The Royals shored up their bullpen by signing former Minnesota Twins left handed reliever Jose Mijares. He had a pretty mediocre season last year and the Twins didn’t tender him a contract so the Royals locked him up for $925,000. His best season by far was 2009 when he pitched in 71 games with an ERA of 2.34.
Mijares is a true LOOGY. He has 186 games pitched and just 153 2/3 innings. He doesn’t strike out many games for a reliever (118) but he’s held left handed hitters to a .212 batting average throughout his short career. Righties handle him though with an OPS against of .776. That’s why you don’t see him in there as often for full innings.
The Royals finished this week with a loss earlier today, bringing their record for the week to 2-6. O’Sullivan did not start because manager, Ned Yost, likes “to keep the first four starters in a five-man [schedule], it keeps them sharper the first month. They’re all healthy, they’re all strong. I try to sharpen them up as much as I can. Then I look at the second month and give them days here and there. But the more they pitch, the sharper they’re going to be.” With such a young team, Yost said he is always keeping an eye on the Triple-A club in Omaha. With the season being so young, it is hard to tell with a young squad. Yost can’t make any changes yet. As the season goes on, this young squad may change a little.
Over the past week, the Royals are 5-2, having swept the Twins and winning a three game set aginast the Mariners. Although the season is still early, this week the Royals and Tribe will be playing a 4 game set that could decide who takes the lead in the AL Central. “They probably would’ve thought our numbers would 4-and-10, not 10-and-4,” Royals reliever Kanekoa Texeira said. “I’ll guarantee that. It’s good to see us two teams battling for the top. It hasn’t been that way for a while. So it’s time for a change.” Royals manager Ned Yost down played the 4 game series saying it’s way too earlier in the season to worry about the standings.
The Royals are off to great start 9 games into the season. With a 6-3 record, all six of their wins came with at least 10 hits. With the Tigers beating the Royals Friday at the Tigers Opening Day, that is really all the noise, offensively, that the Royals allowed the Tigers. On Saturday, Chen threw 6 innings without an earned run. The only run the Tigers scored came from a solo homerun hit by Ryan Rayburn in the bottom of the 8th. Earlier today, Hochevar threw 7 innings with 3 earned runs. The Royals beat Detroit 7-3, moving them into 1st in the Central early on in the season.
The Royals are 2-0 to start the 2011 season. The Royals won the first two games of a three game series against the Angels. Kila Ka’aihue launched a solo walk off home run in the bottom of the 9th to deep right center to give the Royals a win in their first game of the season. Yesterday, Chris Getz knocked in the go ahead run in the bottom of the 8th to put the Royals up 5-4. Manager, Ned Yost, has to be happy with the way his young team has opened the season at home. A good sign of team camaraderie is also taking place in the Royals bullpen. Most of the bullpen pitchers, especially the younger ones, are sporting “Fauxhawk”, a hair do that is a mo-hawk but with longer hair on the sides. The Royals are off t he a great start so far.
Royals outfielder, Lorenzo Cain, was optioned to Triple-A earlier today so he could be in the lineup every day. He was competing for a fifth outfielder spot, but manager, Ned Yost, didn’t want him sitting on the bench all the time. “He has the ability to be an everyday player, a young player that needs the at-bats Has Lorenzo Cain played well enough to make this club? Sure he has. But, for me, I don’t rest well knowing I have a kid like Lorenzo on my team playing once or twice a week,” Yost said. He is obviously impressed with Cain because he wants him to get his reps and at-bats in everyday down in Omaha. The Royals are looking forward to the Season Opener with thius young roster.
With the Opening Night of the 2011 season only 11 days away, Royals manager, Ned Yost’s job only gets tougher. Joakim Soria and Robinson Tejeda are the only definite pitchers in for the Royals bullpen. There are eleven or twelve pitchers still pitching for only six or seven spots left for the bully. Yost expects Tejeda to be the leader in the bullpen. He had a 2.05 ERA in his last 44 appearences. “I feel more relaxed than ever,” he said on Saturday. He also said he doesn’t feel any pressure on the mound anymore. He just goes out and pitches. This relaxation seems to be helping him hit the stike zone with accuracy, which has been one of his weak spots in previous seasons. With the beginning of the sesason just around the corner, it will be interesting to see how the Royals bullpen ends up pitching.
