Tag Archive | "Winter League"

Royals Winter League Wrap Up

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SPRINGDALE, AR –Although the 2012 minor league season officially ended in September, 20 current and former Northwest Arkansas Naturals continued their work on the diamond as they participated in the Puerto Rican, Venezuelan and Australian Winter Leagues. With pitchers and catchers set to report to Spring Training in less than two weeks, all of the former Naturals have completed their winter seasons.

Puerto Rican League Wrap-up

The Puerto Rican League welcomed five Naturals alums, but a recent Natural created the most headlines. Christian Colon was named the Puerto Rican League Rookie of the Year. The Royals first round pick (fourth overall) in 2010, Colon led the league with 13 stolen bases in 39 games for the Leones de Ponce (Ponce Lions). While at the plate, Colon batted .301 with eight doubles and 26 runs scored. In 2012, Colon played in 73 games with the Naturals, batting .289 with nine doubles and 13 stolen bases and five home runs. A Texas League Mid-Season All-Star, Colon finished the season with Triple-A Omaha. Colon has earned a non-roster invite to Spring Training with the Royals.

Infielder Rey Navarro finished second in the league with a .333 batting average in 114 at-bats and 18 RBI for league champion Criollos de Caguas (Caguas Creoles).  In 2012, Navarro appeared in 109 games for the Naturals before being promoted to Omaha on August 18.

Infielder Irving Falu led the league with 30 runs scored and four triples while playing for Indios de Mayaguez (Mayaguez Indians). Falu batted .324 with eight doubles and 16 RBI in 36 games.  A member of the 2008 Naturals squad, Falu spent 2012 with both Kansas City and Omaha and is on the Royals 40-man roster.

Outfielder Geraldo Valentin, another member of the Naturals’ inaugural team, drove in 10 runs while batting .277 for Cangrejeros de Santurce (Santurce Crabbers). Valentin batted .250 with 10 doubles and 19 RBI in 70 games during his lone season with the Naturals.

Pitcher Kelvin Villa went 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA in nine games for Criollos de Caguas. Villa was also named a Post-Season All-Star. Villa was 1-0 in nine appearances during his time with the Naturals in 2010.

Venezuelan League Wrap-up

2011 Naturals catcher Salvador Perez earned Rookie of the Year honors in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League as a member of Tiburones de La Guaira (La Guaira Sharks). Perez batted .371 in 32 games with eight home runs, 10 doubles and 39 RBI with a .412 On Base Percentage. As a Natural, Perez was named to the 2011 Texas League Mid and Post-Season All-Star teams. Perez, who missed the early part of the 2012 season due to injury, batted .301 in 76 games for Kansas City and is the projected starting catcher for the Royals for 2013.

Perez wasn’t the only former Natural to end the Venezuelan League campaign with an award, as Juan Gutierrez was named the Venezuelan League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Gutierrez was 1-1 with a 0.81 ERA, 14 saves and 21 strikeouts in 24 appearances for Leones del Caracas (Caracas Lions).  Gutierrez recorded three saves in five games with the Naturals in 2012 after reporting to the team in July following rehab outings in the Arizona League. Gutierrez has also spent parts of three seasons in the Major Leagues, each with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Outfielder Mario Lisson batted .262 with four doubles, five home runs and 26 RBI in 43 games with Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellen’s Navigators).  Lisson has worn the Naturals uniform in every season except 2010, and is the franchise leader in games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, home runs and RBI.

Paulo Orlando hit seven doubles and drove in 16 runs in 32 games with Cardenales de Lara (Lara Cardinals). Orlando’s .346 batting average would have finished second in the Venezuelan League, but Orlando didn’t have the required number of plate appearances. Orlando has spent the last three seasons with the Naturals and is the franchise leader with 18 triples.

Ernesto Mejia was named the Most Valuable Player for the Venezuelan League, batting .298 with 16 home runs and 48 RBI in 62 games as a member of Cardenales de Lara. An Opening Day starter and member of the 2010 Texas League Champion Naturals, Mejia spent 2012 in the Atlanta Braves organization at Triple-A Gwinnett (Ga.).

