Tag Archive | "Sixth Season"

Royals And Fox Sports KC Announce Schedule

KANSAS CITY, MO (January 31, 2013) – The Kansas City Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City today announced a 142-game television schedule for the 2013 season, featuring two exhibition games and 140 regular season games.

FSKC

The Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City are entering the sixth season of a long-term agreement in which FOX Sports Kansas City is the exclusive television home of Royals baseball.  The 140-game regular season television schedule features 67 road games and 73 from Kauffman Stadium.  Every game on FOX Sports Kansas City will be preceded by a 30-minute pre-game show, “Hy-Vee Royals Live,” and followed by the “Boulevard Royals Live” post-game show.  All 140 regular season telecasts will be presented in High Definition.

FOX Sports Kansas City’s coverage of Royals baseball kicks off with a Spring Training telecast from Surprise, Ariz., on Monday, March 25, when the Royals host the Los Angeles Dodgers at 8:05 p.m. (CDT).  A second exhibition game will be broadcast on Wednesday, March 27, when Kansas City hosts the Chicago Cubs, also at 8:05 p.m. (CDT).

FSKC will air Kansas City’s Opening Day contest on April 1 at Chicago as well as the April 8 home opener vs. Minnesota.

Ryan Lefebvre will call 90 regular season games and one exhibition for Fox Sports Kansas City and Steve Physioc will provide the play-by-play on 50 games during the season and one exhibition.  Rex Hudler will return for his second season as the analyst and Royals’ Hall of Famer, Jeff Montgomery, will provide analysis throughout the season on Royals Live with host Joel Goldberg.

The complete season schedule with telecasts is listed on the attached schedule, which you can download by clicking here.  All game times and the TV schedule are subject to change.

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The Hot Corner In The NL Central

Aside from Aramis Ramirez no other NL Central third basemen surpassed the 100 games played mark. Only David Freese sniffed the 100 game mark in 2011, falling just short at with 97. Though it’s tough basing everything off of a post season run Freese showed the kind of hitter he can be in the postseason. It is dangerous evaluating off of postseason hype, but Freese should have had this breakthrough in seasons prior. Assuming health, which for him could be a big gamble, he can put it all together and be a .280-25-100-90 work horse on the hot corner.

As it stands now Freese is more of less in a class by himself among the NL Central third basemen. Not quite at the Ramirez and Rolen level, but well above the likes of what takes the field for the Astros, Cubs, and Pirates. Here is who he be measured against moving into 2012.

 

Ian Stewart split the 2011 season between the Rockies and Triple-A Colorado Springs, totaling two stints in each spot. He batted .156 with six doubles in 48 games with the Rockies and hit .275 with 14 home runs and 42 RBIs in 45 games in the Minor Leagues. A change of scenery might help Stewart, who hit 25 home runs in 2009 and was considered a rising star but never gained a solid footing in the Majors.

Reds third baseman Scott Rolen was limited to 252 at-bats in 2011, hitting .242 with five homers, one stolen base, 36 RBIs and 34 runs scored.  Rolen continues to deal with injuries and shoulder problems which again cut short a season. The 36-year-old has only reached 350 at-bats once in the past four campaigns and is a significant injury risk for 2012. When healthy he is one of the game’s best at the hot corner and his defense alone will keep him on the field.

For the Astros Jimmy Paredes hit .286 with a pair of homers, five stolen bases, 18 RBIs and 16 runs scored in 168 at-bats during his rookie season. Paredes didn’t distinguish himself in his initial Major League action but he didn’t look out of place either. The 22-year-old didn’t hit for a lot of power in the Minors so his upside for 2012 isn’t very high from a power perspective but Paredes has shown he can hit for average. Which for the Astros happens to be the case for most of the roster.

Aramis Ramirez completed his sixth season with at least 30 doubles and 25 homers. He got off to a slow start, hitting two home runs in the first two months of the season. Ramirez has a career .261 average in April and playing in Miller Park early in the year could help him boost those numbers. Ramirez has a lifetime .270 average and .503 slugging percentage at Miller Park, hitting 15 homers and 25 doubles there.

