Tag Archive | "Season Tickets"

Come To Play – The 2013 Royals

KANSAS CITY, MO (February 4, 2013) – The first pitch of 2013 is still a ways off, but the Kansas City Royals are stoking anticipation for the upcoming season with the announcement of their new advertising campaign and tagline, “Come to Play.”

KauffmanStadiumOutfield

Developed in partnership with Kansas City-based ad agency Walz Tetrick, the campaign spotlights the game experience with a “Come to Play” invitation for fans to come out to The K and soak in the excitement of seeing the Royals in person.

“Nothing beats going out to The K to be part of the Major League Baseball experience,” said WTA president Charlie Tetrick.  “With the offseason additions, this year’s team is a great combination of youth, experience and leadership.  Every pitch is an opportunity for something exciting and unexpected to happen.  When you add in the sights, sounds and smells of The K, it’s a unique experience that people throughout Royals territory treasure.  From the players and fans to the K Crew and Sluggerrr, ‘Come to Play’ is a rally cry that encompasses all of the excitement that is Royals baseball.”

The “Come to Play” campaign will be seen throughout Spring Training and regular season in TV and radio ads, outdoor boards, newspaper ads, online banners and other guerilla marketing opportunities that are now being planned.

Season tickets are currently on sale and available online at www.royals.com, by phone at 816-504-4040 or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office.

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Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi Promoted to AAA Omaha

SPRINGDALE, AR - The Naturals’ parent club, the Kansas City Royals announced a pair transactions on Wednesday morning affecting the Northwest Arkansas roster.  Outfielder Wil Myers has been promoted to Triple-A Omaha, and outfielder Nick Van Stratten has been transferred from Extended Spring Training to Northwest Arkansas.

Myers spent the early part of the 2012 season terrorizing Texas League pitching.  At the time of his promotion he ranked tops in the league in hitting at .343, extra base hits (25), and runs scored with (32) second in home runs (13), third in RBI (30), second in hits (46).

The outfielder leaves Northwest Arkansas with 21 career home runs with the Naturals.  The 21 home runs tie him for the sixth most in Naturals history with Corey Smith, and current Kansas City Royal Mike Moustaksas.  Myers was originally selected by the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the 2009 draft.

Odorizzi, 22, leaves Northwest Arkansas with a 4-2 record and 3.32 ERA in seven starts.  He is second in the Texas League in strikeouts (47) and fourth in WHIP (0.97).  He has been most impressive over his last four starts, going 3-1 with a 1.98 ERA, allowing six earned runs in 27.1 innings for a 1.98 ERA while fanning 33.  Odorizzi has limited opposing hitters to a collective .191 batting average through his first seven assignments.  He was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers on December 19, 2010, along with Lorenzo Cain, Alcides Escobar and Jeremy Jeffress in exchange for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt.  Odorizzi was the 32nd overall pick of the Brewers in the 2008 First Year Player Draft and he also had a taste of big league spring training this year as a non-roster invitee.

Nick Van Stratten returns to Northwest Arkansas after starting the season in extended spring training, after suffering a spring injury.  Van Stratten spent parts of the last two seasons in Northwest Arkansas appearing in 68 games in 2011, and 86 games in 2010.  The outfielder’s best year in Double-A came in 2010 when he hit .262 with two home runs and 34 RBI for the Naturals.  Van Stratten was originally selected by the Kansas City Royals in the tenth round of the 2006 draft.

Van Stratten will wear number nine for the Naturals, and there is another number change to report as Ethan Hollingsworth will now wear number 36.  Following the transaction, the Naturals’ roster is at the Texas League limit of 25 active players.

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.  Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Odorizzi named Pitcher of the Week

SPRINGDALE, AR – Naturals’ right-hander Jake Odorizzi has been selected as the Texas League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 30th-May 6th, Texas League President Tom Kayser announced Monday.

The Highland, Illinois resident has both set and tied the Naturals franchise record for strikeouts in a game with 11 on two different occasions.  The first 11 strikeout performance came on April 23 against Springfield.  In his most recent start against the North Division leading Tulsa Drillers on May 5, he again fanned 11.  Odorizzi threw seven and a third innings allowing just two hits and one earned run.

