Tag Archive | "Kevin Seitzer"

No offense, but the Royals offense isn’t very offensive

It’s a quarter of the way through the season, and May hasn’t been a good month for the Royals. Since May 1, the team is 7-12 and 21-22 for the season. In 11 of their 19 games, the Royals scored 3 runs or less with a 1-10 record in those games. They’ve suffered two three game losing streaks and a four game losing streak Since May 6.

Chris_Getz

Besides Alex Gordon (.352), Lorenzo Cain (.298) and Salvador Perez (.308), the other regulars on the lineup are hitting .267 or less. Mike Moustakas has the lowest batting average of .176. As a team, the Royals are last in the American League in home runs (27) and walks (108). They’re next to last in the A.L. in at-bats (1,483) and total bases (573). They’re 13th in the A.L. with 184 runs.

The bright side? Well, Royals batters have only 290 strikeouts, the least in the A.L. They’ve stolen 33 bases and caught stealing seven times. They’re second in the A.L. with 11 triples. They’re fourth in the A.L. with a .265 batting average, but are tenth in the A.L. with a .318 on-base percentage and 13th in the A.L. with a .386 slugging average.

The Royals focused most of their offseason upgrades on starting pitching, which was desperately needed. But little was done concerning the offense, except for firing hitting coach Kevin Seitzer and hiring new hitting coaches Jack Maloof and Andre David. Maloof and David were brought in to help the offense to drive the ball and hit more home runs. So far, that hasn’t happened yet. But would the Royals offense be any better if Seitzer was the hitting coach? It’s hard to say, but realize Seitzer was the hitting coach when the Royals had their 12-game losing streak in April 2012 and were 13th in the A.L. with 131 home runs.

So what can be done? The Royals could send Moustakas down to AAA Omaha, but that means the 38-year old Miguel Tejada would be the third baseman the Royals pick off of the Third Baseman Tree. Sending Chris Getz to Omaha and calling up Johnny Giavotella might help, but Yost would probably keep Giavotella on the bench and play Elliot Johnson at second base. The Royals could bench or release Jeff Francoeur, but is David Lough capable of being an everyday league average outfielder until Jarrod Dyson returns? As for firing Ned Yost and/or Dayton Moore, it might temporarily satisfy a frustrated fan base, but that won’t improve the offense. If there’s any blame to be placed, it’s on the Royals offense. Yes, they’re a young team and they’re pressing. But they have to adjust and get out of this offensive slump or it’s going to be another losing season.

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Royals hire Maloof David as their hitting coach

In baseball, you can never have enough pitching and the Royals figure you can’t have enough hitting coaches. The Royals hired Jack Maloof as their new hitting coach and Andre David as the assistant hitting coach for the 2013 season, replacing the departed Kevin Seitzer.

Maloof, 63, spent the last five seasons as special assistant to player development and hitting coordinator. He was in the Atlanta organization from 2002-07 and the Marlins’ hitting coach from 1999-2001. Maloof will be the primary on-field batting coach.

David, 54, has been a part of the Royals organization for 14 years. He was the Royals Minor League hitting coach from May 2005 to May 2006. For the last three seasons, David was the hitting coach for Surprise in the Rookie Arizona League. David will assist Maloof with batting coach duties.

With both Maloof and David being a part of the Royals organization, they have familiarity with the current Major League players and players in the Minor League system. The 2012 Royals were fourth in the A.L. with a .265 batting average, but were 12th in the A.L. with 676 runs scored and tied for last in the A.L. with 131 home runs. Maloof and David hope to improve the Royals power hitting and home run totals.

But why two hitting coaches? There’s concern two hitting coaches might send mixed signals to the players, but Maloof and David insist they work well together and are on the same page hitting wise. If that’s the case, they can work on two different players at the same time, being able to coach more players. And though the hitting philosophy of Maloof and David are likely to be the same, some players might “click” better with one of the coaches, increasing their chances to improve their hitting. Of course there’s the danger of the players forming “cliques,” liking one coach over the other, which could cause friction.