Pedro Alvarez was a big disappointment in 2011, as he hit four homers, stole one base, drove in 10 runs and scored eight times while hitting .191 in 235 at-bats.  Alvarez entered 2011 as a budding prospect but got off to a slow start and was eventually sent to the Minors. He didn’t show much more after returning to the Bucs in September and is a major question mark heading into 2012.  The addition of Casey McGehee gives the Pirates another option at third base, though the club has insisted that Pedro Alvarez will get the first crack at holding onto the starting role.

Our towns David Freese missed time early in the season due to a broken hand but produced reasonable numbers when healthy. In only 97 games in 2011 Freese hit .297 with 10 homers, 55 RBIs, 41 runs scored and one stolen base.  He set a postseason record with 21 RBIs, which has everyone drooling about a possible breakout campaign in 2012. From time to time he still shows he has room to grown defensively but a full offseason and being healthy going into 2012 should help.

By the time 2012 is said and done here is how I see things shaking out amongst the NL Central three baggers.

  1. Aramis Ramirez
  2. Scott Rolen
  3. David Freese
  4. Ian Stewart
  5. Jimmy Paredes
  6. Pedro Alvarez

Looking ahead: There is still a lot to prove for Freese in 2012. The NL Central already has an established senior class of third basemen in Aramis Ramirez and Scott Rolen. Rolen’s defense, for now, keeps him ahead of Freese and Ramirez’s ability to do it year in and year out keeps him atop the class at this point. If Freese can stay healthy enough to play 145+ games and sure up his defense even a little look for him to overtake Rolen amonth the pecking order of NL third basemen.

Follow Derek on Twitter @SportsbyWeeze

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Why Extending Garcia Is A Good Idea

Around midday Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran a story that a contract extension for St. Louis Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia may be in the works. The deal was not announced as being final by the end of the day Friday, but if the Cards do in fact sign Garcia to an extension they could be doing themselves a huge favor.

Garcia may only be in his second full season in the Majors, but his numbers both last year and this year are really solid. Garcia is nearly unhittable at Busch Stadium, and though his road splits are a bit alarming he still enjoys an 8-3 record with a 3.23 ERA and 7.7 strikeouts per nine innings. Not bad for a pitcher who also happened to turn 25 yesterday.

Age may be the biggest reason to extend Garcia, and health can probably be thrown in as well. Garcia is still young and learning, but he has already shown the poise and confidence needed to be a successful big league starter. And he already had Tommy John surgery, so Garcia may get stronger still over the next couple of seasons. He certainly is not likely to have elbow trouble anytime soon.

And the Cards have some big decisions coming up soon anyway. Yes, Garcia is just now arbitration-eligible after this season and, consequently should remain relatively cheap for a few years. But if he keeps pitching like he has, retaining Garcia beyond his sixth season may prove too rich for the Cards’ blood, especially since they may be paying Albert Pujols a lot of money by then. Additionally, the rotation figures to change dramatically over the next couple of seasons. Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook almost certainly will not be re-signed after their current contracts wear out. Chris Carpenter may be retained for a couple more years, but he is on the downside as well. Adam Wainwright—who the Cardinals should also extend beyond the two option years they currently need to act on—is the ace of this team. Shelby Miller and Carlos Martinez are proving to be quite strong prospects who will likely show up in St. Louis by September 2012. Garcia would be an integral part of a rotation featuring those guys and, by that time, may be the second in command veteran.

Now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. What kind of money and how many years? The number thrown around was $27-ish million over four years, plus possibly a couple of vesting options. Assuming any and all options would kick in, that would make Garcia a Cardinal until he is roughly 30 years old. And a pitcher of his caliber making $10 million or less in his 20s is pretty rare, especially as a free agent. This contract would eliminate at least one of those free agent years.

Neither side would deny the contract talk; they basically stuck to radio silence on the possible deal. But it would be no surprise to see this contract being announced in the next couple of days. And that’s good news for the Cardinals. They need rotation stability for the future. They need that anchor once Carpenter leaves (or retires). Garcia can be that player. Maybe he is not the bulldog Carpenter is, but Garcia certainly has the skill and drive to take that position. It is time to lock him in.

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