|The 24-year-old has an aggressive approach and goes right after hitters. His fastball is a tick above average, occasionally plus. His breaking ball, a slider, is Major League average, but he uses it well. He throws an average changeup, too.|
The Royals’ minor league system has been vaunted as one of the best stockpiles of young talent in baseball history. Last season Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Johnny Giavotella, Danny Duffy, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Louis Coleman were all a part of the system’s “first wave of talent” to make their way to Kauffman Stadium.
But even though most of the system’s more notable names have gone on to play in bigger and better games, the Royals still boast one of the league’s top farm systems (Baseball America no.2, Keith Law no.5, Baseball Prospectus no.5, John Sickels no.6) with names like Bubba Starling, Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery, Jake Odorizzi, Cheslor Cuthbert, John Lamb, Christian Colon, and Jason Adam.
Well on Wednesday night, another Royals farm-hand made his major league debut. Left-handed starter Will Smith got the call from Omaha to make his first career start againt the Yankees. In New York. Needless to say, his first big league appearance didn’t go as well as he had wished. He only lasted 3.1 innings while giving up 5 earned runs on 6 hits (3 homeruns).
With the call-up of Will Smith from Omaha to KC and the recent promotions of Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi from Northwest Arkansas to Omaha, the “second wave of talent” could be making its way to Kansas City sometime soon.
Here is my take on who could be the next minor leaguers to reasonably make the jump to the big leagues relatively soon:
Mike Montgomery LHP, 22
Monty’s struggles at the Triple-A level have been well documented. He was 5-11 last season in Omaha with a 5+ ERA and is 2-1 with a 4.38 ERA thus far in 2012. His walk rates are way up (4.2 BB/9) and is averaging less than 6 innings per outing.
But there are many reasons why he’s been ranked in Baseball America’s Top 50 Prospects three years running (2010 – no.39, 2011 – no.19, 2012 – no.23). Mike is a tall, powerful lefty with the ability to throw three plus pitches. Keep in mind, he’s only 22 years old and is pitching in his second season in the Pacific Coast League (a notorious hitter’s league).
If Mike can turnout solid, consistent outings, he could soon force his way into the big league rotation. Barring an injury or a trade, I don’t think we see Monty until after the All-Star break.
Wil Myers OF, 21
Wil Myers has been absolutely tearing up minor league pitching this season. In 35 games at the Double-A level, he hit a ridiculous .343/.414/.731 with 25 of his 46 hits going for extra bases (11 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR). He scored 32 runs, drove in 30, and even managed to swipe 4 bases while logging time in RF, CF, and even 3B.
He’s continued his swing since being promoted to Triple-A Omaha to the tune of .314/.385/.657 with 5 XBH (1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR), 6 RBI, and 5 runs scored.
The Royals have been moving Wil around the field essentially to get his bat to Kansas City as quickly as possible. But in he end, he’ll most likely stick somewhere in the outfield.
Now even though Jeff Francoeur is riding a hot streak right now, his time in Kansas City could be close to expiring. It’s not his fault really. One of the game’s top outfield prospects is waiting in the wings and is doing everything he can to get to Kansas City as soon as possible.
Jake Odorizzi RHP, 22
Of all of the names on this list, Jake Odorizzi most likely will be the first to get the big league call. The right-hander has a fastball that can touch 95 mph, but usually works more efficiently at 90-94 mph. He also possesses an above average curveball and changeup. His slider is still developing, but his first three pitches alone should be enough to translate unto big league success.
In 9 combined starts between Double-A and Triple-A, Izzy is 5-2 with a solid 3.20 ERA. He also is averaging a spectacular 10.2 K/9 while only allowing an average of 2.0 BB/9.
Jake is compared to Zack Greinke by scouts, given their simliar frame (6’2″, 185 lbs), smooth delivery, and strong command of the strike zone. However, scouts do differ when it comes to projecting Izzy’s future role in the big league rotation. Some say he’s a future ace (ahead of Mike Montgomery), while other’s see him more as a no. 2 or no. 3 guy.
Given the Royals’ rotation struggles this season, with both health and consitency, Odorizzi looks primed for a big league promotion sometime before September.
