Boy, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. In fact, the last time you heard from me in blog form, the Royals were a lukewarm 8-6 and searching for consistency. Oh, how times have changed. At the moment, Burlington stands in first place in the Appalachian League East Division, thanks in large part to a 10-game winning streak in July. The Royals also lost just one home game last month. But even with all of that success, their division lead and even their playoff spot is far from safe.
Last night’s loss at Danville gives Burlington a slim 3.5 game lead over the second-place Braves. Meanwhile, the third-place Rays can taste the second and final playoff spot in the East. They trail the Braves by half a game and are sneaking up on Burlington at 4.0 games in back of first. The situation appears even more dyer when you notice that Danville has won seven of its last 10 and Princeton is 8-2 in its previous 10. The Royals, on the other hand, are under .500 in their last 10 contests, at 4-6.
Undoubtedly, tonight’s game between the Royals and Braves in Danville, the final meeting between the geographical rivals, will be of vital importance to the playoff race. But, because one game is just one game, it’s important to look at the big picture. With that in mind, let’s take a gander at each team’s remaining schedule to determine their playoff chances in a crowded East Division.
We’ll start with the team saddled with the toughest end-of-season schedule. The Rays have 20 games remaining, and 16 of those contests come against teams with winning records. Princeton’s only matchups against teams with sub-par records are tonight against the Bluefield Blue Jays and a three-game set with Bristol in two-week’s time. Other than that, the Rays play six against the two first place teams (Burlington and Elizabethton) and six against the two second place teams (Danville and Johnson City). Princeton also plays the Greeneville Astros, who, like the Rays, are just a half game from a playoff spot in the West. To make matters worse, Princeton’s last series is on the road against the Twins, who hold the Appy League’s best record.
Next up on the difficulty scale is Burlington. The Royals’ upcoming schedule is not much harder than Danville’s. They don’t play the Twins again and their series against the Johnson City Cardinals is at home. However, Burlington’s most crucial games are in the next eight days. They play Danville tonight and Princeton next Tuesday through Thursday, in a pair of series that could give them cushion in the standings or drop them from a playoff spot. Additionally, the Royals and Blue Jays will essentially play two games on Friday. Because rain suspended play between the clubs in early July, Burlington and Bluefield will resume that game in the first inning, then play a seven-inning game right after. In addition to that make-shift doubleheader, Burlington has two true doubleheaders against the Kingsport Mets. Perhaps the shining light for the Royals is that they finish the regular season against the White Sox, who sit at the bottom of the Appy League.
The Braves’ may have the most advantageous schedule of the East’s three playoff contenders, but the difference in difficulty is marginal. Danville’s biggest positive is that its club has been hot of late and will have a chance to continue that stretch of positivity with upcoming series against bottom feeders. However, their six games against Pulaski (last in the East) and Kingsport (second to last in the West) are on the road and are followed by a difficult finish. After an off-day, the Braves end the regular season with 14 games in 12 days. They have two doubleheaders as part of a five-game series against Bluefield, then face Princeton, Greeneville and Johnson City. To make things more difficult, the series against Princeton is on the road, as is the final series against the Cardinals.
Okay, so that’s a lot to process and no matter how much analysis and speculation we put into the final weeks of the season, nothing speaks louder than results. I’m getting a headache just trying to imagine the possible outcomes, and the only aspirin I can think of is sitting back, shutting up and watching it all play out: 19 more playing days left… Patrick Conroy on the bump tonight for Burlington against first-rounder Lucas Sims… 7 p.m. first pitch in Danville… let’s get to it.
You can also listen to all the home games, tonight’s game in Danville and the rest of this road trip on BurlingtonRoyals.com. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7 pm.
Like this blog? Have a question? Email me at email@example.com or tweet me @Lufty_BRoyals.
If patrons at Burlington Athletic Stadium close their eyes when Bubba Starling comes to the plate on Wednesday, they may think they traveled back in time 21 years.
In 1991, the Burlington Indians had a young right fielder who was insistent on putting dents in the roof of the Fairchild Community Center. Manny Ramirez deposited balls over that right field wall (and the left and center field walls for that matter) with shocking regularity… 19 times to be exact. “The ball has a different sound when it comes off his bat,” said the spectators. That sound is back.
