19 August 2009

Royals on the Farm 8/18 -- Myers debuts in rookie Burlington

Much is being made in the Royals Internet circle of the Alex Gordon demotion. It's obvious (despite what spouts from the FO) the team is using the demotion to delay his free agency a year, and I can see it, why burn a year of his service time on a season like this? He isn't hitting, the team is going nowhere. Of course, it makes no sense to still have Roman Colon in the bullpen -- or John Bale, for that matter. Now another gas can joins the mix in the return of Farnsworth, whose numbers don't scream gas can -- he has an ERA in the 4.2s and a 1.28 WHIP, but anyone who's watched has seen that he pitches fine in a meaningless situation, the game either in the bag or in the toilet, but once it's a pivotal situation, get out the flame retardant gear. I agree that Dayton Moore should be maybe injecting some new blood into the bullpen mix, but I don't think Carlos Rosa or Chris Hayes or Victor Marte is gonna do any better than who they've got. Not markedly better, anyway, but still, worth a shot. I think Lenny DiNardo could hold his own out of the pen, could at least do what Bale or Colon is, probably better, I'd bet, but the Royals don't seem in any rush to give him a chance. At some point here I plan to match up the preseason PECOTA projections/predictions I worked together in March with how the guys are actually doing. Some might be actually pretty close. Others aren't. On to today's report....

AAA - Omaha: Tacoma 4, O-Royals 2

1B Ka'aihue 1-3, BB, RBI (50) -- .260
SS Hernandez 0-3, BB, RS -- .311, snaps 9-game hit streak
DH Aldridge 1-4, K -- .311
3B Lisson 0-4, K -- .221

Nicoll 4 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K, HRA -- L, 0-1, 14.54 ERA, pressed into first start in long while by Duckworth elbow flare-up
Chavez 3 IP, 3 K -- 0.00 ERA, nice AAA debut
Marte IP, H, BB, 3 K -- 2.41 ERA

*** Chris Nicoll's first start in forever (he only made 2 starts in '08, and those may have been on rehabs, I can't remember) went well until the 4th, when Tacoma rallied and held on to win. Two Tacoma errors helped the O-Royals to their 2 runs in the 1st, and Nicoll had retired 8 in a row with 1 out in the 4th. Things immediately fell apart, tho, as a triple and 2 walks loaded the bases and DH Brad Nelson cashed in the Rainiers' chips with a grand slam for his 14th homer of the season. So, all in all, the Royals allowed 4 hits on the night but only 2 ended up really hurting. Omaha stranded 2 in the 7th as the last 7 Royals went down in order. RP Randy Messenger got his 25th save for Tacoma. Starter Gaby Hernandez picked up the W with 2 ER allowed on 6 hits and 4 walks with 3 Ks over 6 2/3 IP to move to 6-9 with a 6.01 ERA. LF Mike Carp had 2 hits and Nelson's 4 RBI gave him 38 on the season.

The O-Royals are 51-71. Game 2 is tonight as Mike O'Connor (1-0, 3.72) makes his 2nd Omaha start opposite Tacoma righty Brandon Morrow (2-2, 4.04). Lefty Heath Phillips left his start Monday with a pulled glute muscle. He has already been placed on the DL with RP Chris Chavez getting the call from NWA after only being there a very short time -- he logged a whopping 4 2/3 IP in AA after starting the season in Wilmington. Brandon Duckworth, as noted, missed Tuesday's scheduled start because of a "tender right elbow", so the rotation is hurting right now. They could probably use a starter from AA -- Anthony Lerew time, maybe? Gordon is slated to join the O-Royals tonight. He should be an attendance boost on the upcoming last homestand.

AA - NW Arkansas: off day

The Naturals are 29-21 and 2 games up. A 3-game set at the Midland RockHounds (29-21, AA A's) starts tonight with Blake Johnson (7-7, 4.56) facing 'Hounds righty Graham Godfrey (10-6, 3.72). The Naturals are 3-6 versus Midland.

