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Wednesday, June 30, 2004

A Night of Firsts 

Royals 4, Orioles 3: Mike Wood got his first Royals win, John Buck got his first major league hit, and Shawn Camp got his first major league save—as the Royals got their first win since trading Carlos Beltran. Wood went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, striking out 3 and walking none. Desi Relaford’s RBI double put the Royals ahead for good in the 6th inning. Box Score

Brian Anderson starts tonight against Daniel Cabrera. The 7:10 game will be on RSTN.

Mike Wood was sharp in his Royals debut.
Royals Notes: Jose Bautista hopes to prove himself, and Joe Randa has successful surgery.
Jeff Flanagan thinks the 2006 lineup may look something like this:
DeJesus, CF
Maier, LF
Sweeney, DH
Harvey, 1B
Teahen, 3B
Lubanski, RF
Berroa, SS
Buck, C
Blanco, 2B
Somehow that doesn’t inspire me much—maybe the rotation of Hernandez-Greinke-Gobble-Bautista-Howell can make up for it…
John Sickels with a look at John Buck.
Joe Posnanski suggests moving the fences in again, or building the team around speed and defense. What are we built around now, slugging and pitching? I guess the answer is: not much of anything.
Jeremy Affeldt has been elected as the new Royals’ representative to the players’ union, replacing Jason Grimsley.
Aaron Gleeman has named Desi Relaford and Brian Anderson to his "Bizarro World All-Star Team." And no, that's not a good thing.

This Date in Royals History:
June 30, 1998—Mark McGwire hits his 37th home run of the season, tying Reggie Jackson’s pre-All Star Game record. The 472-foot shot off Glendon Rusch lands in the upper deck at Busch. The Royals beat the Cardinals, 6-1. Box Score

Royals Trivia: (Answer will be in comments tomorrow)
What former Royal is 47 years old today? He originally joined KC as a “player to be named later” more than 4 months after the original trade. His best season was 1984, when he had career highs in wins, complete games, innings pitched, and strikeouts, and also led the league in WHIP. In his career, he started 296 games and appeared as a reliever in 102 games.

// posted by Harley @ 9:06 AM

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

From Bad to Worse 

Orioles 10, Royals 1: The Royals, still winless since trading Carlos Beltran, dropped to a season-worst 17 games under .500 with last night’s loss. Darrell May allowed 7 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings pitched and the bullpen couldn’t slow down Baltimore’s offense. Meanwhile, the Royals stranded 7 base-runners. The night’s only bright spot was David DeJesus gunning down Brian Roberts at home plate. Box Score.

Mike Wood makes his Royals debut tonight against Sidney Ponson in a 7:10 game on RSTN.

Joe Randa went on the 15-day disabled list yesterday, with torn cartilage in his knee. He’ll undergo arthroscopic knee surgery today and should be out for about a month.
KC picked up utility man Jose Bautista from Tampa Bay in exchange for cash. He’ll take Randa’s roster spot.
Brian Anderson will rejoin the starting rotation tomorrow night. Apparently he’ll replace Dennys Reyes in the bullpen, with Reyes moving back to long relief. This move doesn’t make much sense to me…perhaps Anderson has been pitching better than Reyes over the past couple of weeks?

The Stat Guy compares the divergent fates of the Royals and the Devil Rays this season.
Baseball Prospectus’ This Week in Quotes, Beltran trade edition.

Luke Greinke, Zack’s 17-year old brother, is playing in the USA Baseball Tournament of Stars in Joplin, Missouri, this week.

On the Farm:
Alexis Gomez went 2 for 5 with a triple for Omaha, raising his average to .224 on Sunday.
For Wilmington, Mitch Aviles went 2 for 5 with a double and is hitting .296.
Shane Costa went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI and is now hitting .271.
Donnie Murphy is hitting .292 after a 2 for 5 performance, with a double, a homer, and 2 RBI.

// posted by Harley @ 9:04 AM

Monday, June 28, 2004

I-70 Swept 

Friday--Cardinals 5, Royals 2: The Redbirds took advantage of Zack Greinke’s mistakes, with the big blow coming on a 3-run double down the left field line, hit by an off-balance Scott Rolen. Mike Sweeney homered late in the game, but the Royals rally fell short. John Buck made his MLB debut in the game. Box Score.

Saturday--Cardinals 3, Royals 1: Locked in a 1-1 tie, Mike Sweeney scorched a line drive in the bottom of the 9th—but right at Edgar Renteria, who flipped to 2nd for an inning-ending double play. Albert Pujols walked and stole second in the 10th and scored on a Renteria single. Jeremy Affeldt left the game in the 9th with pain in his ribcage. Box Score.

Sunday--Cardinals 10, Royals 3: St. Louis rapped out 15 singles, and took advantage of opportunities. The Royals did not, stranding 12 runners on the day. Jimmy Gobble left the game in the 5th after allowing 7 runs on 8 hits. Box Score.

Darrell May pitches tonight against Erik Bedard and the Baltimore Orioles. The 7:10 game will be on RSTN.

Jeremy Affeldt went on the disabled list on Sunday. He’s been diagnosed with a strained oblique, the same injury that Carlos Beltran had in spring 2003. Affeldt could be out anywhere from 2 to 8 weeks, with the Royals going with a ”closer by committee” in the interim.
And Kelly Stinnett will have to have reconstructive elbow surgery and will miss the rest of the season. KC picked up Raul Casanova from the Pawtucket Red Sox for a player to be named later on Friday. Casanova has been assigned to Omaha.
Rob & Rany on the Beltran trade. Well, mostly Rany.
Bob Dutton looks at how the “dead deal” came back to life. ESPN’s John Sickels on the prospects landed in the deal. And Joe Posnanski reports that the Sweeney trade rumors were a myth.
Life without Carlos Beltran so far hasn’t been kind to KC.
Beltran made his Houston debut on Friday.
David DeJesus is more relaxed this time around, as the Royals’ everyday center fielder.
The slumping Ken Harvey is still in the hunt for the AL batting crown.
The Royals get a C- in Baseball Prospectus’ latest Critical Guide.

On the Farm:
On Saturday, Mark Teahen made his Omaha debut, going 0 for 2 with 2 walks.
Denny Bautista made his Wichita debut, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out 7.
Colt Griffin pitched a scoreless inning in relief for Wichita, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out 1.
Ambiorix Burgos had his record drop to 1-8 for Burlington. He took the loss after allowing just 1 run on 1 hit and 5 walks in 5 innings. He struck out 8 and lowered his ERA to 5.78.
1st-round draft pick J.P. Howell threw 5 innings for Texas in the College World Series. He allowed 3 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks, striking out 5.
On Friday, Carlos Santos went 2 for 4 with a double for Wichita. He’s hitting .269.
Jimmy Serrano threw 8 shutout innings, allowing 5 hits and no walks, and striking out 12. His Texas League ERA stands at 0.73.
In Arizona, Miguel Vega went 2 for 4 with a double and 2 RBI. He’s hitting .412.
2004 3rd-round pick Joshua Johnson went 2 for 3 and stole 2 bases, raising his average to .357.
On Thursday, Andres Blanco went 3 for 4 with an RBI and is hitting .269 for Wichita.
Kevin Appier threw 4 innings, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits, striking out one.
Shane Costa went 2 for 4 for the Blue Rocks and is hitting .266.
Brian McFall, a 3rd-round pick in 2003, went 2 for 3 with a double for Idaho Falls, raising his average to .316.
In the College World Series, 1st-round pick Matt Campbell took the loss for South Carolina, allowing 4 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings, walking 2 and striking out 7.

Stats Leaders: (through June 26)
KC ranks 7th in RCAA and 14th in RSAA.
Ken Harvey is 5th in average, 8th in singles, 10th in OWP, 27th in OPS.
Joe Randa is 3rd in sac flies.
Jeremy Affeldt is 2nd in balks.
Desi Relaford has the 9th-worst RCAA.
Darrell May has the 6th-worst RSAA, is 1st in neutral losses, 2nd in losses, 2nd in home runs allowed, 6th in runs allowed, 8th in complete games, 9th in hits allowed, 10th in earned runs allowed.
Brian Anderson has the worst RSAA, is 2nd in runs allowed, 3rd in earned runs allowed, 4th in home runs allowed, 5th in losses, 5th in hits allowed, 8th in neutral losses.

// posted by Harley @ 8:41 AM

Royals Survivor Finale 

Nate, America has spoken.

And so ends a grueling month of Royals Survivor, with Nate Field emerging as the first ever sole Royals Survivor!

// posted by Harley @ 8:37 AM

Friday, June 25, 2004

The Post-Beltran Era Begins 

Tigers 12, Royals 3: The Royals were once again denied their first sweep of the season, with Chris George giving up 9 runs in the first 3 innings. Carlos Beltran and Mike Sweeney both homered for the Royals, who were held to just 4 hits. A key error by Joe Randa in the 2nd led to 4 unearned Detroit runs. Box Score.