Starling hammered a 2-1 pitch from Danville right-hander Rafael Briceno. From the second it touched the bat, the ball was ticketed over the left field wall. The shot was Starling’s first as a professional baseball player.
With a man on second, Starling pounded a line drive up the middle. Humberto Arteaga came home with Starling’s third RBI of the game… It was only the third inning.
Another shot off of Starling’s bat… Gone… No need for further emphasis. It was cranked, and again, it was loud.
In just his fourth professional game, Bubba Starling was overcome with firsts: First home run, first multi-hit game, first multi-home run game… and six RBI. But, that sound put an exclamation point on each of Starling’s hits.
Even if Starling’s two shots to left had landed in the glove of Danville left fielder Edison Sanchez, and if the liner up the middle had been caught by center fielder Blake Brown, the sound of the 19-year old’s lumber would have been blog-worthy. That sound, in and of itself, signaled Starling’s comfort level at the plate. After three professional games in Johnson City, Starling is putting good swings on the ball. That news is all the Royals expected and wanted from his development at this point. Starling’s three strikeouts in his other at-bats say he is not fully polished, but who could realistically expect that so early in his career? As long as he can make singles sound like gunshots, you won’t hear anybody in Kansas City or Burlington complaining.
Starling’s Home Debut: Bubba Starling will make his debut at Burlington Athletic Stadium on Wednesday, July 4 against the Bristol White Sox. The Royals’ center fielder will face off against fellow-first round pick Courtney Hawkins, as Burlington begins a six-game homestand. First pitch on Wednesday is scheduled for 7 pm with an Independence Day fireworks show following the game. For tickets and information, visit BurlingtonRoyals.com or call 336-222-0223.
You can also listen to all the home games and tonight’s game in Danville on BurlingtonRoyals.com. First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7 pm.
Like this blog? Have a question? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @Lufty_BRoyals.
Daniel Hernandez will take the mound tomorrow night for the Royals, on the heels of five perfect innings against the Pulaski Mariners… he was taken out for the start of the sixth.
Hernandez was relieved because he was on a pitch count and his situation brings up a well-accepted paradox between rookie league baseball and higher professional levels. In a league where player development is most important, preservation and safety trump all. Consider the same situation in a major league environment, or even at the triple-A level. A pitcher is expected to gut it out if he has a chance at a no-hitter. However, because Hernandez had just missed a year-and-a-half with Tommy John surgery, and because this is the Appalachian League and not the majors, Hernandez sat down without a complaint.
A few weeks ago, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history. Now, let’s get one thing straight… In no way will I make the ridiculous leap that Santana’s no-hitter is the same exact situation as the one that Hernandez found himself in at Pulaski. That would be beyond absurd and I won’t subscribe to such sensationalism. The one thread that holds the two stories vaguely together is the fact that both pitchers were coming off major arm surgery at the time of their performance. But, Santana gritted his teeth to the finish and Hernandez took a seat.
The similarities between Santana and Hernandez end at “arm-rehab.” If Santana would have been taken out of the game for precautionary reasons, no doubt his competitive nature would have rejected the decision. When Hernandez was taken out, he was justifiably frustrated, but completely understanding.
“It was frustrating, seeing everybody else pitch, it was getting me upset,” he said. “But I was just trying to do my thing, trying to come back hard.”
The same can be said for Royals’ manager Tommy Shields. As much as he might want to watch the performance, Shields had no doubt in his mind that Hernandez had to come out. Nobody questioned the move, nobody scrutinized him and nobody told Shields that Hernandez should have stayed in the game. Had Mets manager Terry Collins come to the same decision, let’s just say it would not have gone over well in New York.
