15 July 2005

Royals on the Farm 7/14

Let's lead this off with a bit of good Royals news....They announced Thursday the signing of 3rd-round pick right-hander Chris Nicoll of the University of California-Irvine. Nicoll was 6-4 with a 2.50 ERA for the Anteaters. He had 113 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 111 2/3 innings. That leaves 9 of the top 35 picks in the draft unsigned with Alex Gordon the trump card in that pack.

AAA: Omaha's offense sputtered coming off the all-star break as the O-Royals were held silent (or to 4 hits and a couple walks, anyway) for the first 6 innings of a 7-4 loss to Iowa Thursday. Iowa scored all its runs by the start of the 6th and Omaha didn't get on the board until the 7th on RBI singles by 2B Denny Hocking and LF Aaron Guiel. The O-Royals tacked on 2 in the 9th on an RBI force out by C Paul Phillips and an RBI single from DH Cal Pickering before 3B Chris Truby popped out to end the game. SP Chris George picked up the loss with 7 ER on 11 hits and 2 BB with a K over 4 2/3 IP to drop to 6-6 with a 5.21 ERA. RP Wes Wilkerson went 1 1/3 IP and didn't give up a hit or walk with 3 Ks to drop his ERA to 4.72. RP Shawn Sonnier went a hitless inning with 2 Ks to drop his ERA to 5.31. RP Jaime Cerda also pitched a hitless inning with 2 Ks to drop his ERA to 7.50. I don't know what to think about the fact none of the ERAs I just typed was under 4.72 at KC's AAA team. Sonnier has had about a 2.xx ERA since coming back up from Wichita, so that's a good sign. Hocking was 2-5 with a double and RBI to move to .246; Guiel was 2-4 with a HBP and RBI to improve to .263; and Pickering was 3-4 with a BB, double and RBI to improve to .247. Omaha left 11 on base.

Omaha is 41-51 and 10 1/2 games back of Nashville. Tonight's pitching matchup: RH Shawn Camp (3-6, 4.36) vs. Cubs LH Rich Hill (3-1, 3.90).

AA: Wichita overcame a 5-run 6th from Midland to defeat the Rockhounds, 8-6, Thursday. The Wranglers scored 4 in the 3rd as 2 plated on a throwing error off a force attempt by CF Mitch Maier, 1B Justin Huber followed with an RBI single and LF Matt Diaz hit a sac fly. After Midland scored once in the 5th, the Wranglers pushed across 2 more on a solo homer by SS Donnie Murphy (his 8th) and a throwing error on a pickoff attempt that allowed Maier to score to make it a 6-1 game in the 5th. The Rockhounds touched up SP Kyle Middleton for the 6th inning runs to tie the game but Wichita came right back with 2 of its own in the 6th on a bases loaded walk by Huber and a passed ball. Four relievers finished off the win. Middleton went 5 1/3 IP and allowed 6 R (4 ER as Huber made an error in the 6th) on 6 hits and 3 BB with 2 Ks to move his ERA to 4.09. RP Barry Armitage got his 1st blown save as he gave up the last run charged to Middleton on a sac fly. He went 1 2/3 hitless IP, had 2 Ks and eventually got the win to move to 3-3 with a 4.14 ERA. RP Derrin Ebert got his 2nd hold with 2/3 IP of 1 hit with 1 K to drop his ERA to 5.75. RP Trae McGill got his 3rd hold with 1 IP of 1 hit with 3 Ks to drop his ERA to 4.73. RP Nate Hoelscher went 1/3 IP to get his 3rd save and lower his ERA to 5.70. Murphy was 1-3 with 2 BB, a homer, RBI and 3 RS as his average bumped to .294; Huber was 2-3 with a BB and 2 RBI to move to .342; 3B Brennan King was 2-4 to move to .265; and RF Brett Groves was 2-3 with a BB to improve to .237. Huber's error was his 11th.