Zack Greinke faces Matt Morris tonight in a 7:10 game, airing on RSTN. The I-70 series will continue with a Woody Williams/Dennys Reyes matchup at 6:10 on Saturday, and Jimmy Gobble facing Jason Marquis in Sunday’s 1:10 finale. Big crowds are expected all weekend.

Carlos Beltran was at a barbeque at Mike Sweeney’s new house when he got the news that he’d been traded.
Joe Posanski says it’s a good trade—and that makes him sad.
Bob Dutton says “Adios, Carlos.”
Jeff Passan remembers “The Catch.”
David Glass would have liked to keep Beltran, but is happy with the results of the trade.
The KC Star has a look at the newest Royals.
Beltran’s teammates knew the trade was coming.
A Beltran timeline, and the ESPN Sportsnation poll on the trade.

More Trade Reactions:
Aaron Gleeman at The Hardball Times
Baseball Musings
Baseball Primer
John Donovan at Sports Illustrated
Royal Revival
SFGate
A Large Regular
6-4-2
The Juice Box
Astro in Exile
Redbird Nation
Phil Wallace
Cubs Pundit
A's Y'all
Leone For Third
San Diego Spotlight
Mariners Analysis
Baseball Etcetera
The Citizens Report
Scroll down to last night's post for even more of these...

In non-Beltran news, Nate Field has quietly been getting the job done in the bullpen. With the departures of Jason Grimsley and Curtis Leskanic, he’ll have more prominence.
Here’s a look at who could be traded next. The list includes Matt Stairs, Joe Randa, Juan Gonzalez, and Scott Sullivan.
At Home Plate with a look at Zack Greinke.
And another new Royals blog: Powder Blue Pinetar!

Milestones:
Carlos Beltran ends his Royals career (for now) having left quite a mark on the franchise in 7 seasons. He ranks:
6th in stolen bases, with 164.
7th in RBI, with 516.
8th in homers, with 123.
9th in hits, with 899.
10th in doubles, with 156.
15th in games, with 795.

On the Farm:
On Wednesday, David DeJesus went 2 for 4 with a stolen base for Omaha. He’s hitting .315.
Ruben Gotay homered and drove in 2 for Wichita, and is batting .293.
Kyle Middleton got his 4th win of the year, allowing 2 runs—1 earned—on 7 hits and 2 walks, striking out 7 in 8 1/3 IP. His ERA stands at 4.48.
In the Arizona Rookie League, 2003 4th-round pick Miguel Vega is tearing things up in the early going. He went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer, 3 RBI, and 4 runs scored and is hitting .444.
And 2004 6th-round draft pick Chad Blackwell was in action for South Carolina. He threw 3 scoreless innings, walking 1 and striking out 2 to pick up his 20th save of the year.

This Date in Royals History:
June 25, 2002—Tony Pena and Luis Pujols become the first Dominican-born managers to oppose each other in a major league game. The Royals beat the Tigers, 8-6. Box Score

Enjoy the weekend! My next post will be on Monday.

// posted by Harley @ 9:45 AM

Royals Survivor: Double Secret Twist Ending 

In a bizarre development that not even the show's host (me) could have predicted, one of the final two survivors is traded off of the island just hours before the finale. Imagine Nate's surprise when he arrives at tribal council tonight... and no one else is there.
Suffice it to say that we have a dilemma in wrapping up our month-long endeavor to determine the best survivor on the Royals roster.
And so, in the biggest twist ever seen on Royals Survivor, I'm going to let you decide who deserves to be the Sole Royals Survivor.

Here are your choices:
1. Name Nate the Sole Royals Survivor--after all, he's the only one left!
2. Name Carlos the Sole Royals Survivor--because he found a way off the island!
3. Use Carlos' first game with the Astros and Nate's next game to determine the winner.
4. Use Carlos' performance from Day 19.5 (Wednesday) and Nate's next appearance to determine the winner.

Leave your choice in the comments, and the winner of Royals Survivor will be revealed on Monday!

// posted by Harley @ 9:09 AM

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Beltran Traded! 

Carlos Beltran is now a member of the Houston Astros. In a 3-team deal that was rumored on Tuesday, and denied on Wednesday, Carlos Beltran goes to Houston, Octavio Dotel goes to Oakland, and Kansas City gets a trio of prospects: third baseman Mike Teahen, catcher John Buck, and right-handed starting pitcher Mike Wood. KC also gives "cash considerations" to Oakland in the deal, rumored to be around $1 million. Buck and Wood will be assigned to the major league roster immediately, with Teahen heading to Omaha. Wood is the only one of the three with MLB experience, having thrown 13 innings for the 2003 A's. Chris George and Mike Tonis are being sent to Omaha and David DeJesus is being recalled to take Beltran's roster spot. Kelly Stinnett will be transferred to the 60-day DL as well, to clear room on the 40-man roster, presumably for Teahen.

Allard Baird made a few comments on the new members of the Royals...
On Buck: He's a good receiver with an above-average arm strength. At bat, he's got power potential.
On Wood: He has an 86-to-90 mph fastball, a slider, a changeup and a split-finger. The split is his out-pitch. He's a strike-thrower and has good command of his offspeed stuff.
On Teahen: He's ready for the Major Leagues defensively. He's still developing with the bat. But he stays in well against left-handed pitchers and has power potential

Teahen's and Buck's minor league stats:
NamePosYrsAgeBatsGOBPSLGOPSBBK2BHRRBISB
Mark Teahen3B223L193.361.366727921754141039
John BuckC624R532.330.4237531773841315231618

And 24-year old Mike Wood's career numbers:
LevelYrsGIPERAWHIPK/9BB/9W-L
MLB171311.082.3910.384.852-1
Minors3553173.041.167.042.0429-12


I don't think Baird could have possibly made a better deal than this, this late in the season. It was inevitable that Beltran would leave, and yet Baird managed to make the most of it. I'm very excited to see these youngsters join the club.
I must say that I'm glad to see Beltran going to the National League instead of to New York or Boston. (Beltran could even end up representing Houston in the All-Star Game.) Of course, this is bad news for Cardinals fans--something else to stoke the rivalry this weekend!

Reactions from around the Web to the biggest trade of 2004:
ESPN's Jayson Stark
Kansas City.com
Baseball Primer
Mike's Baseball Rants
KC's Royal Zone
Royals Nightly
Elephants in Oakland
Astros Daily
Baseball Fever
Baysball
Athletics Nation
U.S.S. Mariner
Batter's Box
Fanball
Astro in Exile
The Sports Frog
The Clark & Addison Chronicle
Can't Stop the Bleeding
Cubs Pundit
Chronicles of the Lads
the raindrops
The Eddie Kranepool Society
Yankees Suck

// posted by Harley @ 11:16 PM

Royals Survivor: Day 20 

Can you taste the million dollars? Then you must be on some other show. This is Royals Survivor, remember?
Today's results...

Carlos: 1-for-4, HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K, 3 LOB
Nate: DNP
Chris: 3 IP, 5 ER, 9 R, 10 H, 1 BB, 1 K, Loss

Uh-huh.
Chris, the blogger has spoken.

And then there were two. The action-packed finale of Royals Survivor will appear when Nate and Carlos next play in the same game, most likely this weekend. And Royals Survivor will have its biggest twist ever! (ominous music.)

// posted by Harley @ 4:20 PM

No Beltran Trade... Yet 

Royals 7, Tigers 3: Darrell May got his third straight victory after the Royals scored 4 runs in the first inning. 4 Royals had 2-hit games, and Dee Brown and Ken Harvey each drove in 2 runs. Scott Sullivan threw a scoreless 8th and Jeremy Affeldt struggled but closed out the 9th. Box Score.

The Tigers series concludes this afternoon with a 1:10 game featuring a Chris George-Nate Robertson matchup.

Carlos Beltran is still waiting to find out where trade negotiations will take him. A rumored deal that would have sent Beltran to Houston, Octavio Dotel to Oakland, and 2 or 3 prospects to KC apparently fell through yesterday, despite Billy Beane’s involvement. Apparently the Astros are still interested, but they’re reluctant to get into a bidding war with the Red Sox. Meanwhile, the Dodgers-A’s-Royals deal appears to be not just merely dead, but also most sincerely dead. Allard Baird insists that there’s “no deal in place” for now. After his trip to Philadelphia, the Phillies are hoping another NL East team doesn’t land him. Oh, and here’s the Baseball Primer thread on the Beltran rumors.

Joe Torre named Tony Pena to be a coach for the American League All-Star Team.
Pena apparently changed his managing style after the Royals’ homer barrage early in the season.