Odorizzi is 3-2 on the season and is leading the starting staff in ERA (3.48), innings pitched (31.0), and strikeouts (40).  His 40 strikeouts are ranked third in the Texas League.

Cody Decker of the San Antonio Missions was named as the Player of the Week for the Texas League.

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.  Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Myers named Player of the Week

Naturals’ outfielder Wil Myers has been selected as the Texas League Player of the Week for the period of April 23rd-29th, Texas League President Tom Kayser announced Monday.

The 21-year old Thomasville, NC resident hit safely in all six games he played in the past week, and hit .556 (10-for-18) with two home runs, six RBI’s, three walks, and two stolen bases.  A Texas League All-Star last season, Myers is batting .354 with six home runs and 14 RBI’s in his second season with Northwest Arkansas.

The Kansas City Royals’ third-best prospect overall according to Baseball America, Myers is taking home a player of the week award in the Texas League for the first time.

Tulsa Drillers starting pitcher Dan Houston was named as the league’s pitcher of the week.

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.  Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Naturals’ INF Bianchi Claimed By Cubs

Naturals’ INF Bianchi claimed by Cubs

KANSAS CITY, MO – The Kansas City Royals announced Friday that Naturals infielder Jeff Bianchi has been claimed off waivers by the Chicago Cubs.

A second-round pick by the Royals in 2005, the 25-year old Bianchi spent the entire 2011 season with the Naturals, where he batted .259 with two home runs and 48 RBI in 119 games. The Lancaster, PA resident also spent the second half of the 2009 season with the Naturals and batted .315 with five homers and 42 RBI in 68 games but missed the 2010 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow during Spring Training.

Bianchi, who will occupy a spot on the Cubs’ 40-man Major League roster, was designated for assignment by the Royals on November 30th to clear a space for new reliever Jonathan Broxton. In 2012, Bianchi is likely to draw an assignment to the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Cubs, or their Double-A Tennessee affiliate in the Southern League.

He departs the Naturals organization ranking sixth all-time on the franchise list of games played (187), sixth in at-bats (714), sixth in runs scored (105), tied for fifth in hits (200), third in doubles (40), and seventh in RBI (90). In 490 career minor league games over six seasons, Bianchi has a .281 average with 31 homers and 251 runs batted in.

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. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Duncan Joins Royals Organization

Royals add ex-Cardinal Eric Duncan
Former first-round pick spent 2011 with Springfield

SPRINGDALE, AR – Baseball Prospectus correspondent Kevin Goldstein reported Wednesday that the Kansas City Royals have signed veteran Eric Duncan to a minor league contract for the 2012 season.

Duncan, a 26-year old resident of Florham Park, NJ, spent 2011 with the Springfield Cardinals after being released by the Colorado Rockies organization following spring training. He joined Springfield in mid-April to serve in a utility role but ended up playing in 103 games for the Cardinals, batting .274 with 22 homers and 62 RBI’s, ranking second on Springfield in homers and third in RBI’s last season. Defensively, Duncan provided a ton of versatility for Springfield skipper Pop Warner, appearing defensively at first base, second base, third base, and left field.

Originally the New York Yankees’ first round selection (27th overall) in the 2003 draft, Duncan was a highly touted third-base prospect in the Yankees’ organization and prior to the 2005 season ranked as the 36th-best prospect in all of baseball. However, he struggled to a .226 average in portions of four Triple-A seasons and was released by the Yankees following the 2009 season.

He spent the 2010 season playing for the Mississippi Braves, Atlanta’s Double-A affiliate. Duncan will report to spring training and compete for a job with Triple-A Omaha, but could possibly see time in Northwest Arkansas in 2012.

In nine minor league seasons Duncan owns a .248 batting average with 105 homers and 491 RBI’s in 954 games.

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. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.

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Exhibition Scheduled For Minor League Park

Cardinals Announce Exhibition Game April 2, 2012 at Hammons Field
Double-A affiliate Springfield Cardinals welcome 2011 World Champions back to Missouri

ST. LOUIS, MO., November 2, 2011 – – The St. Louis Cardinals announced that the team will play an exhibition game against the Springfield Cardinals, their Double-A affiliate, at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at Hammons Field.