Wichita is 11-9 and tied with Tulsa atop the TL East. The Wranglers start a 3-game home set with Frisco (5-16) tonight. Starters: RH Thad Markray (4-4, 4.84) v. Frisco RH Nick Masset (3-9, 6.24).

High-A: High Desert had 4 multi-run innings to escape with a win in a 10-9 victory over San Jose Thursday. The Mavs scored 2 in the 1st on an RBI single by LF Billy Butler and an RBI force out by RF Alan Moye and added 2 in the 3rd on RBI doubles by Butler and DH Bernard Stephens. The Giants tied it with 4 in the 4th and took the lead with a 5th-inning solo shot by RF Nate Schierholtz. The Mavs struck back with 4 in the 5th on an RBI triple by Moye, an RBI single by Stephens and a 2-run shot by 3B Walter Sevilla (his 3rd). San Jose wouldn't go away with 4 in the 6th to take a 9-8 lead but High Desert delivered the death blow with 2 in the 6th on RBI singles from Moye and Stephens. RPs Nate Moore and Chris Demaria did the rest to secure the win. SP John Gragg III went 5 IP and allowed 5 R (1 ER because of errors by Sevilla and Butler (throwing E for his 2nd in LF)) on 5 hits and 2 BB with 5 Ks to move his ERA to 3.75. RP Drew Endicott got his 2nd blown save with 1/3 IP in which he allowed 4 ER on 6 hits and a BB to bump his ERA to 5.52. Moore got the win with 2 2/3 IP of 1 hit to move to 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA. Demaria got his 13th save with 1 IP of 1 hit and 1 K to lower his ERA to 2.44. 2B Pete Maestrales was 1-5 to drop to .323; SS Angel Sanchez was 2-5 to improve to .288 and had 2 errors to move to 21 on the season; Butler was 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI to improve to .358; 1B Kila Kaaihue came back from the aftereffects of a collision earlier this week and was 0-2 with 3 BB and 2 RS to move to .315 -- his OBP is only 2 points behind Butler; Moye was 3-4 with a triple and 3 RBI to move to .273; and Stephens was 3-4 with a double and 3 RBI to move to .274. CF Chris Lubanski stole his 12th base in the win (and made an outfield assist) and Butler's error was his 21st on the season.

High Desert is 12-9 and 1/2 a game up on Lake Elsinore and Rancho Cucamonga. Tonight's mound matchup: Giants SP Juan Serrato (3-2, 5.06 ERA) v. Dusty Hughes (5-7, 5.63 ERA).

Low-A: A 3-run 1st paid off for Burlington later as the Bees manufactured an 8th-inning run for a 5-4 win over Peoria Thursday. The Bees' first inning included a 2-run double by C Damaso Espino and an RBI single by 1B Eddie Solis. The score remained 3-0 until the 6th when Peoria scored 1 but Burlington matched it in the bottom of the inning on an RBI double by CF Cody Cure. The Chiefs tied it with 3 in the 7th and 8th but Burlington got back on top to stay in the 8th on an RBI ground out by 2B Geraldo Valentin. SP Patrick Green went 7 innings and allowed 3 ER on 6 hits and a BB with 5 Ks to move his ERA to 4.28. RP Adam Rowe blew his 4th save but still got the win with 1 IP of 1 ER on 1 hit to move to 4-4 with a 5.04 ERA. RP Yovany Damico got his 2nd save with a hitless IP that included a K to drop his ERA to 5.00. Espino was 2-5 with a double and 2 RBI to improve to .259; Edward Lucas made it back to the starting lineup at 3B and responded with a 3-4 game to improve to .322; LF Kenard Springer was 2-4 with 2 RS to improve to .226; and Cure was 3-4 with a double and RBI to move to .310. Springer added his 10th and 11th SBs of the season.

