Tag Archive | "Six Days"

Royals Farm Report: May 7

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

Triple-A
The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) went 4-2 over the past six days making them 21-10 trailing only the Fresno Grizzlies who are 23-8 on the campaign in the race for the best record in the Pacific Coast League.  The Storm Chasers have remained hot despite sending several more players up to the Royals including Nate Adock and most recently Irving Falu.

Who’s Hot
The offense has continued to carry the Storm Chasers to wins providing walk-off victories on two consecutive nights thanks to home runs by Cody Clark and Johnny Giavotella.  Giavotella has been on fire since the calendar turned over to may hitting .458 (11-for-24) in the first six games of the month.  He has also hit two home runs and knocked in eight, while working six walks over that span.  On the mound for the Storm Chasers a pair of pitchers who returned from the Kansas City Royals have been on.  Everett Teafordtossed five and two thirds innings in his first start of the season in Triple-A.  Louis Coleman has allowed just three hits and one run over five and a third innings of work.

Who’s Not
Sean O’Sullivan looked to have found it working and inning and a third scoreless innings in his last appearance against Oklahoma City, but prior to that he allowed nine hits and five runs over five and a third innings in his previous two relief outings.  Jason Bourgeois has struggled at the plate since being demoted to Triple-A.  He is hitting .200 (6-for-30) in his first seven games of the season, but has hit a home run.

Double-A
The Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) are back to .500 after at 15-15 and have won the first two games of a four game homestand against the Tulsa Drillers to pull within five games of the Drillers for the North Division lead.  The Naturals have been brilliant at Arvest Ballpark this season going 12-4 at home.

Who’s Hot
Wil Myers who was named the Texas League Player of the week (April 23-29) has continued to be the best player on the field nearly every night.  Myers has homered in three of his last four games and is hitting a healthy .336 on the season to lead the Texas League.  He is also tops on the Naturals with 22 RBI, knocking home seven runs in his last four games.  On the mounc Jake Odorizzi has been just as good as advertised winning the Texas League Pitcher of the week (April 30-May 6) and turning in a seven and a third inning eleven strikeout performance his last time out on the mound.

Who’s Not
Julio Rodriguez is still trying to find his rhythm at the plate going 7-for-36 in his first ten games of the season.  He has delivered some key hits knocking in three runs in ten games on the season.  On the mound for the Naturals Chris Dwyer is coming off his worst start of the season and will look to rebound later in the week.  Last time out Dwyer went three innings allowing five hits and ten runs, seven of which were earned, while walking a season high six.

Class-A Advanced
The Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) went just 2-4 last week and after getting back and are now 12-17 on the season sitting in third place in the Carolina League’s Northern Division trailing the Potomac Nationals by just one game for second.

Who’s Hot
Brian Fletcher has been giving opposing pitchers nightmares so far in the month of May.  The former Auburn Tiger is hitting .348 in the month of May lifting his average to .314 on the season.  Nick Rogers turned in what has become a run of the mill performance out of the bullpen on Saturday going two innings allowing just one hit and fanning three.  Rogers has yet to allow and run this season and have fanned 12 in 11 innings of work.

Who’s Not
Catcher Kenny Swab is still trying to find himself at the plate this season in limited playing time.  The backstop has appeared in ten games for the Blue Rocks and is hitting .094 (3-for-32) on the season.  Sam Runion had a couple of tough appearances in the last week allowing four runs in five and a third innings of work, but for the season he has now allowed just five runs over 13 innings.

Class-A
The Kane County Cougars went 3-2 over the past week and they now sit at 14-16 on the season.  The Cougars are sitting in fifth place in the Midwest League’s Western division, but are just 4.5 games behind the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the division lead.

Who’s Hot
Outfielder Lane Adams has continued to be one of the focal points of the Cougar offense.  He is hitting a cool .330 with a home run and 18 RBI on the campaign.  On the mound for the Cougars, Santiago Garrido is undefeated on the season, going 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA over 26.1 innings of work.

Who’s Not
First baseman Murray Watts is still trying to hit for a better average, but his power swing has definitely been there.  Despite hitting just .191 on the season Watts has popped five home runs and driven home 13.  Aaron Brooks is coming off of a pair of rough starts allowing seven runs in his last 11 innings of work to go along with 15 hits.

Alumni Report (Former Naturals outside the Kansas City organization)

Who’s Hot
Corey Smith turned in a great week for Double-A Birmingham posting a .407 batting average, to go along with four doubles and four RBI.  Blake Johnson made three scoreless appearances for Double-A Chattanooga in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.  He logged two and a third innings surrendering just one hit and striking out two.

