06 April 2013

Royal legacy -- the new #29, the 2012 Royals (72-90)

OK, we're up to date. The countdown to this point:

1. 1985 Royals
2. 1980 Royals
3. 1977 Royals
4. 1976 Royals
5. 1978 Royals
6. 1984 Royals
7. 1981 Royals
8. 1975 Royals
9. 1982 Royals
10. 1989 Royals
11. 1979 Royals
12. 1973 Royals
13. 1971 Royals
14. 1994 Royals
15. 1988 Royals
16. 1987 Royals
17. 1993 Royals
18. 2003 Royals
19. 1991 Royals
20. 1972 Royals
21. 1995 Royals
22. 1974 Royals
23. 1983 Royals
24. 1990 Royals
25. 1986 Royals
26. 1992 Royals
27. 2000 Royals

28. 2011 Royals
29. 2012 Royals***
30. 2008 Royals 

31. 1996 Royals
32. 1969 Royals
33. 2007 Royals
34. 1998 Royals
35. 1999 Royals
36. 1970 Royals
37. 1997 Royals
38. 2009 Royals
39. 2010 Royals 

40. 2001 Royals 
41. 2002 Royals
42. 2006 Royals
43. 2004 Royals
44. 2005 Royals

The Royals finished a game better in 2012 than they did in 2011, and finished third instead of fourth, but I still slotted them just behind their 2011 counterparts. There was just something missing in 2012. It was the injuries, the sophomore slumps, the fact that the front office brashly marketed 2012 as "Our Time" when the team was coming off another 91-loss season and hadn't proven itself quite yet. The team had pieces in place -- young pieces at that -- but the only stalwart part of the 2011 team was the bullpen. Offensive steadiness from Alex Gordon and Billy Butler was joined by up-and-coming seasons from Eric Hosmer and the late surge of Salvador Perez, but OF surprise Melky Cabrera got shipped to San Francisco in the big Dayton Moore trade of the offseason with the idea of Lorenzo Cain taking over CF. A dismal starting rotation only got a dose of control-deficient lefty Jonathan Sanchez, tho midseason pickup Felipe Paulino had pitched well in 2011 and Danny Duffy was getting worked into regular action with the organization hoping he would take a step forward in 2012. Rather than do any more to shore up the offense or the rotation, the Royals' philosophy going into 2012 seemed to be let's add a couple more bullpen pieces and cross our fingers that the young guys continue to improve and stay healthy. Hey, they had momentum and 2012 was the year the All-Star Game returned to KC for the first time since the '70s, they expanded the playoffs by a couple teams...surely the stars were aligning in the Royals' favor, right? No dice there, KC. For that reason I put 2012 behind the promising 2011, but ahead of the pitching-richer, offense-lacking 2008 squad. As Royals fans harbor hopes for 2013 relevance, it should be noted that Dayton Moore has yet to post a season that has ranked in the top half of this countdown, and he's been here since mid-2006.

The Royals ended 2011 with a winning September, then made the Melky trade, picked up setup guy Jonathan Broxton and bullpen piece Jose Mijares, but really didn't add any more impact guys to the mix. The first big blow to "Our Time" came in the spring when closer Joakim Soria, who had finished a 2011 season that was more Clark Kent than his prior Superman work, came up with an elbow injury that required the Red Badge of Pitching Courage -- Tommy John Surgery. Within the first couple weeks of the season, Cain suffered a groin injury making a great catch in center and would have problems getting healthy (he played only 61 games), and within a short time of each other in June, Duffy and Paulino both suffered their own elbow injuries that required TJS. The guys Moore tried to add to the mix -- C Humberto Quintero, OF Jason Bourgeois, the return of IF Yuniesky Betancourt like a vampire rising from the grave to suck the life out of the offense, utility guy Tony Abreu -- didn't work out. The bullpen was once again great but the rotation was even worse than in 2011. "Our Time" had fallen apart by June and became a punchline.

An offense that had been top 5 in many categories in 2011 really lost some of its shine in 2012 despite finishing top 5 in the AL in doubles (3rd, 295), triples (2nd, 37), hits (3rd, 1,492) and batting average (4th, .265). The team OBP dropped 12 points to .317 for 8th in the 14-team AL, and slugging dropped 15 points to a 10th place .400 mark. The team OPS of .716 was also 8th in the league. Kansas City was decidely anemic in runs (676, 12th), homers (broken record, 131, 13th), walks (404, 14th and dead last, but Moore 'knows the importance of OBP'), and strikeouts (1,032, also last). Pitching was an equally dismal landscape as the team's 4.30 ERA was 10th in the league, the staff gave up a 13th place 1,504 hits, walked 540 batters for 12th, and finished with a 13th place 1.41 WHIP (9 thousandths ahead of last place Cleveland). The .673 team defensive efficiency rating (tracking the number of balls in play turned into outs) was dead last in the league and this time was joined by a league-worst .981 fielding percentage.

If 2011 was the year for Alex Gordon to bask in the spotlight, then 2012 belonged to DH Billy Butler. He posted career high power and RBI numbers, got some well-deserved national pub and following for his hitting prowess, and his supporters ignited a firestorm of sorts by standing up for him at the All-Star Game. They booed Robinson Cano into an embarrassing appearance in the Home Run Derby as Billy got passed over for participation in the derby by Cano, who had made casual assurances Billy would be included. Overall Billy hit .313 (his third season over .300)/.373/.510 (career high)/.882 (career high, 140 OPS+), with 192 hits (led team), 32 doubles, 29 HR (career high, led team) and 107 RBI (led team). His performance would earn him a Silver Slugger. LF Gordon wasn't as stellar as he was in 2011 but put together another good season en route to his second straight Gold Glove. Gordon's line was .294/.368/.455/.822 (125 OPS+) and he added 93 runs scored (led team), 189 hits, 51 doubles (led league), 5 triples, 14 HR, 72 RBI, 10 SB and 73 BB/140 K (both leading team). In the outfield, he led the league in putouts in left for a second straight year and also led all AL left fielders with 17 assists to earn the Gold Glove. The only other regular with an above-average offensive season was C Salvador Perez, as the Royals would cut loose Quintero mid-season to make room for on the 25-man. Perez hit .301/.328/.471/.798 with 16 2B, 11 HR, and 39 RBI in 76 games. When healthy, Cain wasn't awful at .266/.316/.419/.734, and Falu came off the bench to hit .341/.371/.435/.806, including a triple for his first MLB hit, but only got in 24 games. After that there wasn't much to brag about. SS Alcides Escobar's 2nd KC season saw him hit .293 with a .721 OPS and he led the team again with 7 triples and 35 SB. He added 30 doubles but also drew only 27 BB with 100 K. 3B Mike Moustakas was next as he hit .242/.296/.412/.708 but did club 34 doubles (second on the team) and 20 HR (also second) with 73 RBI (also a distant second to Butler) while providing serviceable defense at third. It was a year of what could have been for Mike as he struggled to a .586 OPS over the last 70 games. He posted a .909 OPS in April but wouldn't crack .700 after June. Next on the OPS ranks for KC was actually 2B Chris Getz, who hit .275 with a .672 OPS over 64 games while sharing time with Falu and Johnny Giavotella (paltry .574 OPS with .238 BA in a 53-game failed audition). 1B Eric Hosmer couldn't build on 2011 as he ground out a .232/.304/.359/.663 line (82 OPS+) with 22 doubles, 14 HR, 16 SB, 56 BB/95 K. His patience at the plate and eye give me hope that the local media is right in comparing his second year to that .675 OPS blip in the radar of Carlos Beltran in 2000. So far, so good in 2013. OFs Jarrod Dyson and Jeff Francouer weren't far behind Hosmer with OPS numbers of .650 and .665, respectively. Dyson stole 30 bases in 102 games while filling the hole left by Cain, and Francoeur returned to a sub-.300 OBP but cranked out 45 extra-base hits. He only drove in 49 runs tho in 148 games. The bench had little to offer as Betancourt hit for a .656 OPS in 57 games, Quintero's .598 OPS made him an easy cut for Perez, C Brayan Pena did no better with a .583 OPS, and Abreu filled in at several positions while posting a .641 OPS in 22 games. Bourgeois posted a .626 OPS as 4th OF.

It was a strange and unsettling year in the Royals rotation. Paulino led the way by going 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and 1.22 WHIP with 3 HRA and 15 BB/39 K in 7 starts and 37 2/3 IP before hurting his elbow. Duffy was 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA and 1.59 WHIP with 2 HRA and 18 BB/28 K in 6 starts and 27 2/3 IP, before hurting his elbow. 2011 leader Bruce Chen faltered in 2012 to go 11-14 with a 5.07 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 33 HRA, 47 BB/140 K in 34 starts and 191 2/3 IP. Young lefty Will Smith went 6-9 with a 5.32 ERA in his first extended MLB look and put up a 1.61 WHIP with 12 HRA and 33 BB/59 K in 16 starts and 89 2/3 IP. Luke Hochevar also had another sub-par season at 8-16 with a 5.73 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2 CG (the only KC pitcher to have one), a shutout, 27 HRA, and 61 BB/144 K in 32 starts and 185 1/3 IP. The worst starter, however, was new addition Sanchez, who made no indication of being happy to be in KC and went 1-6 with a 7.76 ERA, 2.04 WHIP, 8 HRA, 44 BB/36 K in 12 starts and 53 1/3 IP. He went down to AAA midseason then actually helped the Royals most by being a trade chip that brought in Rockies SP Jeremy Guthrie. Guthrie would be the best Royals starter in 2012 in going 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9 HRA, 19 BB/56 K in 14 starts and 91 IP. Luis Mendoza was marginal at 8-10 with a 4.23 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 15 HRA, 59 BB/104 K in 30 appearances (25 starts) and 166 IP. With the injuries in the rotation several other pitchers got a shot but none could step up. The void left by Soria's injury in the bullpen meant that Broxton became the closer instead of the 8th inning set up guy that was in place, but he responded. He went 1-2 with a 2.27 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 23 SV, 1 HRA, 14 BB and 25 K in 35 IP. It wasn't like Soria in his prime, but good enough to allow KC to trade him to the Reds for a couple prospects and hand the closer role back to Greg Holland, who did well there in 2011. Holland went 7-4 with 16 SV, a 2.96 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 2 HRA, 34 BB/91 K in 67 IP. Mijares added a 2-2 mark with a 2.56 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 3 HRA, 13 BB/37 K in 38 2/3 IP before the Royals let him go to the Giants via waivers. Kelvin "Absolute Zero" (haven't given up on that nickname) Herrera generated a good first season of numbers at 4-3 with a 2.35 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3 SV, 4 HRA, 21 BB/77 K in 84 1/3 IP; Tim Collins posted a 3.36 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 8 HRA, 34 BB/93 K in 69 2/3 IP; Aaron Crow had a 3.48 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 22 BB/65 K in 64 2/3 IP; Louis Coleman put up a 3.71 ERA and 1.31 WHIP but allowed 10 HR with 65 K in 51 IP; and Nate Adcock had a 2.34 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 34 2/3 IP. The only other contributor was former RotF report staple Everett Teaford, who had a 4.99 ERA and 1.45 WHIP in 61 1/3 IP.

There would be no hot start in 2012 and the Royals didn't spend one day in first place in the AL Central. They started the season 3-2, then rattled off a 12-game losing streak, including their first 10 at the K. That start helped them to a 6-15 April, but they would post winning records 3 of the next 4 months. They went 15-13 in May, and 14-13 in June but hung around 6 games back of the division lead. After the injuries to Paulino and Duffy in June, a 7-19 July pretty much finished off their playoff hopes and dropped them 13 1/2 games back. Behind Guthrie, the team would go 17-11 in August but were still 13 games out at month's end. There would be no September surge in '12 as KC posted a 12-17 mark to stumble to a third-place finish, 16 games out. The team was 2 games better at home than on the road. Attendance was similar to 2011 at 1.7 million at the K, but that mark was two spots better for 10th in the AL.