Outfielder Alex Gordon drove in six runs in yesterday’s matchup against the Dodgers. Three of the RBI’s came off a three run homer that towered over the right field fence. The Royals scored nineteen in a 19-7 over the Dodgers. Royals starter O’Sullivan pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up 3. O’Sullivan’s pitch location seemed to be off as there was alot of contact made agianst him, but look for a rebound the next time he’s on the mound. The Royals face the Brewers next.
When Royals’ manager, Ned Yost, was asked about starting pitcher, Sean O’Sullivan, he leaned back in his office chair and didn’t seem to want to say fantastic, but that’s exactly what he said. “He’s looked fantastic,”Yost finally said. After a 3-6 record for the Royals last year in 14 appearences, with a 6.11 ERA, O’Sullivan came back to Spring Training 20 pounds lighter. He said he needed a change and for him that was cooking his own meals and not going out to eat. While O’Sullivan has impressed Yost, other pitchers like Everett Teaford and Vin Mazzaro have started Spring Training with rocky appearences. It is still very early, so there is still plenty of time for this young roster to get ready for the season opener.
Though Royals’ manager, Ned Yost, has already stated he doesn’t plan on contending this year. “I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people with our team. I think we’re going to have a much better team than all the ‘experts’ think we’re going to have,” Yost said to the press recently. Yost seems confident in his team, where shortly he will be carving the 65 man roster down to 25. Yost has already stated his probable Opening Day line-up, but it could be a move to make the youngsters step up their game and have a good Spring Training. Yost is definetly optimistic about this season, and the Royals don’t have anything to lose with the youngest team in the AL Central
There are still some question marks as the Royals Spring Training gets underway. Everything from starters in the infield to the starting rotation, to bullpen pitchers. Mike Aviles is slated to be the Royals starting 3rd baseman, after spending last season at 2nd base and playing shortstop in 2008. His 2009 season was shortened due to a reconstructive elbow surgery midseason. Now that his arm is full strength, the Royals expect him to be gunning down runners at 3rd base. Aviles says his arm is “back to normal”, and he can just pick up the ball and throw again. Former-first round draft pick Aaron Crow is looking for a spot with the Royals starting rotation. After having a stellar performance at he Royals 2010 Sping Training, he spent the season struggling at Double-A Northwest Arkansas with too many walks. Ned Yost, though, is optimistic that this season will be better than last stating he thinks the kid was just thinking too much instead of playing. Hopefully Aviles and Crow come out and play in Spring Training to prove that the young Royals have some talent.
Royal’s owner David Glass is confident that his 2011 Royals will reverse their losing ways of past seasons. He is optimistic and excited to see his young team start playing in Arizona. Royal’s general manager Dayton Moore has focused on building a quality farm system for the Royals future, and he seems to be building well. Baseball America gave the Royals’ farm system the best rating for 2011 and mlb.com rated the Royals as having six of the Top 50 prospects, which is a record tying number. The Royals traded away their star starting pitcher Zack Greinke to the Brewers for 4 prospects, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi, both pitchers, shortstop Alcides Escobar and center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Though, the Royal’s farm system seems to be glowing with the shine of future stars, it will still be hard in 2011 to make any noise in the AL Central with the Chi Sox, the Twins and the Tigers.
With the Royals trading AL Cy Young winning Zack Grienke away to the Brewers, it looks as if without their biggest star, the Royals will be battling it out with the Cleveland Indians for fourth place in the AL Central. Veteran Pedro Feliz signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Feliz is a career .250 hitter but is known for his glove at third. General manager Dayton Moore believes that Feliz will provide depth at the third base position that, like the rest of the positions, will be dominated by new, young players. Having a veteran invited to Spring Training will not only influence the attitude of the players around him in the field, but Feliz could also be a key guy in a clubhouse full of players new to the Bigs. The Royals finished last in American League defense in both 2009 and 2010. With a veteran at third base who has a strong glove and throwing arm, Royals could improve defensively starting in 2011.