There’s also the “extra set of eyes” from David that gives Maloof another perspective. During games, David will be in the stands, observing batters to see what they’re doing right or doing wrong. Maloof can use the information to improve the Royals hitting.

Many teams have their pitching coach as the “primary” coach and their bullpen coach as the “assistant” pitching coach, so it’s not too far fetched to have two hitting coaches. The Giants, Tigers, Braves, Cardinals, Phillies and Padres have two hitting coaches. The Giants and Tigers are in the World Series, and the Braves and Cardinals made the playoffs, so there’s the argument two hitting coaches can be successful. With the hire of Maloof and David, The Royals are the second A.L. team to employ two hitting coaches.

The promotions of Maloof and David won’t magically propel the Royals above .500 and into the playoffs. The Royals main focus this off season is starting pitching. But they need players like Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to reach their offensive potential and the team needs to score more runs. The Royals hope Maloof and David will take the team’s offense to the next level. Who knows, maybe they’ll get Chris Getz hitting opposite field home runs. Hey, they’re hitting coaches, not miracle workers.

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It can be done

I’ve not lived up to my name lately, and for that I apologize. Actually I shouldn’t have to apologize; David Glass and Dayton Moore should do that for me. Since they’re obviously not going to, I’m sorry. I’m going to try to fix that this week with five reasons to be optimistic about 2013. It’s not easy right now, what with the Tigers heading to the World Series, to think that this team can compete for a title in 2013. They can, and here’s how:

  1. While I’ll agree with anyone that David Glass is a miserly old man, he’s still a business man. He knows he has to acquire starting pitching that makes a difference this offseason or is cash cow may be slightly less profitable. I don’t think that means that Glass breaks the bank, but I do think the pressure is on Allard….er Dayton Moore to bring in a good starting pitcher. Not someone that could be good, but someone that is. Whether this happens by trade or not, the pitching will improve in 2013, you can count on it.
  2. The offense is going to take another step forward. Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar may not be able to improve on 2012, but Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas sure will, in a big way. You have to remember that these two will both be under 24 for a majority of next season. They have a lot of maturing and improving to do, and we’ll see some of it next season.
  3. Jeff Francoeur will likely improve or get cut. I’ve been saying it all winter, and I still believe it. Frenchy will be your starting right fielder on Opening Day. The difference this year is that the Royals can cut bait without having next year hanging over their head. My expectation is that Frenchy starts until the super two deadline passes and then right field is handed over to Wil Myers. Frenchy will most likely get the choice of being a role player or being cut.
  4. We will see more power from this club in 2013. I love Kevin Seitzer as a former Royal and especially as a person. I thought it was a complete joke that the Royals fired Seitzer while keeping Moore and Yost. But still, his up the middle/opposite field approach sapped a lot of power away from the like of Moose, Hosmer, Gordon and Butler. I would not be surprised in the least if three of the four set career highs for home runs.
  5. The Royals were better than their record in 2012. Even their Pythagorean record comes out to 74-88, but beyond that…imagine this team with Salvador Perez for a full season. He posted a 2.8 WAR in half a season. Imagine this team if Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino aren’t lost for the season. Imagine that bullpen with Joakim Soria. Are the Royals going to have injuries in 2013? Of course they are. But the likelihood that they have as many significant injuries at key positions is very, very low.

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Royals And Kevin Seitzer Part Ways

ROYALS ANNOUNCE HITTING COACH KEVIN SEITZER WILL NOT RETURN IN 2013

 

KANSAS CITY, MO (October 4, 2012) – The Kansas City Royals and Manager Ned Yost announced today that the contract of hitting coach Kevin Seitzer will not be renewed for the 2013 season.  The remainder of the coaching staff will return next season: bench coach Chino Cadahia, pitching coach Dave Eiland, first base coach Rusty Kuntz and third base coach Eddie Rodriguez.  The Royals will also need to fill the bullpen coach position after naming Steve Foster the club’s Special Assistant to GM/Minor League Pitching Coordinator on August 31.

The Royals plan to hire a hitting coach and a bullpen coach as a later date.

