It’s set. That’s it. No take backs, do overs, quitsies, or anti-quitsies. Triple stamped it, no erasies, touch blue make it true. (Dumb & Dumber, for the layperson)
The Royals have officially set their 2012 Opening Day 25-man roster. And aside from maybe one or two guys, it’s pretty much what we all should have expected it to be. So they’ll break camp with 13 hitters and 12 pitchers.
Catchers (2): Brayan Pena, Humberto Quintero
- C’mon… Did you really expect Cody Clark to make the team? Quintero is a proven catch and throw guy, who will give the Royals solid defense when he’s behind the plate 3-4 days a week.
Infielders (6): Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Chris Getz, Yuniesky Betancourt, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas
- The demotion of Johnny Giavotella (and thus the presence of Chris Getz) was the only real surprise here. Yuni and Getz will share the 2B/Utility role until Gio earns another look. Other than that, after the Yuni signing, you could have pegged everyone else from the get go.
Outfielders (5): Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bourgeois, Mitch Maier
- The addition of the speedy and versatile Bourgeois made light-hitting Jarrod Dyson expendable. Bourgeois mashed lefties in 2011 (.395 AVG), and spent significant time at all 3 OF positions, as well as a few games at 2B. He also can play at 3B if needed.
- Lorenzo Cain has been off the charts this Spring, leading the league in what seems to be almost every offensive category. I don’t think we’ll see any loss of production from Melky to Zo in CF.
Starters (5): Bruce Chen-L, Luke Hochevar-R, Jonathan Sanchez-L, Luis Mendoza-R, Danny Duffy-L
- Flip Paulino going to the DL really set up the rotation. If it weren’t for his injury, Duffy would have most likely been reassigned to Triple A.
- Luis Mendoza has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this Spring, essentially forcing the Royals to give him a spot in the rotation.
Bullpen (7): Greg Holland-R, Jonathan Broxton-R, Jose Mijares-L, Aaron Crow-R, Tim Collins- L, Everett Teaford-L, Kelvin Herrera-R
- Once again, Paulino’s injury helped someone else make the roster: Everett Teaford. By all accounts, Teaford earned his spot on the team, but without Paulino or Mendoza in the bullpen, Teaford becomes the long reliever / spot-starter.
- Kelvin Herrera was the true dark horse here. Louis Coleman had the job locked down until he allowed runs in 5 of his last 6 appearances, basically handing the job over to Herrera. Kelvin has been dominant so far, even earning himself 2 Saves this Spring.
Disabled List (5): Salvador Perez (60 day), Manny Pina (60 day), Joakim Soria (IR), Felipe Paulino (15 day), Blake Wood (15 day)
- How disappointing… The loss of Sal Perez stings the most. Given the severity of his injury, he most likely won’t be able to return to the team until after the All-Star break.
- Losing Soria, although it may appear huge on the surface, doesn’t really affect the Royals as much as people may think. Yes, he is a proven performer, but he plays a position that is way overvalued. He got knocked around in ST, looking an awful lot like he did at the beginning of 2011.
And incase you’re wondering where everyone else who was left in camp went, here you go:
Reassigned to Triple A Omaha (2): Louis Coleman-R, Jeremy Jeffress-R
Reassigned to Minor League Camp (4): Tommy Hottovy-L, Francisely Bueno-L, Max Ramirez-C, Kevin Kouzmanoff-3B
This flurry of moves leaves the Royals with 26 healthy players in camp. But you can only break Spring Training with 25 players on your active roster, so one guy has to go. And that man is…
SOS is out of minor league options. So in order for the Royals to rid him for good, they’ll have to place him on waivers, meaning any other team can claim him for themselves. O’Sullivan will be the starter for tonight’s game against the White Sox, basically auditioning for any team who might think about claiming him.
Surprises from Surprise
- Chris Getz/Yuni combo over Johnny Giavotella
- Kelvin Herrera over Louis Coleman
If you haven’t heard yet, another Royal has succumb to the injury bug: Felipe Paulino. The Royals have sent the righty to the 15-day DL with a sore right elbow/forearm. Although an injury is always a cause for concern, the shift of Paulino to the DL falls more on the side of precaution and seriousness; and the last thing you want is a pitcher who continues to throw despite a sore throwing arm (I’m talking to you, Joakim…).
And although this may seem like bad news for the time being, Paulino’s injury rids the fuzziness from the picture that is the Royals’ pitching staff.