Jeff Bianchi posted a .300 average for the week while with Double-A Huntsville in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, and earned his first career promotion to Triple-A on Saturday.

Who’s Not
Dusty Hughes got knocked around this past week working a third of an inning allowing two hits, walking two, and surrendering three runs.  Hughes had been one of the hottest pitcher for the Atlanta Braves Triple-A affiliate prior to that outing.  Jordan Parraz, also with the Gwinnett Braves had a rough week at the plate going 0-for-16 with six strikeouts.

Josh Johnson who is now with Triple-A Syracuse in the Washington Nationals organization is 1-for-16 with a walk and three strikeouts.

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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Honor Bob Forsch

This past weekend I watched my first spring training games, courtesy of the MLB Network. Naturally the first game I saw included the St Louis Cardinals – they played their complex-mates, the Miami Marlins, on Saturday.  Kyle Lohse started, there was a rain delay, and the Cardinals eventually lost 3-1.

After Lohse worked his innings Lance Lynn came on to throw.  Lynn has changed his number from 62 last season, now 31. Normally that fact would just be trivia,  but the number 31 struck a chord this time.  It once belonged to Bob Forsch.  Now, it is not the first time someone has worn #31 since Forsch was traded to Houston.  Six other men (5 pitchers and Bo Hart) have worn the number.  But Bob Forsch died last fall, six days after throwing out the first pitch of Game 7, so this time it was different.

Cardinal teams after 1974 and before Whitey Herzog took over in 1980 generally were not very good.  From the start of 1975 through the end of the 1980 season the club was 40 games under .500 (466-506).  They had a few interesting pieces – a sublime catcher, a ‘mad’ relief pitcher, a future MVP – but the starting staff had a lot of turnover and not much lasting talent.  Except for Forsch.

Did you know Forsch was the winningest pitcher at Busch Memorial Stadium (1966-2006)?  He won 93 games there (Bob Gibson is second, with 72).  Forsch also appeared in the most games as a pitcher (231), threw the most innings (1395), had the most losses (59), and struck out 576 hitters, second only to Gibson’s 933, at Busch.  You definitely know he is the only Cardinal pitcher to throw more than one no-hitter, that he won 20 games in 1977, and famously hit Jeffrey Leonard ten years later to, perhaps, change the psychological nature of that rather contentious NLCS.  Cardinals went to the World Series.

Near as I can tell, there is no plan in the works to honor Forsch, and there should be.  He will never make it into the Hall of Fame; his only year on the ballot (1995) he received 2 votes.  He likely will not have his number retired by the Cardinals, either.  But he deserves to be remembered, and not just with Bob Forsch Day.  Sewing a 31 patch on everyone’s uniform would be a little awkward, seeing as Lynn currently wears the number.  RHF on a sleeve, or even an old-school black armband, would not be too out of place or ostentatious.

Honor the third winningest pitcher in St Louis Cardinal history.  Honor the man who pitched in 3 World Series.  Honor Bob Forsch.

Mike Metzger is a freelance writer who also blogs about the Padres.  Follow him on Twitter.

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Royals Farm Report: August 11

The fine folks at the Northwest Arkansas Naturals provide us with a brief rundown of the Royals farm system every week. The details are listed below:

Omaha

Triple-A

The Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League) stumbled a bit over the last week, posting a 3-4 record that has seen the club alternate wins and losses over the past six days. With that said, the 65-53 Storm Chasers still hold a five-game lead in the PCL’s American Northern Division, putting them in good shape for postseason play.

Who’s Hot

Catcher Salvador Perez bashed his way through the Pacific Coast League in less than two weeks. The 21-year-old hit safely in his final seven games with Omaha before earning a promotion to Kansas City after Tuesday night’s action. Perez cranked five doubles and a home run in 12 games in the Pacific Coast League. Though he has yet to earn a look from the big club, David Lough continues to put together a strong season, as he owns a seven-game hitting streak at the time of this week’s report. Finally, after struggling as a starter in Double-A, Zach Miner has delivered out of the bullpen for Omaha, tossing 10 2/3 scoreless innings over his last four appearances. Miner now has a 1.46 ERA in five games with the Storm Chasers.

