15 August 2008

Royals on the Farm 8/14 -- Melville signs

The big news today among Royals of the future, at least at this point, until hopefully the Hosmer signing comes through, is the signing of 4th rounder righty and Missouri native Tim Melville, who was reportedly headed for the U of North Carolina unless he got big bucks, which I'm sure the Royals probably gave him. So, for a change, the Royals drafted first-round talent (he was the AFLAC 2007 National High School Player of the Year) in the fourth round due to signability and actually opened up the pursestrings enough to bring him in. Hopefully now he's worth the bother, and he's headed to the AZL.

AAA - Omaha: Albuquerque 5, O-Royals 2

C B. Pena 2-4, HR (3), RBI (21), RS -- .279
3B Spann 2-4, 2B, K -- .500, new signee and Red Sox castoff Chad, was probably worth a flier
RF Hollins 2-4, K -- .227
CF Gathright 1-4, K, OF assist at second -- .125
1B Kaaihue 0-4, K -- .339, first game he hasn't reached base at Omaha
DH Shealy 1-4, 2 K, RS -- .278
LF Lubanski 0-3, K -- .233, can't spell Lubanski without "K"

Wright 6 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 5 BB, 4 K, 3 HRA, WP -- L, 3-9, 5.66 ERA
Lowery 2 IP, H, 4 K -- 2.23 ERA, wonder when he'll get his shot at KC pen
Salmon IP, ER, 2 H, BB, K -- 5.05 ERA

*** Matt Wright couldn't hold the Isotopes down as Albuquerque came back from a 2-0 deficit to set up a shot at a 4-game sweep. The Royals loaded the bases with no outs in the 2nd and Josh Labandeira hit into a double play to score 1 run. Brayan Pena smoked his 3rd homer as a Royal in the 3rd and Omaha had a 2-0 lead. The lead lasted 2 batters into the Isotopes 4th as Wright gave up back-to-back homers to leadoff the inning and lose the lead. It was a rough day for upper-level Royal teams and back-to-back homers, I guess, after the KC pen gave up 4 in a row to the White Sox. Wright stranded the bases full, however, to keep it tied. Omaha stranded 2 in the 5th and Wright gave up a 2-run homer in the 6th to make it 4-2 Albuquerque. Brad Salmon allowed an insurance run on 2 hits and a walk in the 9th and the Royals stranded 1 in the 9th as RP Brandon Villafuerte got his 3rd save for Albuquerque. 'Topes SP Eulogio De La Cruz pitched 8 1/3 innings and allowed 2 ER to improve to 12-7 with a 4.35 ERA. C Paul Lo Duca was 2-3 with a walk. 3B Dallas McPherson also cranked his 40th homer in the win.

Omaha is 53-73 and on a 4-game skid. The Isotopes go for the sweep tonight as LH Chris Seddon (9-8, 4.87) starts vs. Royals RH Roman Colon (3-5, 4.56). Chad Spann was released by the Red Sox in July after hitting for a .497 OPS in 56 games at AAA Pawtucket. He also struggled at AAA last year and the Sox must have grown tired of keeping up hope he'd develop. He turns 25 in October and at one point was a top-10 prospect in the Sox organization. Like I said, worth a flier, at least. And, if anything, it ends the Brayan Pena at third experiment. 1B/RF Mike Stodolka and SS Angel Sanchez have both hit the DL with hand injuries. I guess their seasons are over, but there are only 18 AAA games left....I had hopes of a Stodolka September call-up somehow. Tonight is "Ty Cobb" night at Omaha, as the Royals have a marketing intern that has that name and the same birthday as the baseball legend.

AA - NW Arkansas: Midland 3, Naturals 2 (11)

1B Richardson 1-4, BB, 2B (30), 2 RBI (71), K -- .294
CF Duarte 2-5, E (5) -- .260
3B Lucas 1-3, BB, S, 2 K -- .303
PH-2B Maddox 0-1, E (9) -- .283
* NWA stranded 10.

Cortes 6 IP, ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 9 K, HRA -- 4.02 ERA
Nicoll 2 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K -- BS, 2, 2.72 ERA
C. Hayes 2 1/3 IP, ER, H, BB, 2 K, HRA -- L, 4-2, 1.67 ERA

*** The Naturals' 3 pitchers pitched well but the offense generated no runs after the 1st. Juan Richardson roped a 1-out, 2-run double in the 1st but the Royals would be shut out on 5 more hits through 11 innings thereafter. The Nats stranded 2 in the 2nd and Dan Cortes gave up a solo homer in the 2nd but that would be 1 of only 3 hits he allowed over 6 innings of work. The Nats stranded 2 in the 4th but so did the RockHounds and the game stayed at 2-1 into the 7th. Chris Nicoll gave up a double to the first batter he faced that inning and then a 2-out RBI single tied the game. The game ended abruptly in the 11th when Chris Hayes gave up a walkoff solo homer to C Anthony Recker. RP Andrew Bailey pitched a scoreless 11th to win and move to 3-9 with a 5.00 ERA. Starter Jason Windsor allowed 2 ER over 5 IP to move his ERA to 5.59. 1B Sean Doolittle was 2-5 with a double, K and RS. The walkoff shot was Recker's 10th of the season, and RF Jon Zeringue also clubbed his 20th HR of the season.

