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With the St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins set to kick off Opening Week on Wednesday night, the book is officially closed on Spring Training '12 around the league. While records are entirely meaningless in the spring, it's entirely possible that Kansas City's 15-16 mark in the spring is a sign of things to come.
Royals fans will certainly be hoping that Eric Hosmer's stellar spring is a sign of things to come -- and they almost certainly will be. Hosmer led the Royals with 81 spring at bats, and made the most of them. Hosmer hit .407/.462/.691 in the Cactus League, striking out only 12 times and walking 10 times while having 13 of his 33 hits go for extra bases.
Luke Hochevar also gave Royals fans reason for optimism in the spring. Hochevar struck out 21 while walking just two in 19 innings, giving up six runs on 21 hits.
It's been a long time since the Royals have been a playoff threat, but things are certainly looking brighter in KC.
For more on the Royals, be sure to head over to Royals Review.
If it wasn’t for the two-batter sequence featuring back-to-back home runs to Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman, Kansas City would havehad a chance. Unfortunately for the stalled Royals offense, it was enough for the San Diego Padres to come away with a 2-1 win on the back of Clayton Richard’s stellar pitching.
Richard threw six shutout innings for the Pads, allowing only three hits and striking out five. Sanchez, meanwhile, went three innings and allowed the solo shots as well as another couple of hits (total of 4) and one walk. He struck out five. It was the messy sort of performance that drove the Giants crazy and it’s likely that the Royals will have to get used to the mixed results that Sanchez offers.
Brayan Pena was responsible for the only run for the Royals on a pinch-hit home run off Joe Thatcher in the seventh frame. Besides that, the Royals only managed five hits. Lorenzo Cain stole his fifth base of spring training.
The Royals play the Padres again on Wednesday in their final game of the spring. Danny Duffy and Luis Mendoza will share time on the mound.
Baseball fans can rejoice as Opening Day 2012 is finally around the corner. The Kansas City Royals, who are hosting this year's All-Star Game, will open the season on the road against the retooled Los Angeles Angels on Friday, April 6.
As if facing Albert Pujols wasn't bad enough in interleague play, the Royals will be the first to welcome him to the American League. Bruce Chen will be the first to face Pujols, as Chen earned the Opening Day nod. Chen went 12-8 last year for the Royals, making 25 starts and posting a 3.77 ERA and 1.30 WHIP.
The Royals will continue their California trip to start the year, as they head to Oakland to take on the A's after wrapping up a three game series against the Angels.
Kauffman Stadium will open up its doors in Kansas City for the home opener on Friday, April 13, when the Royals play host to the Cleveland Indians.
For more on all things Royals, be sure to check out Royals Review and join the discussion.
Talk about earning dividends quickly - the same day Alex Gordon signed a major deal with the Kansas City Royals, he helped KC to a 7-2 win over the Chicago White Sox with a home run and a single. The homer was Gordon's fourth of Spring Training, and his average is a healthy .410.
Manager Ned Yost actually cited the contract as one of the reasons for Gordon's day at the plate (courtesy of the Royals official site):
"It's a weight lifted off his shoulders, he's been thinking about this the last couple of days knowing that it was getting close," Royals manager Ned Yost said of Gordon's new contract. "When it finally got done, it was a relief. You can finally play your game now. ... But I got him out [of the game] quick."
Left hander Danny Duffy, Kansas City's No. 5 starter in the rotation, will take the hill Saturday at 3:05 p.m. CT for the Royals' last home game of the Cactus League season against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Relievers Jose Mijares and Jonathan Broxton are scheduled to pitch as well.
Kansas City has finalized their initial 25-man roster as we get ever closer to the beginning of the new baseball season. In a somewhat surprising move, second year reliever Louis Coleman was optioned to Omaha. This means the bullpen will go with not just one, but three left-handed relievers. The trio of lefties in the bullpen are holdovers Everett Teaford and Tim Collins, while newcomer Jose Mijares will also join the mix.
As noted previously, the starting rotation will consist of Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar, Jonathan Sanchez, Luis Mendoza, and Danny Duffy. Felipe Paulino was also vying for a starting spot before it was announced that he would be heading to the disabled list to begin the season.
The full 25-man roster consists of:
Starting Pitchers - Bruce Chen, Danny Duffy, Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, and Jonathan Sanchez
The squad features five players who are brand new to the Royals organization, Betancourt who returns to the Royals after a year with the Milwaukee Brewers, and two others who had little more than a cup of coffee previously with Kansas City (Cain and Herrera).
Among the notable names filling out the minor league rosters will include-
Nathan Adcock, Louis Coleman, Jeremy Jeffress, Vin Mazzaro, Mike Montgomery, and Will Smith on the Omaha pitching staff. Johnny Giavotella, Clint Robinson, and Jarrod Dyson will be among the position players for the Storm Chasers.
Class A Wilmington will feature names such as Jason Adam, Yordano Ventura, and Cheslor Cuthbert.