Pitcher Victor Marte was 2-1 with a 4.40 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 13 games for Navegantes del Magallanes (Magellen’s Navigators). Marte was 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 13 games with the Naturals in 2009. Marte made his Royals debut that season, winning three of his 22 relief appearances.

Pitcher Dusty Hughes was 1-0 in 12 games for Navegantes del Magallanes. Hughes didn’t surrender a run in 9 1/3 innings pitched. Hughes was 5-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 20 games for the Naturals in 2008.

Dominican League Wrap-up

Catcher Julio Rodriguez appeared in one game for Gigantes del Cibao (Cibao Giants), striking out in his lone plate appearance. Rodriguez spent his first full AA season with the Naturals in 2012, with a .234 average and 17 RBI in 67 games.

Pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon pitched in two games with Leones del Escogido (Escogido Lions). In five innings of work, Marimon struck out two batters and surrendered one run. Marimon made 12 starts for the Naturals last season, posting a 3-6 record with a 4.59 ERA. Marimon was named a Carolina League Mid-Season All-Star in 2012.

Pitcher Carlos Rosa appeared in three games for league champion Gigantes del Cibao (Cibao Giants), giving up three earned runs in nine innings. Rosa went 4-2 with a 1.20 ERA in eight starts with the Naturals in 2008. Rosa pitched in two games for the Royals that season, giving up a run in 3 1/3 innings of work. Rosa’s last appearance in the Royals organization was with Triple-A Omaha in 2010.

Pitcher Roman Colon spent time in the Dominican League as a member of Gigantes as well as in the Mexican Pacific League with Yaquis de Obregon. Colon was 0-2 in 10 games with Gigantes and concluded the season with a 0-0 record in two appearances with three-time defending Mexican Pacific League champion Yaquis. Colon was 2-0 with a save in 10 games with the Naturals in 2008.

Pitcher Willy Lebron was 1-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 16 games for Estrellas de Oriente. Lebron was 3-1 with a 3.83 ERA in 23 games for the Naturals in 2011.

Outfielder Jamie Romak hit .280 in six games with Toros del Este (Este Bulls). Romak spent part of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 season with the Naturals, playing in 168 games with the franchise while hitting 29 home runs and driving in 87 runs. Romak spent the 2012 season with Triple-A Omaha and in the St. Louis Cardinals organization.

Australian League Wrap-up

Outfielder Carlo Testa was the lone player with Naturals ties in the Land Down Under this winter. Testa played in 46 games for the Melbourne Aces, batting .294 with seven doubles and six home runs with 19 RBI. Testa also stole 10 bases for the Aces. In 2012, Testa completed his first season at the Double-A level with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 12 stolen bases in 113 games.

Mexican Pacific League Wrap-up

Outfielder Cory Aldridge batted .268 with 19 home runs and 42 RBI in 61 games for Tomateros de Culican (Culican Tomato Growers). A member of the inaugural Naturals team, Aldridge batted .269 with six doubles and 10 home runs and 40 RBI in 49 games for the Naturals in 2008 and was named the Texas League Player of the Week for August 25.

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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Royals Extend 21 Invites To Spring Training

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KANSAS CITY, MO (January 9, 2013) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has invited 21 non-roster players to Major League Spring Training in Surprise, Ariz.  Among the invitations are nine pitchers, four catchers, four infielders and four outfielders.

Pitchers (9):

Blaine Boyer, 31, is 9-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 233 Major League relief appearances for the Braves (2005-09), Cardinals (2009), Diamondbacks (2009-10) and Mets (2011).  The 6-foot-3, 245-pound right-hander from Marietta, Ga., is a groundball specialist, allowing just 17 home runs in 234.0 innings.  He was signed as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2013.

22-year-old Sugar Ray Marimon pitched for both Wilmington (High A) and Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2012.  He was a Carolina League All-Star, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.12 ERA in 14 games (nine starts) before his promotion to the Naturals.  Marimon, a 6-foot-1 right-hander from Cartagena, Colombia, was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on November 20, 2006.  He earned a win for Colombia over Nicaragua on November 16, 2012 in World Baseball Classic qualifying and also tossed 5.0 scoreless innings over two appearances for Licey in the Dominican Winter League this offseason.

