF DOMINGO SANTANA CC

Pitchers

PLAYER TEAM
MATT ANDRIESE SA
JAKE BUCHANAN CC
MIKE FOLTYNEWICZ CC
DAVID MARTINEZ CC
CARLOS PIMENTEL FRI
KEVIN QUACKENBUSH SA
NEIL RAMIREZ FRI
BEN ROWEN FRI
MURPHY SMITH MID
MATT STITES SA

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League Affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and proud host of the 77th Annual Texas League All Star Game presented by Castrol. The Naturals play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, AR. For more information including statistics, ticket options, and more, please visit NWANaturals.com, and follow us on Twitter @NWANaturals and Facebook.com/Naturals.

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Kansas City Royals Fans Urged To Take Alternate Route June 7

Accident

KANSAS CITY, MO (June 7, 2013) — Following discussions with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), the Kansas City Royals are encouraging fans to use Interstate 435 and alternate routes when driving out to Kauffman Stadium this evening.  The Royals host the Houston Astros at 7:10 p.m.

Both eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 70 near the I-435 junction remain closed following an accident in which a semi-tanker overturned around 5 a.m. this morning.  Due to the hazardous, flammable material involved in the incident, MoDOT believes that the reopening of the I-70 may not occur until well after 8 p.m.

I-435 will offer the best access to the Truman Sports Complex, as officials are anticipating that Route 40 will be heavily congested this afternoon and evening due to the diverted traffic from I-70.

For fans headed eastbound from downtown, recommended alternate routes include Highway 24 (Independence Ave.), Route 78 (23rd St.) or Truman Road.  For those headed westbound from Blue Springs, Mo., fans may use 23rd St. to I-435 South or Highway 40 to 47th St. and proceed to Raytown Rd.  Fans are encouraged to allow extra time to get to Kauffman Stadium this evening.

For updated information and up-to-the-minute views of the unfolding cleanup efforts, please visit www.kcscout.net.

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