Meanwhile Low A Kane County will have names like Brooks Pounders, Michael Antonio, and Jorge Bonifacio.
Sean O`Sullivan is one of the last players that is in limbo at the moment as he is technically still with the big league squad, but will be placed on waivers after the spring training game against the Chicago White Sox. If O'Sullivan clears waivers (which many think he will), he'd likely be headed to Omaha.
You can view all the rosters in detail courtesy of Bob Dutton in the Kansas City Star.
For more Royals news and notes, head over to SB Nation's Royals Review.
Royals right handed pitcher Felipe Paulino will likely begin the season on the disabled list with a sore elbow. That move means that both Danny Duffy and Luis Mendoza will begin the season in the Kansas City starting rotation.
#Royals to put RHP Felipe Paulino on DL because of sore elbow; means Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy make rotation.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) March 28, 2012
Paulino had allowed 10 earned runs in 11.2 innings this spring. Luis Mendoza has been the lone bright spot allowing just one earned run in 16.2 innings pitched thus far. Chen, Sanchez and Duffy haven't been overly impressive.
Johnny Giavotella was expected to compete for the starting second baseman job and the No. 2 hitter position for the Kansas City Royals, but after a poor spring training he is being sent down to triple-A. After 44 at-bats in spring training Giavotella hit .250/.267/.318 and with that stat line was removed from consideration for the starting job.
This is Giavotella's third attempt at trying the nail down a roster spot, and has nothing much left to prove since last year he hit .338/.390/.481 in 2011. His offense is there at least at the minor league level, but his glove is a liability at the major league level and is something else that could keep his future in doubt with the Royals.
Many have been waiting (and hoping) for Hochevar to turn the corner and he improved his spring record to 3-1, tossing six innings and allowing just t three hits. He walked non while striking out eight batters.
Overall he is 3-1, with a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings. During that time he has struck out 15 while walking just one. Catching for Hochevar was the newly acquired Humberto Quintero. Jason Bourgeois, also acquired in the Royals recent trade with the Houston Astros got the start in left field as Kansas City improved to 12-9 this spring. The Dodgers fell to 9-7.
For more Royals news and notes, head over to Royals Review.
Despite success against the ChiSox last season, Royals starter Bruce Chen got hammered by Chicago in a split squad game Thursday afternoon, giving up 10 runs (three homers) and 10 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings in a 16-4 rout. Chen had only seven earned runs against Chicago in 33 and 1/3 innings last season. Courtesy of the Royals official site:
"I don't know what to say," Chen said. "I mean, it was a tough first inning and last inning. I tried to make some adjustments. I really think my pitches are coming real good out of my hand. I just have to keep working. I'm not going to give in. I'm not going to make too much out of this."
Luke Hochevar looks for a much different result Friday afternoon against the Dodgers at 3:05 p.m. CT at Surprise Stadium. Hochevar looks to be on pace to become the Royals' opening day starter for a second consecutive year, although an official announcement is still pending.
Kansas City scored three runs in the first two innings capped off by Cain's third home run of the spring. Oakland pulled to within 3-2 with a couple of runs in the fifth before the Royals erupted for four runs in the sixth.
Cain went 1 for 2 in the game and is hitting an even .500 on the spring. Alex Gordan, Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas all finished with two hits each. Luis Mendoza earned the win while pitching a scoreless inning while allowing three hits and striking out one.
The L.A. Angels of Anaheim look to have made a sound investment in pitcher C.J. Wilson, who pitched five scoreless innings against the Royals on Tuesday, but Kansas City still managed a 6-4 win over the Angels with a two-run eighth inning.
Royals starter Felipe Paulino handled himself nicely through four innings, allowing only one run and struck out Albert Pujols twice. The new Angels first basemen was 0-for-4 on the day, all strikeouts, but is still batting a healthy .367.
The Royals and Angels will meet again on MLB Opening Day, April 6 in Anaheim, and Kansas will next play Oakland on Wednesday (3:05 p.m. CT). Luis Mendoza will take the hill for the Royals, as the right hander has put together a phenomenal Cactus League run this Spring (1 ER in 10.6 innings, 11 Ks)
About midway through spring training, the Kansas City Royals find themselves in the middle of the Cactus League standings at 9-7. The Royals are four games back of Oakland who are 14-4. Standings in the preseason usually aren't something that are worried about too much but a team like Kansas City can use the added momentum of having a solid preseason.
Here is a look at the Cactus League Standings through Monday, March 19:
|San Francisco Giants||11-5||2.0|
|Kansas City Royals||9-7||4.0|
|San Diego Padres||9-8||4.5|
|Chicago White Sox||5-11||8.0|
Coming into spring training, the Royals second base job figured to come down to a competition between Johnny Giavotella and Chris Getz. Thus far neither player has separated himself and has allowed utility man Yuniesky Betancourt to enter the competition.
"I'd never seen him at second base, and he's come in and (made an impression)," Yost said. "They're all neck and neck. Nobody is pulling out in front of anybody yet. But (Betancourt) is in that race."