A-Adv. - Wilmington: Blue Rocks 6, Frederick 5 (7/G1)

SS Seratelli 2-2, HBP, RS, SB (17) -- .298
C Eigsti 1-1, BB, SF, HR (2), 3 RBI (28), RS -- .198
3B Moustakas 1-4, RBI (76), K -- .252
2B Giavotella 1-4, RBI (40), RS, SB (21) -- .256
CF D. Robinson 0-3, BB, 2 K, RS, SB (60) -- .239
DH C. Robinson 0-4 -- .279
1B Hosmer 1-3 -- .196
RF Van Stratten 1-3, 2B (5), RS -- .262

Gutierrez 4 2/3 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, BB, 4 K -- 2.70 ERA, scoreless ways end abruptly
Coleman 2 IP, H, 3 K -- W, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, lights out
Sisk 1/3 IP, K -- SV, 15, 2.24 ERA

*** The Rocks squandered a 5-0 lead but got a run in the 6th to win in the twinbill-shortened game. Nobody had reached base until Paulo Orlando reached on an error to start the Rocks 3rd and Ryan Eigsti whipped a 2-run homer to left for his 2nd of the season to kickstart a rally. Johnny Giavotella and Mike Moustakas hit RBI singles and a Clint Robinson double-play ball drove in another run to make it 5-0 Rocks. Danny Gutierrez had retired the first 7 Keys but gave up a 2-out, 2-run double in the 4th to cut the lead down to 5-2. Wilmington stranded 2 in the 4th and the Keys tied it off Gutierrez and Louis Coleman in the 5th on 4 singles and a couple steals in the inning. Nick Van Stratten led off the 6th with a double, advanced on a bunt and scored on an Eigsti sac fly to put the Rocks back on top. Coleman retired every batter he faced after giving up the game-tying single in the 5th and Brandon Sisk got the final out for his 15th save. RP Brian Parker took the loss with an ER allowed in 3 IP to fall to 4-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Starter Richard Zagone worked 3 IP of 5 runs (3 ER) allowed on 4 hits and a walk with a K to move his ERA to 6.14. SS Pedro Florimon Jr. had 2 hits and 3 RBI (60).

Blue Rocks 4, Frederick 2 (7/G2)

DH Fontaine 2-2, BB, S, RBI (9), RS, SB (2) -- .333
CF D. Robinson 2-4, SB (61) -- .242, 1 away from tying his own single season Rocks SB record
C Morizio 1-4, 2B (2), RBI (4) -- .146, BA is breathtaking, Rocks got offensive production at catcher for a change in both games
3B Moustakas 1-4, RS -- .252
2B Giavotella 0-4, RS -- .253
1B C. Robinson 1-4, K -- .278
* The Rocks stranded 10.

Paulino 6 1/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, K, HRA, balk -- W, 8-6, 3.75 ERA
Rivas 2/3 IP, nothing -- SV, 1, 5.48 ERA

*** Eduardo Paulino had a good start and the Rocks took advantage of 6 Keys errors to sweep the double dip. Chase Fontaine hit an RBI single in the 1st before the Rocks stranded 2. Paulino stranded 2 in scoring position in the 3rd and 2 Keys errors and a Matt Morizio RBI double in the 4th made it 3-0 Rocks. Two more Frederick errors and a Clint Robinson run-scoring double-play ball stretched the lead to 4-0 in the 5th. Paulino's only real misstep was a 2-run homer by 3B Brandon Waring (his 23rd) in the 6th. The Rocks left the bases loaded in the 7th and Carlos Rivas got the last 2 outs to pick up his 1st save. Keys SP Pat Egan took the loss with 3 runs (2 ER) allowed on 6 hits and a K over 3 1/3 IP to fall to 1-3 with a 1.75 ERA. Florimon Jr. had 2 hits, both doubles (31), in game 2 as well. He also had 3 errors to get to 33 in that stat. Waring's 2 RBI gave him 83 on the season.

The Rocks are 31-19 and back in front by 1/2 a game. Mario Santiago (6-12, 4.32) takes the mound for Wilmington tonight versus Keys righty Kenny Moreland (3-1, 3.96). Oddly, the Rocks have a Jed Lowrie bobblehead night set for Friday. He might have been a great Blue Rock in the short span when Wilmington was a Red Sox affiliate, but he's still a Red Sox guy, not a Royals guy. What's up with that? I'll be looking for High Desert to have a Chris Lubanski bobblehead night soon. Would make as much sense.