With Flip^ out of the picture for the near future, both Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy will open the season as the no. 4 and 5 pitchers, respectively. Before the injury, it was unclear as to who had the upper hand between Paulino, Mendoza, and Duffy. To me, Mendoza was the most obvious lock for the rotation out of the three. If Paulino won the 5th spot, Duffy would have most likely opened 2012 in Omaha. If Duffy won the spot, Paulino would have either been shifted to the bullpen or placed on waivers (which thankfully, for right now, isn’t the case).
^Im introducing this as Felipe’s nickname, btw. It’s mine. I was the first.
The injury also helps the Royals balance out their rotation in the sense of lefties and righties.
1. Bruce Chen LHP
2. Luke Hochevar RHP
3. Jonathan Sanchez LHP
4. Luis Mendoza RHP
5. Danny Duffy LHP
Balancing lefties and righties in your rotation may be arbitrary to some, but to deeper baseball minds, it’s an advantage that some teams don’t have the priviledge to take advantage of. For any given series, Royals’ opponents won’t most likely see a starter throwing from the same side as the day before (unless it’s back-toback lefties), meaning they’ll have to play more of a guessing game with their lineup rather than just using practically the same lineup for the entire series.
Not only does Flip’s injury help the Royals settle their starting rotation, it also helps clear up some of the foggy spots in the bullpen.
Now, the Royals will most likely carry 12 pitchers. 5 of those spots are reserved for the starters, and of the 7 spots left for the ‘pen, 4 of them are most likely already locked up by righties Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, and Jonathan Broxton and lefty Jose Mijares. Meaning that as many as 6 guys are fighting for those last 3 spots: lefties Tim Collins, Everett Teaford, Tommy Hottovy – and righties Louis Coleman, Kelvin Herrera, and Jeremy Jeffress.
It orginally seemed that if Danny Duffy made the rotation, the loser between Mendoza and Paulino would shift to the bullpen and serve as the long reliever / spot starter. But with the current state of affairs, it appears that lefty Everett Teaford (who has looked great so far) has that position secured – allowing the Royals to lock in at least 2 lefties for the bullpen. I would guess that of the final 2 spots up for grabs, the Royals will take a long look at possibly keeping another lefty for the ‘pen; thus giving them even more flexability to work matchups appropriately.
I’m sure all of you are with me in wishing Flip a speedy recovery. But for right now, when it comes to the Royals, there is a little bit less weighing on my mind.
Johnny Be Gone
I think it’s safe to say “Um…. what?”
Even though the 2B job has been up for grabs this entire Spring, I’m sure we all assumed that this was going to be Johnny Giavotella’s job come Opening Day. Well, not so fast.
After hitting just .250/.267/.318 through Sunday (11-44), Ned Yost decided that it was time to make a bold decision and send Gio to Triple A Omaha to get everyday work. He cited Gio’s defense as the main reason he was optioned to Omaha, stating in a Royals.com article, “Johnny was three days away from hitting .350. That wasn’t the issue. It was the defense. Johnny is a much better defender than he was at this time last year, but we had two better defensive options in Betancourt and Getz.”
Although I am not the biggest fan of sending Giavotella down, both Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt have been outperforming him this Spring, albeit not by a landslide. But offensive production isn’t the key here. It’s defense. Both Getz and Yuni are superior defenders to Gio, and both give the Royals versatility, as they can both play 2B, SS, and 3B.
Getz possesses better speed, is a terrific situational hitter/bunter, and adds another bat from the left side. Yuni has pop from the right side of the plate and is earning a nice paycheck, so the option of him not landing on the roster was never there.
Yost figures not to “platoon” Yuni and Getz and 2B, but to play them in a situational basis, albeit Getz will most likey play against RHPs, and Yuni against LHPs. When either one is not playing, they will serve as the backup/situational infielder.
The great thing I see about Gio being sent to Omaha is that the Royals now are in a position to play who has been truly the best at a given position. If you want to play, you have to earn it – which is a far cry from the organization’s former ways.
Though if Johnny gets off to a hot start in Triple A, I have no doubt that he’ll be back in Kansas City before long.
Also optioned to Triple A were OF Jarrod Dyson (due to the arrival of Jason Bourgeois), and RHP Vin Mazzaro. RHP Zach Miner, C Cody Clark, and IFs Tony Abreu and Irving Falu were all reassigned to Minor League camp.
So Long, Soria?
With Joakim Soria opting to undergo his second Tommy John surgery in the coming week, has he thrown his last pitch as a Royal?