Betancourt is a shortstop by trade but was signed to be a utility infielder for the Royals this season. Giavotella was expected to initially win the job but hasn't hit the ball as well as Getz this spring. Betancourt is all but assured of a roster spot with the club when the team breaks camp but the loser of the Giavotella-Getz competition is likely to start the season at Class AAA Omaha.
The Kansas City Royals have made an offer to Ivan Rodriguez to bring the veteran catcher into camp. With Salvador Perez sidelined for the next 12-14 weeks while he recovers from knee surgery, the Royals suddenly have a need for a veteran catcher. Rodriguez has yet to respond to Kansas City's offer.
Rodriguez is 40 years old and played in only 44 games for the Washington Nationals last season. He has reportedly stayed in shape and is interested in latching on with another team. Rodriguez has 2,844 hits and is looking to become the first catcher to amass 3,000 hits in his career. He'd probably need to play a couple of more seasons to reach that accomplishment.
With Perez sidelined, Brayan Pena takes over as the Royals starter behind the plate.
Tired of March Madness? Itching for Opening Day to come in baseball? Well, we're one weekend closer to that as the Kansas City Royals continue Cactus League play this weekend with games against the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians.
Talk this past week through Royals camp has centered on Alcides Escobar's contract extension, and, unfortunately for the Royals, Salvador Perez' torn meniscus in his left knee. Perez could miss up to half the season due to the injury, which is certainly a blow to both the Royals and his development.
This opens the door for either Branyan Pena or Max Ramirez to grab the starting catcher's gig for the Royals -- unless, of course, Dayton Moore decides to sign a veteran catcher in Perez' absence.
The Royals and Padres will get underway at 9:05 p.m. CT. Sunday's game against the Indians also has a first pitch time of 9:05 p.m. CT.
Saturday's game against the Padres is available to MLB.tv subscribers.
For more on the Kansas City Royals, be sure to check out Royals Review and join the discussion.
"I'm in a lot of pain. I'm disappointed because this was my first year (to be in the majors on opening day). I was really motivated. It's very painful but, hopefully, I can bounce back and I'll be fine."
Perez will have surgery in the next few days and will miss opening day on April 6. In Perez's absence, the regular catching duties will fall on Brayan Pena. The injury will also force Kansas City to look for another catcher to add to the 40-man roster.
Perez made his big league debut in August of last season and hit .331 with three homers and 31 RBIs in 39 games.
Currently the Kansas City Royals sit with a 5-5 record in the Cactus League after Monday's tough 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Following spring training baseball is much as it seemed as when I was a kid in that it is tough to get a good feel for things because of the lack of television thus far.
However things change on Wednesday evening when the Royals will be on the MLB Network facing the Seattle Mariners. The game isn't on until 9 pm local time, but I am sure many Royals fans will stay up late to get some game glimpses of the Royals in action.
So your mission for Wednesday evening is making sure you have all your NCAA brackets completed before 9 pm.
Judging statistics is much like trying to evaluate team records in spring training. On one hand it means something, but you can also make a case it doesn't mean much at all. With many minor leaguers mixed in with veterans during many of these games, it's really not fair to judge how a player's season will go. It is a given though that you'd like to see your pitchers hone in on their command, and you are certainly happy to see batters get off to a good start in spring training.
On a broad scale, let's look at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly thus far from the early games thus far-
-Lorenzo Cain is batting .500/.588/.786 through seven games. Cain will be coming into this season with as little experience as anyone on the Royals roster. That is saying a lot for a team with numerous young players, so it is good to see he is off to a quality start. Cain also shares the team lead in walks thus far (three) with Eric Hosmer.
-Journeyman catcher Max Ramirez, who was signed to likely be the catcher in Omaha (especially with the injury to Manuel Pina), has three home runs in just 10 at-bats which contributes to his .400/.571/1.300 line. So far this is looking like a great minor-league depth signing.
-So far Johnny Giavotella's numbers exceed both Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt. Many Royals fans are worried by recent comments that Giavotella's leash may be shorter than anticipated as the Royals seek to get quality playing time for Getz and and Betancourt. As long as Giavotella produces, he will hopefully be the predominant starter of the trio.
-Luis Mendoza, the man many fans have mixed feelings about has been stellar in six innings so far. He's allowed no runs on just three hits. He's also struck out four, while walking only one batter.
-Francisley Bueno, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, and Brandon Sisk have combined to throw 7.1 innings between the four, and none has allowed a hit. Bueno may be the most unknown of the group as the 31-year old journeyman left-hander has appeared in just one major league game (2008 with the Atlanta Braves).
-Sisk, a 26-year old left-hander has been in the Royals organization since signing as an undrafted free-agent in 2008. He split 2011 in the bullpen between AA Northwest Arkansas and AAA Omaha.
-Mike Moustakas, who is known for getting off to slow start each season, is batting just .211/.318/.211 so far in 19 at-bats. Moustakas was a fine player at the plate down the stretch last season and I know the Royals brass is eager for him to get off to a hot-start once April rolls around.