The Royals pretty much held pat as far as major transactions go through most of the 2012 season. In June, they drafted U of San Francisco righty Kyle Zimmer with the 5th overall pick, then added Vandy lefty Sam Selman in round 2, Louisiana HS lefty Colin Rodgers in round 3, Stanford SS Kenny Diekroger in round 4 and Illinois HS C Chad Johnson in round 5. In July the major moves started with the trade of Sanchez to Colorado for Guthrie, then Broxton was sent to the Reds for two prospects. Betancourt was released in August and that was it for regular season moves. Moore began working on the 2013 Royals by trading a minor league P for Angels starter Ervin Santana and resigning Guthrie as a free agent in November. The big move came on Dec. 9, 2012, when top overall prospect OF Wil Myers, P prospects Mike Montgomery and Jake Odorizzi and SS prospect Patrick Leonard were jettisoned to Tampa Bay in exchange for starter James Shields, P Wade Davis, who the Royals would try to convert back to a starter, and later, IF Elliot Johnson. Other role players were added here and there as usual. Moore was content to enter 2013 with an improved rotation on paper and what looks to be another strong bullpen, but held the line on the offense. The Royals responded with the best record in the Cactus League in the spring and a middling early going of the regular season. We'll see what 2013 brings. 

2011 Pipeline Royals MVP -- Billy Butler. "Country Breakfast" is becoming one of the all-time nicknames for Royals and Billy continues to back up the rep he had coming out of high school as a hitter. Anyone following the early days of the Royals on the Farm reports on this site can say they've tracked his progress through the system, so we all knew what Billy could do at the plate. It was nice to see the rest of the country get the picture too.

2011 Pipeline Royals LVP -- C'mon, it's gotta be Jonathan Sanchez here, right? Though how worthless can he be if he brought in Guthrie in trade? Nah, I'll stick with Sanchez. We'd seen glimpses of what he could do with the Giants but I think it was pretty clear he wanted no part of KC and by about May, KC wanted no part of him either. Here he is at right, wondering where it all went wrong.

Here are your 2012 Royals....

05 April 2013

Royal legacy -- the new #28, the 2011 Royals (71-91)

In case you've forgotten, or not looked down and to the right on the main page of the blog, here's the countdown to this point:

1. 1985 Royals
2. 1980 Royals
3. 1977 Royals
4. 1976 Royals
5. 1978 Royals
6. 1984 Royals
7. 1981 Royals
8. 1975 Royals
9. 1982 Royals
10. 1989 Royals
11. 1979 Royals
12. 1973 Royals
13. 1971 Royals
14. 1994 Royals
15. 1988 Royals
16. 1987 Royals
17. 1993 Royals
18. 2003 Royals
19. 1991 Royals
20. 1972 Royals
21. 1995 Royals
22. 1974 Royals
23. 1983 Royals
24. 1990 Royals
25. 1986 Royals
26. 1992 Royals
27. 2000 Royals

28. 2011 Royals ***
29. 2008 Royals 

30. 1996 Royals
31. 1969 Royals
32. 2007 Royals
33. 1998 Royals
34. 1999 Royals
35. 1970 Royals
36. 1997 Royals
37. 2009 Royals
38. 2010 Royals
39. 2001 Royals 

40. 2002 Royals
41. 2006 Royals
42. 2004 Royals
43. 2005 Royals

Blowing the dust off the blog means updating the Legacy Countdown, and to do that we must first revisit 2011. One of the most unfortunate things of being a 21st century Royals fan is the fact the years kinda run and blend together....a big oil spill of baseball mediocrity (and that's talking Royals baseball at its best over that time). A good proving point is that the 71-91 mark the Royals posted in 2011 is arguably the second best post-2000 season in team annals. I shelved the 43rd season of Royals baseball between the offensive floodlight/pitching nightlight that was the 2000 Royals and a 2008 squad that finished 4 games better than the 2011 team, but did so with an older, less promising group of guys all in all. It could be said, should the Royals' core of youth become a perennial AL Central contender, that 2011 showed the first glimpses of said future. But at this general point in time, should a baseball-psychopathic home invader enter my home and hold me at gunpoint with a command to tell him or her what I know about the 2011 Kansas City Royals, I probably could come up with the solid rookie season from Eric Hosmer, the (at last) emergence of Alex Gordon and the delightful surprise of Melky Cabrera (tho knowing what we know now, was that legit? perhaps a topic for another day, or later in the post at least). Pitching? I would be at a loss. Record? I could say....'I think KC finished strong (thinking to myself...safe guess in recent years)??? and I know one of these seasons they had a decent first month, was 2011 it?' Perhaps it would be enough to persuade that home invader to calmly and quietly leave my house and my health intact, tho the concept is decidedly absurd. Let's take a trip back to 2011.

After a trip back to the AL Central cellar in 2010 the Royals would rebound to a mighty return to 4th in the division, sooo it was another year without much baseball fever in the City of Fountains. It marked the first full campaign of Yostball in Kansas City as NASCAR-lovin' Ned Yost rode the momentum of his 17-games-below-.500 partial 2010 season into 2011. The Royals never did get any mojo rising in '10 as they won only 10 games in two of the last 3 full months of the season. Moore spent the dog days of summer sloughing off veterans for prospects (Callaspo, Ankiel, Farnsworth) or just to get them off the roster (Guillen, marking an end to an opposite-of-remarkable run in KC). The first big move of the 2010-11 offseason was bidding farewell to local favorite (tho I can't say I ever got it) OF David DeJesus in a deal to the A's for two minor league pitchers. In his continuing quest for ex-Braves with great OBPs, Moore inked OFs Jeff Francoeur (fresh off a .293 OBP overall in 2010, though to be fair he had good stints with the Mets and Rangers that season) and Melky Cabrera (coming off an uninspiring .317 OBP/.671 OPS season in the ATL) in December. The move to trump all Dayton Moore moves came 9 days after the Cabrera signing when KC shipped Yuniesky Betancourt and ace pitcher/malcontent Zack Greinke to Milwaukee for slap-hitty SS Alcides Escobar, OF prospect Lorenzo Cain, Brewers top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi and closer prospect Jeremy Jeffress. The trade instantly gave the Royals a viable starting SS candidate for the first time since perhaps Jay Bell in the '90s, along with a decent haul of young promising talent, for a moveable-part infielder and a good pitcher who wanted nothing more to do with Royal blue. Two years later it's hard to argue the Royals lost in the deal. Moore gave P Jeff Francis a shot at reclaiming his past effectiveness with a January signing, and then ended the 2011 spring by bringing in C Matt Treanor from Texas.

The Royals' team numbers showed a middle-of-the-pack offense backed by a lackluster pitching staff. We've seen this movie before since 2000, and it has churned out sequels like a bad horror franchise. Tho this year's version may be the other way around. Jury is out, and Friday's effort sure is a strike against it. Kansas City was top 5 in the AL in all but three categories offensively back in 2011, including first in triples (41), second in SB (158) and doubles (325), third in hits, fourth in batting average (.274) and fifth in OBP (.329), slugging (.415) and OPS (.744). As usual, they were low on the leaderboard in HR (129, 11th) and walks (442, 11th). The Mr. Hyde to that Dr. Jekyll performance was the pitching staff's placing in the bottom half of the league in all categories, including 12th in ERA (4.44), WHIP (1.41) and runs allowed, issuing the most walks in the league (the only AL team to crack 550) and finishing next to last in team shutouts with 6 all season (none individual). Defensively they weren't much better with a defensive efficiency rating of .687 that was 11th in the league, but the picture was buoyed by a third-best in the AL fielding percentage of .985.

A good offensive season all-in-all was led by the play of LF Alex Gordon, who posted a .303/.376/.502 line for an .879 OPS (140 OPS+) with 45 doubles and 23 HR (leading team), 87 RBI (in a three-way tie for second on the team), 101 runs scored, and 67 walks (leading the team). Topping it off, he earned his first Gold Glove in left and led the league in OF assists with 20. Four other regulars posted OPS numbers above the league average but the remaining four were well below that same average. 1B/DH Billy Butler continued his consistent output with his third-straight year well above the league average. He posted a .291/.361/.461/.822 line (for a 125 OPS+) with 44 2B, 19 HR, 95 RBI (leading team), and 66 walks. CF Melky Cabrera was next in line with a .305 (leading team)/.339/.470/.809 (121 OPS+) for a career best to that point. Before I go on, this is pure speculation, but if you're Melky Cabrera, where best to go to lay low, do what you need to do PED-wise and build your career back up than KC? No media scrutiny to beware and, should you, ohhhhhh, post career best numbers, the fans love you and want to keep you around with no questioning the turnaround. They're just glad to have the production. At that point, the team ships you to a bigger better market (team wise) in the name of improving the pitching staff (or trying to anyway) and the KC fans understand. Should the team catch wind of any unsavory associations, they can trade you off in the offseason, wish you well and watch you get nailed the next season for PEDs. Tell me it doesn't make sense. Anyway, Melky led the team in runs scored (102) and hits (201) with 44 doubles, 18 HR, 87 RBI, and 20 SB, plus threw in 13 assists in CF (2nd in the AL at the position), so one of Moore's patented Braves Salvage projects paid off. Following behind was Braves Salvage project #2, RF Jeff Francoeur, who hit .285/.329/.476/.805 (a career best for a full season and 119 OPS+), with a team-leading 47 2B, 20 HR, 87 RBI, and 22 SB (his only season with more than 8). He also added 16 assists in RF to lead the AL at that position. The last overachiever among the Royals offense in 2011 was 1B Hosmer, who forced his way to the bigs by raking at Omaha and, in 128 games with KC, hit .293/.334/.465/.799 (118 OPS+) with 27 2B, 19 HR, and 78 RBI. After that the offense fell off the table. 3B Mike Moustakas split time with Wilson Betemit (who posted a respectable .750 OPS for a 108 OPS+ before getting shipped out in trade) and had a less than stellar first taste of MLB with a .675 OPS (86 OPS+) and only 5 HR in 89 games. Treanor and Brayan Pena split catching duties and posted OPS numbers of .658 and .625, respectively. SS Escobar made his KC debut and posted a line of .254/.290/.343/.633 (74 OPS+) and led the team with 8 3B and 26 SB. Then there was 2B Chris Getz's unremarkable .600 OPS with 9 XBH in 118 games. Otherwise, IF Mike Aviles got hurt early, posted a .656 OPS in 53 games, then got shipped out midseason as the odd man out in the infield shuffle. 2B Johnny Giavotella got his shot and posted a subpar .649 OPS in 46 games, C Salvador Perez also got his shot and fared much better with an .834 OPS in 39 games, and 1B Kila Ka'aihue got his final shot with the team, provided an early walkoff shot, then hit .195 with a .612 OPS in 23 games and that was it.

Once you got over 70 innings pitched for the Royals in 2011, the numbers got somewhat ugly. Among starters, lefty Bruce Chen led the way with a 12-8 mark (leading the team in wins, which tells the story), 3.77 ERA (108 ERA+), 1.30 WHIP, 1 CG, 50 BB/97 K and 18 HRA in 25 starts and 155 IP. May acquisition starter Felipe Paulino was the other starting "bright spot" at 4-6 with a 4.11 ERA (100 ERA+), 1.37 WHIP, 48 BB/119 K and 10 HRA in 20 starts and 124 2/3 IP. After that, mediocrity reigned. Luke Hochevar was 11-11 with a 4.68 ERA, 1.28 WHIP (ok, not awful), 62 BB/128 K, and 23 HRA in 31 starts and 198 IP. Salvage project Jeff Francis went 6-16 with a 4.82 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 1 CG, 39 BB/91 K, and 19 HRA in 31 starts and 183 IP. The fifth rotation slot was filled between Danny Duffy (4-8, 5.64 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 51 BB/87 K, 15 HRA in 20 starts and 105 1/3 IP) and Kyle Davies (1-9, 6.75 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, 26 BB/50 K, 7 HRA in 13 starts and 61 1/3 IP before finally drawing a merciful release from KC). The story of the year was the bullpen. The team's all-star was rookie high-drafted-starter-now-reliever Aaron Crow, who went 4-4 with a 2.76 ERA, 31 BB/65 K, 8 HRA and a 1.39 WHIP in 62 IP. Another up-and-comer, Louis Coleman, was 1-4 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 26 BB/64 K and 9 HRA in 59 2/3 IP. With Joakim Soria struggling to post relatively pedestrian numbers (for him anyway, 5-5, 4.03 ERA, 28 SV, 1.27 WHIP, 17 BB/60 K, 7 HRA in 60 1/3 IP) the closer door cracked open a little and Greg Holland made a late season assault on the role by going 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA, 4 SV, 0.93 WHIP, 19 BB/74 K, 3 HRA in 60 IP. KC also got decent set-up work from Blake Wood (5-3, 3.75 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 1 SV, 32 BB/62 K, 5 HRA in 69 2/3 IP), Tim Collins (4-4, 3.63 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 48 BB/60 K, 5 HRA in 67 IP) and Everett Teaford (2-1, 3.27 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 1 SV, 14 BB/28 K and 8 HRA in 44 IP). The only bullpen "blight" was Nate Adcock (4.62 ERA, 1.48 WHIP in 60 1/3 IP, so obviously not horrible) but two spot starters who more than struggled were Sean O'Sullivan (7.25 ERA, 1.78 WHIP in 58 1/3 IP) and Vin Mazzaro (8.26 ERA, 1.91 WHIP in 28 1/3 IP).