The typical recovery time from TJ surgery is anywhere between 10-14 months, give or take. So if all goes according to plan, Soria won’t begin throwing again until around this time next year, meaning he may not even pitch at all next season (2013).The Royals hold two club options for Soria: one for 2013, and one for 2014. If the Royals decide to pick up said options, they would owe him $8 million in 2013, and $8.75 million in 2014. If the Royals decide not to pick up Soria’s options, they can choose to buy them out for $700K. If they do in fact buyout his options, Soria will become a Free Agent.
With the emergence of Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera, and the presence of Jonathan Broxton, the Royals have a very difficult decision to make in the coming year. Do you keep Soria and pay him $8 million+, or do you buyout his options and hope you can re-sign him to a friendlier deal? It all depends on how Soria’s elbow takes to it’s second Tommy John surgery in 10 years.
Two for One
As we all know, the first 3 spots in the Royals starting rotation have been locked down since before the first ball was thrown this Spring: Chen, Hochevar, and Sanchez. And given his recent spurts of domination, Danny Duffy appears to have solidified his spot in the rotation as well, giving the Royals 3 lefties in the rotation.
And so it has all come down to two pitchers for one spot: incumbent Felipe Paulino vs. Luis Mendoza (both RHPs).
Paulino came to the Royals last season from Colorado and didn’t disappoint, becoming one of the teams’ more reliable staters. But Felipe has been knocked around a bit in 2012, to the tune of a 7.71 ERA in 11.2 IP, with 9 Ks to 5 BBs and a .348 AVG against.
Luis Mendoza was the PCL Pitcher of the Year in 2011, which earned him a stint in KC last September. Up to this point, Luis has been arguably the best pitcher in Royals camp this Spring, going 4-0 in 16.2 IP, with a 0.54 ERA (!), 16:3 K:BB ratio, while managing to keep opposing hitters below the infamous Mendoza Line (.180).
Right now, it appears that the job is Mendoza’s to lose, with Paulino heading to the bullpen to serve as a long reliever/spot starter for the time being. Neither Paulino nor Mendoza have any options remaining, so neither can be sent to Triple A without clearing waivers first, which in all likelihood would not happen.
All along, Yost has said that he wanted to have Gordon at the top of the order, with Johnny Giavotella hitting in the 2 slot. But with the recent demotion of Gio to Omaha, who will Ned slide into the no.2 slot? Here are a few looks:
1. LF Gordon – L
2. CF Cain – R
3. 1B Hosmer – L
4. DH Butler – R
5. RF Francoeur – R
6. 3B Moustakas – L
7. 2B Betancourt – R
8. C Pena – S / Quintero – R
9. SS Escobar – R
Versus LHPs, Lorenzo Cain to me is the obvious choice here. He’s been tearing up opposing pitchers this spring, leading the team in AVG, OBP, SLG%, OPS, RS, H, 2B, HR, TB, and XBH. And right behind him in a lot of those categories is leadoff hitter Alex Gordon. So with Gordon’s high OBP, that means that he has a good chance to be on base with a competent Cain hitting right behind him. Cain also has above-average speed, so teaming him up at the top of the order with Gordon potentially creates a matchup nightmare.
1. LF Gordon – L
2. 2B Getz – L
3. 1B Hosmer – L
4. DH Butler – R
5. 3B Moustakas – L
6. RF Francoeur – R
7. CF Cain – R
8. C Pena S / Quintero R
9. SS Escobar – R
Versus RHPs, Chris Getz fits into the 2 slot perfectly, giving the Royals three left-handed hitters at the top of the order against righties. Plus, as I said earlier, Getz is a great situational hitter, which could allow the Royals offense to get off to a quick start if Gordon gets on ahead of him, i.e. hit-and-runs, sacrifice/slap bunts.
Dayton Moore’s search for a catcher to tandem with Brayan Pena to start the season has ended today. The Royals acquired veterans Humberto Quintero (catcher) and Jason Bourgeois (OF) from the Houston Astros in exchange for left-handed relief prospect Kevin Chapman and a PTBNL.
In order to make roster space for both players, the Royals moved Perez and Pina to the 60-day DL.
The Royals have been on the prowl lately, looking for someone to help the team out while both Salvador Perez and Manny Pina recover from their respective injuries. Dayton was seeking a veteran catcher with a good glove and a quick catch-release. It was said that he was considering the likes of Ivan Rodriguez, Corky Miller, and Wil Nieves. But all along, Humberto Quintero apparently was his #1 target. The addition of Quintero fills the team’s most glaring and obvious hole. Jason Bourgeois is an interesting piece in this trade, as the Royals already have a guy with a similar skill set in Jarrod Dyson. But the one advantage that Bourgeois has over Dyson is his versatility. He is capable of playing all 3 OF positions, as well as 2B and possibly 3B.