Therein lies the paradox. Tommy Shields made the right decision. Terry Collins made the right decision. Their job titles may both be manager, and Santana’s and Hernandez’s job titles may both be pitcher, but their jobs are far from the same. Situations dictate the way they do their jobs. For Santana, his situation begged for him to press the limits of his arm in the name of making the fans happy. For Hernandez, he needed to be careful. His job is to make fans happy in the future, and he can’t get there if he pushes himself past the recommendations of his rehab and past his then 60 pitch limit. If you ask him, Hernandez will gladly sacrifice an Appy League perfect game for a shot at throwing off big league rubber. He’ll try to continue his dominance tomorrow night (no pressure) against Bluefield, but regardless of how he fares, keep in mind that the future is always more important than history in the Appy.
Let’s see… When was the last time the Burlington Royals started the season 2-0?
2009, ’10, ’11?
Oh, there it is: 2012.
For the first time since the club became a Kansas City Royals affiliate, Burlington is 2-0 and has a chance to sweep its opening series. They have hit: league leaders in doubles (6), tied for first in homers (2), third in total bases (27) and third in RBI (11). They have pitched: league leaders in ERA (1.89), second in WHIP (1.00) and third in strikeouts (16). And they have been timely: Game one featured center fielder Terrance Gore gunning out a runner at third, Patrick Leonard breaking up a perfect game with a go-ahead homer in the fifth and Fred Ford starting a seven-run 10th inning rally with an RBI double. In game two, Burlington got another clutch hit from Mark Threlkeld. His eighth inning two-run homer changed a one-run deficit into a one-run lead, helping the Royals to a 7-5 win. Oh, and did we mention they’ve done all of that without Bubba Starling?
So with history—Ok, history might be a strong word for a three-game winning streak—With a sweep on the line, who does Burlington need to rely on tonight? I ask… and I answer:
Fred Ford- His big double in game one was one of three that the former Jefferson College outfielder had in the first two games. Ford leads the Appy League in doubles and is second only to Elizabethton’s Rory Rhodes in total bases. The Royals’ cleanup hitter doesn’t have to duplicate his previous performances, but another good game at the plate would go a long way toward picking up the rest of the Burlington offense.
Humberto Arteaga- The Venezuelan shortstop has been, statistically, the most clutch Royal. Too bad he won’t get credit for it (outside of this blog) since he doesn’t have a game-winning hit. Arteaga is 2-for-2 with runners in scoring position and 2-for-3 with runners on base. That’s right… the man only hits with runners on. The 18-year old also accounts for five of Burlington’s runs (2 runs scored, 3 RBI).
Terrance Gore- Exactly what the Royals need out of their leadoff hitter. Two hits, two walks, two stolen bases, three runs scored, and a team-leading .400 OBP (excluding Adrian Morales, who only has four plate appearances). No need to be fancy. As long as he keeps getting on, he’ll keep stealing bags and keep crossing the plate.
Daniel Hernandez- C’mon, of course the starting pitcher is a key to the game. This is Hernandez’s first start since missing all of 2011 with elbow surgery. In 2010, however, Hernandez had a great year for Burlington. The right-hander and college teammate of Jose Rodriguez went 2-0 with a 2.19 ERA. In 12.1 innings, he struck out 13 and kept an opponents’ batting average of .174.
Keep in mind, Hernandez was mostly a reliever (7 appearances out of the pen and one start) in 2010. So, we will see how far he goes in his first outing back. Manager Tommy Shields used five relievers last night. He and pitching coach Carlos Martinez may be similarly cautious tonight.
- First pitch tonight is scheduled for 7 pm in Pulaski, VA.
- The Royals return home tomorrow night for their home opener against the Elizabethton Twins. That game starts a six-game homestand, which means we will be on the air tomorrow through Wednesday. Go to BurlingtonRoyals.com to hear the broadcast and for further information on the Royals.
Have a question or comment? Email the booth at email@example.com or tweet me @Lufty_BRoyals.
As the fifth overall selection in the 2011 MLB June Amateur Draft, Burlington Royals center fielder Bubba Starling is the highest draft pick currently on an Appalachian League roster. Starling is not, however, the league’s only first-rounder.