A - Burlington: Bees 14, Kane County 1

DH Taylor 3-4, 2 BB, 2B (8), 3 RBI (20), RS, SB (9) -- .240
3B Morales 3-4, BB, 3B, 2 RBI (6), 2 RS -- .370
SS R. Wood 3-4, BB, 2 2B (4), K, 4 RS -- .236, hitting all of a sudden
2B Molina 2-4, BB, 2B (4), 2 RBI (10), RS -- .242
LF Griffin 2-5, 2B (11), 2 RBI (16), 2 K, RS, SB -- .289
RF Francis 2-4, SF, 2B (23), 3B (4), RBI (62), K, 2 RS -- .276
CF Ortiz 1-6, 2 RBI (14), 2 RS -- .212
C Graterol 0-4, SF, RBI (5) -- .297
* The one guy I didn't note, 1B David Wood, struck out 5 times. The Bees stranded 10.

Melville 5 IP, ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K, HRA, E (3) -- W, 5-7, 4.10 ERA
J. Garcia 3 IP, 3 H, 2 K -- 4.47 ERA
Bowden IP, H, 2 K -- 2.32 ERA

*** The Bees scored 12 unanswered runs to take 3 of 4 from Kane County in the set. Kane County threatened in the 1st but the Bees caught a runner stealing home to keep the Cougars off the board. Nick Francis doubled and scored on a Juan Graterol sac fly in the 2nd and Jason Morales singled home a run to make it 2-0 Burlington. 1B Stephen Parker took Tim Melville deep in the 3rd (his 5th) to account for the only KC run. The Bees scored 6 in the 4th on a 2-run Yeldrys Molina double, an Adrian Ortiz RBI fielder's choice, a run-scoring wild pitch, a Francis sac fly and Shawn Griffin RBI single to make it 8-1. Jason Taylor hit a 2-out, 2-run double in the 5th and Griffin doubled home a run before Morales tripled him home in the 6th to make it 12-1. Ortiz hit an RBI forceout and Taylor singled home a run in the 8th to finish the scoring. Starter Mathieu Leblanc Poirier threw 5 wild pitches and took the loss with 3 1/3 IP of 8 ER allowed on 7 hits and 2 walks with 4 Ks to fall to 3-7 with a 5.30 ERA. Parker had 2 hits with the HR and his 30th RBI.

The Bees are 23-28 and 8 games out. They have today off. Despite their struggles this season, they are in the hunt for a playoff spot competing against Clinton and Quad Cities.

Rookie - Idaho Falls: Chukars 6, Billings 4

SS D. Batista 3-5, 3B (6), 2 RBI (45), K, RS, E (14) -- .286
2B Franco 3-5, 3B (2), RBI (17), 2 RS -- .247
1B Lewis 1-4, HR, 2 RBI (4), 2 K, RS -- .375, first pro longball
CF H. Richardson 1-5, 2B (11), RBI (15), K -- .321
C S. Perez 0-4 -- .321
DH Theriot 1-3, BB -- .318
RF Llanos 0-4, 2 K -- .222

Arias 5 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, BB, 5 K, HRA -- W, 3-3, 5.00 ERA
Hodge 2 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, WP -- 7.13 ERA
Folmer 2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 4 K, HRA -- SV, 5, 4.29 ERA

*** Chukar pitchers kept the Mustangs at bay to hold on for the win. Angel Franco hit a 1-out triple in the 1st and scored on a Deivy Batista single to get IF off to a good start. The lead flipped in the 3rd as Carlos Arias served up a 2-run homer to Billings SS Mariekson Gregorius (his 1st). Joey Lewis responded with his 1st pro homer in the 4th as the 2-run shot made it 3-2 IF. Batista hit an RBI triple in the 6th to make it 4-2, which held as the lead into the 9th. Hilton Richardson doubled home an insurance run and Franco singled in another run to make it 6-2 going into the bottom of the 9th. Richard Folmer gave up a 2-out, 2-run homer to C Mark Fleury (his 2nd) but got a flyout from the next batter to end it. Billings SP Leonardo Astorga took the loss with 6 IP of 4 ER allowed on 7 hits and a walk with 3 Ks to drop to 2-5 with a 4.61 ERA. Fleury had 2 hits and his 2 RBI gave him 9 on the season. Gregorius' 2 RBI gave him 12 in that stat.

The Chukars are 9-6 and still 4 1/2 games back of Orem. The series with the Mustangs ends tonight as Santiago Garrido (1-2, 5.44) faces Billings righty Oscar Castro in his level debut.