Thanks to a good start to the season the Royals actually spent a few brief days in first place in 2011. They dropped the season opener to Jered Weaver and the Angels but rebounded to win the next 4. They put together three early 4-game win streaks as they posted a 14-12 April and spent 6 days with at least a share of first place. Their peak was a 10-4 record but they would drop 10 of 12 in May. Another 11 of 13 skid carried over into July and dropped them to 34-50. The 14-win April would be their best month through the summer heat as they entered September 25 games below .500. With the help of the September call-ups they reeled off a 7-win surge as a 15-10 final month took them home to the 71-91 final mark. They did post a mediocre 34-37 second half W-L record, which was much better than their 17 games below .500 in the first half. They finished 24 games out of first. They drew 1.7 million fans to the 'new' K for an increase from 2010, but it was good for only 12th in the AL.

The Royals made no major acquisitions over the course of the season, but were somewhat active. They bought the rights to starter Felipe Paulino from Colorado in May and that paid off, then traded once-promising middle infielder Mike Aviles to Boston for two prospects in July. Wilson Betemit went to Detroit that same month for prospects. The lackluster 2010 season earned them the 5th pick in the June draft and they turned it into KS HS standout OF Bubba Starling, who would leave a Nebraska football scholarship behind to sign. HS catcher Cam Gallagher was the second round pick and then high school pitchers Bryan Brickhouse and Kyle Smith followed. Being that it was only 2 years ago and most of the high picks were high schoolers, none have really sniffed the majors yet. The Royals employed addition by subtraction in August by finally cutting Kyle Davies, then cut ties with Kila Ka'aihue by shipping him to Oakland in September. After the season, the first major move was the trade of Melky to San Francisco for sketchy but potentially good SP Jonathan Sanchez and RP Ryan Verdugo. At the time it was an intriguingly risky move for KC but it would soon head south once the 2012 season dawned. RP Jonathan Broxton was signed as a free agent in November with a mind of being the 8th inning guy to Soria's lockdown 9th. Dayton Moore's affection for Yuniesky Betancourt led to him being resigned in December and RP Jose Mijares would be a sneaky good get the next day. All in all, looking back at that offseason activity, Moore apparently felt the need -- after the pitching season I just detailed -- to add a risky 5th starter with potential to be a 3rd perhaps, and then add more relievers to a bullpen that was already one of the best parts of the team. And that's it. No even marginal major league ready offensive help. One sketchy starter to fill at least 3 if not 4 holes in the rotation, and two or three good relievers for the pen. How does this add up? I finished the 2010 post long, long ago with this quote from my 2007 countdown post: "I like to think maybe the franchise has come full circle -- the '07 record is the same as the first Royals' season record in '69, and by 1975 the Royals were a force to be reckoned with. So by that rationale, in 2013, we're golden, baby! Wait....maybe I don't like to think the franchise has come full circle. Five more years is a long time to wait. We might be waiting until 2013 at least." Now 2013 is here and it's off to a strange start. Even the experts are picking second place finishes for the Royals but we will see come August if this team is truly ready for prime time.

2011 Pipeline Royals MVP -- Alex Gordon. I'm not a big fan of Gordon personally, from a vibe perspective, but he put together quite the season in 2011. He's one of the few guys on the team who can work a walk, he has some pop in his bat, and you can't argue with the arm or the glove. Congrats on fulfilling your potential Alex. I think we were sold dreams of even better but that was probably unfair.

2011 Pipeline Royals LVP -- Tough decision to know where to go with this one. Getz the offensive liability? There are bad pitchers but most are mediocre. By default I'm gonna go with Sean O'Sullivan and Kyle Davies. Really they were just more victims of Moore tho. I'm not even gonna post their pics. Gettin'soft hearted in my old age.

Here are your 2011 Royals....

03 April 2013


Hello. After a year, I figured I'd drop in to check in with the 5 people who may read this, haha. We're two games into the 2013 season and that vaunted Royals offense is already paying dividends. Just as 2012 was 'Our Time' despite the fact Dayton Moore did nothing to upgrade the pitching staff, this year the media hype machine once again reeled in Royals fans with dreams of Royal pennant chases. Nevermind the fact that the team is still trotting out the same starting 9 that finished 12th in the AL in runs scored, 10th in SLG and 8th in OBP in 2012. The pitching staff was upgraded, yes, but at the cost of the top would-be position fill-in the Royals had at their disposal, plus their top rotation fill-in option. God knows the season is still young, so I hope I'm wrong, but what good does it do for 'Big Game' James Shields to hold the opposition to a frigid solo homer if the offense is stonewalled? The going was no better today in game 2, although Sox pitchers Chris Sale and Jake Peavy aren't exactly chopped liver out there. The offense did generate one run (the other run came thanks to 2 Chicago errors) but the team drew 1 walk and the franchise's newest high-draft-pick-now-reliever Luke Hochevar served up a longball to the first official 2013 batter he faced. Good times. Pay no attention to the fact that pick could have been Clayton Kershaw or Evan Longoria or Tim Lincecum.

As for the above video, I originally picked it because I'd thought it said "Is there anybody out there?" when actually the line in the song is "Is there anybody in there?" so I kind of blew that part. There is another track on "The Wall" called "Is There Anybody Out There?" but, let's face it, it doesn't match up with the guitar majesty of "Comfortably Numb". And comfortable numbness is kinda what led me to take a lengthy hiatus from this blog in the first place. So it comes full circle. And, if you're out there, thanks for reading once again.

06 April 2012

It's time

After much thought and with mixed feelings about the decision, I am calling it quits on the Royals on the Farm reports. It's not easy to stop after 6 1/2 years of chronicling the Royals' minor league action, but I think the timing is right. I remain a Royals fan and will continue to track the progress of up and comers but my commitment isn't at the point where I can do nightly reports and do them justice. I want to thank everyone who has read the blog over the years and the Royals fans that have hung in through a lot of lean times. Things are as optimistic for KC going into 2012 as they've been for the franchise since 1994, and if Dayton Moore can make any kind of headway in piecing together a starting rotation, they'll just get better. For that reason I don't see 2012 being the step forward some think it will be but we'll see. After the days of "Wait 'til '08" and "Wait 'til '11", maybe that target year will finally get here. I may still post and find motivation to keep the Legacy countdown going (that would have to start with a 2011 post) but time will tell. Again, thanks for reading and here's to better days for the Royals....

20 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/20 -- Not quite enough

Luis Mendoza with the win tonight for KC! Hope he can finish strong at the MLB level.

AAA - Omaha: Columbus 8, Storm Chasers 3

2B Zawadzki 2-4
RF Cain 1-4, BB, 3B, 2 RBI, RS
1B Whittleman 1-3, BB, RBI, 2 K
SS Falu 0-2, 3 BB, RS
LF Lough 1-5, RS
DH Ka'aihue 1-4, K
Omaha stranded 10.

O'Sullivan 3 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, BB, HRA, WP -- L, 0-1, 18.00 ERA
Lebron 3 IP, ER, 3 H, 4 K, WP
Sisk IP, H
Herrera IP, ER, H, K, HRA

* The best Omaha season in 21 years ended unfortunately Tuesday as the PCL champs couldn't keep the early momentum and the Clippers earned a second straight AAA Championship. Clippers SP Joe Martinez got off to a rough beginning as Lorenzo Cain ripped a 2-run triple and scored on a John Whittleman single to give Omaha a 3-0 lead. The Chasers stranded 2 in the 2nd and Sean O'Sullivan gave up a 2-out 3-run homer to C Luke Carlin to tie it in the bottom of the inning. Columbus scratched out 3 more runs in the 3rd and, after Willy Lebron took over in the 4th, another RBI single made it 7-3 Clippers. Omaha stranded 2 in both the 5th and 8th. Kelvin Herrera served up a solo homer to 1B Beau Mills in the 8th and the Chasers stranded 2 more in the 9th. Martinez went 7 innings before Chen Lee pitched the final 2 scoreless frames. 1B Clint Robinson didn't play in the game because of a sports hernia.

That's another season in the books, my sixth full season working up the reports. If you're reading it for the first time or the 500th time, thanks.

19 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/19

AAA - Omaha: off day

* The final Royals' minors game of the 2011 season will take place Tuesday in Albuquerque as Sean O'Sullivan starts for Omaha in the AAA Championship Game versus the Columbus Clippers (88-56, AAA Indians) and their starter, Mitch Talbot. Topeka native Jerad Head is a standout on the Clippers' roster, and also on the squad is former Omaha C Paul Phillips. Columbus won the AAA Championship Game in 2010.

16 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/16 -- Storm Chasers catch a title

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 11, Sacramento 6

2B Zawadzki 4-5, 2B (2), 3 RBI (5), RS -- .400
LF Lough 2-6, HR, 2 RBI (5), K, 2 RS -- .314
1B Ka'aihue 2-5, 2B (2), 2 RBI (8), 2 K, RS -- .214
SS Falu 2-5, 2B (2), RBI (4), 2 RS -- .286
DH Robinson 2-3, 2 BB, 2 2B (3), RS -- .385
C Pina 1-3, 2 BB, 2B (2), RBI (8), 2 RS -- .368
CF Dyson 1-5, BB, RBI (6), RS -- .212
RF Cain 0-4, HBP, K -- .438

Montgomery 5 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 6 K -- W, 1-0, 5.63 ERA, 94 pitches, good enough, ends season with good start
Pucetas 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, BB, K, WP -- 12.00 ERA
Miner IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB -- 3.60 ERA
Sisk 1 1/3 IP, 2 K -- 0.00 ERA
Herrera IP, ER, H, BB, HRA -- 1.80 ERA

* Omaha made it another year with a team title in the Royals' minors as they swept the RiverCats in Sacramento in Friday. Mike Montgomery stranded 2 in the 1st but Manuel Pina and Lance Zawadzki hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the 2nd to take the lead. Omaha left the bases loaded in the 3rd and then added 4 runs in the 5th on a Kila Ka'aihue RBI single, Irving Falu RBI double and 2-run Zawadzki single to make it 6-0. Montgomery stranded 2 more in the 5th, then handed the ball to Kevin Pucetas in the 6th. David Lough clubbed a 2-run homer in the 6th to give Pucetas an 8-0 lead. Things got a little shaky from there as Pucetas gave up 3 runs before getting pulled. An error and Jarrod Dyson RBI single made it 10-3 in the 7th, and Zach Miner allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the inning to cut it to 10-5. Ka'aihue doubled in a run in the 8th to keep the pressure on, and Kelvin Herrera gave up a leadoff homer in the 9th before finishing it. The win puts Omaha in the AAA Championship Game Tuesday in Albuquerque versus the Columbus Clippers (AAA Indians). Luis Mendoza was named PCL Postseason MVP to finish a great season, which I assume will actually continue with an MLB start or two.

No concrete plans at this point on how to finish up the season, since I've done all the stat wraps. I'll probably file one more report Tuesday, then may add a top prospects list later. In any event, thanks for reading this season.

15 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/15 -- one last off day

AAA - Omaha: off day

* Mike Montgomery will get a chance to close out the series with the start Friday in game 3.

14 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/14 -- Omaha makes best of home field

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 15, Sacramento 4

CF Dyson 4-6, 2B, HR, 4 RBI (5), 3 RS, SB -- .214
DH Robinson 3-5, BB, 2B, 2 RBI (5), RS -- .348
LF Lough 3-5, BB, 2B, 2 RBI (3), 3 RS -- .310
RF Cain 2-5, SF, 2B (3), RBI (4), 3 K, RS -- .500
SS Falu 2-4, S, 2B, RBI (3), 2 RS -- .261
3B Mertins 2-4, BB, RBI (2), 2 RS -- .333
C Pina 1-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI (7), K, RS -- .375
2B Zawadzki 1-5, RBI (2), 2 RS -- .200
1B Ka'aihue 0-5, 5 K -- .174, platinum sombrero?