Ryan Verdugo LHP, 25
Duggy is already a member of the Royals’ 40-man roster, so promoting him to the big leagues wouldn;t require removing anyone from the 40-man. This fact alone makes him primed for a 2012 call-up.
After coming over to Kansas City via the Melky Cabrera-Jonathan Sanchez trade, Verdugo has been pitching at Triple-A Omaha exclusively as a starter (he had started only 1 game before 2011 when he started 25 games in Double-A). So far, he’s been impressive. He has a 3-1 record with a 3.61 ERA. He’s always had great strikeout numbers (career: 10.4 K/9, 2012: 7.2 K/9), but his walk rate is a little discouraging (career: 4.5 BB/9, 2012: 4.4 BB/9). He’s averaging nearly 6 innings per start this season and has a solid WHIP of 1.186.
Ryan has a three-pitch arsenal, consisting of a fastball, a changeup, and a slider. MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo had this to say about RyanVerdugo:
Verdugo gives the Royals organizational depth and flexibility given the fact that he’s logged considerable time in the ‘pen (75 relief appearances, 13-1 record, 2.64 ERA, 13.4 K/9) and as a starter (36 starts, 11-7 record, 4.13 ERA, 8.6 K/9).
If Verdugo is brought up to Kansas City at some point in 2012, he would likely fill the same role as Everett Teaford – a lefty that can pitch multiple innings out of the bullpen as well as start games as needed.
The next wave of young talent may be coming to Kansas City sooner than we all thought.
On Wednesday, the Royals announced that top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi will be promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas to Triple-A Omaha. Myers’ promotion was effective immediately, while Odorizzi’s promotion will take effect on Friday.
Coming into the season, MLB.com had Myers rated as the Royals no.2 prospect (behind Bubba Starling). Odorizzi was ranked as the organizations no.4 prospect (behind no.3 prospect Mike Montgomery).
At 21 years old, Wil Myers was having an outstanding season for the Narurals prior to being promoted. Through 35 games, he was hitting .343/.414/.731 with 25 XBH (11 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR), 30 RBI, and 4 SB. Myers, renowned for his prowess at the plate, is also known for his athleticism. The Royals drafted him as a catcher in the 3rd round back in 2009. Wanting to get his advanced bat to the big leagues quickly -and the presence of Salvador Perez- the Royals opted to shift him to the outfield. Although he has spent most of his time in the outfiled in RF (88 games), the Royals have moved Myers around the field a bit. Being such a great athlete allowed him to log significant time in CF (33 games), as well as a handful of innings in LF (6 games) and even 3B (2 games).
Moving Myers all around the field does nothing but add to his value. He’s proving that his bat can play nearly anywhere on the field.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi, 22, was the key to the Zack Greinke trade two winters ago. Through seven starts for the Naturals in 2012, Izzy compiled a 4-2 record, an ERA of 3.32, a 4.7:1 strikeout to walk ratio, an opposing batting average of just .191, and a 0.97 WHIP.
Some scouts regard Odorizzi as the Royals’ top pitching prospect and think he possesses all the skills necessary to eventually become a staff ace. His delivery is smooth and easy, leading many to accurately project his quick rise through the minor league system. The top two pitches in his repertoire a low-to-mid 90′s fastball and a sharp-breaking curveball.
Barring any major injuries or out-of-this-world performances, both Myers and Odorizzi should spend the rest of the season in Omaha. One or both could potentially be September call-ups, depending on how the Royals’ record looks at the time. But both of them have real, legitimate shots to make the Opening Day roster in 2013.
It’s yet another instance of the worst-case scenario coming to fruition for the Royals.
Danny Duffy’s MRI on Monday in KC revealed every pitcher’s biggest fear: a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
And the only cure? Tommy John surgery.
In a season filled with ups and downs, losing arguably this team’s best and most promising pitcher could prove to be the biggest blow of them all. Duffy has shown so much promise this season. He was 2-2 with a solid 3.90 ERA, was averaging 9.1 K/9, and had the second highest average fastball in baseball at 95.3 mph.