On the Farm:
In the Midwest League All-Star Game, Mitch Maier went 2 for 3 with a double, an RBI, and a stolen base, and was named the MVP.
David DeJesus had his 7th straight multi-hit game for Omaha on Tuesday, going 2 for 5 with a run scored. He’s hitting .311.
For Wilmington, Mitch Aviles went 2 for 3 with a homer and 5 RBI, raising his average to .306.
Royals 2nd-round draft pick Billy Buckner got his 13th win of the year for South Carolina, allowing 4 runs on 9 hits and a walk in 7 innings, striking out 10.

Milestones:
Carlos Beltran hit his 156th career double last night, moving him into a tie with Johnny Damon for 10th place on the franchise list.
The new top 10:
1. George Brett – 665
2. Hal McRae – 449
3. Frank White -- 407
4. Amos Otis – 365
5. Willie Wilson -- 241
6. Mike Sweeney – 218
7. Joe Randa – 208
8. Fred Patek -- 182
9. Mike MacFarlane -- 174
10. Johnny Damon – 156
Carlos Beltran – 156

This Date in Royals History:
June 24, 1991—Dave Winfield hits for the cycle, becoming the oldest player to do so. The Angels beat the Royals, 9-4. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:01 AM

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Royals Survivor: Day 19.5 

With Carlos Beltran the only member of the final 3 survivors in action tonight, the trio gets a respite from the rigors of tribal council. Chris George is scheduled to start tomorrow, meaning that the Royals Survivor finale could occur this weekend against St. Louis or next week versus Baltimore.
Stay tuned...

// posted by Harley @ 10:59 PM

Stinnett Goes Down 

Royals 8, Tigers 1. Jimmy Gobble threw 6 2/3 strong innings and Nate Field pitched 2 1/3 scoreless for the save. Carlos Beltran and Mike Sweeney both homered, and Alberto Castillo collected a double and two singles in his 2004 debut. The offense banged out 13 hits, 6 for extra bases. Box Score.

Darrell May goes for a team-leading 5 wins tonight against Gary Knotts and the Tigers at 7:10.

Kelly Stinnett went on the 15-day DL prior to last night’s game, with Alberto Castillo coming up from Omaha to replace him. Stinnett is suffering from nerve irritation in his right elbow, which he had surgery on in 2001. Shawn Camp was also called up, to take Jason Grimsley’s roster spot.

Rob and Rany has been updated, with more Beltran trade speculation and applause for the Grimsley trade. Here’s a partial archive of Rob & Rany.
Kelly Stinnett’s injury means that he’ll miss his shot at being the everyday catcher.
Alberto Castillo has hit the ground running.
There have been lots of new faces in the Royals dugout over the past week.
The Red Sox have signed Curtis Leskanic.
It seems that Zack Greinke was hoping for another start in a NL park this year. From the latest Zack Greinke newsletter:
“Zack's next start will be Friday night 7:10 Central Time against the cross-state rivals St Louis Cardinals. The game will be played in Kauffman Stadium taking away the pitchers option to hit. Zack who played Shortstop in high school was hoping for one more chance to hit this season but may now have to wait until next year.”

On the Farm:
2 Wichita Wranglers infielders will represent the World Team at the 2004 Futures Game. Ruben Gotay, of Puerto Rico, and Andres Blanco, of Venezuela.
On Monday, David DeJesus went 2 for 4 with an RBI for Omaha. He’s hitting .309.
Alexis Gomez went 2 for 4 with a double, raising his average to .230.

Milestones:
Mike Sweeney’s home run was the 150th of his career. He becomes the 5th Royal to reach that milestone.
Joe Randa’s RBI was his 500th for Kansas City. He’s the 9th player to get 500 RBI in a Royals uniform.
Nate Field’s appearance last night was his 50th career game.
It was also the 200th game of Ken Harvey’s career.

This Date in Royals History:
June 23, 1994—The A’s beat the Royals 4-0, with Bobby Witt throwing a no-hitter. He just misses a perfect game when Greg Gagne beats out an infield single. Replays show that Gagne was out. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 10:26 AM

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Royals Survivor: Day 19 

Tensions are mounting as we head into the final days of Royals Survivor. In this pressure-packed situation, will the castaways choke, or rise to the occasion?
It seems they have risen...

Carlos: 1-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 LOB.
Nate: 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K, SV.
Chris: DNP
Joe: 2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI, 1 LOB.

So we have Nate with a perfect night, Carlos giving the Royals a lead which they never relinquished, and Joe with a multi-hit game. A very tough choice. I don't think Nate can be voted out tonight--his performance is the best of the three. Does Carlos' homer and walk outweigh Joe's double, single, and leaving only one man on base? I think it does.
Joe, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 10:39 PM

Goodbye Grimsley 

Friday--Royals 10, Phillies 4: The Royals got their 3rd straight 10-4 win, led by 2 home runs from Matt Stairs and a 3-run shot from Benito Santiago. Santiago left the game with a broken hand. Chris George got his first win of the year as KC beat former Royal Paul Abbott. Box Score.

Saturday--Phillies 4, Royals 2: KC’s longest winning streak of the year came to an end on Saturday, with Eric Milton outpitching Zack Greinke. Angel Berroa had 4 stolen bases in the game. Box Score.

Sunday--Phillies 8, Royals 2: Jim Thome hit two homers and Jimmy Rollins added an inside-the-park job as the Phillies scored on Dennys Reyes early and often. Matt Stairs homered for the third time in the series. Mike Tonis made his major league debut with Benito Santiago going the the DL. Box Score.

Jimmy Gobble pitches against Mike Maroth tonight at Kauffman Stadium. The Detroit Tigers are coming off a sweep by the Mets. Game time is 7:10 Central.

Jason Grimsley has been traded to Baltimore for AA starting pitcher Denny Bautista. Bautista allowed 8 runs in two innings in his only major league appearance on May 25th, and is 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA in 14 starts for AA Bowie. He’ll report to Wichita.
Who’s next on the trade block? One thing is sure…the Grimsley deal won’t be the last trade before the July 31 deadline.
Benito Santiago went on the 15-day DL on Saturday. He’s expected to miss 6 to 8 weeks.
After years of injuries, Mike Tonis now has an opportunity at the big-league level. Kelly Stinnett on taking over the starting catcher’s role.
The Boston Red Sox are rumored to be interested in Curtis Leskanic.
Brian Anderson is enjoying bullpen duty.
Ken Harvey is relieved to be done with playing left field.
Bradford Doolittle sees just who can compare with Zack Greinke.
Mike Sweeney is loving life as a dad on Father’s Day.

Beltran trade rumors:
The New York Times reports that the Yankees are leading the Beltran sweepstakes, even if they’re not particularly interested in acquiring him.
CBS Sportsline looks at the possibilities.
Some say the Yankees are only interested in Beltran because the Red Sox are. But the Yankees are interested enough to move one of their prospects from second base to third.
Allard Baird went to Sacramento to watch a series between the A’s and Giants AAA teams. But the Giants reportedly don’t have much chance of landing Beltran.
The Phillies were impressed by Beltran’s visit.
And the San Diego rumor isn’t dead yet.

Milestones:
On Saturday, Carlos Beltran got his 895th career hit, moving him past Johnny Damon on the franchise list. The new top 10:
1. George Brett – 3154
2. Frank White -- 2006
3. Amos Otis – 1977
4. Willie Wilson -- 1968
5. Hal McRae – 1924
6. Mike Sweeney – 1075
7. Freddie Patek – 1036
8. Joe Randa – 1008
9. Carlos Beltran – 896
10. Johnny Damon -- 894

On the Farm:
On Sunday, Chris Lubanski went 2 for 5 with a homer for Burlington. He’s hitting .249.
David DeJesus went 3 for 5 with 2 homers and 4 RBI on Saturday for Omaha. He’s hitting .300.
For Wichita, Andres Blanco went 2 for 3 with an RBI and is hitting .252.
Ruben Gotay went 1 for 4 with a homer and 2 RBI. He’s batting .294.
Kevin Appier went 2 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. His minor league ERA stands at 4.22.
Colt Griffin made his AA debut, pitching 1 scoreless inning, walking 1 and striking out 1.
Dusty Hughes threw 5 scoreless innings for the Blue Rocks, allowing 4 hits, and 1 walk and striking out 5. His ERA is 2.25.
On Friday, DeJesus went 2 for 3 with a double.
For Burlington, Mitch Maier went 4 for 6 with 3 doubles and is hitting .287.
On Thursday, Calvin Pickering went 2 for 4 for Omaha with a double and his 25th homer of the year. He’s hitting .341.
DeJesus went 2 for 5 with a double and a triple.
For Burlington, Adam Donachie went 3 for 4 with 3 RBI, raising his average to .210.
Kali Kaaihue went 2 for 4 with a triple, and is hitting .254.