Michael Mariot, 24, was the Northwest Arkansas (AA) Pitcher of the Year in 2012, recording a 6-3 record with a 3.40 ERA in 31 games, including 14 starts.  The University of Nebraska product is a 5-foot-11 right-hander from Southlake, Texas, who was selected by the Royals in the eighth round of the 2010 Draft.

34-year-old right-hander Brian Sanches returned to the Royals organization on a minor league contract on November 20, 2012 after nearly 10 years with other clubs.  Sanches was the Royals’ second-round selection in 1999.  He pitched in the Kansas City system until August 26, 2003 when he was traded to San Diego for outfielder Rondell White.  The 6-foot-1 Nederland, Texas native has made 195 career appearances, all but two in relief, in the Majors with the Phillies (2006-07, 2012), Nationals (2008) and Marlins (2009-11), recording a 13-7 record with a 3.75 ERA in 235.0 innings.

Atahualpa (at-ah-WALL-pa) Severino, 28, posted a 3-0 record with three saves and a 2.81 ERA in 46 relief stints for Syracuse, Washington’s Triple-A affiliate, in 2012.  The left-hander was signed to a minor league contract on November 14, 2012.  Born in Cotui, Dominican Republic, Severino saw his only Major League action in 2011 with the Nationals, recording a 1-0 record with a 3.86 ERA in six games.

Left-hander George Sherrill, 35, is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career Major League appearances, all in relief, for the Mariners (2004-07, 2012), Orioles (2008-09), Dodgers (2009-10) and Braves (2011).  The 2008 American League All-Star made just two appearances for Seattle in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 4.  Born and raised in Tennessee, the current Utah resident has held left-handed batters to a .186 batting average in his Major League career. He was signed to a minor league deal on December 12, 2012.

Yordano Ventura, 21, was the 2012 Wilmington Pitcher of the Year, a Carolina League All-Star and tossed a scoreless inning as the starting pitcher for the World squad in the SiriusXM MLB Futures All-Star Game in Kansas City on July 8, 2012.  The 5-foot-11 resident of Samana, Dominican Republic, opened 2012 at Wilmington, posting a 3-5 record with a 3.30 ERA in 16 starts.  Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Royals on October 8, 2008, the right-hander also made six starts for Northwest Arkansas.

25-year-old Ryan Verdugo was a Pacific Coast League All-Star and member of the All-PCL Team in 2012.  The southpaw also made his Major League debut for the Royals in July in a start.  Verdugo was 12-4 at Omaha (AAA) with a 3.75 ERA in 27 games (24 starts).  He was acquired by the Royals from the San Francisco Giants on November 7, 2011.

Dan Wheeler, 35, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 outings over a 13-year Major League career for the Rays (1999-2001, 2007-10), Mets (2003-04), Astros (2004-07), Red Sox (2011) and Indians (2012).  Born in Rhode Island but now living in Florida, the right-hander split the 2012 campaign between the Cleveland Indians and Triple-A Columbus.  He signed a minor league contract with the Royals on December 16, 2012.

Catchers (4):

28-year-old Adam Moore was claimed on Outright Waivers from the Seattle Mariners on July 7, 2012 and appeared in four games with the Royals in September.  The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder has appeared in the big leagues for parts of the last four seasons, playing 72 games.

Manuel Pina was re-signed by the Royals after appearing in 49 minor league contests for Surprise (R) and Northwest Arkansas (AA) in 2012, as well as one game with the big league club in September.  The 25-year-old from Venezuela missed the first three months of the season after undergoing surgery to repair a meniscus tear in his right knee during Spring Training.

28-year-old Max Ramirez remains in the Kansas City system after initially signing as a minor league free agent on December 14, 2011.  The resident of Barquisimeto, Venezuela, has appeared in the Majors with the Texas Rangers in 2008 and 2010.  Ramirez spent all of 2012 with Omaha, batting .300 with 17 home runs and 77 RBI in 110 games.