Given the nature of their business, almost all pitchers have a tear of some degree in the elbow of their throwing arm. It’s usually just a matter of time before either it tears completely or the team decides it’s the right time to have the surgery. The Royals chose to go with the latter alternative.
The Royals have known about a tear in Duffy’s elbow since 2010. Duffy usually experiences some sort of elbow pain after a start, which has been the norm for him over the past few years – so the Royals never really gave his elbow pain much thought. A few weeks ago, the team decided to skip one of Duffy’s starts because his elbow pain was more intense than usual. So why didn’t the Royals give him an MRI then?
It’s a solid question begged by fans, radio hosts, and columnists alike.
But the Royals already knew about Duffy’s elbow tear. An MRI then would not have revealed anything they didn’t know already.
Duffy came back and made two more solid starts before leaving the game on Sunday.
The bottom line of the ordeal is this:
Danny Duffy’s elbow was a ticking timebomb. It was only a matter of time before he was going to need to undergo Tommy John surgery. Duffy throws extremely hard and possesses a curveball that has an extreme bite to it; he generally throws a lot of pitches and is a max effort guy.
Cardinals GM John Mozeliak said that the Cardinals knew about a tear in then-pitching-prospect Adam Wainwright’s right elbow back in 2004. They opted to bypass the surgery at the time, knowing that he’d need it at some point in the future. What happened after that? Wainwright went on to close out the 2006 World Series, became a multiple Cy Young candidate, win 20-games, and a NL Gold Glove. He finally went under the knife in February of 2011 - 7+ years later.
All in all, the Royals and Danny Duffy just wan into bad luck on this one.
The only way to prevent having Tommy John surgery, according to the man whom the surgery is named after, is this: don’t be pitcher. You can’t blame Ned Yost on this one. Or Dayton Moore. Or even David Glass.
The typical recovery time for TJ surgery is anywhere between 10 and 18 months. So, at this rate, Duffy could be back around this time next year at the earliest.
It was only a matter of time. Better now than next year.
With last night’s victory over the Chicago
Red White Sox, the Royals are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and are 10-6 in their last 16. IF, and that’s a very big if (get it?), this team can maintain a .600 clip, they could very well find themselves right back in the mix of things in the AL Central and Wild Card race. A .600 winning % equals out to roughly 97 wins a season. But in order for the Royals to win 97 games, they’d have to play much better than .600 baseball.
Regardless, winning 6 of your last 10 and taking two series’ in a row (not to mention taking 2 of 4 from the Yankees) is great news for this team. Let’s look at the series that was…
It looks like the Donkey is back on his old trail again. In the 1st inning of Friday night’s game, Dunn blasted a solo-shot to deep right off of Felipe Paulino to give the Sox an early 1-0 lead. The South Siders never looked back after that as they went on to win 5-0.
Paulino had a fairly decent performance in his second outing of the season. He gave up seven four runs (all earned) on seven hits while striking out six and walking one in 5.2 innings.
After spending two weeks on the DL with a rib injury and taking part in a joint-effort no-hitter in a rehab assignment with Northwest Arkansas, Greg Holland rejoined the big league team in Chicago and reassumed his role in the bullpen. To make room for Greg, Nate Adcock was reassigned back to Triple A Omaha.
Holland appeared in the final two games of the series against the White Sox, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings in late-relief. He recorded 4 K’s to 2 BB’s while surrendering a lone hit.
Hosmer Moves Down
In an effort to take a little pressure off his bat, Ned Yost has decided to shift Eric Hosmer from his usual all-important no. 4 slot in the lineup to the no. 6 slot on Saturday. Yost said the down shift was mostly due to the fact that the Royals were facing a left-handed starter that day (Chris Sale) and that Hosmer has been “fighting it a little bit”. AKA – he’s trying too hard.
Hosmer went 2-for-9 during his two games in the 6 slot with a run scored an a RBI. He managed to get up his batting average to .180. He’s batting just .163/.200/.233 in the month of May (7-for-43) with just 2 XBH (0 HR) and 4 RBI. He’s only managed to work two walks this month; on a positive note, he’s struck out only five times – meaning he’s making consistent contact. He’s just been really, really unlucky (evidenced by his .171 BAbip).