-Bruce Chen, who the Royals brought back in the off-season, has not found his stuff in his first two games. He has a 9.64 ERA and 1.93 WHIP through 4.2 innings. The only bright spot is he has yet to walk anyone.
-Jeff Francoeur is batting just .133/.176/.200 so far. Even worse, Salvador Perez, is hitless thus far. Now neither will continue to post such abysmal numbers, but for Perez he is still young enough that you don't want to see a poor spring mess with his confidence. You may remember that just recently Perez signed a long-term contract with the club.
-Jonathan Sanchez and Mike Montgomery have been bad anything but good thus far. Granted the sample size is small, as the two have combined for just 3.2 innings pitched so far, but both left a lot to be desired with the time out on the mound so far. Combined they have allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits, with just two strikeouts.
For continued Royals coverage, make sure you are visiting Royals Review, the home for all things Royals on the SB Nation network of blogs.
The Kansas City Royals are off to a good start in Cactus League play this spring. Prior to Friday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, the Royals owned a 4-2 record. They have another three games on tap for the weekend.
Eric Hosmer and Alex Gordon have totaled their fair share of work in the middle of the lineup. Gordon has three hits, including one home run, in four games. He has a .300 average and a 1.117 OPS to go with it. Hosmer also has three hits and a .300 average in the same number of games. Billy Butler is hitting .417 with a 1.212 OPS in five spring games.
On Friday, lefty Danny Duffy makes his first Cactus League start against the Reds. That game is scheduled to start at 2:05 p.m. Central.
It took until just the second game of spring training for the Kansas City Royals to provide some drama, as Kevin Kouzmanoff's two-run double with two-outs in the bottom of the ninth inning pushed the winning runs across as the Kansas City Royals defeated the Texas Rangers 7-6. It was the second consecutive day the Royals defeated the Rangers.
Things didn't start pretty for Royals starting pitcher Bruce Chen on the mound as he lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits.
For Kansas City, the Royals collected 13 hits as a team but Eric Hosmer was the only Kansas City player to collect two hits on the day.
Trailing 6-1 in the fifth, the Royals started the comeback on Alex Gordon's two-run home run off Rangers pitcher Mitch Stetter. Then with two-outs in the sixth, outfield prospect Derrick Robinson hit a two-run single, closing the gap to 6-5.
Tuesday will bring a split squad game, as Luke Hochevar will face the San Diego Padres at home. The other group will be on the road in Goodyear to face the Cleveland Indians. Will Smith will start in that matchup.
Royals prospect Bubba Starling is in high demand at Royals spring training if you count the autograph seekers that are lined up daily looking for the 19 year old's signature.
"Some of those people have been lined up there every day," he said. "One day, I stopped, and I was there for 30 minutes. Since then, I've just kept on going."
Starling is leaning on his elder teammates for advice in handling situations like that and others during his first camp with the Royals. The attention is deserved with Starling becoming one of the most highly touted prospects in a prospects rich Kansas City farm system.
The team still hasn't decided and likely won't make a decision until the end of March as to whether Starling will stay behind in extended spring training or be shipped out to a full season minor league affiliate like Class A affiliate Kane County.
For more on the Royals head on over to Royals Review.
The home run came with two outs in the top of the first inning, facing Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Lewis was shaky for Texas, allowing the two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings.
"I feel very close (to top form)," he said. "I can’t tell you any numbers, but my arm is stronger. My fastball, I didn’t see the miles (velocity), but I feel pretty good."
As you may recall, Mendoza didn't take much time off this winter, pitching in his native Mexico.
In addition to Butler collecting two hits, Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas had two hits as well. Kansas City totaled 11 hits on the day. It's a good sign to see Cain get off to a good start in spring training, as he will likely be the Royals starting centerfielder when the team heads north. Of the two hits for Cain, one was a double.
Sean O'Sullivan was the lone Royals pitcher to allow a run, a two-out solo home run in the fifth inning to Rangers first basemen Mitch Moreland.
Kansas City will again face Texas today at 2:05 pm central time.
Royals pitcher Jeremy Jeffress apologized earlier this week for a January arrest on a domestic assault charge that was later dropped. The charge didn't become public until this past Friday when Jeffress issued a statement through the Royals PR department.
"There was an argument between myself and my girlfriend and I lost my temper, but I never put my hands on her."
Jeffress was sentenced to 20 hours of community service and to attend a domestic violence counseling class. In he expressed regret in his statement to the entire Royals organization. This isn't the first time he has run into trouble as a minor league player. As a member of the Brewers organization, Jeffress was twice suspended for failing minor-league drug tests for what he called marijuana use.
Jeffress was acquired by the Royals as part of the Zack Greinke trade and began last season with the Royals before being sent to the minors.
After making it through a long winter (actually the weather has been quite nice throughout much of the country), the time has finally come. The Kansas City Royals enter into exhibition mode on Sunday when they face the Texas Rangers at 1:05 local time.