Mazzaro 5 IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 2 K, HRA, WP -- W, 2-0, 3.97 ERA
Pucetas IP, ER, 2 H, BB -- 3.86 ERA
Sisk IP, 2 K -- 0.00 ERA
Miner IP, K -- 0.00 ERA
Castaneda IP, H, BB -- 0.00 ERA

* Hopefully Omaha saved some runs for the road trip to California. The Chasers shrugged off a 3-0 deficit early to drub the RiverCats Wednesday and take a 2-0 series lead. A 2-run homer was part of a 3-run 1st off Vin Mazzaro as the 'Cats took the lead. Lorenzo Cain hit a sac fly in the 1st and Lance Zawadzki singled in a run in the 2nd to quickly cut the lead to 3-2. With 2 out and 2 on in the 3rd, Omaha took command as Manuel Pina hit a 2-run single, an error scored a run and Kurt Mertins and Jarrod Dyson hit RBI singles to make it 7-3. Mazzaro left the bases loaded in the 4th and Kevin Pucetas allowed a run in the 6th. Clint Robinson singled in a run and Irving Falu squeeze bunted home a run in the 6th to make it 9-4. David Lough added a 2-run single and Robinson hit an RBI groundout as Omaha poured it on in the 7th. Dyson finished the scoring with a 3-run blast in the 8th for his 1st playoff homer. The teams have Thursday off before picking up Friday in Sacramento.

13 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/13 -- Omaha takes game 1

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 3, Sacramento 2

RF Cain 3-4, 3B (2), RBI (3) -- .522
SS Falu 1-4, RBI (2) -- .211
2B Zawadzki 1-4, 2B, RBI, K -- .200
LF Lough 1-4, RS -- .250
DH Robinson 0-2, 2 BB, K -- .278

Mendoza 7 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 BB, 8 K, HRA, WP -- W, 2-0, 1.29 ERA
Herrera 2 IP, 2 K -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA

* A back-and-forth game ended up going the way of the Chasers as Luis Mendoza picked up his 2nd 2011 playoff win. Omaha loaded the bases with 1 out in the 1st but only got a run on an Irving Falu single before leaving 'em loaded. The Chasers wasted a Lorenzo Cain leadoff triple in the 3rd, and Mendoza's fledgling no-hitter was broken up by a solo homer in the 4th. The RiverCats got a go-ahead RBI double in the 6th. Lance Zawadzki came through with a 2-out RBI double to tie it in the 6th, but was thrown out at third on the play to end the inning. Mendoza stranded 2 in the 7th and, after a 2-out David Lough single in the bottom of the inning, a Cain single scored Lough from first to make it 3-2 Omaha. Kelvin Herrera retired all 6 he faced to lock down the victory for the Chasers. Omaha leads the best-of-5, 1-0. Game 2 is Wednesday with Vin Mazzaro starting.

12 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/12

AAA - Omaha: off day

* Omaha will welcome the Sacramento RiverCats (88-56 reg. season, AAA A's) for the first game of the best-of-5 on Tuesday. Luis Mendoza will start. The teams split a 4-game set in the regular season with 4 narrow margins of victory.

11 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/11 -- Cougars done

Put me in the camp of people who can't believe it's already been 10 years since one horrible Tuesday. Thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of those killed in New York City, D.C. and Pennsylvania, and those who have lost their lives fighting the war on terror since that day. Rarely in my life have I felt as raw of emotions as I did around that time...I think it's silly to say "never forget" because if you were alive and cognizant on that day, how could you ever forget?

AAA - Omaha: off day

* Reno and Sacramento are headed to a cutthroat game 5 today, so the Chasers will know later who they'll face in Tuesday's game 1. The first 2 games are set for Omaha with games 3 (and 4 and 5, if necessary) at either the D-Backs or A's affiliate.

A - Kane County: Quad Cities 6, Cougars 5

C David 1-4, HR, RBI, 2 K, PB, RS -- .143
1B Kuebler 1-3, 3B, 2 RBI, K, RS -- .133
2B Franco 1-3, BB, HR (2), RBI (3), K, RS, CS -- .176
DH Espinal 0-2, SF, RBI, K -- .000
LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K -- .105
3B Cuthbert 0-4, 3 K -- .211
CF Eibner 0-3, BB, 2 K, RS, SB -- .176

J. Mitchell 8 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 4 H, 9 K, WP -- 1.13 ERA
Boruff 1/3 IP, 2 ER, H, BB, WP -- 13.50 ERA
A. Cruz 0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, HRA -- BS, 1, L, 0-1, 6.00 ERA, gave up walkoff 3-run homer

* Kane County snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as the 2011 season came to an abrupt end on Sunday. The Cougars had a 5-0 lead in the 8th with an eye on a Monday game 3, but it was not to be. Jason Mitchell had a great start, and got support from a 2nd inning solo homer by Kevin David and 3 runs in the 5th on a 2-run Jake Kuebler triple and Yowill Espinal sac fly. Angel Franco ripped a solo homer in the 8th for his 2nd of the playoffs and Mitchell had a 5-0 shutout going. An RBI double and run-scoring passed ball ended the shutout, but Chase Boruff was handed a 5-2 lead in the 9th. The Bandits had 1 out and a runner at third when Boruff allowed an RBI single and was yanked for Antonio Cruz. Cruz allowed a single, then served up a walkoff 3-run homer to CF Nicholas Longmire to end it.

10 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/10 -- Kila puts Omaha in PCL Champ Series

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 4, Round Rock 2 (10)

LF Lough 2-5 -- .250

1B Ka'aihue 1-3, BB, S, walkoff HR, 2 RBI (6), 2 RS -- .267, Ghostface!
3B Arias 1-3, BB, 2B (2), RBI, K -- .375
C Clark 1-4, RBI, 2 K -- .250
RF Cain 1-4, BB, 2B (2) -- .474
DH Robinson 1-4, BB, 2 RS -- .313

O'Sullivan 8 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 2 H, BB, 7 K, HRA -- 1.13 ERA

Sisk 2/3 IP, 2 BB, K -- 0.00 ERA
Pucetas 1 1/3 IP, K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

* Kila Ka'aihue used one swing of the bat to put Omaha in the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. Cody Clark singled in a run in the 2nd and Sean O'Sullivan took a perfect game into the 7th. Joaquin Arias doubled Ka'aihue home in the 6th to make it 2-0. O'Sullivan issued a walk in the 7th to spoil the perfecto but kept the no-hitter intact until 3B Luis Cruz tied it with a 2-run homer in the 8th. Kevin Pucetas stranded 2 in the 9th and, after a 1-out Clint Robinson walk in the 10th, Kila laid the Express to rest with a 2-run bomb off the right foul pole. Omaha moves on to the best-of-5 PCL Championship Series versus either Reno or Sacramento. Reno leads that series, 2 games to 1, going into game 4 today. The Championship Series will start Tuesday.

AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 9, Naturals 5

CF Orlando 3-4, K, 2 RS -- .333

2B Bianchi 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, RS, CS -- .286
DH Smith 1-4, HR, RBI (2), K, RS -- .200
C Eigsti 0-2, BB, RBI -- .000
SS Colon 1-5, E -- .067, not his best in the playoffs
RF Myers 0-3, HBP, 2 K, E -- .100, ditto

Jeffress 3 2/3 IP, 6 R (3 ER), 6 H, 3 BB, 3 K, HRA, 2 WP, E -- L, 0-1, 7.36 ERA, had a bad feeling it would go this way

Volz 1 1/3 IP, ER, 2 H, K, HRA, pickoff -- 2.25 ERA
Baumann 2 IP, H, 2 K -- 0.00 ERA
Dennick IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB -- 18.00 ERA
Dobies IP, BB -- 0.00 ERA

* And then there were 2. The NW Arkansas Naturals will not get a chance to repeat as Texas League champs, as Arkansas battered Jeremy Jeffress and didn't look back Saturday. Jeffress got out to a rough start as 3B Luis Jimenez hammered a 3-run homer in the 1st. NWA stranded 2 in the 3rd and the Travs chased Jeffress with a 3-run 4th. Tim Smith led off the Naturals 4th with his 1st playoff homer and a wild pitch and Jeff Bianchi groundout added runs to trim it to 6-3. Jimenez clubbed his 2nd homer of the game in the 5th off Kendal Volz. Bianchi hit an RBI double and Ryan Eigsti drove in a run with a groundout in the 6th to cut it to 7-5. Ryan Dennick gave up 2 RBI doubles in the 8th and the Naturals didn't threaten any further comebacks.

A - Kane County: Quad Cities 7, Cougars 0 (4-hitter)

3B Cuthbert 2-3 -- .267

CF Eibner 1-3 -- .214
SS Calixte 1-3 -- .167
LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K, assist at second -- .133

L. Perez 4 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, K, HRA -- L, 0-1, 9.00 ERA

Garrido 2 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, K -- 6.75 ERA
Carl 2 1/3 IP, ER, 3 H, 4 K -- 4.15 ERA

* It was all Bandits in Saturday's game 1 as SP Trevor Rosenthal pitched a complete-game shutout. Quad Cities got the only run they needed in the 2nd, then added 2 in the 3rd and 1 in the 4th. KC stranded 2 in the 2nd, and wouldn't threaten again. The Bandits polished it off with 2 in the 7th and 1 in the 9th. The series shifts to Quad Cities for Sunday's must-win game 2 for the Cougars. Jason Mitchell will start.

09 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/9 -- Judgment night: Cougars move on, Nats stay alive

Say what you will about Judgment Night, the Emilio Estevez/Cuba Gooding Jr./Denis Leary movie from the '90s, but that was a great soundtrack. Link

AAA - Omaha: Round Rock 9, Storm Chasers 8 (11)

RF Cain 5-6, 2B, K, 3 RS -- .533, GIVE 'EM A DOSE!
1B Ka'aihue 2-3, BB, HBP, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K, RS -- .250, vintage Kila game
3B-1B Arias 2-6, 2B, K, RS, E -- .385
LF Lough 1-6, RBI, 3 K, RS, assist at home -- .200
DH Robinson 1-4, 2 BB, RBI (3), 2 K, RS -- .333
C Pina 1-3, 2 BB, RBI (5) -- .444
SS Falu 0-4, S, SF, RBI -- .182
Omaha stranded 11.

Montgomery 3 IP, 5 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 3 K, HRA, WP -- 15.00 ERA, hasn't seemed to settle in at AAA all season
Tejeda 2 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 4.50 ERA
Castaneda 3 IP, H, K -- 0.00 ERA, nice
Miner 3 IP, 3 UER, 5 H, BB, 2 K -- L, 0-1, 0.00 ERA

* The Chasers gave Round Rock all they could, but the Express lived to play another day on Friday. Mike Montgomery had a start to forget, but David Lough kept him off the hook early with an assist at the plate to end the Express 2nd. A Chad Tracy grand slam keyed a 5-run Round Rock 3rd off Montgomery. Omaha started digging itself out slowly as Lough hit an RBI groundout in the 3rd, but Round Rock got the run back in the 5th. Kila Ka'aihue made his presence felt with a 2-run homer in the 6th and Manny Pina singled in a run to trim it to 6-4. Ka'aihue came back up in the 7th and clipped a clutch 2-run double to tie the game. Zach Miner got a bases-loaded double play to escape the 10th, and Mike Jirschele's decision to pinch run for Kila with Lance Zawadzki in the bottom of the 10th would factor in later. Omaha left the bases loaded in the inning and 2 Chaser errors in the 11th helped Round Rock grab a 9-6 lead. Clint Robinson singled in a run in the bottom of the frame and Zawadzki, hitting in Ka'aihue's place, popped out before an Irving Falu sac fly cut the lead to 1. Joaquin Arias struck out to end it, tho. Omaha will try to drive a stake into the Express' hearts Saturday as Sean O'Sullivan starts. Omaha GM Martie Cordaro was named PCL Exec of the Year on Friday. That's the first Omaha rep to be so named since 1990.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 3, Arkansas 1

1B Romak 1-4, RBI -- .111
RF Myers 0-1, 3 BB, RBI -- .143
LF Robinson 1-4, K, RS -- .182
DH T. Smith 1-3, BB, 2 RS, SB -- .182

M. Santiago 6 IP, UER, 4 H, 4 BB, 2 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Lafferty IP, BB -- 0.00 ERA
Hardy 2 IP, K -- SV, 1, 3.38 ERA

* The Naturals offense finally stepped up to reward a third straight good start and stay alive in the Texas League playoffs. Mario Santiago allowed a run in the 1st to start on a sour note, but Jamie Romak hit a 2-out RBI single in the bottom of the inning to tie it. Derrick Robinson scored on a wild pitch in the 5th to make it 2-1 NWA. Wil Myers took a bases-loaded walk in the 8th and Blaine Hardy finished it for his 1st save of the postseason. The Travs will have another chance to finish off the Naturals Saturday. Jeremy Jeffress will start.