The team hopes that moving him down in the order will help Hosmer relax a little more at the plate and help change his mentality at the plate. instead of coming to the plate knowing that he’s the guy, he can go up there and just look for a base hit to help set the table.
Moose Takes a Seat
After playing in the first game of the series in Chicago, Mike Moustakas was held out of the final two games with what was termed as a sore hamstring. Mike also missed the final game of the series against Boston with the same issue. Utility-man Irving Falu filled in for Moose in each of those games, going 5-for-13 in the three games while playing comparable defense.
Mike is currently leading the Royals with a .308 AVG and has at least one hit in 7 of the 8 games he’s played this month.
Right now it looks like Moose will be in the lineup tonight as the Royals take on the Rangers in Arlington, TX.
Luke Hochevar continued his season-long Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde act on Saturday night by shutting down Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and the Pale Hose for 7 solid innings. Hoch struck out five and walked one while giving up just three hits, earning his third win of the season.
The Royals’ offense backed him early by scoring three runs in the top of the first. The only “threat” the White Sox poised against Hochevar was in the bottom of the 2nd. With one down, Hoch walked A.J. Pierzynski and gave up a single to Alex Rios. But he got the next batter, Alexei Ramirez, to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.
In his previous two outings, Hochevar had given up a total of 16 runs, 19 hits, and 4 BB in just 6.1 innings.
With the win, Hochevar (3-3) lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 7.20.
Royals Sign Doug Davis
Given the Royals’ recent injury problems, the team went out and signed veteran left-handed starter Doug Davis. Davis, at 36, is a 13-year veteran who has a 92-108 career record in 306 games spread throughout five different organizations. Doug was assigned to extended Spring Training in Arizona where he will workout in anticipation of being sent to Omaha.
This was strictly a veteran depth move – very similar to when the Royals inked Jeff Suppan last year.
Duffy Exits Early
After throwing just 13 pitches and recording two outs in the bottom of the 1st on Sunday afternoon, catcher Humberto Quintero signaled for Ned Yost and head trainer Nick Kinney to come out to the mound and check on Danny Duffy’s arm. Although there were no clear visual signs of discomfort, Quintero saw Duffy shake his out his arm after a pitch.
Yost came out and talked to Duffy, who revealed that he was experiencing soreness in his left elbow, prompting Ned to pull him from the game and call-in swing-man Luis Mendoza. Mendoza pitched terrifically, going 5.2 innings, giving up only one run and striking out seven.
If you recall, Duffy has already missed a start this season due to an elbow issue. Instead of sending him to the DL, the team merely skipped his turn in the rotation in hopes that it was only a minor issue.
After undergoing an MRI today in Kansas City, the Royals have decided to send Duffy to the 15-day DL and recall the recently optioned Nate Adcock to fill his roster spot.
Gio Comes Through
In the top of the 7th, the Royals were down 1-0 with Alcides Escobar on first, the White Sox brought in lefty Matt Thornton to face left-handed hitters Jarrod Dyson and Chris Getz. Thornton lead off his night by walking Dyson, which moved Escobar to second (agruably the team’s two fastest runners). In order to play the match-up game, Ned opted to pinch-hit the right-handed Johnny Giavotella for the lefty Chris Getz.
During Gio’s AB, Escobar and Dyson advanced a base on Thornton’s wild pitch.
Giavotella worked a great at-bat against Thorton and eventually sent a 1-2 fastball that was away down the right field line for a two-run double – his first hit of the season – Royals lead 2-1.
Frenchy Finally Goes Yard
The Royals extended their 2-1 lead in the 8th wneh Jeff Francoeur sent Nate Jone’s pitch to deep left field to the tune of a 400+ foot solo shot, his first of the season. This was his first homerun since September 23 of last season, which ironically was in U.S. Cellular Field.
Frenchy hit 20 HR last season and had 22 SB. He has yet to steal a base this season.
The 3-1 lead was more than enough for the Royals to get the victory last night, but that didn’t stop them from adding six insurance runs in the top of the 9th.
The Royals sent 11 batters to the plate in the top of the 9th, with both Alcides Escobar and Humberto Quintero batting twice in the inning. The runs scored on a passed ball (1), a bases loaded hit-by-pitch (1), an infield single (1), a fielder’s choice (1), a single to center (1), and a single to right (1).