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Is .390 the greatest Royals record?

As it becomes more and more apparent that Billy Butler will not be breaking the most embarrassing record in Kansas City Royals history I thought it would be a good time to look at the opposite side of the spectrum. More specifically, if Steve Balboni’s 36 home runs are the most embarrassing, then what single season record is the greatest in Royals history? Greatest can mean a lot of things, and I’m talking about all of them; least likely to be broken, most impressive in its time, and most indicative of a great season. I know a lot of you have probably already thought that this has to end with .390, so instead, I’m going to start there.

The Record: George Brett’s .390 batting average in 1980

Likelihood of being broken: Highly unlikely. Ichiro is the only hitter in the major leagues to come within 20 points of .390 in the last ten years and Tony Gwynn (.394) is the only player to top .390 since Brett did 32 years ago.

How impressive was it in its time: Brett’s .390 was the best batting average in the majors since Ted Williams famously topped .400 in 1941, so yeah, it was pretty impressive. What was really more impressive was how long he flirted with .400, though. Looking at strictly in terms of where he finished the season, he was only .002 higher than Rod Carew hit in 1977.

Indication of great season: Make no mistake; Brett’s 1980 season was by all statistical accounts the greatest of his career. His 203 OPS+ ranks as the 43rd best season in the history of the game and there have only been nine better in the last 32 years…six of those nine were Barry Bonds.

Final judgment: This is clearly the standard by which all Royals records are measured, but is it the greatest? Let’s take a look at the challengers…

The Record: Willie Wilson’s 230 hits in 1980

Likelihood of being broken: In the last 25 years the Royals have had three hitters (Johnny Damon, Kevin Seitzer, and Joe Randa) top 200 hits so this one certainly seems possible. Ichiro is the only major leaguer to top 230 since 2000, but since Wilson did it there have been five American League hitters top the mark.

How impressive was it in its time: Other than Rod Carew Wilson was the first American League player with 230 hits since 1932 (Earl Averill). Of course, the fact that Rod Carew had 239 hits and Brett was making a run at .400 certainly took away from the accomplishment.

Indication of great season: More than anything it was an indication of great stamina. Wilson also set the club record with 705 at bats in 1980. It was a good year for Wilson, and great if you consider his gold glove and 79 stolen bases, but it wasn’t even the best offensive year of his career.

Final judgment: A great record, but when you’re overshadowed the year of the accomplishment, you can’t be the greatest

The Record: Mike Sweeney’s 144 RBI in 1980

Likelihood of being broken: During the steroid era, 144 RBI really wasn’t that big of a deal, but no one in baseball has done it for four years now. In fact, no one in the American League has even gotten within 10% of that number. When you factor in Kauffman Stadium and the contributions you need from those in front of you in the order, this at least seems less likely than Wilson’s to be broken.

How impressive was it in its time: Sweeney’s 144 RBI didn’t even lead the league that season, he finished season to Edgar Martinez. The year before Manny Ramirez drove in 165 runs, the year after Sammy Sosa drove in 160.

Indication of great season: Sweeney had a great year in 2000, his greatest in terms of cumulative statistics but a lot of that was because he stayed healthy and had an incredible offense around him. In terms of OPS+ it was his third best year.

Final judgment: Maybe the greatest record in the last thirty years, but the era takes away from so much of it.

The Record: Bret Saberhagen’s 23 wins in 1989

Likelihood of being broken: By a Royals pitcher? Ha! No Royals pitcher has come within six wins of the mark in the last ten years, and no one has come within 20% since Saberhagen set the record. Justin Verlander is the only pitcher in the majors to win more than 23 in the last ten years.

How impressive was it in its time: Frank Viola won 24 in ’88 and Bob Welch won 27 in ’90, so not that impressive right? Well, except for the fact that Sabes’ 23 wins accounted for 25% of all the clubs wins that year, yeah that’s pretty impressive.

