Princes of Kauffman - 5/20/2011

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It’s that time again.  Your weekly minor league update has arrived and it has been a very good week for the affiliates.  Wilmington continues to dominate, Kane County is turning things around winning 6 of their last 9, and NWA and Omaha continue to do what they do.  After the Hosmer move the flood gates have opened and we have started to see alot more movement in the minor leagues between all the affiliates.  Another few weeks and we are in June, Super 2 status is no longer a concern and things will really start moving.  Should be an exciting time to be  a Royals fan, hopefully their recent slide gets turned around so they are still in contention when bringing these young ones up.

Where the affiliates stand:

Kane County Cougars (Low A): 15-26 (7th place)

Wilmington Blue Rocks (High A): 23-16 (T-1st place)

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (Double A): 20-16 (2nd place)

Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple A): 23-16 (1st place)

Low A (Kane County):

5/13/2011 – Kane County Cougars defeat the Peoria Chiefs, 4-0

Greg Billo – 8 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 4 SO

Geulin Beltre – 2/3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Billo gives another excellent outing for Kane County as they get another victory over Peoria.  The 20-year-old Billo is having a strong start to the season with a 1.57 ERA and a 33:9 K:SO ratio.  If he continues at this rate he is a good candidate to replace Odorizzi or Arguelles in Wilmington when they move along.

5/14/2011 – Kane County Cougars defeat the Peoria Chiefs, 7-3

Leonel Santiago – 7 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 4 SO

Lane Adams – 2/2, 1 R, 1 2B

Santiago delivers a solid offering for the Cougars.  Not many people jumped out offensively but they were efficient and were able to give Santiago the win after a good 7 innings from him.

5/15/2011 – Kane County Cougars lose to the Peoria Chiefs, 11-8

Yordano Ventura, 3 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 SO

Steven Caseres – 3/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI

In his first ever start above the rookie leagues, Ventura got knocked around a bit.  This being his first start at this level and his first start this year, it’s not surprising he will need some adjustments; however, I fully expect Ventura to make those and be an important cog in the wheel that is Kane County.

5/16/2011 – Off Day.

5/17/2011 – Kane County Cougars defeat the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5-4

Jason Adam – 4.1 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 SO

Alex Llanos – 3/5, 1 R, 1 RBI

In his first start in the minors, Jason Adam turns in a decent performance.  Considering the fact that it’s his first ever start and he is only 19 years old, the impressiveness of the start ticks up a bit.  Ultimately, he put the team in a position to win the game, which they did, and that is really all you need from your starter.  If what all the scouts are saying is correct, there are lots of good things to come from the Jason Adam in the future, and as he gets better hopefully he will help Kane County continue to turn things around.

5/18/2011 – Kane County Cougars no-hit the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 2-0

‘Sugar’ Ray Marimon – 7.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 SO; Chas Byrne – 1.1 IP, 1 SO

Angel Franco – 2/4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI

You read that correctly, Ray Marimon and Chas Byrne combined for a no-hitter in this game against the Kernels.  It was the 7th no-hitter in Kane County history and was a much needed “something going right” for the Cougars.  They have won 6 out of 8 and with an infusion of some new talent with more to come, hopefully they can turn things around.

5/19/2011 – Kane County Cougars lose to the Cedar Rapids Kernels, 3-1

Leondy Perez – 6 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 5 SO

Yowill Espinal – 1/3, 1 RBI

A solid performance by Perez is mitigated by an anemic offensive out put for the Cougars hitters.  Call it the no-hitter hangover but the Cougars just couldn’t get anything going against the Kernels.

High A (Wilmington):

5/13/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Potomac Nationals, 13-4

Tim Melville – 5 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 SO

Rey Navarro – 3/6, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI; John Whittleman – 2/2, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI

After a rough couple outings Melville comes back and gives a strong 5 innings allowing the Blue Rocks to destroy the Nationals.  Rey Navarro continues to hit, the up to this point underperforming prospect is really showing why he was highly thought of just a few years ago.  He has been a big piece of the Wilmington’s success this year and hopefully he can continue to succeed this year.

