I am way behind on the team’s transactions the last couple of weeks. This is a relatively stripped down recap of the moves, but for posterity I thought I’d get all of this posted.
Between March 16th and 21st, the team released 23 year old RHP-Jack Adams who pitched for the AZL Royals during 2009. In 21.1 innings as a reliever he was 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.89 WHIP. He struck out 21 while walking only 3. Adams pitched for San Jose State University and was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent last summer. Also during this week, 2B-Scott Lyons and SS-Ben Tschepikow retired from baseball. The Royals selected both University of Arkansas players in the 2009 draft. Lyons was taken in the 15th and Tschepikow was selected in the 17th. LA (Royals Revival) shared some thoughts on Ben and Scott a few weeks ago in an article titled Retiring Prospects.
Between March 22nd and 28th, the team released RHP-John Bannister (26), RHP-Pernell Halliman (23), LHP-Carlos Rivas (25), C/1B-Alberto Espinosa (23), and IF-Antonio Jimenez (22). Bannister came to the Royals back on August 11th of last year when Dayton claimed him off waivers from the Texas Rangers. After being acquired, he appeared in 8 games with NW Arkansas and had a 5.02 ERA and 1.26 WHIP in 14.1 IP. The Royals drafted Pernell Halliman in the 40th round of the 2008 draft out of Jackson State University. He spent the 2009 season with the Idaho Falls Chukars and made 3 starts to go along with 12 relief appearances. He finished the season with a 5.59 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, and 1.39 SO/BB. Carlos Rivas was released by the Atlanta Braves in May of last year and landed with the Royals in High-A Wilmington. In 20.2 IP with the Blue Rocks he had a 1.74 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and 2.11 SO/BB. Another 2008 draft pick, Alberto Espinosa was selected by the Royals in the 15th round out of Broward CC. He spent the 2009 season repeating rookie ball in Idaho Falls and hit 0.271/.355/.384 in 203 at bats. Antonio Jimenez signed with the Royals out of the Dominican Republic in 2005. Last season, he hit 0.205/.223/.295 in 220 at bats split between low and high A.
During that same week, the Royals signed RHP-Rodolfo Encarnacion (23) and OF-Brawlun Gomez. Encarnacion has been pitching in the Marlins organization since 2006 and has a career 3.13 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 1.86 SO/BB. He pairs his career 10.6 SO/9 with a 5.7 BB/9. I couldn’t find any information anywhere about Gomez.
RHP-Bryan Bullington (29) was reassigned to the minor league camp on March 28th and is now with the Omaha Royals. Of all the guys signed to minor league contracts this offseason, Bullington was the one I thought had a chance to break through and land a job in the Royals bullpen on opening day. He didn’t pitch very well during spring training, so this move didn’t come as a surprise. There is still plenty of time for Bryan to make an impact on the major league roster, but it appears I was a little too bullish on Bullington. Based on the early season performance of the bullpen in Kansas City, a couple guys might get major league looks by the All-Star break. Then again, the Royals bullpen was pretty terrible last season and they did very little about it until September.
Also on March 28th, the Royals traded C-Steven Lerud (25) to the Baltimore Orioles for a player to be named later. He was a 3rd round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2003 draft and spent his entire professional career with them until this offseason when he came to the Royals as a minor league free agent. The Orioles have since assigned him to Triple-A Norfolk.
March 31st was the first day that some bigger names were moved out of the Royals major league camp. RHP-Blake Wood (24) and 1B/DH-Kila Ka’aihue (26) were both optioned to Triple-A. The Omaha Royals played their opener last night and if the first game is any indication, it looks like Kila is on a mission to force Dayton Moore’s hand. In five at bats he had a walk, single, home run, and two strikeouts. There are a lot of reasons to believe Kila should be on the major league roster right now. In fact in our KoK season preview, Jon had him slotted as the team’s starting DH. I didn’t fit him into my preferred starting lineup, but I did have him as the primary bat coming off the bench. Blake Wood is in a similar boat as Kila. Though Blake doesn’t have the $12 million salary of Jose Guillen in his way, the contracts of Farnsworth and Cruz aren’t much better. Wood also has to deal with the organizations unrequited love for Roman Colon. I wanted Wood and Carlos Rosa to open the season in the bullpen over Colon and Mendoza. Based on early returns, there is a good chance I will get my wish later in the season.
Wait, there’s more that went down on March 31st. That was the day the Royals offered 22-year old Rule-5 lefty Edgar Osuna back to the Braves. Atlanta declined to take Osuna back, he cleared waivers, and the Royals assigned him outright to Double-A NW Arkansas. He provides the organization with another young lefty and while he doesn’t have the upside of some of the other prospects, I don’t think things could have turned out better for the Royals or the organization. He gets to continue his development in AA and Kansas City doesn’t have to keep him on the 40-man roster.