NWA is 32-20 and 4 games up on first. The Naturals will try to avoid the sweep tonight as Blake Wood (4-6, 6.15) needs to be in Dr. Jekyll mode versus Midland's James Simmons (7-6, 3.64).

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Salem 2, Blue Rocks 0 (susp.)

*** The game was suspended in the bottom of the 3rd with a 2-0 Salem lead. It will be completed tonight before the regularly scheduled game, which will be shortened to 7 innings. Probables in the regular game are righty Matt Kniginyzky (8-7, 3.38) and Salem's Erick Abreu (6-5, 3.85).

A - Burlington: Bees 6, Clinton 4

DH C. Robinson 3-4, 2 2B (18), 3 RBI (50) -- .252, hitting has picked up
3B Moustakas 1-5, K, RS, E (21) -- .265
2B Giavotella 2-5, K, 2 RS -- .299
LF Walton 2-4, RBI (46) -- .261
CF Lough 1-5, HR (12), RBI (52), K, RS -- .265
1B Taylor 1-3, 2 BB, K, 2 RS, SB (38), E (17) -- .232
LF-RF Francis 0-4, OF assist at second -- .232
RF Van Stratten 0-0 -- pulled in 1st with neck or shoulder injury

Cota 4 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, BB, 5 K, HRA -- 4.56 ERA
Fisher 4 2/3 IP, UER, 2 H, BB, 5 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA

*** Two recovering arm-surgery patients pitched the Bees to a win over the LumberKings to even the series. Luis Cota and the Bees had a rough 1st as 2 singles scored a run and a solo homer made it 2-0 Clinton. To make matters worse, RF Nick Van Stratten left the game with a neck or shoulder injury. None of the game stories I've seen make much mention of it, so hopefully it's minor. Cota left the bases loaded and Van Stratten's replacement, Jamar Walton, singled home a run in the 2nd to cut the lead in half. Clint Robinson came up with the bases loaded and 2 out in the 3rd and had a big hit with a 3-run double to put the Bees up, 4-2. The Bees stranded 2 in the 5th and Cota retired 10 in a row before putting 2 on with 1 out in the 5th and getting pulled for Brent Fisher, who was making his '08 Bees debut. Fisher allowed a sac fly before getting out of the inning with the lead intact. The Bees rallied in the 7th as David Lough led off the inning with his 12th homer of the season and Johnny Giavotella took advantage of 2 wild pitches and a Clinton error to score from first and make it 6-3 Bees. Fisher took the lead into the 9th and got a K that wasn't when the ball got away from catcher Joe Billick and Jason Taylor made a missed catch error at first to allow the runner to take third. The 'Kings capitalized with an RBI single but Fisher stranded 2 to get a win in his Bees return. Clinton starter Michael Kirkman took the loss with 6 IP of 4 ER allowed to fall to 3-3 with a 4.55 ERA. 2B Matt Lawson and LF Tim Smith had 2 hits and Smith was ejected after striking out looking in the 9th. 1B Mitch Moreland hit his 14th homer and had 2 RBI, and Lawson stole his 17th base.

The Bees are 31-21 and 2 1/2 games up on first. The series wraps up tonight as Alex Caldera (9-6, 3.18) takes on Clinton's Ryan Tatusko (2-8, 4.55). Reliever Barry Bowden, who was one of the Burlington Royals' best pitchers, has been added to the Bees roster along with P Kelvin Herrera, as mentioned yesterday. Joe Augustine was put on the DL to make room for Bowden, although I guess the move is temporary for Barry.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Chukars 5, Great Falls 1

3B Jimenez 3-4, RBI (20), K, RS, SB (17), CS (4) -- .299
RF Testa 3-4, 2 RS -- .261, has gotten hang of hitting at IF
1B Espinosa 2-4, 2B (7) -- .204
CF Norris 1-4, 2 RBI (13), K -- .253
C McCauley 1-3, SF, RBI (17) -- .263
DH A. Perez 1-4, 2B (12), RBI (26), 2 K -- .233
SS Alfaro 1-4, 3B (3), K, RS -- .258
LF Griffin 1-4, K -- .239