Stats Leaders: (Through Saturday’s games)
As a team, the Royals are 7th in RCAA and 14th in RSAA.
Carlos Beltran is 6th in RBI, stolen bases, extra base hits, secondary average, BPA, 8th in home runs, RSAA, total average, 9th in OWP, 10th in runs created, total bases, and 18th in OPS.
Ken Harvey is 2nd in AVG, 6th in singles, OWP, 8th in RSAA, 9th in RC/G, and 15th in OPS.
Joe Randa is 3rd in sacrifice flies.
Zack Greinke leads the team with 5 RSAA.
Desi Relaford’s –10 RCAA is worst on the team.
Jeremy Affeldt leads the league in balks.
Darrell May has the 5th-worst RSAA, and is 1st in neutral losses, 2nd in losses, home runs allowed, 6th in runs allowed, earned runs allowed, 7th in complete games.
Brian Anderson has the league’s worst RSAA and is 2nd in runs allowed, 3rd in earned runs allowed, 4th in hits allowed, 5th in losses, home runs allowed, neutral losses.

This Date in Royals History:
June 22, 2001—Jamie Quirk is manager of the Royals for a day as Tony Muser has heart surgery.

// posted by Harley @ 10:11 AM

Royals Survivor: Days 17 & 18 

Day 17 (Saturday):

The survivor seven's performance on day 17:

Carlos: 2-for-5, RBI, K, 1 LOB
Nate: DNP
Chris: DNP
Joe: 1-for-3, BB, K,
Dennys: DNP
Benito: DNP
Kelly: 0-for-4, 3 K, 5 LOB

Not much to discuss here. Only one player in the game went hitless, so...
Kelly, the blogger has spoken.

Day 18 (Sunday):

Benito is automatically eliminated by being placed on the disabled list, so five castaways remain on the island as things wrap up in Philadelphia.

Carlos: 1-for-4, 2B, 2 LOB
Nate: 2/3 IP, 1 K
Chris:
Joe:
Dennys: 2 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 H, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 0-for-1.

Another clear-cut vote. Dennys was the goat of the game, no doubt about it.
Dennys, the blogger has spoken.

And so we're down to the final four on Royals Survivor. Carlos. Nate. Chris. Joe.
Who will emerge the victor in the next 4 days?

// posted by Harley @ 8:27 AM

Friday, June 18, 2004

Royals Survivor: Day 16 

8 survivors have made it to Philadelphia, but only 5 will return to Kansas City. Tonight's results...

Carlos: 1-for-4, 2 BB, 1 R, 5 LOB, 1 E
Jaime: 1/3 IP, 1 BB
Nate: 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB
Chris: 6 2/3 IP, 4 R, 9 H, 1 BB, 1 K, Win, 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 LOB
Joe: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 LOB
Dennys: DNP
Benito: 1-for-2, HR, 3 RBI, 1 R, 1 HBP, 1 PB, 0 LOB
Kelly: 0-for-1, 2 R, 1 HBP, 0 LOB

All 4 of the hitters had good days at the plate, and Nate pitched well on the mound. Although Chris didn't pitch his best game, it looks like Jaime is tonight's goat, being completely ineffective in relief and walking the bases loaded to make the game closer than it should have been.
Jaime, the blogger has spoken.

Ok, for real this time--my next post will be on Tuesday morning.

// posted by Harley @ 10:11 PM

On to the City of Brotherly Love 

Royals 10, Braves 4: Darrell May got his second straight win as the Royals offense, led by Desi Relaford, scored ten runs in back-to-back games. Relaford and Carlos Beltran both homered—it was Desi’s first home run of the year. Rudy Seanez made his Royals debut, pitching a perfect 9th inning. And for the first time all season, Royals pitchers did not allow a walk. Box Score.

Chris George faces Paul Abbott tonight as the Royals visit Philadelphia for the first time since the 1980 World Series. The 6:05 game will be on RSTN. A win tonight would put the Royals above .400 for the first time in 2 months.
Carlos Beltran says he wants to stay in KC all season—and win.
Mike Sweeney got a breather yesterday. He’s hitting just .211 in June.
So maybe we should have our pitchers bat all the time? The Royals now have a .667 winning percentage, all-time, in Atlanta.
Damian Jackson is happy to be with the Royals.

On the Farm:
On Wednesday for Omaha, David DeJesus went 2 for 4 with a double and is hitting .281.
Alexis Gomez went 2 for 4 with a homer and is hitting .230.
For Wichita, Andres Blanco went 2 for 3 with a double, raising his average to .254.
Ruben Gotay went 1 for 3 with a homer and is now batting .295.
For Wilmington, Donnie Murphy went 1 for 4 with a solo homer, dropping his average to .300.

Milestones:
Yesterday's win was the 20th of Darrell May's career.
Jason Grimsley made his 250th appearance as a Royal, becoming the 14th Royals pitcher to reach that mark.
Joe Randa had career at-bat #4400.

This Date in Royals History:
June 18, 1993—The Royals blow an 8-0 lead, losing 10-9 to the A’s. Box Score.
June 18, 2000—A’s 21, Royals 3. Oakland ties a franchise record with 21 runs, with all of their starters getting a hit, a run, and an RBI. Box Score.

Have a great weekend! My next post will be on Tuesday.

// posted by Harley @ 9:12 AM

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Royals Survivor: Day 15 

9 contestants remain. They're starting to get that lean and hungry look. Who's the hungriest for victory?

Brian: 2 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 HR, 1 SAC
Carlos: 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 LOB, 1 E
Jaime: DNP
Nate: DNP
Chris: DNP
Joe: 1-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 4 LOB
Dennys: DNP
Benito: DNP
Kelly: 2-for-5, RBI

I think this vote is pretty clear-cut. Although he was victimized by poor fielding, Brian is the only one in the group who really had a bad day. And all it takes is one bad day on Royals Survivor.
Brian, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 3:29 PM

Easy as Peach Pie 

Royals 10, Braves 4: Angel Berroa hit a 3-run homer and had a career high 4 RBI, and Joe Randa went 4 for 5 as the Royals had their first 20-hit game in nearly 3 years. After trailing 3-1, the Royals scored 4 runs in the 8th and 5 more in the 9th. 8 different players notched extra-base hits, including Damian Jackson, in his Royals debut. Jaime Cerda got his first win of the year. Box Score.

Darrell May will face Justin Thomson in the rubber match of the all-time Braves-Royals series this afternoon at 12:05 CST. RSTN will carry the game.

Rudy Seanez joined the team yesterday. Brandon Berger and Wilton Guerrero cleared waivers. And there’s no rush to get Kevin Appier back from rehabbing in Wichita. No word on his knuckleball.
Where has our offense been?
Carlos Beltran is still not worried about trade rumors. In other news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
Dee Brown says that he was surprised by being called up from Wichita.
Curtis Leskanic talks frankly about the 2004 Royals.

New Royals blog: Royal Blues. The author's antipathy for Jason Grimsley is only exceeded by his hankering for legumes. Thanks to KC's Royals Zone for the link.

On the Farm:
On Tuesday, Calvin Pickering went 3 for 3 for Omaha with his 24th homer and 2 more RBI. He’s batting .337.
For Wichita, Andres Blanco went 2 for 3 with an RBI. He’s hitting .243.
Mike Tonis went 3 for 5 with an RBI, raising his average to .226.
Shane Costa went 3 for 3 for the Blue Rocks. He’s hitting .276.

Milestones:
Last night was Tony Pena's 350th as manager of the Royals. Under his tenure, KC's record is 156-194
Jimmy Gobble recorded his 50th career strikeout last night--that's 50 K's in 129 1/3 IP.
Carlos Beltran's 2 RBI last night give him 510 in his career and move him past Willie Wilson into 7th place on the franchise list. The new top 10:
1. George Brett – 1595
2. Hal McRae – 1012
3. Amos Otis – 992
4. Frank White -- 886
5. Mike Sweeney – 644
6. John Mayberry – 552
7. Carlos Beltran – 510
8. Willie Wilson – 509
9. Joe Randa – 497
10. Danny Tartabull -- 425

This Date in Royals History:
June 17, 2001—Blake Stein ties an AL record by striking out 8 straight batters, but the Brewers win, 5-2. Box Score.
June 17, 2003—Royals 14, Twins 7. KC trails 3-1, then sets a team record by scoring 12 runs in the 6th inning. Carlos Beltran extended his streak of reaching base safely to 8 consecutive plate appearances. Box Score.

Hats off to the Skipper:
It was 17 years ago today that Dick Howser died of a brain tumor.

