Covered in this issue of Crown Gems: Chris Dwyer, Wil Myers, Lee Roberts, Tony Pena Jr., Danny Duffy, Travis Metcalf, Zack Greinke, and the Royals AFL announcements.
- LHP-Chris Dwyer, the Royals 2009 4th round pick, made his professional debut on the 23rd with the Idaho Falls Chukars. He pitched 1.2 innings and allowed 2 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and struck out 2. All things considered not too shabby. I can’t imagine the nerves and adrenaline he was dealing with in his first start.
- I couldn’t give an update on Dwyer without adding an update on 3rd round pick Wil Myers. He started out his professional career with the Burlington Royals and hit 0.125/.125/.438 with 1 home run in 16 at bats. Myers made his debut with Idaho Falls yesterday and went 1 for 5 with a strike out. So far tonight he is 0 for 2.
- KoK favorite, RHP-Lee Roberts, also pitched on the 23rd. He went 2.2 innings and gave up 4 hits and 2 runs but did not issue a walk and struck out another 3 batters. Roberts now has a 4.50 ERA in 12.0 innings for the Burlington Royals but has only allowed 13 hits and 2 walks while striking out 12. The ratios are still very solid, so I’m not too worried.
- From KoK favorite to former KoK least favorite. The Tony Pena Jr. relief pitcher experiment continues. Yesterday he pitched two hitless innings with a walk and 3 strike outs. His impressive outing comes on the heels of his 2.0 inning hitless appearance on the 23rd. He has now thrown 8.2 innings for the low-A Burlington Bees with a 4.15 ERA and 8 strikeouts SO while allowing 6 hits and issuing 5 walks. He has fared better than I thought he would, but at 28 years old he will have to move fast. I assume he will be pitching somewhere this winter to log some innings and refine his skills.
- Much has been made of the awful hitting environment on the field of the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Soren Petro mentioned yesterday that if we are going to dismiss the poor performances of offensive players while they are playing there, we should dismiss the good performances of the pitching prospects. I agree with him to an extent, but his use of LHP-Danny Duffy as an example was very flawed. If you look at his home and road splits, it is very clear that Duffy is every bit the prospect people are making him out to be. While you would think his numbers would be better at home, the only real difference is a better ERA on the road. In 51.0 innings at home, he has a 3.88 ERA and 54 SO while allowing 42 H and 21 BB. In 64.0 innings on the road, he has a 2.67 ERA and 55 SO while allowing 60 H and 16 BB. On the road batters are hitting 0.249 off of him, while at home they are hitting 0.222 off him. He has allowed 4 of his 5 HR while pitching on the road this season. Clearly the home ballpark is helping him, but Duffy is faring just fine on the road and is clearly one of the Royals’ top prospects at this point.
- I have to give credit to Ken Lassiter who authors The Pipeline for bringing it to my attention, but these kinds of things always intrigue me. The Texas Rangers DFA’d 27 year old 3B-Travis Metcalf back in April. The Royals claimed him and assigned him to Triple-A Omaha. As a member of the O-Royals, he hit an uninspired 0.219/.285/.345 in 388 at bats and he was released on August 20th. The Rangers picked him back up and assigned him to the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks just in time to play in Omaha as a member of the visiting team. He responded by going 2-4 with 2 HR and 4 RBI. To make this story even better, Metcalf was born in Manhattan, Kansas and played for KU in college.
- Zack Greinke proved last night why he should still be the AL Cy Young Award winner. Despite playing on the worst AL team and having a 12-8 record, there is surprisingly still some momentum for Greinke’s Cy Young hopes among the national media. Of course we are blessed to have Joe Posnanski as one of our own who is championing the cause. If you haven’t already done so, check out his latest Greinke piece titled simply, Zack.
- Last but not least, yesterday we learned that 3B-Mike Moustakas, SS-Jeff Bianchi, OF-David Lough, RHP-Danny Gutierrez, and LHP-Ben Swaggerty will be playing in the Arizona Fall League as members of the Surprise Rafters. Personally I am thrilled to see all 5 of those guys heading to the AFL. Obviously all eyes will be on Moustakas to see if his season in Wilmington can be written off as just the ballpark or if fans should be legitimately concerned. To read Bob Dutton’s full post for the Kansas City Star on the AFL announcements click here.
Thanks for the read and have a great night!