A - Kane County: Cougars 3, Burlington 2

CF Eibner 1-4, 3B, RBI, 3 K -- .182
LF Fletcher 1-4, 2B, RBI (2), 2 K, RS -- .182
2B Franco 1-4, 3B, RBI (2) -- .200
3B Cuthbert 0-4, K, E -- .167

Adam 5 2/3 IP, 2 UER, 4 H, 5 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Rivers 2 IP, H, K -- 0.00 ERA
Rogers 1/3 IP, K -- 0.00 ERA
Boruff IP, BB -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA

* The Cougars became the first Royals affiliate to advance in the 2011 postseason with a narrow win over the former Royals affiliate, the Bees. Brian Fletcher got it started with an RBI double in the 4th and Brett Eibner tripled him home to give Jason Adam a 2-0 lead. Angel Franco added an RBI triple in the 5th to make it 3-0. Burlington's only runs came on 1 play in the 6th as Orlando Calixte and Kevin David made errors and 2 runs scored to cut the lead to 1. Nick Rogers stranded the tying run at third in the 8th and Chase Boruff worked around a walk in the 9th for his 1st save and the series win. The Cougars will take on the Quad Cities River Bandits (A Cardinals) in a best-of-3 series starting Saturday in Elfstrom Stadium. Leondy Perez will start game 1.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Orem 17, Chukars 9 (Thu.)

3B Mateo 3-4, BB, 3B (4), HR (4), 4 RBI (40), 2 RS -- .348, double shy of cycle
RF Davis 2-5, HR (9), 3 RBI (42), 3 K, RS, E (3) -- .326
LF Fradejas 2-3, BB, RS -- .310
C T. Smith 1-4, HR, RBI (5), K, 2 RS -- .192
2B Piterson 0-4, HBP, RBI (15), RS, 2 E (8) -- .298
DH Gallagher 1-5, RS -- .200
SS DelGuidice 1-5, 2B (7), 2 K -- .355

A. Brooks 4 2/3 IP, 6 ER, 10 H, 7 K -- L, 6-2, 3.84 ERA, not his best night, but 7 K/0 BB is good
Penny 1 1/3 IP, 9 R (8 ER), 7 H, BB, HRA -- 9.84 ERA, yowch
Fassold IP, 2 R (1 ER), 3 H, BB -- 4.24 ERA
Avinazar IP H, 2 K -- 8.58 ERA

* The Chukars went out with a bang on Thursday, but Orem made most of the noise in a runaway win. The Owlz started it with 3 runs in the 2nd off Aaron Brooks, and they scored 3 again in the 5th to make it 6-0 and chase Brooks from his final Chukars start. Daniel Mateo got IF on the board with his 4th homer of the season in the 6th, but Orem scored 4 that inning off Robert Penny to make it 10-1. Luis Piterson took a bases-loaded HBP in the 7th and Mateo ripped a 3-run triple to cut it to 10-5. The hole was dug deeper, however, as the Owlz hammered out 7 runs off Penny and Cody Fassold in the 7th. Tyler Smith hit his 1st pro homer in the 8th, and the Chukars tacked on 3 runs in the 9th on Runey Davis' 9th homer to make the final score 17-9. The Chukars finished 16-22 in the second half and 33-43 overall.

OPS rundown
OF Runey Davis 1.012 -- .326/.422/.591, 42 RS, 18 2B, 3 3B, 9 HR, 42 RBI, 28 BB/72 K, 7/11 SB, 3 E in 58 G/193 ABs -- hit his stride with Chukars after two unremarkable years in Cubs' system
OF Chris Elder .943 -- .289/.344/.599, 28 RS, 9 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 27 RBI, 12 BB/26 K, 1/3 SB, 1 E in 36 G/142 ABs -- nice pro debut
IF Mike Liberto .881 -- .348/.435/.446, 16 RS, 5 2B, 2 3B, 8 RBI, 13 BB/12 K, 8/10 SB, 5 E in 26 G/92 ABs -- his best line of any of his 3 stops in 2011 (A, A-Adv., Rookie) so it makes sense
1B Richard Espy .880 -- .318/.391/.489, 43 RS, 17 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 39 RBI, 20 BB/59 K, 2/3 SB, 9 E in 62 G/233 ABs -- solid debut for one of the Eazy Es along with Elder and Edul Escobar
IF Daniel Mateo .867 -- .348/.389/.478, 33 RS, 9 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 17 BB/43 K, 1/2 SB, 9 E in 56 G/224 ABs -- when he was on was more than the 5th best hitter on the team
Others...OF Justin Fradejas .843 (.310/.414/.429, good pro debut for non-drafted FA)...1B Henry Moreno .838 (11 HR led team)...SS Mike Antonio .829 (only 8 games)...IF Nick DelGuidice .827 (.355/.359/.468, 7 2B, 1 BB/11 K, only 17 games, was still finding his Pioneer League legs)...OF Tyler Chism .771 (solid debut, 260 ABs led team)...3B Mark Threlkeld .755...C Edul Escobar .740...OF Darian Sandford .602...C Tyler Smith .581...C Cameron Gallagher .573 (only 8 games)

WHIP rundown
Edwin Carl 0.61 -- 3-1, 1.36, 5 SV, 3 BB/71 K in 21 G/33 IP -- maybe the craziest line in my 6 years of the reports, now he just needs to figure it out in A-ball
Aaron Brooks 1.22 -- 6-2, 3.84, 7 HRA, 8 BB/73 K in 15 G (13 starts) and 79 2/3 IP -- that's a pretty great K/BB too, great pro debut
Nathan Johnson 1.22 -- 0-1, 4.22, 2 SV, 8 HRA, 9 BB/26 K in 14 G/32 IP -- solid, if unspectacular, pen work
Brian Peacock 1.26 -- 5-5, 4.48, 1 SV, 7 HRA, 21 BB/89 K in 15 G (14 starts) and 74 1/3 IP -- hopefully he gets shot at A ball along with Brooks in 2012
Brennon Martin 1.27 -- 4-6, 4.02, 13 HRA, 9 BB/75 K in 15 starts/87 1/3 IP -- hit the zone a little TOO much, great K/BB but 13 dingers allowed
Others...Mike Giovenco 1.36 (1.64 ERA in only 11 IP)...Spencer Patton 1.44 (15 BB/56 K in 39 2/3 IP)...Cody Fassold 1.63 (4 SV, 13 BB/27 K in 23 1/3 IP)...Kellen Moen 1.70 (2-7, 7.25, 19 BB/51 K in 58 1/3 IP)...it gets ugly thereafter, I'll spare you

08 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/8 -- Playoff night 2

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 7, Round Rock 2

3B Arias 3-4, K, 2 RS -- .429
C Pina 2-3, BB, HR, 4 RBI, K, RS -- .500
SS Falu 2-4, 2 RS, SB -- .286
DH Robinson 2-4, BB, K -- .375
CF Dyson 1-4, S, RBI, K, RS -- .143
RF Cain 1-5, RBI (2), 2 K -- .333
2B Mertins 0-2, BB, SF, RBI, 2 K -- .400

Mazzaro 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K, HRA -- W, 1-0, 2.84 ERA
Lebron 2 IP, H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 0.00 ERA
Sisk 2/3 IP, K -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA

* Omaha had another strong game to take both games in Round Rock and return to Werner Park in the catbird's seat in the series. Manny Pina took a bases-loaded walk in the 2nd and Kurt Mertins added a sac fly before Jarrod Dyson squeezed home a run to make it 3-0 Chasers. Vin Mazzaro gave up a 2-run homer in the bottom of the inning but that was his only misstep. Pina singled in a run in the 6th to make it 4-2. Willy Lebron came in with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 7th and got a big 5-4-3 double play that kept the lead intact. Pina proved himself the star of the night as he slammed a 2-run homer in the 8th for some insurance. Lorenzo Cain hit an RBI forceout in the 9th to make it 7-2. Brandon Sisk came in with the bases loaded and 1 out in the 9th and did his job as a forceout at home and a swinging K finished it. Omaha is up, 2-0, in the best of 5 coming back home for the remainder of the series. Mike Montgomery will make his biggest start of the season in game 3.

AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 1, Naturals 0 (2-hitter)

CF Orlando 1-3, 2B (2), K -- .250
C Theriot 1-3 -- .333
SS Colon 0-4 -- .000
RF Myers 0-2, HBP -- .167

Odorizzi 6 IP, H, 3 BB, 3 K, E -- 0.00 ERA, it's a shame the Nats wasted 2 good starts
E. Garcia 2 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, HRA -- L, 0-1, 3.38 ERA

* The Naturals' offense was once again dynamic (sarcasm) as it was two games, two walkoffs for Arkansas. The Nats were no-hit into the 6th but Jake Odorizzi handed a 1-hit shutout to Edgar Garcia in the 7th. The first two Naturals reached in the 8th but NWA could make nothing of it. Garcia had 2 out in the 9th when LF Roberto Lopez launched a walkoff homer to left to give the Travelers a 2-0 series lead. That means the Naturals have to win out from here to stay alive. Mario Santiago will pitch game 3 back in the friendly confines of Arvest Ballpark.

A - Kane County: Burlington 5, Cougars 1

2B Franco 1-4, HR, RBI, K, RS -- .167
CF Eibner 1-4, K -- .143
3B Cuthbert 1-4, K -- .250
LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K -- .143

Ventura 3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, BB, 3 K, WP -- L, 0-1, 12.00 ERA
A. Cruz 3 IP, 3 H, 5 K -- 0.00 ERA
Carl 2 IP, ER, H, 2 BB, 2 K -- 4.50 ERA

* It was the Cougars' turn to get shut down on Thursday as the Bees set up a do-or-die game 3 Friday. Angel Franco got it started with a solo homer in the 3rd, but the main problem was the Cougars only had 1 hit after that. The Bees responded big time off Yordano Ventura as 4 straight singles were part of a 4-run rally in the bottom of the inning. The Cougars stranded 2 in the 7th. And, that other hit? Came with 2 outs in the 9th as the Cougs came up short. The best-of-3 series is tied, 1-1. Jason Adam will start the deciding game 3 Friday in Burlington.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Orem 6, Chukars 5 (Wed.)

1B Espy 2-4, 2B (17), 2 RBI (39), K -- .318
RF Davis 2-3, 2B (18), HR (8), RBI (39), K, 2 RS -- .324, ejected in 6th
3B Threlkeld 1-3, BB, HR (4), RBI (31), RS -- .271
SS Antonio 0-3, SF, RBI (5) -- .303
DH Gallagher 1-4 -- .200

Moen 2 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, HRA, WP -- L, 2-7, 7.25 ERA
Dooley 4 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, K -- 6.79 ERA
J. Sanchez 2 IP, H -- 8.17 ERA

* Orem pounded Kellen Moen early and held on to slip past Idaho Falls. Moen gave up a 2-run homer before he got an out, then gave up 2 RBI singles later in the 1st inning. Orem added 2 runs in the 2nd and it was 6-0 Owlz. Mike Antonio hit a sac fly in the 3rd and Richard Espy hit a 2-run double to cut it to 6-3. Runey Davis cranked his 8th pro homer in the 4th and Mark Threlkeld hit his 4th pro dinger in the 6th to trim it to 6-5. Davis struck out looking to end the inning and was sent to the showers by the ump. The Chukars got a 9th inning single but made nothing of it.

I'll do the final game recap for IF and the stat recap tomorrow.