Indication of great season: It’s become very fashionable as of late to argue against wins as a barometer of a pitcher’s success, but it’s pretty hard to argue against Saberhagen’s 1989 season. He led the league in innings pitched (262.1), complete games (12), ERA (2.16), WHIP (0.961), and K/BB ratio (4.49). It was easily his greatest season and arguably the greatest season by any Royals pitcher.

Final Judgment: If only it had been in something less arbitrary than wins.

It’s pretty clear at this point that .390 is still the greatest Royals single season record, and probably always will be. None of the four records above are likely to be broken by a Royal any time soon, it’s not often that we see (positive) records broken by Royals players these days, not even franchise records.

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The good, the bad and the ugly of the 2012 Kansas City Royals statistically

As Kansas City Royals fans we’ve grown conditioned to move into “next year” mode by early July, but before I do I’d like to take one moment to reflect on the Good, Bad, and Ugly from the Royals in 2012. Sure, we’ve still got a month left in the season, but there are some interesting numbers that have already been put up…

The Good

Alcides Escobar is exceeding everyone’s expectations at the plate. Escobar’s .303 average and 35 extra base hits are far better than what we were told to expect. He still needs to improve on his on base percentage to be a legitimate 2-hole hitter, but he looks much more like a productive offensive player than the offensive sieve we all expected.

The bullpen really is that good. Tim Collins, Greg Holland, Louis Coleman, and Aaron Crow have all struck out at least a batter per inning. To lose your closer at the beginning of the season to Tommy John, and the trade the two best relievers at the deadline, and still have your bullpen be a strength is mighty impressive. The best part of course is that all of these guys are still young, cheap, and under club control for the foreseeable future.

Luis Mendoza absolutely looks like a serviceable Major League starter. After a rough start to the season, Mendoza’s new cutter started paying dividends and he has been arguably the Royals best pitcher for a majority of the season. I was in the camp that was against Mendoza at the beginning of the year and it looks like I was wrong. Since June 12, Mendoza has posted a quality start in nine out of thirteen outings and not given up more than four runs even once.

The Bad

For a team with no power, the Royals sure do strike out a lot. I often wonder if Kevin Seitzer’s approach to hitting is the reason for the Royals team’s lack of power, but it sure doesn’t seem to be helping in the walk/strikeout ratio. Not one regular on the club has even close to as many walks as strikeouts and some of the club’s best hitters have the worst ratios paced by Mike Moustakas’ 1 BB for every 2.8 Ks.

The two year extension for Bruce Chen is not looking very smart. Chen’s 5.10 ERA is only a small reflection of how much worse he’s been in 2012. What’s worse, with 146 IP he’s not even been an innings eater. Chen will be  a part of the Opening Day rotation of 2013, and it’s hard to see how he’ll be any better than he’s been this season.

Dayton’s been wrong about a lot of things but he may be right about Johnny Giavotella. I’ve never been one to think the Gio’s fielding was so terrible that he shouldn’t be on the roster, but it certainly isn’t a plus and neither is his bat to this point. Through two seasons he’s had 269 at bats and sports an OPS of .593. He’s probably got 100 at bats left in 2012 and that number had better rise significantly or he may not get another chance in Kansas City.

The Ugly

Luke Hochevar is who we thought he was. Hochevar threw eight shutout innings in his last start to lower his ERA all the way down to 4.95. In 2012 he’s had five starts where he’s gone seven innings or more and given one run or less. Incredibly, he’s had six starts where he’s given up six runs or more. He has the potential to be a staff ace, and the downside of AAAA pitcher. It doesn’t seem likely he’ll ever choose one or the other.

Jeff Francoeur is exactly who we thought he was. Want to hear an awesome stat? Through Friday if you add up Frenchy’s doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs and walks you get 92. That’s exactly how many strikeouts he has. That’s disgusting, and it sums up his 2012 season perfectly. Even better, he’s also signed through next season.

David Glass is still the owner, Dan Glass is still the president, Dayton Moore is still the GM and Ned Yost is still the manager. Moore is the one of these four that I’ve given a free pass to for the last few years but he had a terrible offseason. Yuniesky BetancourtJonathan SanchezJason Bourgeouis…Humberto Quintero…even the contracts given to Frenchy and Chen. If we had an owner that cared about winning, Moore would be on notice and Yost would be fired. Of course, if David Glass cared about winning his incompetent son wouldn’t be the president of the team.