Julio Rodriguez, 23, was acquired by the Royals with left-handed pitcher Antonio Cruz from the Detroit Tigers for infielder Wilson Betemit on July 20, 2011.  The Hato Mayor, Dominican Republic resident was a minor league All-Star in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and named the Dominican Tigers Player of the Year in 2008.  Rodriguez batted .234 in 67 games for Northwest Arkansas a season ago.

Infielders (4):

23-year-old Christian Colon was the Northwest Arkansas Player of the Year and a Texas League All-Star in 2012.  The middle infielder saw his season end prematurely in mid-August due to a right eye injury after batting .412 in five games for Omaha.  Colon, the club’s first round pick (fourth overall) in 2010 out of Cal State-Fullerton, hit .289 with five home runs and 12 stolen bases in 73 games for Northwest Arkansas.  The right-handed batter is hitting .301 with 13 stolen bases in 39 games for Ponce in the Puerto Rican Winter League.

Anthony Seratelli, 29, hit .299 with 17 doubles, 17 home runs and 66 RBI in 115 games for Omaha in 2012.  The versatile switch-hitter also stole 15 bases.  The Royals purchased Seratelli from the Windy City ThunderBolts of the Frontier League on February 27, 2007.

38-year-old Miguel Tejada, signed as a minor league free agent on December 31, 2012, is a six-time All-Star and was the 2002 American League MVP after batting .308 with 34 home runs and 131 RBI with Oakland.  The 15-year veteran is a career .285 hitter with 304 home runs, 1,282 RBI and 463 doubles in 2,118 games for the A’s (1997-2003), Orioles (2004-07, 2010), Astros (2008-09), Padres (2010) and Giants (2011).  Tejada played 36 games for Triple-A Norfolk in 2012 and is currently batting .284 with nine doubles, four home runs and 19 RBI in 34 games for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League.

Infielder Brandon Wood, 27, spent 2012 at Triple-A Colorado Springs in the Rockies organization, batting .259 with 10 home runs and 64 RBI on 119 games.  The former top prospect in the Los Angeles Angels system has played in 272 Major League contests since his debut with the Angels as a 22-year-old in 2007.  He is a career .186 hitter with 18 home runs for the Angels (2007-11) and Pirates (2011).  Wood signed a minor league contract with the Royals on November 19, 2012.

Outfielders (4):

Endy Chavez, 34, an 11-year Major League veteran, signed a minor league deal with the Royals on December 26, 2012.  He made his debut in 2001 with Kansas City after the Royals selected him from the New York Mets organization in the 2000 Rule 5 Draft.  The 6-foot resident of Valencia, Venezuela, is a career .269 hitter with 118 doubles, 32 triples, 26 home runs, 229 RBI, 341 runs and 100 stolen bases for the Royals (2001), Expos (2002-04), Nationals (2005), Phillies (2005), Mets (2006-08), Mariners (2009), Rangers (2011) and Orioles (2012).  The left-handed hitting and throwing outfielder appeared in 64 regular season games with Baltimore last season, also playing in three Division Series games against the Yankees.  Chavez hit .276 with 15 walks in 30 games for Magallanes in the Venezuelan Winter League.

26-year-old Luis Durango hit .289 and stole an International League-leading 46 bases in 62 attempts for Triple-A Gwinnett in 2012, serving as the club’s primary centerfielder.  The 5-foot-9 switch-hitter from Panama has played 39 games in the Major Leagues for the San Diego Padres in 2009 and 2010, hitting .292 with seven stolen bases in eight attempts.  Durango, who signed a minor league deal on November 8, 2012, competed for Caribes in the Venezuelan Winter League, batting .286 with six steals and playing all three outfield positions.

Xavier Nady, 34, has played 11 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Padres (2000, 2003-05), Mets (2006), Pirates (2006-08), Yankees (2008-09), Cubs (2010), Diamondbacks (2011), Nationals (2012) and Giants (2012).  He is a career .270 hitter with 101 home runs and 406 RBI in 939 games.  The 6-foot-2, 215-pound right-handed hitter and thrower split 2012 between the Nationals and Giants organizations, playing 59 games at the Major League level.  Nady signed a minor league pact on December 18, 2012.