On April 1st, 37-year old C-Vance Wilson retired. He leaves his playing days behind after appearing in 635 games in the minors and another 403 in the majors.
With a spot open on the 40-man burning a hole in his pocket, Dayton Moore inexplicably acquired RHP-Luis Mendoza (26) from the Texas Rangers for cash considerations. The April 2nd trade earned Luis a spot in the Royals bullpen and allowed him to join in on the implosion party. In 1.2 innings thus far he has a 27.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, and does not look like he belongs in the major leagues. This should not come as a surprise to anyone considering his ERA in the minors hasn’t been below 3.90 since he was in A-ball back in 2004. Overall, in 8 minor league season he has a 4.58 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, and 1.73 SO/BB. In the upper levels of the minors he’s been very hittable with a subpar SO/BB. Carlos Rosa (who obviously wronged someone in the front office based on their treatment of him) and Blake Wood had to have muttered a few WTFs upon hearing the news of the Mendoza acquisition.
Waiting until the 11th hour, the Royals reassigned a large group of players to minor league camp on April 3rd. C-Edwin Bellorin (28), INF-Wilson Betemit (28), INF-Irving Falu (26), OF-Scott Thorman (28), LHP-Bruce Chen (32), RHP-Matt Herges (40), and RHP-Brad Thompson (28). All seven were assigned to the Omaha Royals.
Also on the 3rd, the Royals placed 3B-Alex Gordon, RHP-Gil Meche, and 3B-Josh Fields on the 15-day DL. Gordon and Meche were backdated to March 26th so both players are eligible to come off the disabled list on April 10th. We know that Meche is scheduled to start for the Royals on Sunday the 11th while Gordon started his rehab assignment yesterday with the Wilmington Blue Rocks and went 1-2 with a walk.
On April 4th LHP-John Parrish claimed the last bullpen spot on the major league roster. As a result, RHP-Anthony Lerew (27) was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Omaha.
Also during this last week, according to Baseball America, the Royals released RHP-Jason Godin (25), RHP-Matt Kniginyzky (27), RHP-Ryan Morgan (23), RHP-Zach Peterson (25), RHP-Brett Richardson (22), RHP-Francisco Rosario (29), LHP-Gilbert de la Vara (25), LHP-Nelson Payano (27), and OF-Eric Shortell (23). Godin, the Royals 5th round selection in the 2006 draft, pitched in Wilmington, NW Arkansas, and Omaha during the 2009 season. He has a career 4.09 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 1.78 SO/BB in 4 seasons and 275.0 innings pitched. Kniginyzky was drafted by the Royals in the 23rd round of the 2005 draft and spent the 2009 season in the Naturals rotation. He finished the year with a 5.48 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, and 1.19 SO/BB. Morgan was the Royals 26th round pick in the 2008 draft and spent his two professional seasons pitching for Idaho Falls. In 66.1 career innings he has a 6.11 ERA, 2.01 WHIP, and 1.57 SO/BB. Peterson, who was born in St. Paul, Minnesota pitched for the Bees and Blue Rocks last season. Between the two stops he had a 2.91 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 1.89 SO/BB in 77.1 innings pitched. He was signed as a non-drafted free agent in June of 2007. Richardson was Kansas City’s 34th round pick in the 2008 draft. Last season he pitched in Rookie ball for the Burlington Royals and finished with a 3.96 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 3.00 SO/BB in 25.0 IP. Rosario originally signed a minor league contract with the Royals back in December and was assigned to Omaha just a few weeks ago. De la Vara was the Royals 15th round pick in the 2004 draft and was selected by the Astros in the Rule-5 draft last year. Houston returned him at the end of spring training and the Royals sent him to Double-A where he struggled with a 5.74 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, and 1.48 SO/BB in 64.1 IP. He also got 7.0 innings of work for the O-Royals. Payano signed a minor league contract with the Royals back in December after he spent 2009 pitching in Japan. Shortell signed with the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on February 2nd, 2009. He hit 0.214/.353/.214 in 14 at bats for the AZL Royals.
Phew, now I’m caught up.
Topics: AL Central, Alberto Espinosa, Alex Gordon, Anthony Lerew, Antonio Jimenez, Baseball, Blake Wood, Brad Thompson, Brawlun Gomez, Brett Richardson, Bruce Chen, Bryan Bullington, Carlos Rivas, Edgar Osuna, Edwin Bellorin, Eric Shortell, Francisco Rosario, Gil Meche, Gilbert De La Vara, Irving Falu, Jack Adams, Jason Godin, John Bannister, Josh Fields, Kansas City Royals, KC, Kila Kaaihue, Luis Mendoza, Matt Herges, Matt Kniginyzky, MLB, Nelson Payano, Pernell Halliman, Rodolfo Encarnacion, Royals, Ryan Morgan, Scott Thorman, Steven Lerud, Vance Wilson, Wilson Betemit, Zach Peterson