The latest addition to the All First Round Team is this year’s 13th overall pick, Courtney Hawkins of the Chicago White Sox. Shortly after signing his first professional contract yesterday afternoon, Hawkins was assigned to Bristol, VA. The charismatic high school outfielder has already endeared himself to fans across Major League Baseball and should be a crowd-favorite in Bristol. You may remember Hawkins doing a back-flip on live television right after he was drafted. The show earned Hawkins a first-impression rose with the fans (shameless Bachelor reference), but also probably gave Sox Owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Kenny Williams a month’s worth of nightmares. “That is the last back-flip you’ll ever do in your life,” Williams told Hawkins half-jokingly over the phone. So, expect to see a great show from a guy who hit .437 with 11 home runs in his senior season, but don’t expect to see any more acrobatics from Hawkins unless it helps him get to a baseball at Boyce Cox Field.
Joining Hawkins and Starling in the Appalachian League is shortstop Gavin Cecchini of the New York Mets’ organization. Cecchini, who was drafted one pick ahead of Hawkins, inked his pro contract just four days after his draft day. The younger brother of Red Sox prospect Garin Cecchini (read that carefully) forewent a commitment to the University of Mississippi and will begin 2012 in Kingsport, TN.
Hawkins, Cecchini and Starling are the Appy League’s top first rounders, along with 10 first compensation round picks from 2011. That list could grow in the near future, though. Remember, the draft was only two weeks ago. Prominent first round picks, like Mike Zunino (Seattle), have not even been signed yet. Then there are those who have been signed, but are being placed in other rookie leagues like the Gulf Coast League (GCL) and the Arizona League (AZL). Any of those players could end up in the Appalachian League by season’s end. But who will be the next to show up in an Appy uniform? Agree or disagree, these could be the most likely candidates:
1. OF Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins (2nd overall): Coming out of Appling County High School in Georgia, Buxton was highly regarded as the top outfielder in this year’s draft and will start the season in the GCL. That placement, however, is subject to change. After being drafted, Buxton went to Minnesota for a pre-signing physical. The same day, he took batting practice at Target Field in the same hitting group as former Elizabethton Twins Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Is it just a coincidence? Maybe… But worth noticing, especially when you consider the report by Twins beat reporter Rhett Bollinger, which said Buxton could move up to the Appy League affiliate by the end of the season.
Also of note in this argument is the Twins’ organizational structure. Minnesota does not have a true rookie or short season affiliate above the Appalachian League club in Elizabethton, TN. A reasonable next step for a Buxton-like prospect would be a rookie league team in the Pioneer League or a short season club in the New York-Penn or Northwest Leagues. However, Minnesota does not have that option, so they typically ticket top prospects for the Appalachian League at the beginning of their development. To give some idea of the quality of prospects who have been through Elizabethton in the past, A.J. Pierzynski, Denard Span, Matt Garza, Morneau and Mauer are all alumni. Byron Buxton could be next on that list.
2. C Mike Zunino, Seattle Mariners (3rd overall): University of Florida catcher Mike Zunino has not yet signed with the Mariners, but don’t expect that to last long. The Gators lost a heart-breaker to Kent State last night and were knocked out of the College World Series. Negotiations between the catcher and Seattle were reportedly on hold until after the Gators’ run. No word yet on how long it will take Zunino to sign, but he is not projected to be a difficult sign for the Mariners. Zunino’s father, Greg Zunino, is a scout for the Cincinnati Reds and has said he expects the deal to get done. Once that is finalized, the question remains as to where Zunino will land first. The Mariners have a full arsenal of affiliates, especially at the class-A level. With that in mind, I would expect Seattle to start Zunino in the AZL. The popular trend seems to be for clubs to send their first round picks to either the GCL or AZL with the possibility of moving up to a higher short-season league later. Zunino, the Dick Howser Trophy winner as this year’s best college player, will probably take the same path.