5/14/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks lose to the Potomac Nationals, 5-4

Tyler Sample – 6.2 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 SO

Tim Ferguson – 2/3, 2 RBI

Just as Melville did the day before Tyler Sample has seemingly righted the ship after a tough outing and turned in one of his stronger performances of the year, even if it didn’t end in a win.  If I had to guess, between the two, Sample has more of a chance of a future in the big leagues than Melville, and probably as a reliever.  Either way, they are both young enough that they can still get it together and reach the big leagues and contribute.

5/15/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks lose to the Potomac Nationals, 5-4

Jake Odorizzi – 4.2 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 4 SO

Deivy Batista – 4/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI; John Whittleman – 2/4, 2 2B, 1 RBI

As it turns out Jake Odorizzi is human and he is not a strikeout robot.  While still giving some solid work Odorizzi had his most pedestrian outing of the season.  I don’t consider this a worrying point for Odorizzi, sometimes you don’t have your sharpest stuff, it happens.  Unfortunately this marks the second straight loss for the Blue Rocks which has caused them to lose first place for the first time this season.

5/16/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Salem Red Sox, 7-3

Noel Arguelles – 4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 2 SO; Michael Mariot – 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 4 SO

Rey Navarro – 2/5, 1 RBI; Juan Graterol – 3/5, 1 RBI

Noel Arguelles gives another outing that is pretty similar to his other outings this season.  4 solid innings and puts the team in a position to win.  Rey Navarro continues to tear up A+ hitting and the Blue Rocks continue their winning ways in the Carolina League.

5/17/2011 – Off Day.

5/18/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Salem Red Sox, 7-1

Elisaul Pimentel – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 SO

Whit Merrifield – 2/5, 1 R, 2 RBI; Nick Ferguson – 1/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

A late game rally solidified the victory for the Blue Rocks as they scored 6 in the 6th to take home the victory in the double header shortened 7 inning game.  Pimentel threw one of his best outings of the season and is starting to settle down after a little bit of a rocky start to the season.

5/18/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Salem Red Sox, 5-1

Tim Melville – 5 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 SO

Whit Merrifield – 1/3, 2 R, 1 Hr, 2 RBI; Rey Navarro – 1/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

After a couple of rocky starts Tim Melville has returned to early season form, sort of.  While still working out some slight control issues, Melville is keeping the ball in the park and giving the team a chance to win.  He was helped out with some good offense by the best offensive players on the team Merrifield and Navarro.  I would imagine one of those two might be getting a call up to NWA before this season is over.

5/19/2011 – Wilmington Blue Rocks defeat the Salem Red Sox, 1-0

Justin Marks – 7 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 7 SO

Deivy Batista – 1/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

Good old fashioned pitchers duel had Marks on the mound wheeling and dealing as he went 7 innings scoreless to allow the Blue Rocks to get a run and close out the victory shortly thereafter.  Not a big offensive game but a HR by Batista was the difference as the Blue Rocks continue their winnings ways.

Double A (Northwest Arkansas):

5/13/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Springfield Cardinals, 7-5

Chris Dwyer – 4.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 SO; Patrick Keating – 1.2 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 5 SO

Mario Lisson – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B; Jamie Romak – 1/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Not sure what is wrong with Chris Dwyer but he continues to struggle at NWA.  Jamie Romak hit a 3 run bomb to swing the tide of the game giving the Naturals the lead.  After that Patrick Keating came on late to close out the game ending it with 5 outs all of which were K’s.  Keating got his fitfth save and is having a solid season to this point.  His ERA sits at 3.78 but the majority of that damage came in one of his first outings where he gave up 4 runs in 1 inning, he gave up another run in his next outing but hasn’t given up a run since, and that was on April 17th.  That’s 8 scoreless outings for those keeping track, 5 of which were saves.

5/14/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Springfield Cardinals, 5-1

John Lamb – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 4 SO

Jeff Bianchi – 3/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI; Anthony Seratelli – 2/5, 2 RBI

After a rough start to the season Lamb has started to find his groove a little bit with a good last couple of outings and putting in his best outing of the season here.  A pitcher of Lamb’s caliber would be expected to be able to make the adjustments and everyone knew he would so hopefully this is a harbinger of things to come and him showcasing the talent we all know he has.