The Royals will send Luis Mendoza to the mound, against one of his former teams. From looking at some twitter feeds of people who are in Surprise, it appears the Royals are really high on Mendoza. Being out of options, it appears the orgnization is attempting to give Mendoza every opportunity to crack the starting rotation out of spring training.
Mendoza did well in two starts at the end of last season with the Royals when he posted 2-0 record with a 1.23 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 14.2 innings pitched. The 28-year old right hander excelled in Omaha last season in which he put up a salty 2.18 ERA in 144.1 innings, while finishing with a 12.5 record.
So has Mendoza finally started to figure things out? That is up in the air at the moment, but Kansas City is definitely intrigued. His strikeouts were actually down and the walks were up last season, but he was allowing two less hits per nine innings compared to his career numbers.
I have no issues with giving a player a long look in spring training, but this decision will have a direct impact on second year pitcher Danny Duffy. Duffy will become more polished as he gets more starts at the major league level, and you don't exactly want to toy around with the progression for the benefit of keeping a roster spot open for a fringe player. This will be one of the more interesting decisions to track during spring training.
Joel Goldberg and Bob Dutton touch on the issue in this Fox Sports Kansas City video.
In other news, single game tickets for the regular season went on sale today at Kauffman Stadium. With so many places to buy tickets online, I am not sure what the turn out will be, however expect a good crowd out at the ballpark today.
Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas came into camp in great shape this year after dropping some pounds and is looking for big things his second year with the Royals. Moustakas slimmed down to 210 pounds during the off season while training at agent Scot Boras' training facility.
"I tried to get myself in better shape to play, tried to cut down some pounds and cut down the fat and add some muscle. That's kind of what we did and I feel pretty good about it,"
Moustakas struggled with the bat upon being called to the majors but worked his way through the struggles and finished the season on a tear. That has him entrenched in the Royals lineup for this season where he will likely open the season hitting fifth or sixth in the order.
Hitting coach Kevin Seitzer talked about some of the adjustments that Moustakas worked his way through during his rookie campaign.
"He had some adjustments to make and once he got back in the middle of the field and quit trying to do too much and quit worrying about home runs and driving the ball, that's when all of a sudden he started driving the ball," Seitzer said. "And that's the way it works. You can't go up there and try to generate and do too much or you're going to wind up in a rough way to go. But he made great adjustments and I'm hoping the confidence he finished up with is going to carry on to the start of the season."
Salvador Perez' five-year extension, long before his contract is over is intriguing to many. Some like it while some think it's incredibly stupid, but one thing that it definitely is.... is different. SB Nation's Grant Brisbee is intrigued by the deal made between the Royals and the young catcher as it could be a good thing for both sides or bad for one or the other.
He never made Baseball America's top-100 prospects. Before the 2011 season, John Sickels ranked him as the Royals' 18th-best prospect in a very deep system. His defense is said to be impressive, but by all rights, this should still be a player the Royals are still figuring out.
Instead, the Royals locked him up for five years, buying out two of his arbitration seasons. There are three team options after that for a total of $14 million. It's essentially a 5/$7 million contract that can turn into an 8/$21 million contract (with incentives) if Perez develops well.
On one hand, this contract could work out for both sides. Perez could turn out to be a good, not great, but good catcher and if that's the case, his long-term contract doesn't overpay him that much. But what if he's bad? The money poured into him would be waisted. And if he turns out to be a superstar? He's locked into a long term deal that would keep him massively underpaid.
Over the next five years, the Royals will pay at least $2.5 million for a backup catcher. That's if they pull someone up from their own system, dredge up a minor-league free agent, or promote their bullpen catcher. So if you assume that Perez can, at the very least, be a backup catcher, the Royals are gambling $4.5 million over those five years that he can be something more. That's just above the going rate for a generic starting catcher. Ramon Hernandez signed this offseason for two years, $6.4 million, and he's like 80.
Perez gets $7 million, guaranteed. After taxes and agents, he'll probably pocket $4 million of that. That would go a long, long way if he were to contract leprosy or be unable to perform even as a competent backup in the majors. And his worst-case financial scenario -- that he breaks out, becomes a star, and has to wait eight years to test the market -- will be punished with additional millions. He took a risk, but the safety net was many millions.
The Royals locked up a player who could be something special. Or they locked up a serviceable catcher for just above serviceable-catcher rates. The risk is almost negligible.
It will be interesting to see if this unusual contract will become a trend in Major League Baseball, or if it's just a weird isolated case.
For more on the Royals, head to Royals Review.
The Kansas City Royals have several position prospects who sit at or near the top of the best young stars in the game. Wil Myers is lauded as a star of a future corner outfielder. Eric Hosmer is listed as one of baseball's top young first basemen. The same can be said of Mike Moustakas, while Bubba Starling is lauded with the best potential of all.
Buster Olney wants you to include another name on that list: Salvador Perez. The Royals just locked up Perez with a long-term contract extension for five years at $7 million (with incentives) with another three club options. According to Olney, it was a deal well worth making for a catcher who should be considered among the game's best.