07 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/7 -- Playoff night 1, Mendoza, Billo shine

AAA - Omaha: Storm Chasers 4, Round Rock 0 (5-hitter)

RF Cain 2-4, 3B, RBI, K, RS
2B Mertins 2-3
DH Robinson 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, RS
LF Lough 1-4, RS, assist at second

Mendoza 7 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, WP -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Herrera 2 IP, 4 K -- 0.00 ERA

* A 3-run 1st was key along with another good Luis Mendoza outing as Omaha grabbed the early advantage in the series. Jarrod Dyson was caught stealing in the 1st before Lorenzo Cain tripled in a run and Clint Robinson socked a 2-run homer to make it 3-0. Mendoza stranded 2 in the 3rd and 7th. A Dyson double play ball scored another run in the 8th. Kelvin Herrera sat down all 6 he faced. Omaha leads the best of 5 set, 1-0. Game 2 is Thursday. Vin Mazzaro is set to start. Clint Robinson was the PCL player of the month for August, and rightfully so.

AA - NW Arkansas: Arkansas 2, Naturals 1 (11)

DH Smith 1-5, RBI
LF Robinson 1-3, 2 BB, 2 K, RS, CS
SS Colon 0-3, HBP, S, K
RF Myers 1-4, BB

Dwyer 6 IP, UER, 2 H, 3 BB, 7 K, pickoff -- 0.00 ERA, can't ask for much more
Lafferty 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB, K -- 0.00 ERA
Volz 2 2/3 IP, H, BB, 5 K -- 0.00 ERA
Hardy 2/3 IP, ER, 2 H, BB, 2 K -- L, 0-1, 13.50 ERA

* Both teams scored in the 1st, but it would be 10 innings before the next, and final, run would be scored. Tim Smith hit an RBI groundout in the 1st to make it 1-0 NWA, but a 2-out Anthony Seratelli error helped the Travelers tie it in the bottom of the inning. NWA left a runner at third in the 4th and Kendal Volz stranded the bases full of Travs in the 8th. The Nats stranded 2 in the 10th and loaded the bases with 1 out in the 11th only to come up empty, as Paulo Orlando struck out and Wil Myers popped out. Blaine Hardy got 2 outs without incident in the 11th, but a single and walk were followed by a walkoff single by SS Darwin Perez. Arkansas took a 1-0 lead in the best of 5. Game 2 is Thursday. Jake Odorizzi will pitch to try to even the series.

A - Kane County: Cougars 4, Burlington 0 (3-hitter)

LF Fletcher 1-3, SF, RBI, RS
SS Calixte 1-3, 2B, RBI, K, SB
RF Beltre 1-3, SF, RBI, RS
CF Eibner 0-3, BB, 3 K
3B Cuthbert 1-4, 2B, 2 K

Billo 7 IP, 3 H, BB, 7 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA
Rogers 2 IP, BB, 2 K -- SV, 1, 0.00 ERA

* The Cougars had only 1 more hit than the Bees but rode a great Greg Billo start to the game 1 win. Billo stranded 2 in the 4th. Cheslor Cuthbert broke up a fledgling no-hit bid with a leadoff double in the 5th but he would be thrown out at the plate in the inning as the scoreless tie continued. Geulin Beltre broke the ice with a sac fly in the 6th and Orlando Calixte doubled in a run in the 7th. A passed ball and Brian Fletcher sac fly increased the lead to 4-0 in the 8th. Nick Rogers hurled two hitless innings to finish it. KC is up, 1-0, in the best of 3. They go for the quick sweep Thursday with Yordano Ventura pitching. Brian Fletcher's regular season .328 average was the second best in Cougars' history behind Jason Stokes' .341 in 2002.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Chukars 5, Ogden 4 (Tue.)

LF Elder 3-4, 3B (4), HR (9), RBI (27), RS -- .297, double shy of cycle
3B Mateo 2-4, BB, RBI (36), RS -- .341
2B Piterson 2-5, 2 2B (11), K, RS -- .307
SS Antonio 2-5, K, RS -- .333
1B Moreno 1-5, HR (11), 2 RBI (41), K, RS -- .274
DH Gallagher 0-3, BB, K -- .190
RF Davis 1-4, K, assist at second -- .319

B. Martin 6 IP, ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K, HRA, WP -- 4.02 ERA
Avinazar IP, 3 R (2 ER), 2 H, K, WP -- BS, 1, 8.89 ERA
Patton 2 IP, H, 4 K -- W, 3-1, 3.40 ERA

* Idaho Falls scored 3 late runs to take down the Raptors. Ogden hit a solo homer in the 3rd off Brennon Martin but an error scored the tying run for IF in the 4th. Daniel Mateo hit the go-ahead single in the 6th. Martin stranded the bases full in the 6th but Willian Avinazar allowed 3 runs in the 7th. Henry Moreno clubbed a 2-run homer in the 8th for his 11th homer of the season to tie the game, and Chris Elder led off the 9th with his 9th homer to regain the lead for the Chukars. Spencer Patton stranded 1 in the 9th for his 3rd win. IF is 16-20. The final series of the season starts tonight with the first of 2 at the Orem Owlz (22-14, Rookie Angels). Orem already has the second half division title sewn up.

06 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/6

AAA - Omaha: off day

OPS rundown
Eric Hosmer 1.107 -- .439/.525/.582, look at that line in 26 games, we may never see him back in AAA
1B/DH Clint Robinson .932 -- .326/.399/.533, 86 RS, 35 2B, 23 HR, 100 RBI, 58 BB/88 K, 2/3 SB, 8 E in 134 G/503 ABs -- had down July but was back to best at 1.126 OPS in August, hit .400 in the month, too bad it's a logjam at 1B in the majors
OF Lorenzo Cain .877 -- .312/.380/.497, 84 RS, 28 2B, 7 3B, 16 HR, 81 RBI, 40 BB/102 K, 16/22 SB, 8 E in 128 G/487 ABs -- three smokin' months were followed by August cooldown, but he still was good this season, surprised KC didn't make room for him in the OF
IF Johnny Giavotella .871 -- .338/.390/.481, 67 RS, 34 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 72 RBI, 40 BB/57 K, 9/14 SB, 11 E in 110 G/453 ABs -- KC AAA player of the year had a great campaign, hope we don't see him back in AAA either
OF David Lough .850 -- .318/.367/.482, 87 RS, 26 2B, 11 3B, 9 HR, 65 RBI, 36 BB/49 K, 14/22 SB, 4 E in 114 G/456 ABs -- only down month was June
Others...Salvador Perez .847 (only got 12 games in before KC called)...3B Mike Moustakas .845 (15 2B, 10 HR, 19 BB/44 K in 55 G/223 ABs, wasn't spectacular but good enough to get an MLB look)...1B Kila Ka'aihue .812 (.379 OBP, 19 2B, 11 HR, 57 BB/81 K in 95 G, ship may have sailed for Kila)...IF Irving Falu .747 (.301/.358/.390, 50 RS, 10 2B, 9 3B, 35 BB/47 K, 21/32 SB, 12 E in 111 G/385 ABs, keeps hanging around, puts up solid numbers)...C Manny Pina .735 (passed by Salvador)...OF Jarrod Dyson .713 (overshadowed by Lorenzo)...IF Yamaico Navarro .708 (unremarkable 25 games for Chasers)

WHIP rundown
Everett Teaford 0.97 -- 3-2, 3.34, 5 HRA, 11 BB/33 K in 35 IP -- rode Omaha-KC express
Brandon Sisk 1.00 -- 4-2, 1.41, 2 SV, HRA, 16 BB/30 K in 32 IP -- did well in PCL
Willy Lebron 1.04 -- 1-1, 0.55, 1 SV, HRA, 5 BB/22 K in only 16 1/3 IP
Danny Duffy 1.12 -- 3-1, 3.43, 5 HRA, 10 BB/48 K in 42 IP, one of the few pitching prospects in organization to hold own in 2011
Kelvin Herrera 1.12 -- 1-0, 2.12, 6 SV, HRA, 7 BB/18 K in 17 IP -- rise continued to AAA for Absolute Zero
Others...Robinson Tejeda 1.22 (15 BB/43 K in 45 IP, didn't get much play at MLB in 2011)...Luis Mendoza 1.25 (12-5, 2.18, 1 CG, 1 ShO, 2 SV, 5 HRA, 54 BB/81 K in 144 1/3 IP, PCL Pitcher of the Year did a little of everything in 2011, had good April, rough May, then was lockdown thereafter)...Sean O'Sullivan 1.35 (8-2, 4.22, 6 HRA, 16 BB/55 K in 74 2/3 IP)...Jeff Suppan 1.43 (11-8, 4.78, 2 CG, 1 ShO, 23 HRA, 51 BB/94 K in 165 2/3 IP)...Mike Montgomery 1.50 (5-11, 5.32, 15 HRA, 69 BB/129 K in 28 G (27 starts) and 150 2/3 IP, something to build on, I feel a bounceback in 2012)...Vin Mazzaro 1.62 (60 BB/107 K in 123 2/3 IP)...Jeremy Jeffress 1.88 (didn't cut it in AAA)...Blaine Hardy 1.97 (ditto)

* Mendoza will pitch game 1 of the best-of-5 with the Round Rock Express on Wednesday.

AA - NW Arkansas: off day

OPS rundown
IF Mario Lisson .898 -- .293/.372/.527, 58 RS, 21 2B, 15 HR, 45 RBI, 31 BB/81 K, 15/17 SB, 17 E in 89 G/283 ABs -- hit .389 with 1.063 OPS in August to finish strong
C Ben Theriot .893 -- .303/.377/.516, 10 RS, 9 2B, 3B, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 14 BB/28 K, 3 E in 46 G/122 ABs -- hit .457 with 1.125 OPS in August
OF Paulo Orlando .889 -- .305/.362/.527, 30 RS, 5 2B, 10 3B, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 13 BB/35 K, 8/12 SB, 2 E in 45 G/167 ABs -- got the late season push down from Omaha and chipped in to playoff run
OF Tim Smith .873 -- .311/.365/.508, 38 RS, 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 49 RBI, 19 BB/37 K, 8/10 SB, 2 E in 69 G/238 ABs -- returned from injury in time to hit .412 in 6 August games
C Ryan Eigsti .804 -- .259/.338/.466, 6 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB/18 K in 23 G/58 ABs -- numbers came back to Earth as he hit for .536 OPS in 14 August games
Others...1B Jamie Romak .803 (led team with 23 HR, also rapped 21 2B, 55 BB/88 K, 6/7 SB in 123 G/439 ABs)...UT Anthony Seratelli .790 (.282/.392/.398, 12 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 64 RBI, 75 BB/92 K, 35/40 SB, 5 E in 129 G/440 ABs, Royals' AA player of the year reached peak in May/June but saw numbers tail off in July/August, best season since organizational debut in '07 in rookie ball)...C Salvador Perez .756 (.283/.329/.427, 14 2B, 9 HR, 43 RBI, 16 BB/30 K, 9 E in 79 G/286 ABs, meteoric rise late to KC)...OF Wil Myers .745 (.254/.353/.393, 50 RS, 23 2B, 3B, 8 HR, 49 RBI, 52 BB/87 K, 9/11 SB, 7 E in 99 G/354 ABs, bottomed out with .535 OPS in July but rebounded with .854 OPS in August, Royals probably expected more pop out of him, but he had an early knee injury that may have factored in)...OF Nick Van Stratten .678 (numbers better in AA than Carolina League)...IF Christian Colon .668 (.257/.325/.342, 69 RS, 14 2B, 2 3B, 8 HR, 61 RBI, 46 BB/51 K, 17/24 SB, 18 E in 127 G/491 ABs, durability was good, also BB/K is nice, peaked in June and July, then hit for .605 OPS in August)...IF Rey Navarro .662 (.271/.332/.330, 9 XBH, 14 BB/26 K, 12 E in 55 G/188 ABs, Wilmington success didn't carry over to AA)...IF Jeff Bianchi .654 (.259/.320/.333, 23 2B, 39 BB/85 K, 20/25 SB, 11 E in 119 G/444 ABs, return from TJS didn't go that well but had its moments)...OF Derrick Robinson .604 (.251/.323/.282, 56 RS, 9 XBH, 46 BB/87 K, 55/70 SB, 6 E in 107 G/419 ABs, bringing up the rear on the OPS chart, hit for .419 OPS in August, season # was 121 points worse than his AA OPS in 2010)