Here’s a quick look at both Quintero and Bourgeois:
Humberto Quintero – Catcher (age 32)
Career (offense): 379 games, .234/.268/.321, 15 HR, 44 2B, 94 RBI, 6.35:1 K:BB rate, -2.1 oWAR
Career (defense): 2732 innings, 139 SB against, 66 CS (32% CS), .992 Fld%, 17 passed balls, 20 errors, 8.01 Range Factor, 2.2 dWAR
Just as his numbers show you, Quintero is clearly a defense-first catcher, which is exactly what Dayton Moore was wanting to team up with offense-first catcher Brayan Pena. At 32, he’s got 9 big league seasons under his belt, so he’ll bring along with him a veteran presence that I’m sure the pitching staff will greatly appreciate.
He’s never been a full-time catcher (career high 88 games played in 2010), so he’s already very familiar with the role he’ll be filling in KC. Dayton went as far to say that Quintero may stay on board even after Sal Perez returns from his injury, possibly hinting at the fate of Brayan Pena.
Jason Bourgeois – OF/U (age 30)
Career (offense): 192 games, .262/.307/.324, 52 R, 2 HR, 13 2B, 3 3B, 22 RBI, 46 SB, 1.8:1 K:BB rate, 0.7 oWAR
Career (defense): 753 innings, .995 Fld%, 1 error, 5 assists, 3.86 Range Factor, 1.4 dWAR
Jason Bourgeois has spent the past 2 seasons as a part-time/fill-in player for Houston, but managed to play in 93 games in 2011 due to the Michael Bourn trade. He made the most of his opportunity, hitting .294/.323/.357 and had 31 SB (6 CS), while making appearances at all 3 OF positions and 2B.
While he’s not as fast as Dyson (and who is…), Bourgeois offers up the defensive versatility that could ultimately be the deciding factor this Spring when it comes down to the two for one roster spot.
Kevin Chapman is a 24-year old LHP reliever who was the Royals’ 4th round pick out of the U of Florida in 2010. He has a career ERA over 5 in 2 minor league seasons.
The PTNBL is unknown at this time, although it won’t be much more than a mid-to-lower level prospect.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, Royals will continue to seek catching help – most likely for depth at the Triple A level.
As if Salvador Perez’s injury wasn’t enough, now we get news that Joakim Soria may miss some significant time, and quite possibly the entire 2012 season.
Soria was throwing in the 5th inning of Sunday’s win over the Indians when he started to feel some pain in his right elbow. He proceeded to throw another pitch before signaling to Ned Yost and trainer Nick Kenney to come out to the mound, where they all mutually agreed that his elbow was of more concern than the next pitch.
Yost and Soria both stated after the game that the pain was of great concern. Yost said, “”When guys start to have problems, the first thing that goes is their command a lot of times, and Jack was throwing the ball with good velocity, but he just wasn’t the Jack that we’ve known — where he’s been able to get out and extend on his pitches.”
Joakim definitely hasn’t been pitching like the All-Star he once was. We all know about his struggles at the beginning of last season, and now they have seemed to carry over into Spring Training. In just 3.1 IP, Soria’s been knocked around to the tune of 10 hits (.556 AVG against), 7 runs (all earned), and a whopping 3.30 WHIP.
An MRI on Monday revealed a potentially serious issue: damage to Soria’s ulnar collateral ligament. The very same ligament that forced him to have Tommy John surgery back in 2003.
So if Soria has to undergo his second Tommy John surgery, he will most definitely be out for the season.
But unlike with the Salvador Perez injury, the Royals have other options who could fill in for Soria and possibly not miss a beat. Actually… They have 3 potential replacements.
Greg Holland, Jonathan Broxton, and Aaron Crow, with Holland and Broxton serving as two obvious front-runners for the position.
Holland had a stellar 2011 season, and was possibly the best pitcher on the roster last year. He had a 1.80 ERA in 60 IP while recording 74 K’s, a .175 AVG against, a 0.933 WHIP, 18 Holds, 4 Saves, and a 2.6 WAR. He has all of the intangibles of a big league closer.
Broxton has the track record on his side. He’s a 2-time All-Star closer, who recorded 58 Saves in 2009-10 and has a career 11.5 K/9 rate for his career. He’s an intimidating figure on the mound, given his 6’4″ 300 lbs. frame and the fact that he has the ability to dial up his fastball to 100 MPH. But he’s coming off an injury that sidelined him for pretty much all of 2011 and has to prove that he’s ready to take the reigns once again.