// posted by Harley @ 8:50 AM

Royals Survivor: Day 14 

We’re getting down to the nit and grit on Royals Survivor. The 10 remaining castaways’ performances last night:

Brian: Did not play.
Carlos: 3-for-5, 2B, R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB, 1 LOB.
Jaime: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 1 win.
Nate: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K.
Chris: DNP
Jimmy: 5 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 0-for-2 with 1 K and 1 LOB.
Joe: 4-for-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI, K.
Dennys: DNP
Benito:2-for-4, 2B, R, GIDP.
Kelly: DNP

The choice comes down to Jimmy vs. Nate. While Nate struggled for 1 inning, putting 2 runners on base, Jimmy struggled for 5, allowing 10 baserunners. And even if only 3 of them scored, the Royals were losing when he left the game. And so…
Jimmy, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 8:42 AM

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

So Long, Curtis 

Braves 3, Royals 2: Atlanta scored the winning run on a wild pitch by Jason Grimsley in the 8th inning, spoiling a good outing by Dennys Reyes. KC took a 1-0 lead on a single by left-fielder Ken Harvey and a 2-1 lead on an Angel Berroa single. Box Score.

Jimmy Gobble faces Jaret Wright in a 6:05 game tonight in Atlanta. RSTN will carry the game.

Curtis Leskanic was released following last night’s game. Rudy Seanez was called up from Omaha. I fully expected Leskanic to continue the great pitching he provided in 2003, and I called him our “best pitcher” during the off-season. This is quite the turn of events, but it’s for the best, I’m afraid.
Carlos Beltran’s knee is reportedly just fine.
Jason Grimsley was chair-throwin’ mad after the loss.
Contrary to my predictions, Dee Brown is back with the Royals.
David Glass says that he is still optimistic about the 2004 Royals. No heads will be rolling yet.

Rany Jazayerli runs through the Beltran trade possibilities.
Rob Neyer commented on the possibility of the Marlins landing Beltran in a recent ESPN chat:
Get Beltran? Sure, why not? They'd have to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $5 million for the balance of Beltran's contract, but a year ago the Marlins weren't shy about getting better. But sign him to a long-term deal? No way. Beltran's got pinstripes written all over him.

And later in the same chat:
Keith(Manhattan): Can't a case be made that Carlos Beltran is a Bernie Williams clone, w/ more speed and a better arm?
Bill James: And ten years younger. Yes. . .they're extremely similar players.


Matt Stairs runs down his top 10 movies. A little hockey, a little westerns, a little Sean Connery.

Milestones:
Joe Randa’s single in the 4th inning last night was his 1,000th hit as a member of the Royals. He becomes the 8th player in franchise history to reach that plateau. At his current pace, he'll get hit #2,000 in the 2010 season, his 3,000th hit in the 2017 season, and he'll pass George Brett for 1st in Royals history in 2019. At the age of 49.

On the Farm:
Chris Lubanski continues to hit well for Burlington. On Monday he went 3 for 3 with a homer, 2 RBI, and 2 walks. He’s now hitting .251.
Ruben Gotay went 2 for 5 with an RBI for Wichita and is hitting .295.

This Date in Royals History:
June 16, 1977—Ron Guidry gets his first career complete game as the Yankees beat the Royals 7-0. Box Score.
June 16, 1997—The Royals beat the Astros, 5-2, in the first interleague game at Kauffman Stadium. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:07 AM

Royals Survivor: Day 13 

Another tough loss, and another tough vote on Royals Survivor. Dennys went 0-for-3 at the plate, striking out twice and stranding 3 runners. But he also pitched well enough to win the game, allowing just 2 runs over 7 innings. And we don’t really expect Dennys to get hits. Mike, on the other hand, went 0-for-4, stranded 2 runners, and committed an error when fielding a ground ball. Therefore…
Mike, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 9:05 AM

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Royals in Atlanta 

Tonight in Atlanta, Dennys Reyes faces Russ Ortiz. Chipper Jones and Carlos Beltran are both expected to play. It will be the first ever meeting between the Braves and Royals.

Tony Pena on Beltran’s bruised left knee: “It's more the muscle, not the knee. He's got some swelling but he should be ready to go.”
Could Mike Sweeney really be traded?
Ken Harvey is ready to play left field.

New Royals blog: The Pine Tar Rag. Great name and good content.

Beltran rumors:
Peter Gammons, prognosticator of possible player purveyance packages. (By the way, Ryan Harvey??? Do your homework and at least get the man's name right, Gammons.)
Bradford Doolittle examines the trade possibilities and ranks the prospects that KC could haggle for.
The Sporting News offers up the odds on where Beltran will end up. At 4-1, San Diego is the favorite.
Bruce Bochy and Kevin Towers on that possibility at MLB.com.
Or could he end up with the White Sox?

On the Farm:
On Sunday, Donnie Murphy went 3 for 5 with a double, a homer and 4 RBI for the Blue Rocks. He’s hitting .307.
Dusty Hughes got his first Carolina League win, going 6 2/3 innings and allowing 1 run on 6 hits, walking 2 and striking out 2. His ERA is 2.74.
For Burlington, Kali Kaaihue went 3 for 4 and is batting .248.
Chris Lubanski hit his 5th homer of the year, going 1 for 5, dropping his average to .240.
Mitch Maier went 2 for 4 with a double and is hitting .297.

This Date in Royals History:
June 15, 1979—Willie Wilson homers from both sides of the plate, including a 3-run inside-the-park shot in the 9th as the Royals beat the Brewers 14-11. Box Score.
June 15, 1995—Mark Gubicza pitches a one-hit shutout as Royals beat A’s 7-0. Mark McGwire has Oakland’s only hit. Box Score.

I got a few decent digital photos at Sunday’s game, including shots of the Royals warming up in their Monarchs unis, the former Negro leaguers lined up on the first-base line, and Zack Greinke pitching. Email me if you’d like a copy of any or all of them.

// posted by Harley @ 10:27 AM

Monday, June 14, 2004

Weekend Wrap-up 

Friday--Royals 7, Mets 5: Darrell May was hit hard and Jeremy Affeldt once again had to face a bases-loaded jam in the 9th, but the boys in blue somehow managed to pull out this one. New York hammered out 8 doubles, tying the record for a Royals opponent. Ken Harvey hit his 8th home run on the year. Box Score.

Saturday--Royals 4, Mets 3: Chris George and Al Leiter both pitched well enough to win, but it was Jeremy Affeldt who got the victory, after blowing a save in the top of the 9th. Joe Randa had two doubles and Angel Berroa hit his 4th homer of the year. Berroa also got the game-winning hit, a single to score Wilton Guerrero in the bottom of the 9th. Box Score.

Sunday--Mets 5, Royals 2: Tom Glavine and Zack Greinke combined to allow just 9 hits, but the Mets managed to get their hits in bunches and roughed up Greinke for 5 runs. Tony Graffanino was stranded on 3rd base twice early in the game, and a late rally couldn’t gather enough steam to give KC the sweep. Box Score.

Next, KC travels to Atlanta, where they will play the Braves for the first time in franchise history. Tuesday night’s game, scheduled for 6:35 CST, pits Dennys Reyes against Russ Ortiz.

Carlos Beltran left Sunday’s game an inning after crashing into the center field wall in pursuit of Mike Piazza’s home run. He has a bruised left knee, is listed as day-to-day and is expected to play on Tuesday.
This comes just hours after Allard Baird announced that he is once again entertaining offers for Beltran. Joe Randa and Mike Sweeney are alos rumored to be on the trading block.
Sweeney met with Baird on Saturday to discuss the future of the team.
Mets GM Jim Duquette was expected to meet with Baird this weekend as well, to discuss Beltran.
The Sean Burroughs trade rumor was apparently false—Padres GM Kevin Towers called the idea “crazy.”

Brandon Berger & Wilton Guerrero were designated for assignment after Sunday’s game. The Royals brought up Damian Jackson and Dee Brown.
Joe Posnanski has a nickname for Zack Greinke: T.O.R.Y.
Greinke was looking good in his 1945 KC Monarchs uniform yesterday, although he was a bit knock-kneed about facing his childhood hero, Tom Glavine.
Kurt Caywood puzzles over the identity of the Royals.
Anyone who thought Chris George was finished after 2003, raise your hand.
Cliff Pastornacky, former Royals player, has had a hand in the drafting of Zack Greinke and Billy Butler.
Butler will start his professional career when the Idaho Falls Chukars begin their season on Friday.