Who’s Not

Infielder Lance Zawadzki was just 2-for-16 at the plate over the last week, dropping his season batting average to .242. Though he has hit for power at times this season, Zawadzki has just two extra-base hits in his last 11 games. Though he ended up with a win on Wednesday, Mike Montgomery allowed five runs on eight hits in six innings of work, raising his ERA to 5.31.

NWArkansas

Double-A

With a 3-3 record over the last week, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Texas League) were unable to pad their lead in the North Division second-half standings. But thanks to the parity within the division, the Naturals didn’t lose much ground, either. With 25 games remaining, the Naturals are two games up on each of the other three teams in the North, setting up what could be a dramatic finish over the season’s final month.

Who’s Hot

Over the last three weeks, left-hander Chris Dwyer has looked like a completely different pitcher than the one who struggled to a 2-9 record to begin the year. On Aug. 5, Dwyer became the third Natural – and first since 2008 – to strike out 10 batters in one game as he earned his fourth straight win. In those four starts, Dwyer has allowed just six runs in 27 innings while fanning 29. Three days later, Will Smith fired eight scoreless innings against the Arkansas Travelers, striking out six against one walk. Though the Naturals eventually lost that game in extra innings, it was Smith’s sixth quality start in his last eight games.

Who’s Not

Unlike Dwyer and Smith, Jake Odorizzi had a rough outing against the Travelers his last time out. Odorizzi allowed a pair of two-run homers, giving up a total of six runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. The right-hander will look to snap a two-start losing streak when he takes the mound on Friday night. Outfielder Derrick Robinson is one of the most dynamic players in the league on the basepaths but has struggled to reach base in recent games. Robinson has just three hits in his last eight games as his batting average has fallen from .273 to .254.

BlueRocks

Class-A Advanced

Time may be running out for the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ playoff chances. The Carolina League club went 2-5 last week to drop to 53-61 overall and 17-28 in the second half. With the team now 10 games out of first and seven back of Potomac in a potential wild-card scenario, the Blue Rocks may need a historic run to reach the postseason in 2011.

Who’s Hot

Justin Marks turned in one of his best outings of the season on Monday in earning one of his team’s two wins last week. Making the start against Winston-Salem, Marks tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts, allowing just three hits. Acquired from the Red Sox at the trade deadline, reliever Kendal Volz has yielded just two hits in his first two outings with the Kansas City organization. At the plate, outfielder Yem Prades carries a five-game hitting streak into the writing of this week’s report.

Who’s Not

Though he bounced back with a strong showing on Wednesday, lefty Noel Arguelles endured his roughest outing of the season on Aug. 5. In that game, Arguelles allowed six runs on seven hits in just 2 2/3 innings, raising his ERA to a high water mark of 3.36. Tim Melville also struggled in two starts last week as he did not get out of the third inning on either occasion, allowing a total of 10 runs.

KCounty

Class-A

The Kane County Cougars (Midwest League) were not able to establish any momentum in either direction last week, as the team has alternated wins and losses since Aug. 4. Now 27-18 in the second half, Kane County remains one game behind the Quad Cities River Bandits in the circuit’s Western Division. The two teams to not meet again in the regular season, so the Cougars must finish strong and hope for a little bit of help.

Who’s Hot

Though it may sound repetitive at this point, Greg Billo put together a pair of dominant outings this week. After a no-decision on Aug. 5, Billo yielded just one hit in six innings on Wednesday, earning his fourth win of the year and lowering his ERA to a microscopic 1.40. Antonio Cruz is another trade acquisition who is off to a strong start in the Royals organization. Cruz tossed five scoreless innings between two games last week and has not allowed a run in 13 1/3 frames since joining Kane County. Outfielder Brian Fletcher continues to impress, as he had a four hit game and two three-hit games last week, blasting a pair of home runs as well.

Who’s Not

Kane County catcher Juan Graterol is mired in a slump, as the 22-year-old is just 1-for-16 in his last five games. This stretch has dropped his batting average to .177 and on-base percentage to .233. Fellow catcher Kevin David had three hits last week but has now drawn a walk since Jul. 28. On the mound, Santiago Garridoyielded six runs in 8 1/3 innings over two starts last week.

Short Season/Rookie

Idaho

The Idaho Falls Chukars (Pioneer League) rallied from a four-game losing streak to win each of their last two games last week, but a 3-4 mark over the last seven days dropped them to 21-28 overall. Though the Chukars are currently four games back in the South Division’s second-half standings, there is still time for the team to turn their season around and get back into the race.