To recap. that’s six runs on one mistake pitch, 3 singles, a hit batter, and a fielder’s choice.
The Royals forced Addison Reed and Eric Stults to throw 46 pitches combined in the inning.
The Royals will be in Arlington tonight to take on the AL-leading Texas Rangers in game one of a short two-game series.
The Royals (13-20) now stand just 4.5 games back of the first-place Cleveland Indians. The team has won four of their last five games and and have won or split each of their last five series (2 wins, 3 splits). The Royals boast a road record of 9-7.
The Rangers (23-12) have the best record in the American League and are sitting 5 games ahead of second place Oakland. Josh Hamilton is the hottest hitter in baseball, leading the entire league in batting average (.402), home runs (18), and RBI (44). They’re 6-4 in their last 10 and have a home record of 10-6.
Since 2005, the Rangers are 39-19 against the Royals.
Tonight’s game begins at 7:05 CT. It will be Bruce Chen (1-4, 4.83 ERA) for the Royals against Scott Feldman (0-0, 4.35 ERA) of the Rangers.
During the 5th inning of the Storm Chaser’s Wednesday night game in Sacramento, Johnny Giavotella was pulled from the game for “a good reason”. Being pulled for a “good reason” can mean one of three things: he’s being promoted, traded to a team who needs him, or he’s become a father.
Well the third option was basically crossed off the list immediately by the Royals Twitterverse.
So it had to be a trade….right?
Let’s look at the Royals’ situation:
- The team currently has two second basemen on the active roster: Chris Getz and Irving Falu.
- Once Yuniesky Betancourt comes off the DL (probably sometime next week), presumably Falu will be optioned back down to Omaha.
- Chris Getz is performing very well at the moment, hitting .306/.353/.452 with 7 XBH, 6 RBI, 5 SB and has commited only 1 error thus far. He’s been a solid clutch hitter and has a .333 BAbip (batting average on balls in play).
On Thursday morning, Dayton Moore was on 610 Sports Radio with Bob Fescoe and Josh Klingler where he gave an intriguing interview. Immediately, they asked him about what was going on with the Giavotella situation. Dayton stated that they were working out a way to get Johnny up to the big league club, they just had to “cross some T’s and dot some I’s”.
Now, when a GM has to “cross T’s and dot I’s”, it usually means some sort of roster shake-up is in the works.
Hours went by between the interview and the actual move; and during that time, Twitter blew up with trade speculation*. There were Getz and Hochevar rumors, Getz and Sanchez rumors, Getz, Hochevar, Francoeur rumors, etc etc etc…
*I’ll admit that I contributed to the madness…
In essence, a potential Chris Getz trade made the most sense. Getz’s value is most likely at an all-time high right now and Giavotella was clearly ready to come back to Kansas City, evidenced by his .331/.408/.504, 5 HR, and 25 RBI through 31 games with Omaha.
But the move that the Royals made yesterday just doesn’t add up…
The team ended all of the Twitter speculation yesterday afternoon by sending picther Jonathan Sanchez to the 15-day DL with biceps tendonitis; thus calling up Johnny Giavotella to take his spot on the 25-man roster.
Now, correct me if I’m wrong: if a pitcher is placed on the DL, doesn’t a team normally replace him with another pitcher to take his spot on the roster? I would have loved to see the Royals promote Mike Montgomery to take over for Sanchez and get a taste of the big leagues.
With Giavotella, the Royals now have three second basemen on the active roster (Getz, Giavotella, and Falu). You don’t call up guys like Gio to platoon with Chris Getz at second. He is an everyday type of guy and is billed, right now at least, as the second basemen of the future. So it makes absolutely no sense to call him up right now.
So what happens when Yuni comes off the DL sometime in the near future? Like Gio, he’s right-handed and was Chris Getz’s platoon partner at second. Do you shop Yuni? Do you shop Getz? Because, out of the three of them, Yuni is the only guy who can really fill in at multiple positions. Getz technically can and has filled in at short and third, so he could serve that role for the team. Giavotella is strictly a second basemen and has put in a ton of work at improving his defense there, so playing him anywhere else would be doing him a real disservice.