“We are honored to be the first to welcome the reigning World Champions back to the state of Missouri in 2012,” Springfield Cardinals Vice President and General Manager, Matt Gifford said.

The Cardinals wanted to play two exhibition games in Springfield as part of their 2012 spring training schedule partly to make up for the weather-related cancellation of a sold out 2011 exhibition game. The Cardinals regular season and Spring Training schedules, which are set by Major League Baseball, prevent two exhibition games from being possible this year. The Cardinals will open the regular season on Wednesday, April 4th with a unique single game series against the Miami Marlins to open their new stadium in Florida.

“We owe it to the great fans of Springfield to come home to Missouri to play this exhibition game despite the travel challenges presented by our schedule” said Cardinals General Manager John Mozeliak. “While we are disappointed we can’t play two games, this will be a welcome trip home for many of our players who really enjoyed their playing time in Springfield.”

Fans that retained their tickets to the 2011 Cardinals/Cardinals Exhibition Game and did not receive a refund will receive replacement tickets for the 2012 game in the spring. As was the case earlier this year, tickets to the exhibition game will be extremely limited and priority for any available tickets will be given to Springfield Cardinals Season Ticket Holders. For information on 2012 Season Tickets in Springfield, please call (417) 863-0395, or visit www.springfieldcardinals.com. The Cardinals Spring Training schedule of games in Florida is expected to be announced in December once it has been finalized by Major League Baseball.

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AA Springfield Receives League Honor

2011 Texas League Field Of The Year
Hammons Field receives honor for second time in team history

Springfield, MO – The Texas League has announced that Hammons Field has been named the 2011 Texas League Field of the Year.

This marks the second time in Springfield Cardinals’ history in which Hammons Field has taken home the award. Hammons Field is now eligible for the Double-A Field of the Year, which the organization won in 2008.

Hammons Field

Head Groundskeeper Brock Phipps has been in charge of the playing surface since Hammons Field was built in 2004.

“To know that we were voted Field of the Year in the Texas League is quite an honor and very humbling,” said Phipps. “I’d especially like to commend our Assistant Groundskeeper, Derek Edwards, the entire field crew for their superior work and expertise, as well as the entire front office of the Springfield Cardinals, for their immeasurable support throughout the season.”

“Brock and the staff are very dedicated to making Hammons Field beautiful for our fans and making the playing surface the very best it can be for the players,” said Vice President / General Manager Matt Gifford. “We’d also like to thank Hammons Industries for their continued support in helping to make Hammons Field one of the finest ballparks in all of minor league baseball. We’re all very proud to represent the Texas League in receiving this honor.”

The Springfield Cardinals wish to once again thank all the Cardinals’ fans for a terrific 2011 season. For information on 2012 Season Tickets, please call(417) 863-0395, or visit our website at www.springfieldcardinals.com.

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Rob Rains Inside Baseball: Keep Watching Cards Fans

The Cardinals are almost certainly headed for their fifth consecutive season without a playoff victory, but there are still some compelling reasons to watch the team during the month of September.

Rob Rains

Here are 10 of them:

1. How well this team finishes could play a major role in Tony La Russa’s decision about whether he wants to come back as manager for a 17th season.

The routine has been the same for the past several years. At the end of the year, La Russa says he wants to evaluate how the team performed, whether he still has the desire to manage and whether the front office, players and fans want him back. If all of those responses are positive, he will come back.

There appears to be more of a negative opinion among the fan base towards La Russa this season than in previous years, and that feeling likely will only increase if this team sleepwalks through September. Finish with a strong month, and some of those feelings may be quieted somewhat.

Many of the fans may make their displeasure known by staying away from the ballpark, which is one certain way to attract the attention of ownership. Attendance already is guaranteed to decline from a year ago, and fans who want a new manager also could voice their displeasure by failing to renew their season tickets for next year – sending a very financial message to Bill DeWitt. Perhaps the only way DeWitt would decide it was time for a change, and not let La Russa do whatever he wants, is if he gets the message that fans will stop coming to Busch Stadium if La Russa is back in 2012.

2. Who will win the power struggle between General Manager John Mozeliak and La Russa over the amount of playing time given to the extra players who will be coming up from Memphis.