Crow was “technically” the closer for about a week in 2011 after Soria was briefly demoted from the position. But Crow never saw a save opportunity before Soria was reinstated to his rightful position. Even though he was a rookie who had never pitched above Double A up until last season, Crow earned a spot on the AL All-Star roster. His season tailed off after the All-Star break a bit, but he still had an overall exceptional season. In 57 games (62 IP), Crow had a 2.76 ERA with 65 K to 31 BB and a 2.1 WAR.
So, IF Soria is out for the season, who would you like to see assume the closer’s role? Greg Holland, Jonathan Broxton, or Aaron Crow?
Coming into Spring Training this year, the Royals were pretty much set at every position, with a few exceptions: 2B, CF, #4 and #5 starters, and LH relievers. That may seem like a lot of positions to have uncertainty at, but a lot of them are truly position battles. In the darker days of this franchise, it used to be there was one clear-cut favorite for a position. And no matter how he did, all he had to do was basically show up every day and the job was his. The Royals have some legitimate position battles going on this Spring, and within these battles there is always at least one dark horse.
If Salvador Perez hadn’t torn his left meniscus the other day, there wouldn’t be any questions as to who the two catchers on the roster would be coming out of camp. But now that it’s looking like Sal could be out until at least mid-June or later, a few new names have come up as the potential #2 to Brayan Pena.
Cody Clark – 30
At 30 years young, Cody Clark is hardly a young up-and-comer. He’s spent the last 2 seasons at Triple A Omaha, primarily as the backup catcher. He isn’t a great hitter, but his numbers are pretty much what you’d expect from a catcher (career .254/.320/.394). And although his arm isn’t much to brag about (33% career caught stealing), his glove is major league quality (career .992 Fld%), never committing more than 6 E in one season.
He is making his first start of the Spring today against Cleveland, ahead of Max Ramirez.
Max Ramirez – 27
Max Ramirez is an offensive-first catcher, period. Once a top catching prospect for the Rangers, Max has done nothing but hit during his 8 seasons in the minors, with a line of .295/.389/.478 with 85 HR and 146 2B. His glove is average at best, and his arm is less than stellar (27% CS).
With Brayan Pena already on the roster, having two mostly offensive catchers might not make much sense. But if Max keeps hitting like he has been this Spring (7 for 15, 3 HR, 9 RBI) it’d be hard not to bring him on board.
Kevin Kouzmanoff – 30
Kouz has been playing well this Spring, going 3 for 10 in 7 games played, including a walk-off double. He’s always had the ability to hit if given the chance. But the real reasons he’s here are the fact that he’s a vacuum over at 3B, and he’s a right-handed hitting alternative to Mike Moustakas against tough lefties.
If the Royals keep Johnny Giavotella and Yuni Betancourt (thus sending Chris Getz to Triple A), Kouz has a real shot at breaking camp with the Royals as the backup corner infielder.
Clint Robinson – 27
He may be a AAAA player, but right now he’s just a guy who’s never gotten a real chance to show his stuff. Clint profiles as a DH/1B, mostly due to his size (6’5″ 235) and raw power. He won the hitter’s triple crown in 2010 in Double A(.335/.410/.625 29 HR, 98 RBI, 41 2B, 58:86 BB:K ratio, and almost replicated those numbers again last year in Triple A (.326/.399/.533 23 HR, 100 RBI, 35 2B, 58:86 BB:K ratio). If he had been in almost any other organization, there’s no doubt that Robinson would have made his Major League debut by now. But since he’s been blocked by Billy Butler, Eric Homser, and Kila Ka’aihue, he has yet to see an at-bat in KC.
If he wants to make the team out of Spring, he’ll need to log more innings at one of the corner OF spots and prove he isn’t enough of a defensive liability to offset his bat. He could be a great left-handed power bat coming off the bench for Ned in 2012.
David Lough – 26
Lough does everything right. He hits, runs, and fields well, while occasionally flashing a little bit of power. He’s been compared to David DeJesus, except that he runs much better. He’s already hit 2 triples this Spring, and has logged significant innings at all 3 OF spots. Lough could very well supplant Mitch Maier as the 4th OFer on this roster.