3. SS Carlos Correa, Houston Astros (1st overall): Go big or go home, right? We already mentioned the second and third overall picks as potential Appy Leaguers this year. At number one overall, Correa is in that conversation, as well. Correa is 18, but highly skilled, sometimes compared to Alex Rodriguez. However, the organization isn’t showing signs of rushing him. The Astros placed Correa in the GCL, following the conventional top prospect gameplan. Houston has shown a willingness to move prospects along, though. Lance McCullers, Jr., who the Astros took in the first compensation round, will begin in the GCL with Correa, but is expected to move to the Appalachian League affiliate in Greeneville, TN later in the season. In addition, Houston’s 2011 first-rounder, OF George Springer, is already playing at high-A Lancaster. How will the Astros handle Correa? Will he be ticketed for the Appy League soon? It remains to be seen. But for admittedly selfish entertainment purposes, we sure hope so.
Like this blog? Have your own opinions? Email the Burlington Royals’ broadcast booth at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me at Lufty_broyals.
One final post
NOTE- tonight’s game will not be broadcast… moving on-
The home finale is just a underway, and while I’m just a few hours from Burlington, I already miss it. I spent my summer working with the team and spent my days trying to make everything the best that I could make it. To end on a note of a fried laptop is very depressing. I had once said that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish, but I hope you do not judge me on this finish.
What happened, and why you cannot hear the broadcast tonight:
I set everything up and was counting down to the pregame show (which I thought was going to be great), and went down stairs to check with the other interns to make sure nobody else needed a hand, since I knew we were short a person or two anyway. I made a quick phone call, and when I finished, it was drizzling slightly, and the GM told me there was no rain on the radar….
Moments later the heavens opened up, and the rain came down side ways. I was worried about pulling the tarp and making sure everything else was okay, that I forgot about the press box windows being wide open. By the time I got up there, everything was soaking wet- my laptop, MP3 player, digital audio recorder, not to mention the broadcasting mixer (yes, the new one), and the mic, and everything else in there (papers, notebooks, etc.). Because I start school in just a few days, and need my laptop for things for my job here at school, I wanted to get it turned in to our IT department ASAP, since its still under warranty. I packed my car after I got home last night, and left first thing this morning. I’m now at school, mostly moved in to my apartment, and my roommate and I are working to get everything set up.
It is an unfortunate series of events, but as many have said “[stuff/crap/things/expletive] happens”, and I’ll manage.
This summer for me has been an incredible experience for me, and I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. I got to live the dream (a different dream than most), and had a blast. From the 21 run, four hour game on the fourth of July, to the back-to-back walk off wins later in the month, it’s all been an adventure.
I’ll always be grateful to Steve Brice, our general manager, the coaching staff at Burlington (Nelson, Bobby, John,Mark), the players, all the other staff (asst gm, interns), and the listeners. Your kind words were always appreciated, and I hope you enjoyed following along all season.
Tuesday night, I go back behind the mic, but in a different context; its back to work at Roanoke College, where I’m settling in for my senior year. At Roanoke, I call games for the athletic department for soccer, basketball, and lacrosse, in addition to hosting a bi-weekly sports entertainment show. I call games for the club ice hockey team, and did some work with ESPN Radio Roanoke in the spring, and may do some things for them this fall as well.
Though I do not have a laptop at the moment, my roommate does, and I have my Blackberry, so you can reach me more conveniently at email@example.com with anything. I’m also on Twitter at @DeSanc12. I’ll check he gmail account periodically over the next week, but after that, the blog and gmail account will remain dormant until a new voice is around for 2011.
The voice of the B-Royals in 2010, Brian, was a huge help to me, as were most of the people I came in contact with since stepping into the office in the middle of June.
Thanks again to everyone, and I wish you all the best.
There will be no broadcast of the game tonight. A strong storm rolled through while I was on the concourse doing some last minute things and it ruined my laptop, so I’m unable to do tonight’s game.
I will try to dry my computer out and see if it works tomorrow, but I highly doubt it. Since I won’t have access to a computer tomorrow, check my Twitter for updates, since I can do that from my phone- @DeSanc12
Also, the stats will be updated much more slowly, since the MiLB office is in New York, and with the hurricane approaching, areas have been evacuated, and getting in and out of the city, from what I hear, is proving to be a nightmare.