The results of this interesting clash of egos might also play a role in any decisions about whether DeWitt will make a change in managers or with the general manager. Mozeliak wants the players coming up from Memphis to play, so the team can get a better reading on who can possibly help the big league club in 2012.

La Russa has said publicly that he will play the players who play the best, and he routinely has not been fond of putting too many extra players on the roster for the final month of the season. There are six players occupying spots on the 40-man roster, led by infielder Tyler Greene, who are at the crossroads of their career – it is either time for them to be on the regular major-league roster or time to move them out of the organization, freeing up places for younger players not only on the 40-man roster but for playing time at Triple A Memphis.

In addition to Greene, the other players who fall into this group are catcher Bryan Anderson, first baseman Mark Hamilton, outfielder Andrew Brown, third baseman Matt Carpenter and shortstop Pete Kozma. All, except Anderson, have had very limited chances to play in the majors, but Mozeliak would like to see them play for an extended period to make the decision about their future easier.

The poster-boy for this group likely will be Greene, who will be 28 before the 2012 season starts and needs to either prove he can be a big-league player or hope for a chance somewhere else. Nobody would be served by having him return to Memphis for another season. He has played 143 games spread over the last three years in the majors, but has never played more than five consecutive games. He has a lifetime average in the majors of .213, but everybody except La Russa, it seems, thinks he can hit closer to his current .326 average in Memphis if he gets that extended chance.

The Cardinals do not have a projected starting shortstop for 2012, and if Greene, a former first-round draft pick in 2005, proves he can do the job it will help give the team some financial relief over having to sign a free agent or make another trade for a shortstop. He also would give the team a legitimate stolen base threat, something the Cardinals have badly needed all season.

3. Can Pujols and Lance Berkman finish 1-2 in the National League home run race.

Through Sunday, Pujols and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp were tied for the league lead with 31 homers while Berkman, Dan Uggla of the Braves and Mike Stanton of the Marlins all had 30. Prince Fielder of the Brewers was one behind that group with 29.

Pujols is trying to win his third consecutive NL home run title, something no Cardinal has ever done. Berkman is trying to break the franchise record for most home runs hit by a switch-hitter, currently 35 by Ripper Collins in 1934.

The Cardinals have never had the 1-2 finishers in the league in the home run category, and in fact no NL team has done it since the Giants in 1965 when Willie Mays and Willie McCovey did it.

4. Can Pujols hit well enough to reach 100 RBIs and finish with a .300 or better batting average.

With 28 games to play, Pujols’ average is at .288 with 78 RBIs, meaning he needs 22 RBIs to get to 100 for the 11thconsecutive year. In his career, Pujols has driven in more than 22 runs five times during the month of September, with a high of 28 in 2006. He also has driven in less than 22 runs in the month five times, with a low of only 10 RBIs in September of 2003.

No player has ever hit .300 with 30 or more homers and 100 or more RBIs for each of the first 11 years of their career.

5. Who will get the bulk of the playing time at second base and shortstop.

Part of the answer to this question depends on what happens with Tyler Greene. The other player who should get a long look in September, at either second or short, is Daniel Descalso.

The Cardinals know what Skip Schumaker can do at second, and in the outfield, and there is no reason to play Ryan Theriot anywhere. Rafael Furcal has provided better defense at short since his arrival on July 31, but he has not hit and there would appear to be no way he would be returning to St. Louis in 2012.

For the Cardinals to control costs in 2012, and to have a much better defensive infield, it would be a tremendous boost if the team is convinced that Greene can play shortstop and Descalso can play second. They won’t know that answer, however, if they don’t get a chance to show it in September.

6. Can Fernando Salas pitch well enough in the closer’s role to convince the Cardinals he can do the job in 2012, keeping them from going out and adding a proven closer this winter.

Salas, for not even making the team out of spring training, has performed better in the closer role than most could have expected. Still, there is an uneasy feeling when he comes into the game in the ninth inning with a one-run lead.

Much like the situation at shortstop and second base, the Cardinals are going to need to have some positions on the roster which are filled with lower-cost players next year. It would help the budget a great deal if they were convinced Salas will be better closing games in 2012, and another month’s experience in that role will help them make that decision.