Rookie - Burlington: Pulaski 6, B-Royals 2

C F. Cruz 2-4, K -- .293
CF G. Beltre 2-4, RS, SB (7) -- .233
2B Tschepikow 1-3, BB, RBI (8), K -- .250
RF Del Rosario 1-4, RBI (17), K, E (5) -- .288
DH W. Myers 0-4, K -- .000, pro debut, 2 groundouts, the K and a GIDP
LF Pickett 1-1, 2B (2) -- .272, pulled in 3rd

Billo 5 IP, 2 R (1 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, HRA, pickoff -- 2.12 ERA, pickoff, coincidentally, was of M's 2B Fred Bello, marking, I bet, the first time in pro baseball history a Billo has picked off a Bello or vice versa
Fortuna 3 1/3 IP, 4 R (2 ER), 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, HRA, WP -- L, 2-6, 4.76 ERA
B. Richardson 2/3 IP, nothing -- 4.71 ERA

*** The Mariners did all the scoring after the 4th to sweep the B-Royals. Pulaski scratched out a run in the 1st but Burlington matched it on a Luis Del Rosario RBI single. Ben Tschepikow hit a 2-out RBI single in the 4th but the M's got a leadoff homer from CF Jarrett Burgess (his 5th) in the 5th to tie the game. Carlos Fortuna stranded 2 in the 6th but served up a 2-run homer to 3B Vinnie Catricala (his 7th) in the 7th to break it open. Pulaski pieced together single runs in the 8th and 9th and Burlington stranded 2 in the 8th. Mariners SP Brandon Maurer worked 6 IP of 2 runs (1 ER) allowed on 8 hits and 2 walks with 2 Ks to improve to 3-4 with a 4.12 ERA. LF Brandon Haveman had 2 hits and Catricala had his 2 RBI (32) for Pulaski. Both scored twice. Haveman improved to .342.

The B-Royals are 18-37. They have today off. According to the Burlington Times-News, Myers is slated to play the Johnson City series next, then head to Idaho Falls. Looks like they have him on the Hosmer plan. The last time he faced live pitching before Tuesday he homered in his last HS AB.

Rookie - AZL: Royals 7, Cubs 6 (11)

2B Piterson 3-6, 2 2B (7), 2 RBI (12), RS -- .298
1B G. Baldwin 2-5, BB, 3B (5), 2 K, RS, SB (2) -- .262, breaking out of slump?
LF S. Cabrera 1-5, 2 RBI (13), K, RS, SB (5) -- .202
C Matos 1-3, HBP, RBI (10), RS, 2 PB (5) -- .311
DH L. Adams 0-5, 3 K -- .225
CF Howard 1-4, BB, 2B (4), K, 2 RS, OF assist at second -- .182
RF Cooper 1-4, BB, 2 K, RS, SB (6), picked off, OF assist at third -- .227

L. Santiago 6 IP, 3 ER, 11 H, 5 K -- 5.89 ERA
B. Wood 2/3 IP, 2 H, K -- 0.00 ERA, rehab
L. Ortega 1 2/3 IP, 2 UER, H, BB, 2 K -- 4.15 ERA
Bavera 1/3 IP, UER, H -- 0.51 ERA
J. Adams 2 1/3 IP, 2 K -- BS, 1, W, 1-1, 1.93 ERA

*** The Royals blew a 3-run lead in the 9th but picked up the W in 11. They stranded 2 in the 1st and the Cubs scored 2 off Leonel Santiago to take the lead. The Cubs added a run on 4 hits off Santiago in the 3rd but the Royals got back in the game with 2 in the 4th on a Mauricio Matos RBI single and Santos Cabrera RBI fielder's choice, although they left the bases loaded. The lead swung the Royals way in a 4-run 6th as Cabrera hit an RBI single, Chanse Cooper hit an RBI single and Luis Piterson ripped a 2-run double to make it 6-3 Royals. Claudio Bavera came in with 2 on and 1 out in the 9th and allowed 2 runs thanks in part to an error behind him, and Jack Adams was brought in. A Mauricio Matos passed ball (his 2nd of the inning) allowed the tying run to score before Adams escaped the inning with Edul Escobar behind the plate. Piterson doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the 11th and Adams pitched his 2nd perfect inning for the win. RP Melvin Vasquez took the loss with an ER allowed in an IP to fall to 0-2 with a 7.63 ERA. Cubs SP Julio Pena worked 3 1/3 IP of 2 ER allowed on 3 hits and a walk with 4 Ks to move his ERA to 3.55. Six Cubs had multi-hit games. C Sergio Burruel had 3 hits and 2 RBI (6) to move to .375 and CF Francisco Guzman had 3 hits and 2 RS for the Cubs.

The 6-13 Royals have today off.

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