5/15/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Springfield Cardinals, 3-0

Will Smith – 7 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 1 SO

Tim Smith – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

Will Smith gets a complete game shutout, which still counts even though it was a 7 inning make-up game.  It’s still a good sign to see Smith put behind some of his struggles and start getting things together.  It’s definitely always encouraging to see a pitcher go 7 innings scoreless and take home a victory.

5/15/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Springfield Cardinals, 8-4

Buddy Baumann – 4 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 5 BB, 4 SO; Patrick Keating – 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 0 SO

Nick Van Stratten – 1/3, 1 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI; Jamie Romak – 2/4, 1 R, 1 RBI

Basically a ‘starting by committee’ type of game here where they put together a good game from the mound, then got it to Patrick Keating who did what he does and put the game away.  Nick Van Stratten blew the game open with a grand slam and the Naturals just cruised from there.

5/16/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Tulsa Drillers, 5-4

Zach Miner – 4 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 SO

Anthony Seratelli – 2/3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Salvador Perez – 2/4, 1 R; Christian Colon – 1/3, 2 RBI

The Naturals hit a bit of a skid there for a bit but have found their way back to the winning circle.  In his first time pitching since 2009 Miner did a solid job.  He had Tommy John surgery in May 2010 and this was his first start in recovery.  He has started 35 games at the major league level and could be a good stop gap starter in the future if needed, assuming he continues to pitch like this and stretches his outings out a bit.

5/17/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals drop one to the Tulsa Drillers, 5-4

Edgar Osuna – 4 IP, 3 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 SO

Jeff Bianchi – 1/4, 2 RBI

It took 10 innings but the Naturals were put away by the Drillers.  Osuna got touched up a little bit but still left the game with the team in position to pick up a win.  Unfortunately they weren’t able to come through as they tied up the ball game in the ninth but Tulsa got the walk off win in the 10th.

5/18/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals lose to the Tulsa Drillers, 4-3

Chris Dwyer – 6 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 2 SO

Nick Francis – 2/3, 1 RBI

Dwyer gave his best performance of the season so far but it was an unusually poor performance from Patrick Keating that dropped the ball late and allowed the Drillers to win the game.  Dwyer is still battling some control issues but he is keeping the ball in the park more and starting to get things under control.  If he can bring those walk numbers down then he could be where we would expect him to be come the end of 2011.

5/19/2011 – Northwest Arkansas Naturals defeat the Tulsa Drillers, 2-0

John Lamb – 0.2 IP, 1 SO (taken out of game); Eduardo Paulino – 4 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 2 SO

Salvador Perez – 2/4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI

John Lamb being taken from the game is disoncerting at best.  Perhaps a nagging injury was the reasons for his struggles and hopefully he can get healthy and return to form.  No official word yet on what the injury is, but something with his forearm or elbow is the consensus.  Salvador Perez continues to show flashes of good power offensively.  He is ready defensively to be a major league catcher but needs more seasoning offensively.  The Royals have had a long history of ‘decent’ defensive catchers with no offensive pop so hopefully Perez can reverse this trend and be a gold glover who can give you some solid numbers at the plate.

Triple A (Omaha):

5/13/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers lose to the Reno Aces, 7-2

Danny Duffy – 4 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 SO

David Lough – 2/2, 1 R, 1 2B; Johnny Giavotella – 2/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI

Duffy had his first rough outing of the year.  He turned in 4 innings and struggled with his control for the first time of the year.  I don’t imagine that this is too huge of a concern because, as mentioned above with Odorizzi, sometimes you don’t have your sharpest stuff.  I’m not concerned and I think Duffy will make his way up to the majors soon.

5/14/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 16-11

Mike Montgomery – 4.1 IP, 11 R, 8 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 3 SO

Lorenzo Cain – 4/5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 RBI; Lance Zawadzki – 3/5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI; Johnny Giavotella – 4/6, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI

Colorado Springs may be the most friendly hitters’ park in all of baseball.  The thin air, the elevation, all contributing factors the ridiculous score that showed up in this game.  Montgomery’s line is concerning but given that it is in Colorado Springs, I don’t think it’s as big of a concern as you would initially think at first glance.  Worth mentioning is Lorenzo Cain hitting for the cycle and driving in 7 runs, no doubt helped by the park, but probably one of the best nights he will turn in offensively in his career.