There is no other proven closer on the current roster, and Jason Motte failed in his one earlier attempt at the job. Having to go out and acquire a more established closer, if that is the route the Cardinals decide to go, will certainly cost them more money and perhaps force them to make a cutback at some other position.

7. Will Chris Carpenter pitch well enough to force the Cardinals into picking up his option for next season.

This will be a tough call. Carpenter has been one of the team’s best starters the second half of the season, not to mention the last several years, but $15 million might be more than he is worth for 2012.

It’s not like the Cardinals have a lot of backup candidates in line for his job, however. The collapse of the starting pitching was one of the biggest reasons the Cardinals fell out of the race in the NL Central, and it would not appear they should expect more from Jake Westbrook or Kyle Lohse than they got this year.

With the failure of the “offense first” philosophy this year, it probably would be more logical for the Cardinals to try to improve the quality and depth of their starting pitching in 2012, spending whatever it takes, and Carpenter needs to pitch well in September if he wants to be part of that group.

8. Can Jaime Garcia figure out what he has been doing wrong the second half of the season and finish on a strong note.

Garcia has won only one of eight starts since the All-Star break, with a 5.01 ERA. Coincidentally or not, that was when he signed a new four-year, $27 million contract which was unnecessary and premature. Garcia obviously is a pitcher the Cardinals expect to be an integral part of their rotation for years to come, but for the last two months he has not pitched like someone the team can count on

With the status of Carpenter questionable for 2012, and Adam Wainwright recovering from Tommy John surgery, the importance of a productive Garcia to the team’s success obviously cannot be minimized.

9. Will the Cardinals break the NL or MLB record for most grounded into double plays in a season, and can they end the year with more than 50 stolen bases.

Allen Craig’s double play grounder Sunday was the team’s 144th of the season. With 28 games to go, the Cardinals are 23 double plays away from breaking their own franchise and the NL record. The 1958 Cardinals grounded into 166 double plays. The major league record is 174, set by the Boston Red Sox in 1990. Pujols has ground into 25 double plays; the team record is 29 set by Ted Simmons in 1973.

As far as stolen bases go, the Cardinals’ league-low total of 44 is three behind the individual league-leader, Michael Bourne of the Braves. They could become the first St.Louis team to finish with fewer than 50 steals in a season since the 1961 Cardinals finished the year with 46.

10. This might be the last month fans will see Albert Pujols in a Cardinals uniform.

The Cardinals’ final home game of the year, and thus perhaps Pujols’ final game in a St. Louis uniform, is Sunday, Sept 25 against the Cubs. The team ends the year with a three-game road-trip to Houston.

With Pujols’ free agency on the horizon, there is no way of knowing if he will be back in 2012, or if one of the greatest eras in Cardinals’ history is about to come to an end.

(For Rob’s roundup of news around the Majors and Minors and other St. Louis sports news check out RobRains.com)

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Former Natural Hosmer Called Up To KC

Eric Hosmer has received the call to come to the big leagues. The following is the press release from the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

Former Natural Hosmer Called Up To KC
Top prospect’s big-league debut imminent

SPRINGDALE, AR – The Kansas City Royals have selected the contract of first baseman Eric Hosmer from Triple-A Omaha, meaning that the former Natural and highly-rated prospect could make his Major League debut as early as Friday.

The 21-year-old Hosmer was rated by Baseball America as the top prospect in the Royals’ system and the No. 8 overall prospect entering the 2011 season. Hosmer clearly accelerated his timetable by hitting .439 with a .525 on-base percentage, five doubles and three home runs in 28 games with the Storm Chasers, walking (16) as often than he struck out (16).

Drafted 3rd overall by the Royals in the June 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Hosmer joined the Naturals in July, 2010 after beginning the season with Advanced Class-A Wilmington. In 50 regular-season Texas League games, Hosmer hit .313 with 13 home runs and 35 runs batted in. Hosmer then led the Naturals with six home runs during the team’s postseason championship run.

The Royals also announced that to make room on their 25-man roster for Hosmer, former Natural Kila Ka’aihue has been optioned to Omaha. Ka’aihue has been with the Royals all season and batted .195 with two homers and six RBI’s in 23 games.

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. Visit our website, nwanaturals.com, for information on season tickets and ticket plans.



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