WHIP rundown
Kelvin Herrera 0.78 -- 4-0, 1.75, 7 SV, 4 HRA, 6 BB/40 K in 36 IP -- march to Omaha continued with tear through Texas League
Brandon Sisk 1.05 -- 3-1, 3.77, 2 HRA, 7 BB/28 K in 28 2/3 IP -- moved to Omaha in June
Edgar Garcia 1.10 -- 2-3, 3.47, 5 SV, 6 HRA, 11 BB/31 K in 36 1/3 IP -- shored up staff in second half
Blaine Hardy 1.11 -- 2-1, 1.59, 8 SV, 2 HRA, 16 BB/41 K in 39 2/3 IP -- struggled at Omaha but pitched well in AA
Mario Santiago 1.13 -- 5-1, 2.23, 3 HRA, 17 BB/49 K in 64 2/3 IP -- also had struggles at AAA but shored up NWA staff
Others...Jake Odorizzi 1.28 (5-3, 4.72, 13 HRA, 22 BB/54 K in 12 starts/68 2/3 IP, yowza on the HR numbers, got rough intro to AA but also had his good starts)...John Lamb 1.31 (1-2, 3.09, 3 HRA, 13 BB/22 K in 35 IP, when will we see him back from TJS???)...Will Smith 1.34 (13-9, 3.85, 2 CG, 1 ShO, 13 HRA, 45 BB/108 K in 161 1/3 IP, Royals' AA pitcher of the year, finished with 1.91 ERA in August and .204 OAV in month)...Buddy Baumann 1.42 (4.29, 2 SV, 9 HRA, 28 BB/68 K in 71 1/3 IP, had his moments)...Patrick Keating 1.42 (7 SV, 12 BB/44 K in 38 IP, hit DL)...Chris Dwyer 1.43 (8-10, 5.60, 2 CG, 14 HRA, 78 BB/126 K in 141 1/3 IP, ERA numbers were never great but he had a couple good short stretches)...Brendan Lafferty 1.44 (7 BB/20 K in 25 IP)...Kevin Chapman 1.46...Jeremy Jeffress 1.71 (disappointing season from one of the cogs in the Greinke trade)

* Chris Dwyer gets the start in game 1 versus Arkansas Wednesday. Not the most obvious choice, but he has stepped up his game a couple times this season. Lisson and Tim Smith split TL player of the week honors in leading the last-week surge to get NWA into the playoffs. Jake Odorizzi was TL pitcher of the week with a big start versus Arkansas.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: done at 66-72 overall

OPS rundown
OF Nick Francis .918 -- .319/.363/.555, 30 RS, 20 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 13 BB/40 K, 7/8 SB, 4 E in 51 G/191 ABs -- bounced up to AA, back down, then back up
IF Rey Navarro .820 -- .285/.337/.484, 34 RS, 17 2B, 7 3B, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 18 BB/39 K, 5/9 SB, 10 E in 72 G/277 ABs -- earned player of the year honor before promotion to AA
OF Carlo Testa .804 -- .290/.361/.443, 48 RS, 27 2B, 4 3B, 7 HR, 43 RBI, 36 BB/109 K, 18/25 SB, 2 E in 100 G/366 ABs -- Pipeline favorite didn't follow up strong '09/'10 numbers, but did hit .378 with 1.055 OPS in August
1B John Whittleman .799 -- .234/.349/.451, 52 RS, 24 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 76 BB/108 K, 2/2 SB, 27 E in 126 G/415 ABs -- probably was playing lower than he could, is getting playoff look in Omaha
OF Yem Prades .726 -- .289/.313/.413, 36 RS, 16 2B, 5 3B, 4 HR, 24 RBI, 10 BB/66 K, 11/18 SB, 2 E in 80 G/305 ABs -- Cuban held his own in U.S. debut, nothing spectacular but had his moments
Others...Whit Merrifield .706 (3 months of over .700 OPS, two months of OPS in the .500s, including August, led team in SB with 24 and 2B with 30, 52 BB/89 K, also held up for 126 GP)...OF Nick Van Stratten .676 (got midseason demotion from AA and didn't do much at Wilmington either, unfortunately)...Ryan Stovall .608 (got promotion from Kane County and posted ugly 5 BB/53 K in 58 games)...Tim Ferguson .597...Julio Rodriguez .576 (didn't do much in 22 games after coming over in Betemit trade)

WHIP rundown
Kelvin Herrera 0.68 -- 2-1, 0.61, 1 SV, HRA, 2 BB/12 K in 14 2/3 IP -- first stop in march to AAA
Allen Caldwell 0.79 -- 2-0, 1.50, 1 SV, 2 HRA, 4 BB/23 K in 9 G (2 starts) and 24 IP -- pitched even better in Wilmington than he did in Kane County
Kendal Volz 1.06 -- 3-3, 3.03, 3 SV, 6 HRA, 13 BB/63 K in 37 G and 62 1/3 IP -- this is combined with Salem stats, did well enough to earn call to Tex League late
Noel Arguelles 1.13 -- 4-5, 3.20, 6 HRA, 24 BB/64 K in 21 starts and 104 IP -- K rate not great but was solid in U.S. debut
Jake Odorizzi 1.15 -- 5-4, 2.87, 4 HRA, 22 BB/103 K in 15 starts and 78 1/3 IP -- doesn't reflect how dominant he was at times before call to AA
Others...Elisaul Pimentel 1.20 (1 CG, 1 SV, 10 HRA, 31 BB/105 K in 133 IP, did well before late season promo to AA)...Mike Mariot 1.20 (5 SV, 7 HRA, 21 BB/80 K in 100 1/3 IP, had lockdown times and shaky times in 2011)...Justin Marks 1.33 (8-8, 3.98, 2 CG, 14 HRA, 49 BB/140 K in 144 2/3 IP, fruit of DeJesus trade was serviceable, named Carolina League pitcher of the week in last week after 13 scoreless IP)...Tim Melville 1.51 (11-10, 4.32, 7 HRA, 53 BB/108 K in 135 1/3 IP, strong June and July followed by mediocre August, won team community service award)...Tyler Sample 1.57 (58 BB/86 K in 130 1/3 IP)

A - Kane County: off day

OPS rundown
OF Brian Fletcher .946 -- .328/.386/.560, 51 RS, 31 2B, 3 3B, 14 HR, 60 RBI, 24 BB/80 K, 4/8 SB, 7 E in 91 G/341 ABs -- only thing ungood is the BB/K, good first full season of pro ball, had great months other than May
IF Ryan Stovall .902 -- .307/.356/.546, 27 RS, 15 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 31 RBI, 15 BB/45 K, 5/8 SB, 9 E in 57 G/205 ABs -- good enough to move up to Wilmington and finish there
skipping Gerard Hall, who was at .759 and moved up to Wilmington before getting released
OF Brett Eibner .748 -- .213/.340/.408, 46 RS, 13 2B, 2 3B, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 48 BB/90 K, 2/5 SB, 1 E in 76 G/272 ABs -- .780 OPS in August, never really looked great but had early injury, had flashes of goodness tho
3B Cheslor Cuthbert .742 -- .267/.345/.397, 33 RS, 13 2B, 3B, 8 HR, 51 RBI, 36 BB/65 K, 2/2 SB, 13 E in 81 G/300 ABs -- hit the proverbial wall in August, .127 BA with .473 OPS, damper end to a good season
OF Jovan Pickett .668 -- .267/.364/.305, 16 RS, 2 3B, 5 RBI, 10 BB/22 K, 9/13 SB, 2 E in 35 G/105 ABs -- got on base, at least
Others....IF Angel Franco .664 (led team in triples with 6)...OF Geulin Beltre .657 (led team with 18 SB and 122 games played)...1B Jake Kuebler .624 (.291 OBP)...C Kevin David .617

WHIP rundown
Greg Billo 1.02 -- 9-5, 1.93, 1 SV, 6 HRA, 25 BB/119 K in 27 G (18 starts) and 135 IP -- great season, faded a bit in August
Chase Boruff 1.07 -- 4-1, 2.30, 7 SV, HRA, 20 BB/63 K in 41 G and 66 2/3 IP -- solid season out of the pen
Nick Rogers 1.09 -- 1-1, 2.45, 9 SV, 4 HRA, 12 BB/27 K in 20 G and 29 1/3 IP -- late season callup held his own in MWL
Leonel Santiago 1.10 -- 7-7, 3.06, 6 HRA, 19 BB/92 K in 18 starts and 108 2/3 IP -- did all right before hitting DL in July
Jason Mitchell 1.10 -- 3-1, 2.11, 1 SV, HRA, 5 BB/27 K in 10 G (3 starts) and 38 1/3 IP -- late callup had good first full pro season
Allen Caldwell 1.10 -- 4-0, 2.39, 1 SV, 2 HRA, 9 BB/39 K in 11 G and 26 1/3 IP -- pitched so well you wonder why they ever played him in OF
Others....Jason Adam 1.14 (6-9, 9 HRA, 25 BB/76 K in 21 starts and 104 1/3 IP, good pro debut)...Sugar Ray Marimon 1.14 (66 IP before he hit DL)...Chas Byrne 1.20 (9 SV, 12 BB/53 K in 55 IP)...Antonio Cruz 1.25 (41 BB/97 K in 105 1/3 IP, pretty decent part of haul for Wilson Betemit)...Yordano Ventura 1.26 (4.27 ERA, 8 HRA, 24 BB/88 K in 84 1/3 IP, good K rate and K/BB)...Leondy Perez 1.28 (3.41, 7 HRA, 29 BB/108 K in 153 IP, came on strong late)...Crawford Simmons 1.84 (only got 10 1/3 IP in)

* Billo starts game 1 of the best-of-3 with Burlington Wednesday.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Ogden 8, Chukars 3 (Mon.)

SS Antonio 2-4, RS -- .320
3B DelGuidice 1-4, RBI (10), K -- .368
DH Gallagher 1-4, RBI (2) -- .222
1B Espy 0-2, BB, HBP, K, RS -- .314

Peacock 3 IP, 7 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HRA -- L, 5-5, 4.48 ERA
N. Johnson 4 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 3 K -- 4.22 ERA
Fassold IP, 2 H, K -- 4.03 ERA

* Ogden battered Brian Peacock and the Chukars on Monday. Peacock served up a 2-run homer in the 1st, then got nicked for 3 runs in the 2nd. Another 2-run homer in the 3rd made it 7-0 Ogden. The Chukars loaded the bases with 0 out in the 4th and a wild pitch, Cameron Gallagher groundout and Nick DelGuidice single cut it to 7-3. Nathan Johnson gave up a run in the 4th. IF stranded the bases full in the 5th and the only hit they got thereafter was a single in the 9th. IF dropped to 15-20. The series ends tonight.

05 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/5 -- Regular season finales for 4

AAA - Omaha: Iowa 7, Storm Chasers 2

3B Whittleman 2-4, K -- .500, Omaha debut
RF Mertins 2-3, RS -- .274
DH Robinson 1-4, RBI (100), K -- .326, nice that he hit the century mark
LF Lough 1-4, RBI (65), E (4) -- .318
CF Cain 0-3, HBP, E (8) -- .312
1B Ka'aihue 0-4, 2 K -- .272

Pucetas 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, K, HRA -- 4.98 ERA
Lebron IP, 4 UER, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, WP -- L, 1-1, 0.55 ERA
Miner IP, H -- 1.59 ERA
Tejeda IP, ER, 2 H, K -- 3.80 ERA
Sisk IP, K -- 1.41 ERA

* Iowa scored 5 unanswered runs to get the regular season finale Monday. Kevin Pucetas gave up a solo homer in the 1st and Iowa added a run in the 2nd to make it 2-0 Chasers. David Lough hit an RBI single and Clint Robinson singled in a run for his 100th RBI to tie the game in the 3rd. Iowa stranded 2 in the 3rd and Willy Lebron allowed 4 runs in the 5th, 3 on an error by Lorenzo Cain, to make it 6-2 Iowa. The Cubs added another run in the 7th. Only John Whittleman had a hit for Omaha after the 4th. The Chasers finished the season 79-63. I called 85-59. Close but no cigar. Stat recap tomorrow. The best-of-5 playoff set with the Round Rock Express (87-57, AAA Rangers) starts Wednesday in Round Rock. Luis Mendoza starts game 1.