I can’t get the firstname.lastname@example.org on my phone, but I can respond to anything sent to email@example.com- my personal email
…unless you’re Matt Ridings through five innings last night. The righty had his perfect game snapped on a single form the lead off hitter of the inning. Ridings threw six innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out six. I saw this unfolding, but refused to utter the words “no hitter” or “perfect game”, in fear of jinxing him. After the game, I saw that Matt’s dad, Bill (and what looked to be more of his family), was there, making it an even cooler experience for the Western Kentucky University grad. Minor League Baseball called to do a phone interview with him about his start, and wrote about it HERE.
I would look inside the box score, but frankly, I think the box score shows most of the story. Andy Ferguson did load the bases with two outs, but allowed just one run; each team used two pitchers; Michael Antonio got pulled by Nelson Liriano in the third for what I think was a lack of hustle going for a ground ball, but I do not know for sure (Nelson wants his guys to hustle, and if you take a play off, he will notice); Justin Trapp went 0-for-4 with four strike outs, but did walk and come in to score… I think that pretty much sums it up.
It was announced today that Jim Thome has agreed to a trade to the Cleveland Indians from the Twins. As a Phillies fan, I had that small hope that he would land back in the City of Brotherly Love, but knew that it probably would not happen. To me, it’s awesome to see Thome back where he began and in a position to try and help his team to the playoffs. Growing up in New Jersey as a big Phillies fan, I remember seeing his first hit (a triple in the ninth off the wall in left-center field in the season opener against the Pirates at Veterans Stadium— I’m pretty sure that’s it), and always loved watching him play. His interviews always seemed classy, and he was a fan favorite, even getting cheers when he returned wearing a different jersey. Needless to say, Philly fans don’t do that for everyone (Jason Werth comes to mind, and JD Drew, though he never played, was drafted and refused to sign, who is a hated man).
Here in Burlington, Thome is a member of a group of players who have been voted into the Burlington Royals Hall of Fame in 2001. The list is a group of big name players who played with the Burlington Indians at some point in their career. Their names are in on the wall of the third base side of the stadium. In case you haven’t made it out to Burlington Athletic Stadium, here are the plaques:
Steven Gates was the Indians’ broadcaster and director of media relations. He died tragically on Saturday, October 4, 2003, in a hit-and-run accident near Hillsborough, NC. He was 27. His family has established a scholarship fund at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill to honor his memory, and the Royals have designated it as their Official Charity.
Will any of the players from this year’s roster ever made the wall of fame here? Only time will tell.
I mentioned last night about superstitions, and not mentioning Ridings’ no hitter. I had a box of Cracker Jack before the game last night (which I will do again) and in it, the prize (always the best part) was a pencil flag… a small piece of paper with a design on it that you put on your pencil. I figured that it couldn’t hurt, so I put it on… and I guess it’s staying on for tonight’s ballgame.
The players won’t be in until later today, so I’ll do my best to talk to Nelson, and I plan on chatting with Matt Ridings about his start last night. The Best Western Pregame show begins at 6:50 with the first pitch from Nick Graffeo at 7:00. Burlington has won three of four against the Astros this season, and will look to flex their muscle again tonight.
You can see the starting lineup on my Twitter page HERE.
Tomorrow will be my last blog post (and last press release), as I leave after the game to head back to school. I hope you enjoy and have enjoyed the last few, and I’m looking forward to the game tonight. You can reach me for the next few days at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to Bill Ridings for coming to say hi last night. I’m really glad he enjoyed the broadcast, and glad he was here to see Matt’s outing. We’ll see what Graffeo can do tonight.
Last night’s debacle left me with little to write about. Johnson City held Burlington to two hits, and every batter, other than Steven Brooks, hitless. The New Jersey native went to school at Wake Forrest and was drafted in the 17th round in 2010 after a great season with the Demon Deacons that saw him hit .349 with six homers and 39 RBI, while stealing 23 bases. He elected not to sign with the Cubs, and returned to North Carolina for his senior season. The fourth year at Wake Forrest was not his best in terms of hits, as he went just .241 at the plate. Brooks went undrafted this year, and was signed by Kansas City as a free agent. Looking just at batting average, it’s understandable, but as I was looking into his stats, I was surprised. Here are his stat lines from his last two years at Wake:
The big numbers that stood out to me were hits, runs, walks, and stolen bases… let us discuss…
- His average dropped over 100 points, and he had almost 30 less hits, yet he scored just eight less runs.