Olney writes, "The Kansas City Royals’ signing of catcher Salvador Perez could turn out to be one of the club’s best contracts when this deal runs its course. Perez, 21, is one of the best all-around young catchers in the game and, with what he briefly showed last year, he already should be considered an elite catcher in the game along with Yadier Molina, Brian McCann, Miguel Montero, Buster Posey, Alex Avila, Matt Wieters and Joe Mauer.
Perez can catch, shut down the running game, hit for average and in time will hit for power. Perez might be getting just $7 million guaranteed, but by the time this contract is done he could earn as much as $26.75 million. Nonetheless, this could end up saving the Royals as much as $10 million over the span of the contract by avoiding arbitration."
It feels a little superfluous to put Perez in Joe Mauer's company. After all, the Twins catcher has won an MVP award and is one of the best pure hitters in the game of baseball. However, it is nice to see such praise heaped upon a player usually overlooked due to the other young stars also on the field. Perez is a promising catcher, and his stature should only raise as he continues to earn his keep at the ML level.
Danny Duffy signed a one-year contract on Tuesday with the Kansas City Royals for the odd figure of $487,750. Though it doesn't approach the long-term deal that Salvador Perez signed one day prior, the contract is one more thing to put in the rear view mirror as the season approaches.
Then at about 8 pm local time on Tuesday, Duffy made many Kansas City fans quite happy when he tweeted: "Bury me a Royal". If you aren't following Duffy, you can do so on twitter @dduffkc23.
This is a sign of the changing culture in Kansas City, as the roster continues to become overturned with younger players. Most of these players haven't seen many obstacles in their time coming through the system. Last year's 71-91 record was probably the worst team (record-wise) that many of them have been on. Players like Zack Greinke wanted out of Kansas City because they didn't feel the Royals were doing enough to put a winning product on the field. That winning record still may not come this season, but the culture is indeed changing. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift.
When the players are signing long-term contracts one day, and tweeting about the pride they have in being a Kansas City Royal the next, it instills a lot of pride amongst the fans. These are young guys the city can rally around and truly call their own. For a lot of Royals fans it's a changing mindset for them as well. I've never followed a true winner during all my days as a Royals fan. I was two years old when the Royals last won the World Series. Except for having a few decent teams in the early 90's and the magical 2003 season, I haven't known anything but defeat.
Coinciding with the Royals slogan for the upcoming year, "Our Time", I'm starting to realize more and more that isn't about just the players or the fans, it's about the spirit of the Royals culture as a whole.
We are starting their time on the field, and we are also beginning our time in the stands and on our television sets.
The Kansas City Royals announced an extension for one of their young players, but surprisingly it was not Alex Gordon or Eric Hosmer. Instead Dayton Moore and company locked up 22-year-old catcher Salvador Perez with a long-term deal announced yesterday.
As our own Matt Hays reported yesterday, “Backstop is a premium position in the major leagues, and Perez is a star in the making at the position. He is well above average defensively and starting to develop power in the batters box as well.”
Most sportswriters liked the money for the Royals and believe it’s a good move, although some question the timing of it given the obvious extension candidates already waiting on deck. R. J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus answers that with a response of, “Why not?”
Anderson writes, “The biggest question to ask the Royals about re-signing Perez is, "Why now?" Extensions that come this early in a player’s career tend to be reserved for future superstars. Such a description would not seem to fit Perez, unless the Royals feel strongly about his power potential. But then again, why would the Royals not do this deal? The money involved should not be enough to affect a potential Alex Gordon extension, and locking up Eric Hosmer seems to be a matter of forcing Scott Boras out of the picture one way or another. This is an extension worth signing, even if the Royals see Perez as an average to above-average backstop and nothing more.”
A deal should exist in a vacuum in this instance and the Perez deal is a good one. Hats off to Moore for locking up one of his wise investments from the farm system.
The Kansas City Royals made an announcement at 5:30 pm local time this evening, announcing they had agreed to a long-term contract with 21-year old starting catcher Salvador Perez. The deal is for five years guaranteed, with three years after that being the club's option.
Perez, who signed with the Royals as an international free agent at the age of 16 in 2006, has 39 games under his belt at the major league level in which he hit .339/.361/.473 with three home runs and 21 RBI. While this may not be on par with what a long-term deal would be with Eric Hosmer, this is a great signing for Kansas City.
Backstop is a premium position in the major leagues, and Perez is a star in the making at the position. He is well above average defensively and starting to develop power in the batters box as well.
The terms $7 million over five years are brilliant for Kansas City fans. If you look over the landscape of catchers in the major leagues, solid, but not superstar catchers include players like Geovany Soto, John Buck, and Carlos Ruiz. Of the group, Soto will make the least amount of money in 2012, and he will still be earning $4.3 million.