Luis Mendoza RHP – 28
Without a doubt, Luis Mendoza has been the Royals’ most outstanding pitcher this Spring. He’s 3-0 in 10.2 IP with a 0.84 ERA, 11:1 K:BB ratio, .135 AVG against, and 0.56 WHIP. He seemed to get is act together last year in Omaha, and was called up to Kansas City to make two starts in September, going 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 14.2 IP.
Mendoza is in an all out brawl with Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino for that 4th or 5th spot in the rotation. At this point, Mendoza is almost a near lock to make the team out of Spring Training. But the question is whether he winds up as a part of the rotation or the bullpen.
Kelvin Herrera RHP – 22
After being converted from a starter to a reliever and pitching at almost every level in the organization last year, Herrera has an outside shot to start the season in KC. He’s got a true power arm, being able to hit the upper-90′s consistently. He currently sports a 1.50 ERA in 6 IP this Spring with 9 K to 2 BB and a .190 AVG against.
It might take an injury to one of Coleman, Holland, or Broxton for Herrera to make the 25-man roster this April, though anything can happen between now and then.
Tommy Hottovy LHP – 30
The hometown kid has been impressive in his short time as a Royal. He hasn’t surrendered a run in 4.2 IP thus far, giving up only 5 hits while striking out 5 and walking 0. Tommy has started games before earlier in his minor league career, though his TJ surgery probably put that part of his career in the rear view. But he is capable of going more than one or two innings.
Yost has stated that he wants more than just one lefty in the bullpen, and Tommy could be that guy given the fact that he could fill a number of bullpen roles (long reliever, middle reliever, situational lefty).
The Royals announced yesterday that they have made their first roster cuts of the Spring by sending 8 of their Spring Training invitees to Minor League camp, 2 to Triple A Omaha, and 1 to AA Northwest Arkansas.
The 8 reassigned to Minor League camp are lefties Mike Montgomery, Will Smith, Chris Dwyer, and Brandon Sisk; right-hander Jake Odorizzi, catcher Julio Rodriguez, and outfielders Paulo Orlando and Wil Myers.
Two pitchers, RHP Nate Adcock and LHP Ryan Verdugo were assigned to Omaha, while LHP Noel Arguelles was assigned to Northwest Arkansas.
Monty did little to impress in his short time this Spring. In just 2.2 innings, he gave up 6 runs, 6 hits, and 3 BBs. Mike came into camp hoping to force the Royals to give him one of the final two spots in the rotation. He’s still a top prospect, and he’ll get as much time as he needs in the minors to make adjustments to his delivery in order to make things right.
Odorizzi only made two appearances, going 2 innings apiece. He struggled in his first outing, giving up 2 runs, before finding his rhythm in the second.
Wil Myers did well, taking part in 9 games thus far. He put up a .313 AVG, but K’d 5 times while getting zero extra base hits.
Brandon Sisk and Will Smith both left Big League camp with 0.00 ERA’s in 6 combined innings (Sisk-2, Smith-4). Neither had a shot at making the team out of ST, thus earning them their respective reassignments.
These guys were all reassigned mostly because the Royals want them to get more playing time to keep their development on track. Sticking in Big League camp, getting a few innings/at-bats here and there wouldn’t really do much good for anyone at this point.
The 11 players cut reduces the number of players in camp at 46.
Salvador Perez’s Timetable
For those who were hoping for a quick recovery, your dreams have been dashed.
After a successful procedure on his torn left-lateral meniscus this morning in KCK, the Royals have said that Salvador Perez will most likely be out for 14-16 weeks – meaning a possible mid-June return. The 12-14 weeks include both healing time and Minor League rehab assignments.
Feeling a Little Pudgey
With Brayan Pena being the only healthy catcher on the 40-man roster, the Royals are on the lookout for a possible veteran platoon partner, much like they did last season with Matt Treanor.
While there are only a handful of available veteran catchers, one name seems to standout above the rest:
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
With Perez out, I’m sure GMDM is looking for someone who could come in and garner instant trust from the pitching staff. So, of the available names, who could be better than a 14-time All-Star, 13-time Gold Glove award winner, former AL MVP?
At 40, his numbers have declined as his age has risen. His bat is nowhere near where it used to be. But in 21 seasons, Pudge has a career slash line of .296/.334/.464. He’s still a tough at-bat and still has a solid-arm behind the plate, throwing out 52% of would-be base stealers in 37 games with Washington in 2011.
The Royals are also said to be sifting through rather lackluster options, like career minor leaguers Craig Tatum, Corky Miller, and Wil Nieves, all of which are extra-light hitting, average defense catchers.