Willy Taveras, 31, is a seven-year Major League veteran who has compiled a .274 career average with 195 stolen bases for the Astros (2004-06), Rockies (2007-08), Reds (2009) and Nationals (2010).  The Dominican Republic resident led the National League with 68 stolen bases in 75 attempts for Colorado in 2008.  Taveras is currently batting .255 with nine stolen bases in 52 games for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League.

Pitchers and catchers will report to Surprise on Monday, February 11.  Workouts for pitchers begin the following day, Tuesday, February 12.  The remainder of the squad will report on Thursday, February 14 and begin workouts for the 2012 campaign on Friday, February 15.

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Royals Sign Three To Minor League Deals

KANSAS CITY, MO (December 11, 2012) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed three additional players to minor league contracts for the 2013 season.  The club plans to announce Major League Spring Training invitations at a later date.

Left-handed pitcher George Sherrill, 35, is 19-17 with 56 saves and a 3.77 ERA in 442 career Major League appearances, all in relief, for the Mariners (2004-07, 2012), Orioles (2008-09), Dodgers (2009-10) and Braves (2011).  The 2008 American League All-Star made just two appearances for Seattle in 2012 before undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left elbow on May 4.  Born and raised in Tennessee, the current Utah resident has held left-handed batters to a .186 batting average in his Major League career.

Dan Wheeler, who turned 35 on Monday, is 25-43 with a 3.98 ERA in 589 outings over a 13-year Major League career for the Rays (1999-2001, 2007-10), Mets (2003-04), Astros (2004-07), Red Sox (2011) and Indians (2012).  Born in Rhode Island but now living in Florida, Wheeler split the 2012 campaign between the Cleveland Indians and Triple-A Columbus.

Outfielder Willy Taveras, who will turn 31 on Christmas Day, is a seven-year Major League veteran who has compiled a .274 career average with 195 stolen bases for the Astros (2004-06), Rockies (2007-08), Reds (2009) and Nationals (2010).  The Dominican Republic resident led the National League with 68 stolen bases in 75 attempts for Colorado in 2008.  Taveras is currently batting .280 with eight stolen bases in 39 games for Obregon in the Mexican Winter League.

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Royals Ink Seven Minor Deals

Royals Sign Seven Players To Minor League Contracts For 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO (December 1, 2011) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has signed seven players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season, including re-signing right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and infielder Jamie Romak, who both played in the organization in 2011.

Left-handed pitcher Marlon Arias, 27, currently is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in five relief outings with Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League. Arias last pitched professionally in 2009 for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, reaching the Triple-A level with Albuquerque. He is 31-19 in his minor league career with a 5.19 ERA in 100 games, including 75 starts. The 6-foot-3, 168-pounder from Bani, Dominican Republic was signed by the Dodgers as a non-drafted free agent on March 11, 2003.

30-year-old left-handed pitcher Tommy Hottovy, a native of Kansas City, Mo., and current Parkville, Mo., resident, received his first taste of the big leagues in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox, appearing in eight contests. The 6-foot, 195-pounder also pitched at Portland (AA) and Pawtucket (AAA) last season, combining for a 2-0 record with a 2.47 ERA in 32 relief stints. Hottovy graduated from Park Hill South High (Kansas City, Mo.) and attended Wichita State University before being selected by the Red Sox in the third round in 2004. He is currently pitching for Aguilas in the Dominican Winter League and is 0-0 with one save and a 3.52 ERA in 12 appearances.

Zach Miner, 29, was re-signed by the Royals after splitting his 2011 campaign between Northwest Arkansas (AA) and Omaha (AAA). He began the season in extended spring training as he continued his recovery from Tommy John surgery on May 28, 2010. Miner made his debut with the Naturals on May 16 and was 1-6 with a 7.16 ERA in 11 starts before going 2-1 with a save and a 1.59 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Omaha down the stretch. Miner has made 157 career Major League outings, including 35 starts, for the Tigers from 2006-09. The Royals initially signed him as a minor league free agent on January 3, 2011.