AL Stats Leaders: (Through Saturday’s games)
As a team, KC ranks 10th in RCAA and 14th in RSAA.
Ken Harvey is 1st in batting average, 5th in OWP, 7th in RC/G, 8th in RCAA, 9th in singles, 10th in OPS,
Carlos Beltran is 5th in extra base hits, 6th in stolen bases, 7th in secondary average, 8th in RBI, 9th in runs scored, 9th in home runs, 10th in isolated power, 10th in BPA, 10th in outs.
Jimmy Gobble is 5th in fewest BB/9 IP, 6th in fewest baserunners per 9 IP.
Darrell May is 6th in complete games.
Jason Grimsley is 7th in games pitched.
Joe Randa is 2nd in sac flies, 10th in times hit by pitch,
Zack Greinke leads the team with 7 RSAA.
Desi Relaford has the 4th worst RCAA.
Darrell May has the 3rd-worst RSAA, is 1st in losses, 1st in neutral losses, 2nd in home runs allowed, 4th in runs allowed, 4th in earned runs allowed, 9th in hits allowed.
Brian Anderson has the worst RSAA, is 1st in runs allowed, 2nd in hits allowed, 2nd in earned runs allowed, 3rd in losses, 3rd in neutral losses.
Jeremy Affeldt leads the league in balks.

Milestones:
Jeremy Affeldt got his 12th career save on Friday, moving him into a tie with Scott Service and Larry Gura for 17th in frachise history.
Desi Relaford got his 600th career hit on Sunday.

On the Farm:
On Saturday, Carlos Santos went 2 for 4 with a double for Wichita, and is hitting .277.
For Wilmington, Mitch Aviles went 2 for 4, raising his average to .318.
Shane Costa went 2 for 3. He’s now hitting .266.
For Burlington, B. Dopirak went 2 for 3 with a double, and is hitting .293.
On Friday, David DeJesus went 2 for 5 with a homer for Omaha, raising his average to .281.
Alexis Gomez went 2 for 4 and is now hitting .236.
For Wichita, Ruben Gotay 2 for 4 with a double, raising his average to .303.
For Burlington, Chris Lubanski went 3 for 7 with 2 homers in a doubleheader. He’s hitting .241.
Mitch Maier went 2 for 3 with a double and is hitting .304.
On Thursday, Calvin Pickering went 2 for 4 with 2 homers and 3 RBI for Omaha. He now has 23 homers on the year, and is hitting .321.
Gotay went 3 for 4 with a double and a triple.

This Date in Royals History:
June 14, 2001 – The Royals beat the Cardinals 3-2 in 13 innings on a Mike Sweeney home run, completing a sweep of the I-70 series. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:55 AM

Royals Survivor: Days 10-12 

Day Ten: Since the worst pitching of the day was provided by Darrell, who has already been voted out, the vote falls by default to the worst hitting performance of the day. With an 0-for-4 day, leaving 3 men on base, it will be Angel tonight.
Angel, the blogger has spoken.

Day Eleven: Although a case could be made for Jeremy having the worst performance of the day, he did get the win. Therefore, the vote will go for another leadoff hitter, this time going 0-for-4 with a strikeout—Tony.
Tony, the blogger has spoken.

Day Twelve: Mike had an 0-for-4 day, but the day’s goat was Zack, who allowed 5 runs on 5 hits on 7 innings. In a close vote, Zack becomes the 12th player to leave Royals Survivor.
Zack, the blogger has spoken.

So who’s left? With Brandon being relocated by the show’s producers, we’re down to our final 11 Survivors, and final 10 games. Who will be the sole Royals Survivor?
-=video montage=-
Brian...Carlos...Jaime...Nate...Chris...Jimmy...
Joe...Dennys...Benito...Kelly...Mike...

// posted by Harley @ 9:35 AM

Friday, June 11, 2004

Meet the Mets 

Expos 8, Royals 0, Expos 7, Royals 2: In game one, Dennys Reyes pitched so-so, but the Royals offense was shut down by Zach Day. In game two, it was Jimmy Gobble with a shaky outing, and Tony Batista hit two homers for the Expos Box Score.

Darrell May pitches against Jae Weong Seo tonight as the Mets come to town. RSTN will carry the 7:10 game.

Rob & Rany on the latest trade rumors.
Byron Gettis hasn’t exactly gotten off to a roaring start.

On the Farm:
Ruben Gotay went 3 for 5 for Wichita on Wednesday, and is hitting .292.
For Wilmington, Mitch Aviles went 2 for 5 with 2 doubles and is batting .325.
Shane Costa went 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, raising his average to .269.
Donnie Murphy went 4 for 6 with 2 RBI and is hitting .307.

Have a great weekend. My next post will be on Monday, when I’ll have a full report from attending Sunday’s game—Zack Greinke vs. Tom Glavine!

// posted by Harley @ 9:57 AM

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Royals Survivor: Days 8&9 

Day Eight: Plenty of goats to go around in today's games. In game one, while neither of the pitching performances were terrible, there was one completely futile performance at the plate. With an 0-for-4 day, striking out once and stranding two runners, Ken becomes the hottest hitter to leave Royals Survivor.
Ken, the blogger has spoken.

Day Nine: In the nightcap, we had several hitters with bad days, but the performance of one reliever stands out, as he took a fairly close game and made it nearly hopeless for the team. However, Jason has already been voted out. So the candidate will have to be the leadoff hitter who went 0-for-4.
Wilton, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 9:47 PM

Let's Play Two 

Last night’s game was postponed due to rain. Dennys Reyes will go for his 3rd straight win, against Zach Day in the 1:10 opener. Jimmy Gobble will face Tomo Ohka in the evening contest.

First-round draft pick Billy Butler accepted a $1.4 million signing bonus and signed a minor league contract with the Royals. He’s expected to start the year with the Idaho Falls Chukars. Butler visited Kauffman Stadium yesterday, and took a few swings in the indoor batting cage.
Zack Greinke spent most of Monday sitting in on the Royals’ draft day “war room.” Is there anything not to like about this kid?
Aaron Guiel is eager to return to the lineup.

On the Farm:
For Omaha, Calvin Pickering went 2 for 4 on Tuesday with a solo home run, his 21st of the year. He’s hitting .316.
Carlos Santos went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles for Wichita, and is now batting .277.
For the Blue Rocks, Donnie Murphy went 3 for 4 with 2 doubles and a home run, raising his average to .295.
Kila Kaaihue went 1 for 2 and hit his 6th home run of the year for Burlington. He’s hitting .235.

This Date in Royals History:
June 10, 2000—David Glass officially becomes owner of the Royals.

// posted by Harley @ 9:33 AM

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Royals Survivor: Day Seven 

With the Expos in town, Royals Survivor becomes an international affair... Tonight's leading candidates for departure are two relievers who each got into bases loaded jams. But it's the one who couldn't get himself out of it that gets the vote tonight, becoming the 4th straight pitcher to be voted out.
Curtis, the blogger has spoken.

// posted by Harley @ 9:32 PM

A Win for Greinke 

Royals 4, Expos 2: Zack Greinke got his first career win, in a masterful 7-inning, 3-hit, 5-strikeout performance. Curtis Leskanic and Jeremy Affeldt made things interesting from the bullpen, but Montreal couldn’t take advantage of bases-loaded situations in the 8th and 9th. Benito Santiago had 2 RBI and Carlos Beltran had a 2-run homer, his 12th of the year. Box Score.

Dennys Reyes pitches against sinkerball artist Zach Day tonight in a 7:10 game on RSTN.

Rob & Rany on the draft.
Ken Harvey and Jason Grimsley should both be ready for tonight’s game.
Zack Greinke is impressing everyone, including his teammates.
Colt Griffin has been promoted to AA Wichita.
The Royals passed 60 million in total attendance last night.
Baseball Prospectus has a few draft sleeper picks that you may not have heard about…

On the Farm:
On Monday, Mitch Maier went 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and 2 stolen bases for Burlington. He’s batting .299.
For the Blue Rocks, Shane Costa went 1 for 4 with a homer and 2 RBI. He’s hitting .258.
Donnie Murphy went 2 for 3 and is hitting .286.
Carlos Santos went 2 for 4 with an RBI for Wichita. He’s hitting .269.
David DeJesus went 3 for 6 with a triple for Omaha. He’s hitting .281.
Alexis Gomez went 2 for 5 with a double. He’s hitting .221.
Calving Pickering went 3 for 4 with a double, 2 homers, and 4 RBI. He now has 20 home runs and is batting .312. With Joe Randa playing DH last night, it’s getting ridiculous to keep Pickering at AAA.

Milestones:
Jeremy's Affeldt save last night was the 11th of his career, moving him past Bud Black and into a tie with Renie Martin for 19th in franchise history.

This Date in Royals History:
June 9, 1970—Charlie Metro is fired and Bob Lemon is named manager.
June 9, 1999—Royals 17, Cardinals 13. Joe Randa has 5 hits, and Mike Sweeney, Carlos Febles, and Carlos Beltran each get 3 RBIs. Box Score.
June 9, 2002—Royals 3, Cardinals 2. Raul Ibanez wins the game with a home run in the bottom of the 9th. Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:06 AM

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A Frothy Mug of Draft 

As draft day 2 rolls on, I bring you a cornucopia of quotes from Baseball America.