5/15/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 12-5

Luis Mendoza – 4.2 IP, 2 R, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 0 SO

Mike Moustaks – 2/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI; Clint Robinson – 3/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Mendoza was able to keep the Sky Sox batters in check as the Storm Chasers offense went off yet again.  Moustakas continues to be a streaky hitter putting in another great outing after a few days off after getting HBP.  The Storm Chasers continue to dominate the PCL as they extend their lead in first place with a couple victories in a row against the Sky Sox.

5/16/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers defeat the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 12-9

Greg Holland – 3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 SO

Irving Falu – 5/6, 3 R, 2 3B, 2 RBI; Mike Moustakas – 2/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI; Johnny Giavotella – 2/5, 3 RBI; Clint Robinson – 2/5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI

Another high scoring affair in the hitter friendly park in Colorado Springs.  Suppan gave up 8 runs in his start but the bullpen was able to come in and tone things down and get it all together.  A huge offensive game for the Chasers as Mike Moustakas continues to heat up.  In his last ten games he’s hitting .350 with 3 HRs and 11 RBIs.  I think he is making his case to get up to be with his boy Hosmer in the big leagues and if he forces the Royals hand like Hosmer I would be all for it.

5/17/2011 – Omaha Storm Chasers with another high scoring victory against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 12-9

Kevin Pucetas – 6.1 IP, 7 R, 7 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 2 SO

Mike Moustakas – 2/4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI; Paulo Orlando – 4/5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI

That score is not a typo, the Storm Chasers have scored at least 12 runs in all games of the 4 game set they have with the Sky Sox.  This offense has really taken off after their slow start and they have taken full advantage of hitter friendly parks.  Mike Moustakas continues to rake and he is back on schedule to be up to the majors by June.  It was a rough outing by Pucetas in a park he probably isn’t used to pitching in, but his offense was able to pick him up and get themselves a victory.

5/18/2011 – Off Day.

5/19/2011 – Postponed due to rain.

Promotions: Yordano Ventura (Rookie-Low A); Nick Francis (A+-AA); Everett Teaford (AAA-Majors); Danny Duffy (AAA-Majors); Jason Adam (Rookie-Low A); Greg Holland (AAA-Majors)

Demotions: Vin Mazzaro (Majors-AAA); Kenekoa Texeira (AAA-DFA); Jarrod Dyson (Majors-AAA)

Pitcher of the Week: Sugar Ray Marimon – 7.2 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 2 BB, 7 SO; Season stats – 39.1 IP, 2.75 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 36K, 15BB, 3.52 FIP

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006 Marimon hasn’t made much noise in the organization and has taken his time making his way through the system.  However, this performance is sure to make some noise and grab some attention.  Almost making it through an entire 8 innings of no-hit baseball and having the game end up being a combined no-hitter will almost guarantee you pitcher of the week.  You can’t give out this distinction without mentioning Chas Byrne as well who came in in the 8th and closed out the no-hitter without giving anything up.  It was definitely a welcome event for the Kane County Cougars who are hopefully able to turn things around for good the rest of the way.

Hitter of the week: Mike Moustakas – Week Stats – 6/14 (.428), 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO; Season Stats – .273/.354/.511/.865, 7 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR, 32 RBI, 15 BB, 27 SO

This is the Mike Moustakas we’ve all been waiting to see this season.  Moos has historically been a bit of a slow starter and a streaky hitter like him is prone to having a few rough patches but what you look for is that the rough patches are followed up by stints like this where all his hitting tools are on display.  He has been hitting well and hitting for power with good double numbers and HR numbers.  He is always gonna strikeout a lot of he is still taking walks and getting on base.  Everything is there and is on track to get to the big league club by June.

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Tags: AL Central Baseball Danny Duffy John Lamb Kane County Cougars Kansas City Royals KC Lorenzo Cain Mike Moustakas MLB Northwest Arkansas Naturals Omaha Storm Chasers Royals Sugar Ray Marimon Wilmington Blue Rocks

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