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Wait ’til next year! (We hope)

If there were any doubts the 2012 season was a lost cause for the Kansas City Royals, their 4-9 record and lackluster play after the All-Star break should erase it. The 12 game losing streak in April, injuries to key players, and the ineffectiveness of the starting rotation doomed the Royals 2012 season. The Royals are likely to suffer their ninth consecutive losing season and finish in fourth or fifth place in the American League Central. This is old news to Royals fans, but it doesn’t make it any easier to accept.

 

There’s still 65 games left in the 2012 season. The Royals have little hope making a playoff run, much less finishing around .500. Despite another lost season, there are some things to look forward to towards the trade deadline and the rest of the season.

The starting lineup is pretty much set and is looking good: Except for second base and right field, the rest of the lineup looks pretty good and they’re locked up for the next few years. The offense is showing more power and despite some defensive miscues in yesterday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels, the Royals defense is a bright spot.

The hopeful emergence of Eric Hosmer: His 2012 season so far is a disappointment, and Hosmer would likely be one of the first to agree. To salvage Hosmer’s season, the Royals moved him to eighth in the batting order. Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer is working on Hosmer’s approach at the plate, which is paying dividends. On June 23, Hosmer had a .213 average. In the last month, his average is up to .233.

The great play of Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez: What a case of what might have been for Cain and Perez. If the Royals had both players, or at least one of them for the season, the Royals might have a better win-loss record. Or maybe not. But it’s encouraging how Cain and Perez are playing after being out for almost half of the season. Now they need to stay healthy and play well the rest of the year and in 2013.

The Jonathan Sanchez/Jeremy Guthrie trade: I’m surprised the Royals were able to get anything for Sanchez. I figured Sanchez would clear waivers, refuse an assignment to AAA Omaha and become a free agent. But the Royals got Guthrie, who didn’t work out in Colorado. Guthrie’s start last Sunday didn’t inspire much confidence, but there’s a good chance he will pitch better than Sanchez.

The possible trades of Jeff Franceour, Yuni Betancourt, Jonathan Broxton and Jose Mijares: Of the four, Broxton is garnering the most interest. It’s unlikely the Royals will get a top of the rotation starter for any of these players, but they could get some solid prospects or Major League ready players.

A possible trade for a top of the rotation starter before the trade deadline: It could happen, however remote. If it does, the Royals will have to give up top prospects or perhaps one of their young players on the 25-man roster. Would the Royals trade someone like Hosmer for a top of the rotation starter that’s under team control for two to three years? It would be a big risk, given the fragility of pitchers and the superstar potential of Hosmer. But that may be what it takes for the Royals to gain a number one or two starter they desperately need.

The eventual arrival of Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi: If or when Franceour is moved, Myers will join the Royals in right field. And it’s a matter of time before Odorizzi is called up and joins the starting rotation. Using the rest of the 2012 season to give them playing time will prepare them for the 2013 season and boost interest among Royals fans.

Of course there’s no guarantee 2013 will be any better than 2012. Key players could be injured, or the players the Royals get via free agency or a trade could flame out like Jonathan Sanchez. These are the Royals, after all. But the team is in better shape than they were a few years ago. There is always hope, because hope is all Royals fans have.

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20 Years after Mark Davis, Royals look to spend again

All the talk since the All Star break has been how the Kansas City Royals may actually be ready to hit the free agent market for some starting pitching.

Well, July 21st marks the 20th anniversary of just how wrong things can go when you go shopping.

For those of us who pine for the good old days of Royals baseball, we recall how the era came crashing down at the feet of one man – reliever Mark Davis.

Coming off a 92-win season, the Royals were ready to load up for another run at the pennant. And who would expect less, with a lineup of George Brett, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Bo Jackson, Danny Tartabull, Kevin Seitzer and youngsters Mike McFarlane and Brian McRae.