In my mind, Pudge would be the perfect guy to come in and hold Sal’s place while he recovers. Then once Sal is ready to come back, keep Pudge around as a mentor for Perez for the rest of the season. Afterall, if I were a young Latino catcher, who could be better to learn from then one of the best catchers of all-time?
Now have a happy 3:16 day, ’cause Stone Cold said so!
According to the Royals Beat Writer for the KC Star Bob Dutton, the Royals and Alcides Escobar have agreed to an extension that runs through at least the 2015 season for $10.5 million guaranteed, with club options ($500K buyouts) for each of the 2016 and 2017 seasons, which effectively buy his first two free agent years. If both options are exercized by the club, the deal will add up to $21.75 million.
Here’s how it all breaks down:
2012: $1 million
2013,2014,2015: $3 million per
2016: $5.25 million Club Option ($500K buyout)
2017: $6.5 million Club Option ($500K buyout)
This deal is eerily similar to the Salvador Perez extension way back in February. GMDM must be one smooth talker, because he has now locked up two potential perennial Gold Glovers in Perez and Escobar.
2011 was Escobar’s first season with the Royals, as he was one of the pieces that came to Kansas City in the Greinke-Yuni trade. While he was a wizard with the glove, he did struggle a bit at times with the bat. Overall, he managed to hit .254 in 158 games with 33 (8 3B, 4 HR extra base hits, 46 RBI, 69 runs scored, and 26 SB. Escobar is a line-drive hitter capable of flashing a little bit of LF power. He doesn’t walk much, but he also keeps his K’s low too (25BB:73K in 2011). He put up a total WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 2.0 last season.
As a Royals fan first and foremost, I’m all for this. Dayton Moore is doing a great job of beginning to lock up this young roster for the forseeable future. Now, Dayton, can you please resolve the Alex Gordon contract issue?
Oh yeah, lock up that Hosmer guy, too. He’s kind of good.
The Royals have stated that it is a torn left lateral meniscus. Sal will have surgery in Kansas City sometime in the next couple of days. A speedy recovery would mean at least 4 weeks, while the average recovery time is 6-8 weeks.
The Royals have announced that Salvador Perez has torn cartilage in his left knee and that there currently is no timetable for his return.
Cross your fingers KC! And hope that Salvy is a quick healer!
Before yesterday’s 7-5 ST victory over the Reds, Sal Perez and Jonathan Sanchez were doing their usual pre-game warm-up when Salvy suffered some degree of a knee injury. Ned and Royals trainer Nick Kenney checked him out beofre Perez said he was good to go.
Salvy was able to crouch, so he wasn’t scratched from the lineup card. He took the field and caught the 1st inning before being pulled, leaving the game with a “noticeable limp”. And according to his Twitter account, Perez is heading to Kansas City today to have an MRI done on said knee.
Salvador Perez, while he is far from he best player, may be the most valuable and irreplacable guy on the Royals roster right now. He is supposed to be the guy who is the anchor behind the plate and earn the trust of the pitching staff. And he just signed a long-term contract…
If all goes well, Perez will be listed as day-today, with his trip to KC just being strictly precautionary. He’ll ice it up, take a few days off, and then get back to work.
If all goes to hell, we’re left with the lovely tandem of Brayan Pena and Max Ramirez/Cody Clark/Free Agent’s name here.
Without Perez behind the plate, the defense obviously takes a huge hit. Brayan Pena and Max Ramirez are both, to a degree, offense first catchers. Pena’s defensive struggles have been well noted in Kansas City, even though he has improved his game.
Manny Pina is already out for at least the first few months of the season due to a tear in his right knee, so he’s out of the short-term equation. Ramirez and Clark are non-roster invitees, meaning that neither one of them are currently oin the 40-man. So to put one of them on the roster would require removing smoeone from the current 40-man. Same goes for a FA.
So for right, now I’m in Hold-Your-Breath Mode. We should know more about the severity of Sal’s knee some time later today and I’ll update as soon as I hear something new.
Both Luke Hochevar and Tim Lincecum had decent outings. Luke threw 3 innings, K’d 2 and BB’d 0. But he gave up 4 hits, 2 earned runs, one of which was a HR from Connor Gillapsie, and hit a batter. Timmy gave up just one hit, which was a 4th inning single off his foot to Jarrod Dyson. The 1 run Lincecum squandered was unearned.
Starters: Hochevar & Odorizzi
Hoch took the loss in his brief outing, moving his ST record to 1-1.
Jake Odorizzi took the mound in the 4th inning, striking out 2 and walking 2. This was a good outing by Izzy, who really needed one. He’s been roughed up a bit this Spring.