Royals continue to struggle getting through the middle innings in every game they play. Even with a 5-0 lead going into the 7th the Royals can’t seem to buckle down and pull out a W. Looking to get revenge against the Tigers, who won the first series match-up, the Royals came out with an urge to win. Kansas City was first on the scoreboard with a David DeJesus solo homerun, followed by hits from Butler and Guillen, which led to a single from Callaspo who plated 2. Knowing the Tigers wouldn’t put up a goose egg, the Royals continued to attack Dontrelle Willis. Jose Guillen hit a bomb in the 5th inning making that his 4th HR in 3 games. The Royals snagged another run in the 7th which made the score 5-0. Getting to the late part of the game, the Royals thought this game was in the books. But the Tigers had different plans and continued their streak of comeback wins this season. This was a result…of the KANSAS CITY BULLPEN. Starter Brian Bannister left in the 5th inning and could only sit and watch as 3 of the Royals bullpen pitchers, who held off the Tigers for awhile, let up 6 runs in the bottom half of the 7th inning. That would be all the Tigers needed to pull out the victory leaving the home crowd standing on their feet and the Kansas City Royals gleaming out in disbelief. ESPN quoted Royals manager saying, “it was disheartening, disappointing, unbelievable and a lot of other words that I don’t want to use.” This just goes to show the irritation in the Royals clubhouse which needs a little help. Hopefully the Royals can turn it around and pull out a victory against the Tigers today, but as of now the Royals stand 3-5, 1 win ahead of the Indians for last in the AL Central.
Another day at Kauffman Stadium and yet another tally in the L column for the struggling Royals. With a record of 2-4, the Royals are tied for last place in the AL Central with the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox. Today, the Boston Red Sox were just too much for the Royals to handle. Boston took the early lead with 4 runs in the first inning but Kansas City kept it close with 1 run in each of the first 3 innings. This “close game” was short lived as the Red Sox came swinging back with a 3-run 4th inning with a homerun by Pedroia and manufactured runs by Adrian Beltre who had 3 hits on the day. Gil Meche who only lasted 3 1/3 was pulled and the Royals seemed to lose any sense of momentum that was in their favor. This lasted until the 8th inning when Jose Guillen, who had already homered earlier in the game, took another ball over the fence with his 2nd homerun of the year. This however was not good enough as these would be the only runs scored the rest of the game with an end result Boston 8 Kansas City 6. Yes, the Royals have had a rough start to their season, but they have played solid teams in the Tigers and the Red Sox. The Royals however, will get another opportunity to face the Tigers and get some payback, as they start a 3 game series tomorrow night in Detroit. Luke Hochevar will be on the bump and got the No Decision with his last start against the Tigers, in which Kansas won 3-2. Hopefully the Royals can catch a spark and get the W’s rolling and start to make a run in their division. What a better way to start, than to take on the division leaders in the Tigers at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow afternoon.
Kansas City fans couldn’t have asked for more for opening day in Kauffman Stadium. With AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke on the mound, facing the Detroit Tigers, everything seemed perfect for the start of the season. The fans of Kansas City were ready to see their Royals, who finished the 2009 season last place in the AL Central with a record of 65-97, start off the season on the right foot. However, the Tigers started off the game taking an early lead in the first inning on an error by Willie Bloomquist. The lead was short lived with Kansas City storming back in the 2nd with a 412 ft. homerun by Yuniesky Betancourt which plated himself and Jose’ Guillen. Then came the pitching duel, which was most anticipated with Zack Greinke and Justin Verlander. Both pitchers gained their composure after their first couple of innings, opening day jitters. Greinke and Verlander threw shutout 3rd and 4th innings but Verlander fell short as Chris Getz and David DeJesus both reached base safely. First basemen Billy Butler stepped up to the plate with 2 outs and blasted a single scoring both Getz and DeJesus, giving Kansas City the 2-run lead. In the 6th the Tigers responded with a run of their own, but Kansas City still retained the lead. Greinke, having pitched a brilliant game, going 6.0 innings with 4 strike outs was pulled and the demise of the Royals was in the making. The 7th inning led to a Tiger rally going through most of the Royals bullpen, with Colon, Tejada, and Cruz. Just about every Tiger had a contribution in the inning scoring 6 runs, with singles and doubles by Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Damon, the Tigers never looked back. Robinson Tejada was scored with the loss and Kansas City fans watched their star pitcher get the no decision. There are 161 games left of the regular season and yes, the Royals did show signs of improvement from last season, but at the end of the day the Royals are 0-1. The Royals will look to get their first win this season facing the Tigers Wednesday, gametime 8:10.
The Royals were not given the opportunity to stop this 2 game losing streak today, weather cancelled the show. They have rescheduled the game for a later time, as there is no immediate intentions on making this one up while the Royals are in town in Cleveland. They are in Cleveland again in August (19-21), and September (12-14) so I am sure they will make up this game during one of those two late season road trips.
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