Who’s Hot

Reliever Edwin Carl continues to be one of the most consistent hurlers on the Idaho Falls staff. Carl gave up just one run in four innings last week and is now a perfect three-for-three in save opportunities this season. Starter Aaron Brooks turned a dominant outing against Casper on Tuesday, striking out 10 while walking just one in 5 2/3 scoreless innings. At the plate, Runey Davis is now 5-for-12 in his last three games, raising his batting average to .328.

Who’s Not

Recently moved into the bullpen, Robert Penny followed his first scoreless outing of the season by allowing three runs in just an inning and a third on Aug. 7. Though he has struck out better than a batter per inning with Idaho Falls, Penny’s ERA now stands at 10.86. Outfielder Darian Sanford has hit a bit of a rough patch over the last few days, as he is just 2-for-15 in his last four games.

Burlington

Like Idaho Falls, the Burlington Royals (Appalachian League) lost four games in a row at one point last week. In going 2-5 over the last seven days, the club is now 18-31 and in the basement of the East Division. Barring an incredible stretch run, Burlington is likely to be on the outside looking in when the postseason begins.

Who’s Hot

Right fielder Jorge Bonifacio found a bit of a groove last week, as the 18-year-old racked up three multi-hit games and hit his fifth home run of the Appy League season. Though his plate discipline needs to improve (43 strikeouts, seven walks), Bonifacio is hitting at an impressive .298 clip. Right-hander Matt Ridings had a bit of a rough start on Tuesday but fired six scoreless innings the previous Thursday, and continues to pace the Burlington rotation with a 3.16 ERA.

Who’s Not

Reliever Abel Gonzalez was tagged for four runs in each of his last two appearances, the first of which encompassed just one inning. Gonzalez now has a 10.80 ERA through six games with Burlington. Utilityman Derek Hamblen went hitless in six at bats last week and is now just 3-for-45 this season without an extra-base hit.

AZL

In complex league play, the AZL Royals (Arizona League) went 2-4 last week to drop their overall record to 16-25. A lack of pitching has been the story of late, as the team has lost its last two games by scores of 16-14 and 11-10.

Who’s Hot

Though he is not a member of the club’s regular roster, southpaw Buddy Baumann made a pair of rehab starts for the AZL Royals over the last ten days. He excelled on Aug. 7, allowing just one hit with four strikeouts in three innings of work. Baumann has now been activated from the disabled list and has re-joined Double-A Northwest Arkansas. At the plate, Nick DelGuidice is still hitting over .400 and has shown impressive strike zone judgment, striking out just 10 times in 34 games in the Arizona League.

Who’s Not

Christian Witt had a day to forget on Tuesday, as he yielded 8 runs in a relief appearance in that 16-14 loss against the Giants’ complex league club. 2011 draftee Cameron Gallagher is hitting just .179 through seven professional games, but should dramatically improve as he adjusts to a much higher level of competition.

Former Naturals outside the Kansas City organization

Right-hander Dan Cortes remains in the Seattle Mariners’ bullpen, though his last big-league outing was one to forget, as Cortes gave up hits to both batters he faced and was tagged with the loss on Aug. 5 against the Angels. The next former Natural to make a major league bullpen could be Juan Abreu, as the right-hander allowed just one run in three appearances for Houston’s Triple-A squad in Oklahoma City this past week.

Elsewhere in Triple-A, Blake Johnson had his roughest outing since joining the Colorado organization, allowing seven runs – six earned – on eight hits last Thursday. But since then, the right-hander has bounced back to allow just an unearned run over his last two appearances. In the International League, Jordan Parraz notched a pair of multi-hit games last week and is hitting .298 for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Down in the Southern League, Ernesto Mejia homered on Wednesday night for the Mississippi Braves, his 18th long ball of the season. Though he has struck out 124 times in 114 games, Mejia has put together a solid season with 29 doubles and a .375 on-base percentage. Also on the M-Braves roster are Ed Lucas (.271, 3 HR in 20 games), Rowdy Hardy (3.19 ERA, 39 K:18 BB) and Ben Swaggerty (4.26 ERA, 32 K in 19 IP).

Also in the Southern League is Corey Smith, who has hit safely in each of his six games with the Chattanooga Lookouts since being sent down from Triple-A Albuquerque. In the Eastern League, Chris McConnell has doubled in two straight games for the Harrisburg Senators. Finally, in the Florida State League, Jose Duarte is currently on the disabled list for Jupiter while Harold Mozingo is carrying a 4.09 ERA through eight games with the Dunedin Blue Jays.

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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