Burlington is 10-11 and 4 games back of first. Tonight's series finale pitching matchup: RH Justin Sherman (1-3, 2.27) v. Chiefs RH Grant Johnson (1-3, 4.71). In other Bees news, LHP Matt Campbell is back on the disabled list, retroactive to July 11th, with a posterior strain in his left shoulder. RHP Kraig Schambough joins the Bees from Idaho Falls, where he had no record and a 2.70 ERA in seven appearances. The Royals signed Schambough this June as a non-drafted free agent out of the University of Louisiana-Lafayette.

Rookie: A 6-run 6th did the trick for Idaho Falls in a 10-7 win over Billings to give the Chukars the series. Billings took a 5-0 lead by the 4th inning but Idaho Falls scored 4 in the 4th on a solo homer by 1B Jase Turner (his 4th) and a 3-run homer by C Kiel Thibault (his 1st pro shot). The Chukars broke out in the 6th with a 2-out rally. Thibault had an RBI force out for the first run and a throwing error allowed the next run to score. 2B Josh Colafemina singled home a run, as did SS Chris McConnell before Turner brought 2 runners home with a single to make it a 10-5 score. Billings scored 2 in the 8th but didn't truly threaten. SP Michael Penn went 4 IP and allowed 5 ER on 6 hits with 2 Ks to move his ERA to 5.06. RP Bennett Cromer got the win with 4 IP of 2 ER on 3 hits and a BB with 8 Ks to move to 3-0 with a 4.86 ERA. RP Rusty Begnaud got his 1st save with a hitless IP to drop his ERA to 4.63. CF Ethien Santana was 1-3 with 2 BB and a double to move to .388; McConnell was 2-5 with an RBI to improve to .375; Turner was 3-5 with a HR and 3 RBI to move to .283; DH Blake Adkison was 0-4 to drop to .300; 3B Gary Perez was 2-3 with a BB, double and 2 RS to move to .271; RF Andrew Larsen was 2-3 with 2 RS to move to .289; LF Antonio Sabatini was 0-3 with a BB to drop to .318; and Thibault was 1-4 with a HR, 4 RBI and 2 RS to move to .351.

Idaho Falls is 11-12 and 3 games back of first. Great Falls (9-13) comes to town tonight for a 3-game set.

The ASL Royals kept a great season rolling with a 5-2 win over the A's Thursday. That makes it 4 in a row and 13 wins out of the last 15 games. The Royals took a 2-1 lead with 2 in the 3rd on a 2-run homer by SS Jeff Bianchi (his 5th). The A's tied it in the 5th but the Royals took the lead for good with 2 in the 7th on an RBI single by 3B Valentino Arce and an RBI ground out by 2B Joshua Johnson. The final run came in the 8th on an RBI ground out by RF Oscar Gonzalez. SP Rayner Oliveros had a good start to get the win. He went 6 IP and allowed 2 ER on 3 hits and 2 BB with 1 K to move to 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA. RP Matt Pena got his 3rd save with 3 hitless IP that included 2 Ks to drop his ERA to 1.72. Bianchi was 1-4 with a HR and 2 RBI to move to .471; CF Joseph Dickerson was 1-4 with a double to drop to .329; DH Felix Peralta was 2-4 with a triple to improve to .366; and Arce was 2-4 with an RBI to improve to .406.

The ASL Royals are 14-5 and still a game back of the Giants. They play the Padres today before a day off Saturday.


Brendan said...

Ken -

Love the Royals depth chart.

Do you have any insight into why Brian Bass (23 years old, AA) and Devon Lowery (22, High-A) are on the 40-man roster? I don't think either one has ever been up with the big-league club. Was it to protect them in the Rule V draft last year? If so, why them?

Ken said...

Bass has been touted as one of the big pitching prospects in the organization and Lowery has pitched well when healthy this year at High Desert. I assume they're on the 40-man to protect them from the Rule V. Thanks for the compliment on the depth chart. I like how it's turned out. There's always room for improvement but it's adequate.

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