Going even further, the Royals committed $11,340,000 to starting catchers over the last five season ($2.25 and $3.75 to Jason Kendall in 2010 and '11, $2.70 million to Miguel Olivo in '09, $2.2 million to John Buck in '08 and $440,000 to Buck in '07)
This gives Kansas City a long-term catcher. The Royals have not had true stability at catcher since the Mike Macfarlane era. He'll be someone who is able to communicate easier with Latin pitchers and give the Royals a signal caller to help develop young pitchers, because he is so good defensively.
It's a good day for Royals fans and even more reason to be excited about the future.
As Matt Conner noted yesterday, Jose Mijares has now arrived in Royals camp after taking care of Visa issues. He's at least a week behind all the other pitchers, but should be able to close the gap if he reports to camp in shape. Mijares has always had a big body, so conditioning is key for him. You can see for yourself, here.
One thing Mijares has going for him is that he was playing winter ball for much of the off season, so he should come into camp in good form.
Staying with the bullpen, Jonathan Broxton spoke with Fox Sports Kansas City's Joel Goldberg on Sunday afternoon and told Goldberg that this year's Royals team reminds him of the 2006 Los Angeles Dodgers. That season the Dodgers coming off a 71-91 record (identical to the 2011 Royals), and turned it around to an 88-74 record, which saw them tie for the National League West Division Championship with the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers would go on to lose in the Division Series to the New York Mets in seven games.
If it is video you are craving from spring training, the Kansas City Royals' twitter account has you set. You can view some spring videos here. Included from Sunday after Bubba Starling, Noel Arguelles, Jake Odorizzi, Wil Myers, and Alex Gordon. You can also view Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas taking batting practice.
If you don't recognize Moustakas, he has swapped the buzzcut for bushy curly hair. These are the types of stories that are serious business when it is spring training. No report on the intentions for his locks in the long-term. You can catch a glimpse the new 'do in this video courtesy of Goldberg and the FSNKC team (and the Kansas City Star as well).
Not too much else going on news wise as spring training at the moment. The action will heat up this week though as the Royals prepare for their first spring training game next weekend. Luis Mendoza will take to the hill for the Royals in their opener. He was unaware that he was starting until being informed by media reporters.
Billy Butler also is apparently looking trim and in good form, as he has long been tagged as a big body player.
The Kansas City Royals finally have Jose Mijares into the team’s spring training camp in Surprise, Arizona after missing him over the last several days due to visa issues in his home country. Bob Dutton is reporting that Mijares finally showed as the Royals expected at some point this weekend. Ned Yost had told the media that much when the relief pitcher was still absent yesterday.
Mijares finally got a passport in his native Venezuela and can join an remade Royals bullpen that has Aaron Crow moving to the starting rotation and features fellow free agent signee Jonathan Broxton. Mijares brings an important left-handed arm to the mix and also is very familiar with the AL Central after four seasons with the Minnesota Twins. The 27 year old signed a one year deal with the Royals this offseason.
Last year, Mijares went 0-2 with a 4.59 ERA, his worst full season in the big leagues. Dayton Moore and the rest of the Royals are hoping Mijares can return to the form of previous seasons like 2009 when he had a 2.34 ERA out of the pen.
After tearing the meniscus in his right knee Wednesday while trying to catch a foul tip during batting practice, Kansas City Royals C Manny Piña is scheduled to undergo surgery in Kansas City this weekend:
"The extent (of the injury)," Royals manager Ned Yost said, "they don't really know yet. It could be three or four weeks or it could be longer - depending on where, exactly, the tear is."
It's a tough blow for the 24-year old, who couldn't make it off the field under his own power after the injury.
The 6'0 230 catcher made his major league debut last season, and he was in a battle with Brayan Peña to backup Sal Perez behind the plate.
Kansas City acquired Piña, a native of Venezuela, in a trade with the Texas Rangers in 2009.
In 68 games for Class AAA Omaha in 2011, he hit .238 with a .364 OBP, 5 HR's and 25 RBI's.
As Matt Conner noted yesterday, contrary to earlier reports, Royals reliever Jose Mijares has not yet shown up for spring training. Actually the Royals haven't had any contact with him in eight days. That is not exactly getting off on the right foot with your new team.
I understand players can have trouble with their visas, but Mijares had many weeks to take care of this. He should be in camp, and he'll likely be in the doghouse once he arrives. Officially the Royals know nothing other than Mijares is missing because of family issues.
Moving onto other issues, the Royals suffered their first injuries of spring training as catcher Manuel Pina injured his right knee and was carted off the field. Pina's spikes caught akwardly in the ground and he twisted his knee. The 24-year old backup catcher made his major league debut in 2011, getting three hits in 14 at-bats. Two of the hits were doubles. In 71 minor league games last season (mostly at Omaha), he posted a .239/.354/.372 line with five home runs and 28 RBI.
Minor league outfielder Paulo Orlando was also missing from training, as he was out with a sports hernia. Surgery may be required, but he is expected to be back by the season. Orlando, who has made it as far as Omaha, is an interesting player to follow. If he is to make it to Kansas City, he would be the first Brazilian to ever reach the major leagues.