- In 2011, one of every 11.5 hits was a homer, while in 2010, he went deep every 12.2 at bats.
- He stole seven more bases, and was caught less in 2011 (swiped three bags in a game at Maryland on May 19th)
- He walked 21 more times in 2011
- While his BA dropped by .108, his on base percentage fell by 40- not nearly a proportional fall
- In 2011, he was slotted in the leadoff spot 14 times, while in 2010 hit there just three times. In his final two seasons, if it wasn’t one of those 17 games, he was batting third in the lineup.
I’m not a journalist looking for reasons or stories, just was browsing and found this interesting. Through 50 rounds of this June’s draft, looking just at the numbers, I would have thought someone would take a chance on him in the later rounds, but the scouts get paid, and I do not. Brooks has had limited playing time this season, and has made the most of it. He’s back in the lineup tonight, as Burlington takes on Greeneville.
With six games left, the Royals need four wins to avoid being the worst team in B-Royals history. The 2008 and 2009 teams both won 44 games.
You can see Burlington’s starting lineup on my Twitter page HERE.
I’ll have tonight’s action beginning with the Best Western Pregame Show at 6:50, with Matt Ridings’ first pitch at 7:00.
Another tough loss for the B-Royals last night, as they held the lead through seven. Though they’ve lost the first two games of the series, they’ve played well against the first-place Johnson City Cardinals. Adrian Bringas played well at third base, though the box score may not show it, and also had a hot bat, going long for the fifth time this season. His effort last night has him moved up to fifth in the lineup, and the Burlington starting nine (10 with the DH/pitcher, depending on how you look at it) looks a little different. I have it posted on my Twitter HERE (@DeSanc12).
Defensivly, Bringas fielded a bunt barehanded, a play he’s had trouble with this season, but his throw was not in time. In the eighth with a man on second, Tyler Rahmatulla hit a ball down the third base line. Bringas laid out, and had the ball go off his glove, and dribbled away, not allowing the runner to get to third, or score if the ball got past him.
I was talking to my friend Steve who interns with the Blue Rocks (Side note: two friends from high school who played lacrosse together both wind up working with broadcasting within the Kansas City Royals minor league system… somewhat odd, yet cool. He works the board for the radio station and contributes to their pregame show, in addition to sending me a piece every week for Royals Weekly… just wanted to put that out there- big tangent I know) and asked him how Alex Rivers and Tyler Graham were faring. He said he hadn’t heard Rivers’ name in a while and thought he was sent to Kane County, so I decided to take a look at how the call-ups from the B-Royals are faring…
Tyler Graham, called to Wilmington, August 12th
The righty made the drive up to Delaware, but did not appear in a game for Kansas City’s high-A affiliate. Now with Kane County, Graham has appeared in two games and allowed four earned runs on six hits in four and a third innings.
Alex Rivers, called up to Wilmington, July 27th
Rivers only appeared in one game with the Blue Rocks before then moving to Kane County. With the Cougars, the former Santa Clara Bronco has appeared in six games, throwing 15.2 innings. He’s allowed four earned runs on 14 hits, while striking out 17.
Jason Mitchell, called up to Kane County, July 21st
Mitchell has been lights out at Single-A, going 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA in six games, one start. He’s given up just four earned runs in 22.2 innings.
Jovan Pickett, Called up to Kane County, July 17th
The outfielder has hit .282 with the Cougars, and is second on the team in on base percentage.
Nick Rogers never played in a game with Burlington, after originally being assigned here, and is with Kane County. Catcher Tyler Smith, who started the year with the B-Royals, was moved out to Idaho Falls. He’s appeared in 17 games with the Chuckars and hit .220.
The Cardinals will look for the sweep tonight against the Royals, and you can find the lineup on my Twitter page (see first paragraph).
You can reach me at email@example.com, and I’ll have the Best Western Pregame Show at 6:50 with the first pitch at 7:00.