First, the list of day 2 picks for the Royals thus far: (Rounds 19-38)

565 Kade Keowen 1b Central HS, Baton Rouge, La.
595 Adam Rowe lhp Mt. Vernon Nazarene (Ohio) College
625 Andrew Underwood rhp Fresno CC CA
655 Ethien Santana of Laredo (Texas) CC
685 O.D. Gonzalez of Broward (Fla.) CC
715 Myles Ioane lhp Waiakea HS, Hilo, Hawaii
745 Garrick Evans of Clemson U.
775 Nick Cerulo of Rutgers U.
805 Zane Carlson rhp Baylor U.
835 Marty Beno rhp Horn Lake HS, Lake Cormorant, Miss.
865 Riley Hollingsworth rhp Minden (La.) HS
895 Kris Krise rhp College of the Canyons (Calif.)
925 Kevin Clark of Armwood HS, Seffner, Fla.
955 Tyler Hogan of Servite HS, Anaheim
985 Jimmy Wallace rhp Pratt (Kan.) CC
1015 Kyle Crist rhp U. of California
1045 Vincent Biancamano ss Cactus HS, Glendale Ariz.
1075 Eric Krebs rhp Alvin (Texas) CC
1105 Kyle Hartz of De Anza (Calif.) JC
1135 Kenneth Herndon rhp A Crawford Mosely HS, Lynn Haven, Fla.

By my count, that brings the totals to 26 pitchers and 14 position players.

Baseball America had some detailed comments on KC's 1st-round picks yesterday:
14. Royals: Billy Butler, 1b/3b, Wolfson HS, Jacksonville
Butler has a mature approach. He trusts his quick hands and allows balls to get deep in the zone, giving him excellent loft power. He has natural rhythm to his swing and excellent hand-eye and body coordination. He hasn't always stayed patient this year while being been pitched around. He'll have to move across the diamond to first, or take his plus arm strength to a corner outfield spot, but he has the raw power to make the move work.


29. Royals: Matt Campbell, lhp, U. of South Carolina
Most scouts agree that if he doesn't cut it as a starter he would at least be a solid lefty specialist in the bullpen. Campbell commands an above-average curveball well. He's added a slider and a good changeup since coming to South Carolina, but his propensity for throwing breaking stuff has hurt his velocity. While he touched the low 90s out of the pen last summer, he worked in the 85-89 mph range for most of the spring.


And here are a few excerpts from BA's 2004 Draft Blog:

On Billy Butler:
1:20 PM ET: Butler at Third?
The Royals' first-round pick, Billy Butler, was announced as a third baseman but profiles best as a DH. He's got a plus bat with good raw power but has limited range, even for a corner infielder.
-- Alan Matthews


On Matt Campbell and Billy Buckner:
2:15 PM ET: Two Gamecocks For KC
The Royals drafted South Carolina lefthander Matt Campbell to end the first round, then nabbed his teammate Billy Buckner, a righthander, in the second round.
-- Will Kimmey


On 2nd-round pick Eric Cordier:
2:26 PM ET: Camp Helps Cordier
The Royals' second-round pick (63rd overall), Eric Cordier had a very good showing last month at the Perfect Game National Pre-draft Showcase in Cedar Rapids. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder flashed a fastball that touched 94 mph and a nasty changeup.
-- Alan Matthews


On 3rd-round pick Josh Johnson:
2:37 PM ET: Florida Prep Shortstops
A pair of Florida prep shortstops went back-to-back in the middle of the third round, with the Expos taking Ian Desmond while the Royals took Josh Johnson, the son of ex-big leaguer Larry Doby Johnson.
-- John Manuel


On 6th-round pick Chad Blackwell:
3:51 PM ET: Royal Gamecocks
The Royals are going to keep area scout Spencer Graham busy. They've now selected three South Carolina Gamecocks, taking closer Chad Blackwell in the sixth round. Blackwell weighs under 150 pounds but pounds the zone with a power slider and fastball that reaches the low 90s when he's fresh. He's also shown surprising resiliency considering his small frame.
-- John Manuel

// posted by Harley @ 5:13 PM

Interleague Play Returns 

More on first-round draft picks Billy Butler and Matt Campbell. On the first day of the draft, the Royals selected a total of 15 pitchers and 5 position players. Coincidentally, Butler was coached at Wolfson High School by former Royals #1 draft pick Mike Jones. KC also drafted 3 pitchers from the University of South Carolina, out of a total of 9 college pitchers.

The full day 1 draft list, courtesy the Topeka Capital-Journal:
14 Billy Butler, 3B Wolfson HS (Fla.)
29 Matt Campbell, LHP So. Carolina
31James Howell, LHP Texas
55 Billy Buckner, RHP So. Carolina
63 Erik Cordier, RHP So. Door HS
85 Joshua Johnson, SS Middleton HS
115 James Moore, RHP Troy State
145 Enrique Barrera, RHP Rosemead HS
175 Chad Blackwell, RHP So. Carolina
205 Patrick Green, RHP Louisiana
235 Edward Lucas, SS Dartmouth
265 Chris McConnell, SS Delsea HS
295 Bobby Beeson, LHP So. Arkansas
325 Joshua Haney, 2B Texas Tech
355 Brad Hayes, 3B Arkansas St
385 Travis Trammell, RHP Arkansas
415 Kyle Howe, RHP N. Kitsap HS
445 G. DeLa Vara, LHP Pima CC
475 Patrick Hicklen, RHP Tennessee
505 Michael Trent, RHP unattached
535 Andrew Coffey, LHP Mingus Union HS

The Montreal Expos make their first visit to Kansas City tonight. Zack Greinke pitches against Tony Armas in a 7:10 game on RSTN.

The Sporting News reports a couple of new Carlos Beltran trade rumors. One is a three way deal with Beltran going to the Yankees and Jose Contreras going to the Marlins. The other involves Beltran and Joe Randa going to the Padres for Xavier Nady and Sean Burroughs.

The Royals are tied with Baltimore for the 2nd-worst interleague play record in the American League. Jimmy Gobble hopes that will turn around, as he’ll be pitching in front of friends and family in Atlanta next week.
Get used to seeing Tony Graffanino batting leadoff.
Bradford Doolittle argues that John Cumberland is partly to blame for the pitching staff’s struggles.
Don't forget about the Daily Draw contest. There's 2 dugout box seats given away every home game.

Trivia: (Answer will be posted tomorrow)
What former Royal made his major league debut 18 years ago today? Born in Kansas City, he was drafted by the Royals and played his first season in KC, but was traded the next year. In 17 seasons, he changed teams 7 times, but played two stints with each of three franchises. He played on 8 teams that made it to the post-season. He was a 5-time All-Star and finished in the top 10 in MVP voting twice.

// posted by Harley @ 9:17 AM

Monday, June 07, 2004

Draft Update 

With their first pick of the Rule IV Draft, (14th overall) the Royals have selected:
Billy Butler, 1B/3B from Wolfson High School in Jacksonville, Florida.
Butler is described as similar to Matt Williams. He's 18 years old, 6'2", 225 lbs.

With their second first-round pick (29th overall):
Matt Campbell, LHP, University of South Carolina
Campbell is 6'2", 170 lbs, and 21 years old. He compares to Jaime Moyer.

Round 2 (31st overall, compensation pick for Raul Ibanez):
James Howell, LHP, University of Texas
Howell is similar to Campbell, at 6'0", 180 lbs, and 21 years old. He throws a split-fingered fastball.

(55th overall):
William Buckner, RHP, University of South Carolina
Buckner is compared to Turk Wendell. He's 6'2", 215 lbs, 20 years old. His fastball is in the 88-92 range.

(63rd overall):
Erik Cordier, RHP, Southern Door HS
6'3", 195 lbs, 18 years old.

Round 3 (85th overall)
Joshua Johnson, SS, Middleton HS
Compared to Jimmy Rollins. 5'11", 170#, 18 yo.

Round 4 (115th overall)
James Moore, RHP, Troy State
6'3", 215#, 21 yo. Throws nearly sidearm, with a 87-88 mph sinking fastball.

Round 5 (145th overall)
Enrique Barrera, RHP, Rosemead HS
6'1", 190#, 18 yo.

That's it from me today. You can follow the later rounds at MLB.com

// posted by Harley @ 1:27 PM

Royals Survivor: Days 4-6 

Day Four: With the victory on Friday night, the castaways worked hard to avoid elimination. But even on a winning night, someone has to go. The only hitter with a bad day at the plate was Desi, who has already been voted out. So it will have to be…. Scott, with 2 walks in 2/3 of an inning, making for a tense situation in the 7th inning. He becomes the first pitcher voted off of Royals Survivor.
Scott, the blogger has spoken.