27-year-old infielder Tony Abreu spent his entire 2011 season with Triple-A Reno in the Arizona organization. Playing mostly second base and shortstop, the switch-hitter batted .292 (141-for-483) with 26 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 72 RBI and 83 runs scored in 120 games. The 5-foot-9, 200-pounder appeared in the Major Leagues for parts of three seasons with the Dodgers (2007, ’09) and D’Backs (2010), hitting .251 in 146 games while playing second, short and third base. The Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic resident missed the entire 2008 season after having hip surgery.

Infielder Eric Duncan, 27, hit .274 (96-for-351) with 21 doubles, a career-best 22 home runs and 62 RBI in 103 games with Springfield (AA) in the St. Louis Cardinals system in 2011. The former first-round pick of the New York Yankees in 2003 played first base, second base, third base and left field last season. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder is a left-handed hitter and resides in West Orange, N.J.

26-year-old Jamie Romak has re-signed with the Royals after serving as the first baseman and designated hitter with Northwest Arkansas in 2011, batting .251 (110-for-439) with 21 doubles, 23 home runs and 71 RBI in 123 games. The 6-foot-3, 225-pounder from London, Ontario, Canada, helped Team Canada to the Gold medal at the Pan-Am Games this fall. He originally signed with the Royals as a minor league free agent on October 24, 2010.

Infielder Sharlon Schoop, 24, spent the entire 2011 campaign with Double-A Richmond in the Giants system, batting .218 (45-for-206) in 80 games. The middle infielder and right-handed hitter is a native of Willemstad, Curacao, and competed in the 2009 World Baseball Classic for the Netherlands. Schoop, 6-foot-2 and 191 pounds, originally signed with the San Francisco on March 30, 2004.

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Royals sign Arias, Hottovy

KANSAS CITY, MO – Baseball America reported this weekend that the Kansas City Royals have signed two left-handed pitchers, Marlon Arias andTommy Hottovy, to minor league contracts for the 2012 season.

Arias, a 27-year old from Bani, Dominican Republic, hasn’t appeared professionally in the United States since becoming a free agent after the 2009 season. He played his first five professional seasons in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization but has made just five appearances above the Double-A level. Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Dodgers in 2003, his career minor league record stands at 31-19 with a 5.19 ERA in 100 career appearances, including 75 starts. This off-season, Arias is pitching for Estrellas de Oriente in the Dominican Winter League, allowing one run in three innings over five appearances. Arias pitched a nine-inning no-hitter in 2007 with the Advanced Class-A Inland Empire 66ers.

Hottovy is a 30-year old southpaw from the Kansas City area that, up until last season was primarily a Double-A veteran. A former starter coverted to a relief role, the sidewinding lefty posted a 1.93 ERA in eight Double-A relief outings with Portland (ME), then was called up to the Boston Red Sox after posting a 2.75 ERA in 24 outings with Triple-A Pawtucket. He made his big league debut on June 3rd and appeared eight times out of the Red Sox bullpen. The former Wichita State product was the Red Sox’ fourth-round selection in the 2004 draft. He has been a teammate of current Naturals’ lefty Andrew Dobies during their time in the Red Sox’ system. Like Arias, Hottovy has been pitching winter ball, posting a 3.52 ERA in 12 outings for Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Winter League.

Hottovy will be among the Royals’ invites to spring training and will have the opportunity to compete for a spot in the Royals’ bullpen, while Arias could be a candidate to see time in the Texas League next season.

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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Royals Re-sign Seven Players To Minor League Contracts For 2012

Royals Re-sign Seven Players To Minor League Contracts For 2012

KANSAS CITY, MO (October 27, 2010) — The Kansas City Royals announced today that the club has re-signed seven players to minor league contracts for the 2012 season.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Dobies, 28, was signed by the Royals on July 22, 2011 from the Somerset Patriots of the Independent Atlantic League. Dobies was 1-1 with a 5.89 ERA in 12 relief appearances for Northwest Arkansas (AA).

24-year-old left-handed pitcher Edgar Osuna spent the entire 2011 campaign with Northwest Arkansas, posting a 6-4 record and 7.89 ERA in 14 games, including 11 starts, missing over two months with a shoulder injury. The native of Mazatlan, Mexico, was the Royals’ Rule 5 selection in 2009.