The rotation was equally stacked with Bret Saberhagen and Mark Gubicza being joined by 22-year-olds Kevin Appier and Tom Gordon.

But the team had no established closer, and prior to the 1990 season, the best one in baseball became available.

With San Diego in 1989, Davis saved 44 games, made his second straight All Star appearance, and became just the seventh reliever to win the Cy Young award.

With a price tag of $3.25 million per year – at the time the highest contract ever award – Davis was just what the Royals needed to slam the door on all those games pitched by their young starters.

But what ensued was a free agency nightmare, the end of the Royals golden era, and a cautionary tale to any team going shopping in the off season.

Maybe it was the pressure of the big contract. Maybe it was the move to the American League. Maybe it was the Kansas City barbeque.

Something didn’t agree with Davis and he was taken out of the closer role before the season was over. He was still striking out guys, but he was walking them too, at an alarming rate of 6.8 per 9 innings. His WHIP ballooned to 1.791. And his miniscule 1.85 ERA from the year before suddenly shot to 5.11.

The Royals even tried shifting Davis to the starting rotation, trying to find anything that clicked. But when the curtain fell on a season that started with such great promise, the Royals record stood at 75-86, sixth in the Western Division.

Jeff Montgomery settled into the closer’s role for 1991, and Davis tried to right himself in middle relief and spot starts. KC’s record improved to 82-80, but tremendous turnover had taken place. This was no longer the Royals of Brett, Wilson and White.

Bad as things had been, the bottom fell out in 1992.

With a clownish 7.18 ERA and an unheard of strikeout to walk ratio of .068, the Royals finally had no choice but to dump Davis for whatever they could get. The ax finally fell on July 21, 1992, when the Royals traded Davis for Juan Berenguer.

Berenguer was hardly an improvement, and he was granted free agency following the season.

So for their $14 million investment, the Royals got 7 saves and a 10-17 record between Davis and Berenguer combined. The team finished 72-90.

There probably isn’t some sort of Mark Davis curse at play here, but there’s no question that the Royals have had little to no luck in free agency ever since. The team has just two winning seasons in the 20 years since the Davis experiment was mercifully cut short.

Strangely, that wasn’t the end of the story however.

From 2006 to 2010, Davis served as the pitching coach of the Arizona League Royals. Following the 2010 season, he was promoted by the Royals to Minor League Pitching Coordinator. For 2012, he returned to his former role in Arizona.

Is having someone who flamed out so famously instructing young pitchers really a good thing? Hard to say. Not much is going right for Royals’ pitching prospects at any level. Which is precisely why the Royals will be shoppers this off season.

But with the topic in KC turning to free agency, it’s worth looking back at the Mark Davis signing with a wary eye. The Royals need to sign some pitching, no doubt. But doing so isn’t always the fix you hope for.

Sometimes it turns into a franchise killer.

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2012 Royals Caravan Presented By Fox Sports Kansas City

ROYALS CARAVAN CONTINUES WITH STOPS IN MISSOURI, KANSAS & ARKANSAS
Participants include Billy Butler, Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland & Everett Teaford

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 11, 2012) – The annual Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City continues next week with stops in cities across Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas.

Beginning in 1968, the Royals have embarked on the annual Royals Caravan to visit fans throughout the Midwest. This January, several current and former Royals players, broadcasters and front office personnel are joining Royals mascot Sluggerrr for Caravan events.

One Royals contingent will make stops in Cameron, Maryville and St. Joseph, Mo., before heading into Kansas for appearances in Topeka and Wichita. The other traveling party will head south, visiting Clinton, Joplin and Springfield,Mo., and Pittsburg, Kan. The South Caravan will also take part in a Baseball Luncheon hosted by the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Springdale Rotary Club in Springdale, Ark., on Monday, January 16. Chairman/Owner David Glass is scheduled to attend the event and briefly address luncheon guests.

Royals scheduled to appear during the second week include designated hitter Billy Butler and pitchers Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland and Everett Teaford. In addition, hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, broadcasters Joel Goldberg and Steve Stewart, and Royals Hall of Famers Jeff Montgomery and Willie Wilson are also scheduled to participate.