Maybe the Royals are in talks with the Brewers about sending Yuni back to Milwaukee…?
If not, then somebody please explain to me what just happened.
If you’re a Royals fan, or just a fan of baseball in general, you can’t help but root for guys like Irving Falu. After playing nearly 950 games in the minors, the 28 year old former 21st-round pick of the 2003 draft (the same draft class of former first-round pick Mitch Maier) finally got the call he’s been waiting for his whole life. Upon receiving the call of his promotion to the bigs last Wednesday night, Falu said he was “crying like a baby”.
Fast forward to Sunday.
Irving Falu was thrown in the fire and came out clean.
He made his first career start at shortstop, giving Alcides Escobar his first day-off of 2012. He was put to the test almost immediately when he retired Alex Rodriguez on a can-o’-corn groundball with a runner on third to end the first inning.
In his first career at-bat, with his mother, brother, niece, and nephew in the stands, Falu ripped a two-out triple down the right field line. In doing so, Irving became the 3rd Royal to hit a triple in his first career AB (Brian McRae – ’90, Edgar Caceras – ’95). After he popped up from his head-first slide into third base, he was congratulated by Alex Rodriguez, who proceeded to hand Falu the ball that he had hit.
Falu followed that up by hitting a leadoff single to right in the bottom half of the fifth. He would eventually come around to score on a two-out single by Alex Gordon.
He finished the day going 2-for-4 with a triple, one run scored, and one strikeout.
In the grand scheme of a 10-4 loss to New York, Falu’s big day was slightly overshadowed by yet another Luke Hochevar one-inning meltdown. But the switch-hitting utility player will never forget how he made his pro debut in Kansas City against Derek Jeter, A-Rod and the New York Yankees, in front of his family, and alongside many of the guys who he saw come and go during his nine seasons in the Royals’ minor league system.
Here’s to you, Irving. Keep it up. You never know who could be watching.
Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Danny Duffy all came through in a big way for the Royals last night in the team’s 4-3 victory over the Yankees. Other than the win to end the 12-game skid, this was the team’s most important victory of 2012 thus far.
Duffy (2-2) got the win by throwing 5.1 quality innings, giving up just 2 ER on 6 hits while recording 6 K and 2 BB. In traditional Duffy fashion, his pitch count was relatively high at the time of his exit (90 pitches - 52 strikes). But this start was really important for Danny and the Royals.
Coming into the game, the Royals were winless at home thanks to that dreaded 10-game homestand. The team needed to get off to a good start at home this time around and are charged with facing the Yankees for the first four games and the Red Sox for the last three. So, needless to say, they’re going to need a solid outing from each of their starting pitchers. And that’s exactly what Duffy gave the Royals last night.
Jarrod Dyson, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas shaped the game for KC.
Dyson had perhaps the best game of his big league career, going 2-for-4, including an infield single and a run scored. But his offense wasn’t what made the most noise last night. Dyce actually had a great game defensively. The Yankees sent the ball deep to center with runners on three times. Now anyone who has watched him roam center this season knows that Dyson, who possesses world-class speed, has frequently taken gotten poor reads and/or taken poor paths to flyballs which often lead to extra-base hits and runs scored. But Dyson owned center field last night, keeping the Yankees offense at bay, by making solid plays on the fly toward the center field wall that guys like Mitch Maier might not have been able to reach.
Hosmer showed signs that he’s ready to bust out of his slump by hitting a RBI single into center in the 3rd and a two-out single to left field in the 5th. He came around to score later in the inning. In the bottom of the 9th, with nobody out and runners on first and second, Mark Teixeira hit a sure seeing-eye single, which probably would have scored Jeter from second if it weren’t for a diving stab by Chris Getz. Getz then flipped the ball to Escobar for the out at second. With Granderson coming into second hard, Escobar did all he could to get the throw off to first. Hosmer made a terrific pick on the ball as Escobar’s throw tailed into the dirt to complete the double-play, beating Teixeira to the bag by a nose.