Bullpeners: Coleman, Mijares, Holland
Sweet Lou, McHardees, and Dutch combined for 4 scoreless, 3 hits, 4 K’s, and 1 BB. The Giants’ offense is still one of the league’s worst, so seeing the bullpen shut them down was no surprise. But 4 scoreless innings from the ‘pen isn’t something to roll your eyes at.
The 5th inning was a scary one for the Royals, as both Hosmer and Moustakas were pulled from the game due to injuries.
In the top of the 5th, Hoz dove toward the line and made a play on Nate Schierholtz’s groundball for the out, but remained on the ground for a few moments after the play was over, apparently jamming his right shoulder.
In the bottom of the frame, Moose came to bat against Santiago Casilla and took a fastball off his knee that proceeded to skip its way into the stands.
Hosmer has already been cleared to play today against Cincinnati, while Moustakas has been listed as day-to-day with a contusion on his right knee.
The lineup as a whole was able to collect only 5 hits (Dyson, Maier, Butler, Myers, Giavotella). Hosmer and Dyson both added a SB to their Spring stats. The Royals’ sole run scored on a SAC by Escobar.
Here’s the box from ESPN
SAN FRANCISCO (2) AT KANSAS CITY (1) SAN FRANCISCO AB R H BI KANSAS CITY AB R H BI G Blanco cf 3 0 3 1 J Dyson cf 2 1 1 0 -T Graham cf 0 0 0 0 -M Maier cf 2 0 1 0 F Sanchez dh 3 0 0 0 A Escobar ss 2 0 0 1 N Schierholtz rf 3 0 1 0 -Y Betancourt ss 2 0 0 0 -R Kieschnick rf 1 0 0 0 E Hosmer 1b 1 0 0 0 B Pill 1b 4 0 2 0 -B Butler 1b 2 0 1 0 C Gillaspie 3b 4 1 1 1 -G Golson pr 0 0 0 0 J Arias 2b 3 0 0 0 A Gordon lf 2 0 0 0 E Adrianza ss 1 0 0 0 -D Lough lf 2 0 0 0 -B Crawford ss 2 0 0 0 M Moustakas 3b 1 0 0 0 -J Panik ss-2b 1 0 0 0 -I Falu pr-3b 2 0 0 0 E Whiteside c 3 0 0 0 J Francoeur rf 2 0 0 0 -H Sanchez c 1 0 0 0 -W Myers rf 2 0 1 0 E Burriss lf 2 1 0 0 S Perez dh 3 0 0 0 -J Christian lf 1 0 0 0 B Pena c 1 0 0 0 -C Clark c 1 0 0 0 C Getz 2b 1 0 0 0 -J Giavotella 2b 2 0 1 0 TOTALS 32 2 7 2 TOTALS 30 1 5 1 123 456 789 F SAN FRANCISCO 011 000 000 -- 2 KANSAS CITY 000 100 000 -- 1 E--T Graham, E Whiteside. DP--SAN FRANCISCO 1, KANSAS CITY 1. LOB--SAN FRANCISCO 7, KANSAS CITY 5. 2B--B Pill, J Giavotella. HR--C Gillaspie 1 (1) (off L Hochevar). SB--G Blanco 1 (6), E Burriss 1 (2), E Hosmer 1 (2), J Dyson 1 (1). IP H R ER BB SO HR SAN FRANCISCO T Lincecum (W,1-0) 4 1 1 0 2 4 0 S Casilla 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 A Kown 2 2 0 0 0 1 0 J Machi 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 W Rodriguez (S,1) 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 KANSAS CITY L Hochevar (L,1-1) 3 4 2 2 0 2 1 J Odorizzi 2 0 0 0 2 2 0 L Coleman 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 J Mijares 1 2-3 2 0 0 0 1 0 G Holland 1 1-3 0 0 0 0 3 0 WP--L Hochevar. HBP--E Burriss by L Hochevar, M Moustakas by S Casilla. SO--SF: F Sanchez, E Whiteside, B Pill, J Panik, C Gillaspie, E Adrianza, H Sanchez, J Arias. KC: A Gordon, C Clark, J Giavotella, D Lough, S Perez, M Moustakas. BB--SF: F Sanchez, B Crawford, G Blanco. KC: B Pena. T--2:33. A--6,243.
The Royals Spring record fell to 5-5. They’ll face off against the Reds today in Surprise at 3:05 CT, pitting Sanchez vs. Mike Leake.