AA - NW Arkansas: Tulsa 4, Naturals 2

LF Smith 2-4, RBI (49) -- .311
1B Romak 0-3, SF, RBI (71) -- .251
SS Colon 1-4, RS, E (18) -- .257
RF Myers 0-3, K -- .254

E. Pimentel 2 2/3 IP, H, BB, 3 K -- 6.35 ERA, pulled early for possible playoff appearance
Baumann 1 1/3 IP, ER, H, 2 K, HRA -- L, 4-3, 4.29 ERA
Jeffress 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, K, HRA, WP -- 4.26 ERA
Hardy IP, 2 R (1 ER), 2 H, BB, 2 K -- 1.59 ERA

* The Naturals were being no-hit until late when they spoiled the whitewash. Tulsa got a solo homer off Buddy Baumann in the 4th then got another homer in the 7th off Jeremy Jeffress. Tim Smith broke up a no-hitter with a 2-out single in the 7th but Tulsa added 2 runs in the 8th to make it 4-0. Smith singled in a run and Jamie Romak hit a sac fly in the 9th to cut the lead in half, but they could get no closer. NWA finished the regular season 38-32 in the second half and 73-64 overall. Stat recap tomorrow. I called 84-56 overall, so I was off. The best-of-5 series starts Wednesday with the first of 2 at the Arkansas Travelers (AA Angels). Jake Odorizzi will start game 1.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 3, Frederick 0 (4-hitter)

2B Merrifield 2-4, RBI (36) -- .262
DH Lewis 1-4, HR (7), 2 RBI (25), K, RS -- .204
LF Testa 0-4, 2 K -- .290
3B Morales 0-2, 2 BB, K, RS -- .300

Marks 7 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 8 K -- W, 8-8, 3.98 ERA
Keck 2 IP, H, 4 K, WP -- SV, 4, 5.56 ERA

* Justin Marks put together a gem with some backup from Jon Keck and the Rocks finished the season with a W. Joey Lewis cranked a 2-run homer in the 2nd for his 7th of the season and Whit Merrifield added an RBI single to give Marks a 3-0 lead. The Rocks kept the pressure on but could plate no more runners. The Keys got runners at the corners with 0 out in the 7th, but a strike-him-out, throw-him-out DP and swinging K got Marks out of the jam. Keck pitched the final 2 innings for his 4th save. Wilmington finished the season 30-39 in the second half and 66-72 overall. Stat recap tomorrow. For the record, I predicted 74-64 this season, so I was off a bit.

A - Kane County: Clinton 9, Cougars 3

LF Fletcher 2-3, BB, HR (14), 2 RBI (60), 2 RS -- .328
SS Calixte 0-3, SF, RBI (31), K -- .208
CF Eibner 0-3, BB, K, RS -- .213
3B Cuthbert 0-4 -- .267

Mitchell 4 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, K, HRA -- L, 3-1, 2.11 ERA
Rivers 2 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, BB, K -- 4.56 ERA
Boruff IP, K -- 2.29 ERA
Graham IP, ER, H, 3 BB -- 10.80 ERA
Giovenco IP, K -- 6.93 ERA

* The Cougars were behind the 8-ball early and couldn't recover in Monday's regular season finale. Jason Mitchell teed up a 2-run homer before he recorded an out in the 1st, and the LumberKings got another run in the 2nd to make it 3-0. Orlando Calixte hit a sac fly in the 2nd. Clinton tacked on 2 more runs off Mitchell in the 4th. Manager Vance Wilson was ejected between the 5th and 6th innings, and Alex Rivers gave up 3 runs in the 6th to make it 8-1. Brian Fletcher went deep for a 2-run shot in the 6th for his 14th of the season but the 'Kings would add another run in the 8th and hold it from there. KC finished the regular season 37-33 and 65-74 overall. Stat recap tomorrow. The playoffs start Wednesday at home with the first game of a best-of-3 with Burlington (31-37, 76-62 overall, A A's). Greg Billo will start. I did better with this prediction...I called 65-71 for the Cougars before the season.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: report tomorrow on Monday's game

04 September 2011

Royals on the Farm 9/4

AAA - Omaha: Iowa 2, Storm Chasers 1

SS Falu 2-4 -- .301
CF Dyson 1-5, 2B (10), RBI (26), 2 K -- .279
RF Cain 1-3, BB, picked off -- .314
LF Lough 1-3, BB, picked off -- .319
DH Robinson 1-4 -- .327
1B Ka'aihue 0-3, BB, K -- .276

Mazzaro 2 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, K -- 4.29 ERA, appeared to have pitch count of 45
Montgomery 4 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 6 K -- L, 5-11, 5.32 ERA
Herrera 2 IP, BB -- 2.12 ERA

* Omaha outhit the Cubs Sunday but didn't outscore them. Iowa nicked Vin Mazzaro for a run in the 1st but Omaha got an RBI double from Jarrod Dyson in the 3rd. Manny Pina was thrown out at home on the play. A pickoff of Lorenzo Cain at second factored in big in the 4th as Omaha stranded the bases full. The Chasers loaded the bases again in the 5th but again came up empty. Iowa took the lead off Mike Montgomery in the 6th and Omaha got the first 2 on in the 9th but couldn't plate the tying run. Omaha is 79-62. The regular season ends Monday. Kevin Pucetas will make the spot start.

AA - NW Arkansas: Naturals 6, Tulsa 4

LF Smith 2-4, BB, 2B (13), 2 RBI (48), K -- .308
SS Bianchi 1-5, RBI (48) -- .259
2B R. Navarro 1-2, BB, HBP, RBI (18), RS, E (12) -- .270
C Eigsti 0-3, SF, RBI (10), K, RS -- .259
CF Robinson 1-4, BB, K, 2 RS -- .251
DH Colon 1-5, K -- .257
RF Myers 0-3, HBP, RS, SB (9) -- .256

E. Garcia 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 K -- W, 2-3, 3.47 ERA
Chapman IP, ER, 2 H, HRA -- 4.99 ERA
Volz 3 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 4 K, WP -- SV, 1, 6.75 ERA

* NW Arkansas took command in the 3rd and didn't give it up. Jeff Bianchi hit an RBI single and Tim Smith doubled in 2 runs in the 3rd as NWA grabbed the lead. A Smith single scored another run in the 5th to make it 4-0 in support of Edgar Garcia. Garcia allowed a run in the 5th and Kevin Chapman and Kendal Volz allowed 2 runs in the 7th to cut it to 4-3. Rey Navarro hit an RBI single and Ryan Eigsti hit a sac fly in the 8th to give the Nats some insurance. The Drillers got a run in the 8th but Volz finished it for his 1st NWA save. NWA is 38-31. The regular season wraps up Monday. Elisaul Pimentel will start.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 4, Frederick 1

CF Testa 3-4, 2 2B (27), RBI (43), 2 CS (7) -- .293, has finished very strong
LF Ferguson 2-3, S, HR (6), RBI (43), RS -- .222
1B Lewis 2-4, 2B (13), RBI (23) -- .203
DH Batista 1-3, RBI (23) -- .219
3B Stovall 2-4, RS -- .245
SS Morales 1-4, 2B, K, RS -- .375

Melville 7 IP, ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K -- W, 11-10, 4.32 ERA, finishes 2011 a winner
Caldwell 2 IP, H, BB, K -- SV, 1, 1.50 ERA

* Tim Melville held the Keys down Sunday as the Rocks got the win. Carlo Testa hit an RBI double in the 3rd and Joey Lewis and Deivy Batista hit RBI singles in the 4th. Melville finally allowed a run in the 5th but got out of a jam in the 6th. Tim Ferguson hit his 6th homer in the 8th and Allen Caldwell pitched the last 2 innings. Wilmington is 29-39. The season ends with a Monday matinee. Justin Marks will start.

A - Kane County: Clinton 6, Cougars 1 (Sat.)

C David 2-3, BB, RBI (11), PB (4) -- .247
CF Eibner 2-4, 2 K, RS -- .218
LF Fletcher 0-4, 2 K -- .326

Adam 4 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, BB, K -- L, 6-9, 4.23 ERA
Garrido 3 IP, ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 K, WP -- 6.34 ERA
Carl 2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, BB, 5 K, WP -- 12.00 ERA, finding the going a little tougher in A-ball

* A weather delay caused a late start and then things didn't roll the Cougars' way Saturday. Jason Adam gave up single runs in the 1st and 2nd. Yowill Espinal was caught stealing home on a would-be double steal to end the 3rd, and the Cougars got their run on a Kevin David RBI single in the 4th. Santiago Garrido let a run in in the 6th and Edwin Carl allowed 3 late runs as Clinton pulled away. With the win, the LumberKings clinched the top divisional playoff spot over the Cougars. This means KC will play....the Burlington Bees (A A's) in the first round of the MWL Playoffs.

Cougars 3, Clinton 1

RF Beltre 3-5, RS, SB (18) -- .265
C Graterol 2-4, RBI (6) -- .203
DH Pickett 2-4, K, SB (9) -- .267
3B Cuthbert 1-4, BB, 2B (13), 2 RBI (51), RS -- .270
CF Eibner 0-3, 2 BB, 2 K -- .216
LF Fletcher 1-4, BB, 2 K, RS -- .325
KC stranded 14.

L. Perez 5 IP, 5 H, 4 K -- W, 8-13, 3.41 ERA
A. Cruz 3 IP, ER, H, BB, 6 K, HRA -- 2.73 ERA
Rogers IP, BB, 3 K -- SV, 9, 2.45 ERA

* Leondy Perez was back on his game to pick up his 8th win for the Cougars Sunday. Kane County loaded the bases with 0 out in the 1st, but came up empty. The Cougars broke through in the 3rd as Cheslor Cuthbert hit a 2-run double. Perez worked around two triples to hand a shutout to the bullpen in the 6th. Juan Graterol singled in a run in the 7th and Antonio Cruz lost the shutout with a solo homer in the 8th. That was all the 'Kings would get, tho. KC is 37-32. The regular season finale is Monday. Jason Mitchell will start.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Chukars 6, Ogden 2

3B Mateo 4-5, 2B (9), RBI (35), RS -- .340
2B Piterson 3-5, K, RS -- .305
1B Moreno 2-5, 2B (17), 2 RBI (38), K -- .276
CF Chism 2-5, HR (8), RBI (36), K, 2 RS -- .269
RF Elder 2-4, HR (8), RBI (26), RS -- .299
C Escobar 2-4, K, PB (13) -- .298
SS Antonio 0-5, 3 K -- .286
DH Gallagher 1-3, BB -- .214

A. Brooks 6 IP, ER, 3 H, 8 K, HRA -- W, 6-1, 3.36 ERA, nice
Dooley 3 IP, ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K -- SV, 1, 7.26 ERA

* Aaron Brooks continued his strong pro debut and the Chukars offense picked him up in the 6th on Saturday. Brooks gave up a solo homer in the 2nd. The Chukar offense showed signs of life in the 5th but 3 hits failed to score a run as runners were thrown out at home and third in the inning. Chris Elder led off the 6th with his 8th homer, a wild pitch scored a run, Daniel Mateo hit an RBI single and Henry Moreno doubled in 2 runs as the Chukars took a 5-1 lead. Tyler Chism led off the 7th with his 8th homer. Brooks worked around a triple in the 6th and Jon Dooley stranded the bases full in the 7th. Dooley allowed a run in the 9th but got the game finished.

Ogden 4, Chukars 2

1B Espy 3-4, RS -- .317
CF Chism 2-4 -- .273
2B Mateo 2-4 -- .343
RF Davis 1-4, HR (7), RBI (38), 3 K, RS, assists at second and first -- .320
DH Moreno 1-4, 2B (18), RBI (39), K -- .276

Diaz 5 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K, HRA, WP -- L, 0-3, 10.06 ERA
Penny 2 IP, ER, H, 2 BB, 2 K, HRA -- 8.54 ERA
Patton IP, 2 H -- 3.58 ERA

* Ogden defeated the Chukars and Eric Diaz on Sunday. The Raptors scored single runs in the first 3 innings and the Chukars got a solo shot from Runey Davis in the 2nd for his 7th of the season. Henry Moreno doubled in a run in the 6th to cut it to 3-2, but Robert Penny gave up a solo homer in the inning. IF stranded 2 in the 8th and that was the Chukars' last best shot. IF is 15-19. Four games remain on the schedule.