A tentative schedule of Caravan events for Sunday, January 15-Monday, January 16 is listed below and also available at www.royals.com/caravan.

2012 Royals Caravan presented by Fox Sports Kansas City

Sunday, January 15 Missouri/Kansas Trip – Day #1

Participants: Billy Butler, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Kevin Seitzer, Steve Stewart

Cities: Cameron, St. Joseph and Maryville, MO

Events: Noon – 1 p.m. Meet & Greet at Whistle Stop Cafe – 7718 Northeast Old

Highway 69 in Cameron (Hosted by KKWK Radio)

2-3:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Hy-Vee – 201 N. Belt Hwy. in

Joplin (Hosted by KFEQ Radio)

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Nodaway County Senior Center –

1210 East 1st Street in Maryville (Hosted by KNIM Radio)

Sunday, January 15 South Trip – Day #1

Participants: Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Everett Teaford, Willie Wilson, Joel Goldberg

Cities: Clinton, Joplin and Springfield, Mo.

Events: 12:30-1:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Strike Zone Family Fun Center –

1321 E. Ohio in Clinton (Hosted by KDKD Radio)

4-5 p.m. Meet & Greet at Northpark Mall –

101 N. Rangeline Rd. in Joplin (Hosted by KKOW Radio)

6:30-7:30 p.m. Meet & Greet at Ziggie’s Café –

1772 S. Glenstone Ave. in Springfield (Hosted by KWTO Radio)

Monday, January 16 Missouri/Kansas Trip – Day #2

Participants: Billy Butler, Danny Duffy, Greg Holland, Jeff Montgomery, Steve Stewart

Cities: Topeka and Wichita, Kan.

Events: 11:30-12:45 p.m.: WIBW Radio Luncheon at Mr. Stirfry – 1700 S.W.

Wanamaker Rd. in Topeka (Hosted by WIBW Radio)

** Private event. Members of the media are invited to attend. **

12:45-1:45 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Mr. Stirfry – 1700 S.W. Wanamaker Rd. in

Topeka (Hosted by WIBW Radio)

4:30-5:30 p.m.: Meet & Greet at Kansas Sampler –

5918 Southwest 21st St. in Wichita (Hosted by KFH-AM)

Monday, January 16 South Trip – Day #2

Participants: Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Everett Teaford, Willie Wilson, Joel Goldberg

Cities: Springdale, Ark. and Pittsburg, Kan.

Events: 11:30 am-1:30 pm: Baseball Luncheon at Holiday Inn –

1500 South 48th St. in Springdale

(Hosted by NW Arkansas Naturals & Springdale Rotary Club)

** Royals Chairman/Owner David Glass is scheduled to attend the event and briefly address luncheon guests. Contact the NW Arkansas Naturals for more information at (479) 927-4900. **

4-5 p.m. Meet & Greet at Meadowbrook Mall – 202 E. Centennial Dr.

in Pittsburg (Hosted by KKOW Radio)

Please note that all participants are subject to change.

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Naturals Again Welcome Royals Caravan For 2012

Naturals again welcome Royals Caravan for 2012
Annual winter caravan stopping in Springdale on January 16th

SPRINGDALE, AR - Although the grass is not green and the nights are chilly, the 2012 home opener at Arvest Ballpark is less than 100 days away. With that in mind, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals are excited to welcome the Kansas City Royals 2012 Winter Caravan as it makes its yearly stop in what has become an annual tradition of kicking off a new year of baseball in our area.

The signature event for this year’s caravan will be a lunch held in cooperation with the Springdale Rotary Club on Monday, January 16th at the Holiday Inn in Springdale at 1500 S. 48th Street. The lunch program will begin at 11:30. Several Royals of past and present will be on hand to meet and greet fans, sign autographs, and take questions and answers from Naturals fans.