In other news, Kansas City manager Ned Yost will be using a six-man rotation during spring training. Yost talked over the winter with Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux and will be utilizing the philosophy Texas put forth last year in spring training. The theory behind it is the Royals have many young pitchers they want to allow the opportunity to get in the most amount of work before the season begins.
And finally, you must check out the video of Danny Duffy. Apparently a fire alarm went off as Duffy was filming a promo for the upcoming season. Hilarity ensued in four key points. First it started with the blank stare of confusion from Duffy, which lead into his rendition of the "Carlton dance" from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. It eventually morphed into something that resembled a cross between "raising the roof" and the "John Wall". And it finally ended with a tricycle and some Benny Hill music. Hopefully that video is coming to a Crown Vision near you this season.
The Kansas City Royals have had a sincere focus in building up their bullpen for the 2012 season, and general manager Dayton Moore continued to fulfill his promise to improve the pitching staff by re-signing two emerging talents already on the club.
The Royals reached an agreement on one-year deals with Greg Holland and Louis Coleman on Wednesday. Holland has spent his first two seasons in the majors with the Royals as the reliever posted a 5-2 record with a 2.97 earned run average in 61 appearances last season. Holland also recorded four saves in 78 2/3 innings pitched.
Coleman's rookie season with the Royals was a successful one, as his 2.87 earned run average in 48 appearances looks to be built upon as in 2012 the Royals will look to the reliever in more hold situations.
The Kansas City Royals signed a few new pitchers this offseason in the hopes of not only filling out the starting rotation but also rounding out the bullpen as well, one likely to get quite taxed as the season wears on. Jose Mijares was signed to be a part of that along with others like Jon Broxton. But while everyone else has reported, the Royals say that they are not quite sure where Mijares is at.
“We don’t know where he’s at,” manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday’s practice. “We were told at the hotel that he had checked in. He hadn’t. And he hadn’t picked up his visa yet and we’re trying to get in touch with him.”
The team’s press release even admits that the team’s officials believed Mijares had already arrived and checked into the hotel yesterday.
“The Royals mistakenly believed that Mijares had arrived in Arizona on Monday’s reporting date. Mijares’ visa is in Venezuela — he’s from Caracas — and the Royals were told he was delayed because of family issues.”
Mijares was signed away from the Minnesota Twins several weeks ago.
The Kansas City Royals are getting ready to kick off their 2012 Spring Training as part of the Cactus League in Arizona. Fans will want to keep an eye on the young pitching staff, offseason acquisitions and non-roster invitees. If you wanted to watch the goings-on live and in-person, we have all of your relevant information right here.
As it has done since 2002, Surprise Stadium in Surprise, AZ will house both the Royals and the two-time defending American League champions the Texas Rangers. The stadium holds 10,500 fans and is located at 15960 N. Bullard Av., Surprise.
Here are the directions to Surprise Stadium, courtesy of Spring Training Online.
Surprise Stadium is located 1 1/2 miles west of the intersection of Bell Road and Grand Avenue (U.S. Route 60). Bullard Avenue is located off of Bell Road, 1 1/2 miles west of Grand Avenue, or 2 1/2 miles east of Loop 303.
The first game of the spring will have the Royals and Rangers playing one another on March 4, with the Rangers acting as the "home" team.
Luke Hochevar was the opening day starter last season for the Kansas City Royals. It’s the kind of pronouncement a team usually makes to signal their best overall starting pitcher — the guy who can carry the team every fifth day. But two things are wrong about that specific statement for the Royals: Hochevar has never been that guy and the Royals don’t really have any other options.
But Hochevar has been the player who could become that ace. As we noted just a few weeks ago, "If any Royals pitcher is going to make “the leap” and come into their prime from someone already on the major league squad, Hochevar is a decent guess. At 28, he’s coming into his own and he’s lowered his ERA every year for the last three as he gains ML experience."
As the Royals first overall selection in the 2006 draft, Hochevar has always carried those expectations. The growing pains have been difficult, but the talent is definitely there, and he almost threw for 200 innings just last season while slowly sharpening his performance after yet another year with a 4.68 ERA. Everyone now realizes that Hochevar is ready to make the leap, even the Royals coaching staff.
“Now is the time for him to take it to the next level,” Eiland said in a recent interview. “I think he’s prepared to do that mentally and physically.”
The Royals are going to need Hochevar to do just that if they want to compete at all in the next two years. Other arms will adjust in the same way he has, and it’s likely that Mike Montgomery and Danny Duffy will look more like Hochevar’s first few seasons in the majors than any sort of instant ace. Instead, the Royas will need Hochevar to find the consistency with Eiland’s help to bring the ERA to 4.00 or so.
While even those numbers aren’t going to win the Cy Young, the Royals don’t need Hochevar to make that sort of leap to improve dramatically. The offense is going to continue to provide enough runs to win and the Royals need starters to simply find consistency to improve.
If any Royals pitcher is going to make "the leap" and come into their prime from someone already on the major league squad, Hochevar is a decent guess.
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