Day Five: Some Royals Survivor votes are close calls, and some are fairly predictable. This one was an easy choice. While there were a few poor performances at the plate, they were far overshadowed by an awful performance on the mound. After allowing 7 runs on 10 hits, including 3 homers, in 5 innings, Darrell becomes the first member of the starting rotation to leave Royals Survivor.
Darrell, the blogger has spoken.

Day Six: The offense only managed 4 hits, but still had the lead after 5 innings. So the vote will have to go to the pitching staff for blowing the KC lead. Jason failed to record an out, but managed to allow 3 runs to score. With the worst performance of the day, we vote out the third straight pitcher, leaving 19 Royals Survivors remaining…
Jason, the blogger has spoken.

Torches have now been extinguished for Jason, Darrell, Scott, Desi, Byron, and Matt.

// posted by Harley @ 9:26 AM

Gentlemen, start your draft boards... 

Friday--Royals 5, Red Sox 2: Jimmy Gobble retired 15 batters in a row after allowing a leadoff double to Johnny Damon, and the Royals led all night, scoring early on Tim Wakefield. Angel Berroa had an RBI single and triple, and Carlos Beltran had two singles. Ken Harvey extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Jeremy Affeldt threw the 9th for his 6th save of the year. Box Score.

Saturday--Red Sox 8, Royals 4: Darrell May allowed two-run homers by David Ortiz, Kevin Millar, and Kevin Youkilis, and the Red Sox cruised to victory with Curt Schilling on the mound. May became the first MLB pitcher with 8 losses this season, and he leads the league in home runs allowed. Mike Sweeney hit a solo homer in the 1st inning, and Ken Harvey got a double in the 7th to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. Box Score.

Sunday--Red Sox 5, Royals 3: A bizarre colission between Ken Harvey and Jason Grimsley led to a 5-run 6th inning for Boston, spoiling Chris George’s 3-0 lead. Both players left the game, but X-rays were negative. Harvey had already extended his hitting streak to 15 games, and Mike Sweeney had a first-inning homer for the second straight game. In addition to his injury, Grimsley also got tagged with the loss. Box Score.

The amateur draft starts this afternoon at 1:00. I’ll have updates as the Royals make their picks. You can follow the draft online at MLB.com Draft Day Central and Baseball America.
On Tuesday, Zack Greinke faces Tony Armas, Jr., and the Montreal Expos in a 7:10 game.

Mendy Lopez cleared waivers on Saturday, and was sent to Omaha.
Tony Pena announced on Friday that he’ll be using the running game more. An act of desparation?
Ken Harvey near the league lead in hitting isn’t surprising to the Royals front office.
Looks like they’re serious about having Harvey play in the outfield during interleague play.
Joe Randa is ignoring trade talks for now.
Kelly Stinnett is quietly having a solid season.
KC pitchers have been taking batting practice in preparation for interleague play. Zack Greinke hit one over the fence.
Jeff Passan on the flurry of Beltran trade rumors.
Here’s a comprehensive list of Royals number one draft picks. Let’s see, there’s Zack Greinke, Johnny Damon, Kevin Appier, Willie Wilson, and Jaime Quirk. And then there’s Ben Grzybek, Anthony Clements, Sherard Clinkscales, and Mike Stodolka.
Friday’s game was unusual for its lack of suspense provided by the bullpen. This is a good thing.
Joe Posnanski on the demonizing of Damon.
Chris George is a little more mature, and a little less cocky, this time around.
Will Darrell May go to the bullpen? Not likely, ask again later…
Baseball Prospectus' Critical Guide to Teams gives the Royals a D+.

Milestones:
Ken Harvey got his 200th career hit on Saturday.
Scott Sullivan recorded his 600th career strikeout on Sunday.
Mike Sweeney had his 3500th career at-bat on Sunday.
Jeremy Affeldt's save on Friday was the 10th of his career. That puts him in the top 20 in franchise history. The new top 20:
Royals All-time Saves
1. Jeff Montgomery – 304
2. Dan Quisenberry -- 238
3. Doug Bird – 58
4. Roberto Hernandez -- 54
5. Steve Farr -- 49
6. Ted Abernathy – 40
7. Al Hrabosky – 31
8. Mike MacDougal – 28
Tom Burgmeier – 28
Mark Littell -- 28
11. Steve Mingori – 27
12. Gene Garber -- 26
13. Marty Pattin – 21
14. Hipolito Pichardo – 19
15. Ricky Bottalico -- 16
16. Moe Drabowsky -- 13
17. Scott Service – 12
Larry Gura – 12
19. Renie Martin – 11
20. Jeremy Affeldt – 10
Bud Black -- 10

On the Farm:
On Thursday, Dwight Lowery got his 3rd win of the year for the Blue Rocks, throwing 7 scoreless innings and allowing 6 hits, one walk and striking out 6. His ERA stands at 3.71.
On Friday, Mitch Aviles went 3 for 5 with 2 doubles and is hitting .333 for Wilmington.
Chris Lubanski went 2 for 4 with 2 steals for Burlington.
On Saturday, David DeJesus went 2 for 6 with 2 stolen bases for Omaha. He's hitting .273.
Calvin Pickering hit his 17th homer of the year, in a 2 for 4 day.
For Wichita, Ruben Gotay went 2 for 4 with a triple. He's hitting .294.
Andres Blanco went 1 for 3, and doubled, walked, and stole a base, raising his average to .238.
Lubanski went 2 for 4 and stole a base. He's now hitting .235.
On Sunday, Pickering homered again, going 1 for 3 to raise his average to .300.
Mitch Maier went 3 for 5 for Burlington, and is now hitting .291.

This Date in Royals History:
June 7, 1969—The Royals draft Al Cowens in the 75th round of the June Free-Agent draft.
June 7, 1982—The Yankees draft Bo Jackson, but he opts to attend Auburn. KC drafts Bret Saberhagen in the 19th round.
June 7, 1983—The Royals trade Bob Tufts to the Reds for Charlie Leibrandt
June 7, 1986—The Royals Hall of Fame opens, with inductees Amos Otis and Steve Busby
June 7, 1986—Pittsburg selects Jeff King first overall in the June draft. KC selects Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in the 4th round.
June 7, 2003—The Royals sweep a doubleheader at Coors Field, beating the Rockies by scores of 13-11 and 9-5. Mike Sweeney hits a grand slam in the opener. Game 1 Box Score. Game 2 Box Score.

// posted by Harley @ 9:18 AM

Friday, June 04, 2004

Royals Split Detroit 

Royals 9, Tigers 6: KC got out to an early lead, then held on when the bullpen faltered. The offensive attack was led by Carlos Beltran, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Ken Harvey and Brandon Berger also had 3-hit days, and Kelly Stinnett added a solo homer. Dennys Reyes went 6 2/3 innings, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, striking out 1. He got a win for the second straight start. Jeremy Affeldt worked a scoreless 9th for the save. Box Score.

Jimmy Gobble faces Tim Wakefield tonight in a 7:10 game, televised on RSTN. The Royals return home for a 9-game homestand against Boston, Montreal, and the New York Mets.

Allard Baird has taken down the “For Sale” sign for now. You know, the one with Carlos Beltran’s picture on it.
Ken Harvey is now tied with Melvin Mora for the AL batting average lead, at .3793103.
Rob Neyer likes what he sees in Zack Greinke.
Desi Relaford voiced his unhappiness with being in a utility role while Tony Graffanino is the everyday second baseman.
Jason Whitlock feels the Royals are trying to take the “shortcut” to success.
Newsday reports that the Yankees face an uphill battle in landing Beltran.

On the Farm:
David DeJesus went 3 for 5 with a double and homer for Omaha on Wednesday. He’s hitting .287. He now has 3 home runs on the season, and all have come in the past 4 games.

This Date in Royals History:
June 4, 1970—Frank White goes undrafted in the June Free Agent draft.
June 4, 1970—Jim Rooker has a no-hitter attempt broken up by Horace Clarke, who also breaks up no-hitters by Joe Niekro and Sonny Seibert that month. Yankees beat the Royals, 2-1 in 12 innings. Box Score.
June 4, 1996—Royals take Dee Brown in the 1st round of the June draft.

Trivia: (Answer will be posted on Monday)
What member of the Royals is 47 years old today? He spent 18 seasons in the majors, with 6 different teams. Of his nearly 2,000 career games, he spent only 38 away from his usual position, which he fielded in a trademark style. Although he never played for a world series winner, he did play for 5 teams that made the playoffs, and had a .338 batting average in 29 post-season games.

Enjoy the weekend! My next post will be on Monday.

// posted by Harley @ 8:53 AM