Right-handed pitcher Mario Santiago, 26, split 2011 between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha (AAA), combining for an 8-4 record with a 3.70 ERA in 35 games (11 starts). Santiago is currently pitching for Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Winter League, where he has a 2.70 ERA in two starts.

Catcher Cody Clark, 30, played in 51 regular season games for the Pacific Coast League champion Omaha Storm Chasers, batting .233 with 12 doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI.

28-year-old infielder Irving Falu hit .301 with 10 doubles, nine triples, two home runs, 47 RBI, 50 runs and 21 stolen bases in 111 games for Omaha in 2011. The versatile switch hitter played second, third, short and right field for the Storm Chasers.

Infielder John Whittleman, 24, was acquired by the Royals from the Texas Rangers on March 25, 2011 for a player to be named or cash. The right-handed hitter batted .234 with 20 home runs and 68 RBI for Wilmington (Class A Advanced) in 2011, ranking tied for third in the Carolina League in homers and seventh in RBI.

26-year-old outfielder Paulo Orlando spent time at both Omaha and Northwest Arkansas this season, combining to hit .268 with 15 doubles, 12 triples, five home runs, 51 RBI and 54 runs scored. The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, was acquired from the Chicago White Sox on August 9, 2008 in for Horacio Ramirez.

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Escobar’s Forgotten Affair

The Royals faithful know of Alcides Escobar’s resurgence of late at the plate (.419 in his last dozen games). They know that he is one of the best shortstops in the Show; and adding a bat to that glove, his value to the Royals skyrockets. Ned Yost saw the potential all year and continued to let Escobar bat in the lineup every day. He refused to replace Escobar late in games with a better hitter so that he could get late-game hitting experience and stay in games longer. Royals fans know all of this.

Photo Courtesy of Minda Haas

They don’t know about Alcides’ scandalous past.

In their defense, the story hasn’t been discussed in a couple of years and, at the time, was focused on a AA Brewers prospect. But now that he’s playing for their team, Royals fans should know who they’re rooting for.

In 2009, Escobar’s wife Leury came out with big allegations against her new husband. As a disclaimer, the following story is told only from her side of things. The only statements made from Alcides have come through his former Venezualan team’s PR man, whose only defense for him was that he pays child support and that his wife is covered under MLB’s insurance policy. No news has come out in years relating to this, so we can’t know if anything has changed.

Using several sources who publicized these events (many of them Leury’s personal accounts), this is a reconstruction of Alcides Escobar’s ugly relationship with his wife.

* * * * *

In 2008, current Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was married to Leury Moreno, daughter of 1979 World Champion and 1985 Royal Omar Moreno. Soon after they were married, it was discovered that Leury was pregnant. The new couple was excited, buying new things for their baby as they prepared to be a family.

In October of 2008, Alcides left to play winter league ball with the Cardenales in Venezuela. Leury says this was the turning point in their relationship.

Being a US citizen, Leury couldn’t easily visit her husband in Venezuela. So one day, she called to check up on Alcides, who handed the phone to his mistress, who proceeded to badmouth her about her looks and how her relationship with Alcides was over. Leury continued to get calls and texts from her husband and his lover. Things got so bad that Alcides once told his wife that he had only married her for a green card. He wasn’t even in attendance when his daughter Gabriella was born prematurely. (Fortunately, she was born relatively healthy.)

Leury claims that Alcides was kicked off his Venezuelan team for bad conduct and that his family wants nothing to do with him.

At one point, Alcides apologized to Leury and said he still loved her and wanted her to visit him in Venezuela. But when she and her daughter arrived, they were met with divorce papers. Leury refused and went back home.

She is now a fashion designer in Florida. As far as anyone knows, he has only seen her and his kid once since he left them in 2008. He is now playing Major League ball in Kansas City for $428,000 this year.

* * * * *

Again, I don’t want to trash Alcides Escobar if he has made up for what he’s done. If he has, it wasn’t publicized. If not, Royals fans should at least have this story in the back of their heads when they hear about the guy.

Postscript: You can hit me up at my Cardinals site or Twitter.

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