But the player of the game clearly was Mike Moustakas. What a game…
In the bottom of the 2nd, Moustakas sent rookie David Phelps’ (0-2) 3-1 pitch deep to dead center for a solo homerun, his 4th on the young season, giving the Royals an early 1-0 lead. The unofficial-official tape on Moose’s bomb had it measured out at 420 ft.
In the top of the 4th, with a Yankee runner on first, Eduardo Nunez hit a choppy groundball to Moose, who made a sharp back-handed stop and threw to Getz at second to start the 5-4-3 double-play. The double-play was critical because the next hitter, Russell Martin, singled to center field. Say Moose bobbles that ball and is only able to get the out at first – now you have runners on first and third with one out. Martin was able to advance from first to second on a Danny Duffy balk. If there was a runner on third in that instance, he would have advanced as well and would have tied the game at 2-2. It’s the little things that go unnoticed that often can make the biggest difference – especially in a one-run game.
With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 5th, Moose lined a single into right field that scored both Gordon and Hosmer and gave the Royals a 4-1 lead.
Skip ahead to the bottom of the 9th. Two outs, Jeter on third, and Alex Rodriguez at the plate, and the crowd was roaring.
After falling behind 0-2, A-Rod fouled off enough pitches to make Jonathan Broxton start trying to work his off-speed stuff outside the zone. He eventually worked the count to 3-2 when he slapped a slow, chopping, dying grounder toward thirdbase. Moustakas came charging in, picked up the ball bare-handed, and made a terrific, off-balanced throw to Hosmer that beat A-Rod to the bag by a full step to end the game and seal the win.
The “Moooooose” calls seemed to rain down on Kauffman all night and spilled all the way out into the parking lot after the game.
Moose was clutch, pure and simple.
Royals utility man Yuniseky Betancourt is headed to the DL thanks to a sprained right ankle. He’ll hopefully just be spending 15 days on the disabled list. The move is retroactive to Wednesday.
Career minor league switch-hitting utility-man Irving Falu will take Yuni’s spot on the Royals roster. Falu, at 28 years old, has never seen a pitch at the big league level. But he has been a reliable bat throughout his minor league career. Before the start of the 2012 season, Falu had a career .275 AVG, .342 OBP, and 170 SB in nine pro seasons. He’s also logged significant time at 2B, SS, and 3B, and has even spent some time in the outfield. He was batting .306 in Omaha before his promotion.
Through 15 games this season, Yuni has been fairly good, hitting .280/.333/.420, including 5 XBH (1 HR), 3 RBI, and *4 BBs to 3 Ks. He’s also played respectable defense thus far.
*Hard to believe, isn’t it?
The Royals 40-man roster was full at the time of his promotion, so to make room on the roster, Joakim Soria was shifted from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.
So why not call up Johnny Giavotella?
It’s simple. If Gio is going to get called back up to Kansas City, he’ll have to be the full-time second basemen. And while he is doing well in Omaha, the tandem of Yuni and Getz has been working on both sides of the ball.
Getz is hitting .326/.356/.488 through 15 games with 5 XBH (2 triples), 4 RBI, 5 K, 2 BB, and 4 SB. On top of that, he’s been spotless with the glove.
Yuni will only be on the DL for 15 days, so calling Gio up for part-time duty, to put it simply, just wouldn’t be fair. It wouldn’t be fair to Gio, Getz, Yuni, Falu, or the Royals in general.
Gio needs to keep doing what he’s doing in Omaha because, for right now at least, Yuni and Getz have been taking care of business in KC.
I’d like to take a moment to say one thing:
Royals Blues has cracked the MLBlogs Top 50 Fan Blogs for the month of April, coming in at #50.
April was by far Royal Blues’ busiest month at nearly 1,700 views. I can’t express how much fun it is to write about baseball. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a long time, so it’s really exciting to know that some of you actually visit regularly. Being able to reach out to you all and talk baseball has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done with my life thus far. I’m very humbled and honored.
Feel free to shoot me an e-mail with any comments, criticisms, suggestions, etc. that you have. I’m always open to your thoughts about how I could make your Royal Blues experience more memorable.
Once again, thank you.
And go Royals!
- Marcus A.