Toribio 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K -- W, 1-4, 5.36 ERA, breaks into W column
J. Garcia 3 IP, H, BB, K -- 3.21 ERA
B. Hardy IP, H -- 4.85 ERA

*** Three IF pitchers combined to pretty much hold Great Falls in check. Patrick Norris hit a 2-run single in the 2nd to spot the Chukars the lead and Alwin Perez stroked an RBI double in the 4th to make it 3-0. Aneidy Toribio gave up a 2-out RBI triple in the 5th but J.D. Alfaro led off the IF 5th with a 3-bagger and scored on an Antonio Jimenez single before a Sean McCauley sac fly scored Antonio to make it 5-1 IF. Neither Justin Garcia nor Blaine Hardy ran into trouble from the 6th on to nail down the victory. Great Falls SP Kevin Skogley took the loss with 4 2/3 IP of 5 runs (3 ER) allowed to fall to 4-3 with a 4.76 ERA. 2B Jesus Avila and 3B Kyle Shelton had 2 hits for Great Falls.

The Chukars are 7-10 and 6 games back. The series continues tonight as IF sends Bryan Casey (2-3, 2.86) to the mound vs. Voyagers SP Joshua Billeaud (2-0, 3.82).

Rookie - Burlington: B-Royals 5, Bluefield 2

1B D. Wood 2-4, 2 RBI (16) -- .286
C Vittek 2-4, 2 RS -- .280
RF McFadden 2-3, HBP, 3B -- .211
DH S. Perez 1-3, BB, 2 RBI (7), K -- .290, announces return with authority
CF H. Richardson 1-4, BB, K, RS, SB (10), CS (7) -- .230
3B F. Cruz 0-3, RBI (14) -- .244
LF Caldwell 0-3, BB, RS -- .193

Lehmann 6 IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K -- W, 4-3, 3.45 ERA, nice outing
Mieles 2 IP, H, BB, 2 K -- 5.82 ERA
Farinas IP, 2 ER, H, BB, 2 K, WP -- 11.20 ERA

*** The Royals took a 3-hit shutout into the 9th and didn't blank the O's but still got the win in the opener. Mike Lehmann stranded 2 in the 1st but only allowed 1 hit over the next 5 innings. The Royals stranded 2 in the 2nd but a Fernando Cruz RBI groundout in the 4th gave Burlington a 1-0 lead. The Royals loaded the bases with 2 out in the 6th and Salvador Perez singled in 2 runs to make it 3-0. David Wood piled on a 2-run single in the 7th to make it 5-0. Williams Farinas would have had a 1-2-3 9th if not for a wild pitch third strike, and he allowed a walk and 2-run double before finally ending it. O's starter Colin Allen took the loss with 5 2/3 IP of 3 runs (2 ER) allowed to fall to 2-2 with a 1.93 ERA. 3B Levi Carolus was 1-4 with a K, double and 2 RBI.

The Royals are 19-36. The series continues tonight with no announced starters on the team site.

Rookie - AZL: Royals 5, Brewers 2

2B Jose 2-4, HR (2), 2 RBI (13), K, 2 RS -- .256
CF Llanos 2-5, 2 K -- .170
LF Mariano 1-4, 2B (2), 2 RBI (5), 3 K -- .074
C J. Bonilla 1-3, HBP, 3B (3), RBI (24), K, RS -- .360
RF Del Rosario 1-4, K -- .301
3B Kuebler 0-4, 2 K -- .198

D. De La Cruz 5 IP, 2 H, BB, 10 K, balk -- W, 5-2, 3.56 ERA, got a good feeling about Deybi
Billo 3 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 4 K, balk -- 7.04 ERA
J. Smith IP, BB, K -- SV, 1, 1.50 ERA

*** Deybi De La Cruz had a remarkable outing with 10 Ks over 5 innings of work and the Royals finished off a win versus the AZL's weakest team. Lifete Jose hit an RBI single in the 2nd and Miguel Mariano doubled home 2 runs to give the Royals a 3-0 lead. De La Cruz retired 9 of the first 10 he faced, including striking out 3 in the 2nd. He got 2 more Ks in the 4th to escape a 1-out, runners at second and third situation. Jose Bonilla ripped an RBI triple in the 5th and Jose led off the 6th with his 2nd homer of the season to make it 5-0. '08 draftee Greg Billo pitched 2 perfect innings but then got touched up for 2 runs in the 8th on 3 hits. Jace Smith stranded 1 in the 9th for his 1st save. Brewers starter Nick Bucci took the loss with 3 ER allowed over 2 IP to fall to 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA. LF Allixon Cequea was 2-4 with a double, RBI and 2 K.

The Royals are 6-10. They have tonight off. I wonder how long it'll be until Melville makes his organizational debut. I guess only time will tell at this point....

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