Admission is $15 per person which includes a buffet lunch, and fans are encouraged to call (479) 927-4900 to purchase tickets. Naturals’ season ticket holders and mini-pack holders may purchase their tickets for a discounted rate of $10 over the phone or at the Arvest Ballpark front office. Rotary club members of Northwest Arkansas may reserve their seats by contacting Courtney Palfreeman at (479) 530-8060.

Attending the caravan this season are two prominent Kansas City Royals’ alums – former outfielder Willie Wilson and former infielder Kevin Seitzer, who currently serves as the Royals’ hitting coach at the Major League level. Current Royals’ pitchers and former Naturals Louis Coleman, Everett Teaford, and Aaron Crow will also be on hand and will participate in an audience-driven question and answer session that will be emceed by Joel Goldberg, the host of the Royals’ pre- and post-game shows on Fox Sports Kansas City, and Toby Cook, the Royals’ Vice President for Community Affairs and Publicity. Royals’ Chairman and Owner David Glass will also be in attendance.

Coleman, a fifth-round selection of the Royals in the 2009 draft out of LSU, was sensational as a rookie right-hander in the Royals’ bullpen this past season, posting a 2.87 ERA in 48 relief outings and fanning 64 batters in 54 2/3 innings pitched. A member of the Naturals’ 2010 Texas League Championship team, the 25-year old spent the first half of the 2010 season with the Naturals, posting a stellar 2-1 record and 2.09 ERA in 21 outings with six saves, earning a spot on the Texas League All-Star team.

The Naturals’ 2010 Pitcher of the Year, Teaford spent part of the 2009 season and all of 2010 in Northwest Arkansas and made his Major League debut this past May. In 26 games with the Royals, including three starts, the southpaw posted a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.27 ERA and just 36 hits allowed in 44 innings of work. In his stellar 2010 season, Teaford established a Naturals’ franchise record with 14 wins against just three losses, making 27 appearances, including 12 starts. His spectacular playoff pitching in both 2009 and 2010 helped the Naturals reach two consecutive Texas League Championship Series. Following the 2010 season the 27-year old was one of six Royals farmhands chosen to represent Team USA in the Pan American Games Qualifying Tournament, a group that also included former Naturals and current Royals’ starters Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.

Crow, who emerged as a key cog in Royals’ manager Ned Yost’s bullpen last season in just his second professional season, posted a 4-4 record and 2.76 ERA in 57 appearances with the Royals, striking out 65 batters in 62 innings. The 25-year old was also selected as the Royals’ lone representative for the American League’s All-Star Team. He was the Royals’ first-round pick (12th overall) in the 2009 draft and began his first professional season in the Naturals’ rotation, where he was the Opening Day starter and posted a 7-7 mark for the eventual Texas League Champions.

Seitzer was an 11th round selection by the Royals in the 1983 draft and made his MLB debut with Kansas City in 1986 as a first baseman. The following season, he flip-flopped positions with Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett during a rookie season that saw him bat .323 with 15 home runs and 207 hits, earning him the first of two selections to the American League All-Star team. Seitzer went on to a distinguished big league career that saw him bat .295 with 1,557 hits over a career that spanned 12 seasons spent with the Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and Cleveland Indians. Following his playing career, the 49-year old Seitzer served as the Arizona Diamondbacks hitting coach for a portion of the 2007 season, and was named to the same post with the Royals prior to the start of the 2009 season.

Wilson was a switch-hitting speed demon who was drafted by Kansas City in the first round of the 1974 draft. Perfectly suited to cover the large outfield at Kauffman Stadium, Wilson made his debut two seasons after he was drafted and went on to have a 19-year career in the big leagues, rapping out 2,207 hits and swiping 668 bases while batting .285. Much of that career (1976-1990) was spent with the Royals. He was an American League All-Star in 1982 and 1983, was a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a winner of a Gold Glove in 1980, and a member of the Kansas City Royals’ 1985 World Series Championship team. After his playing career the 56-year old Wilson served as a coach in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system in 1995 and 1997 and currently runs the Willie Wilson Baseball Foundation in Kansas City.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale. The 2011 season begins on Thursday, April 7th. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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