Thank You…and So Long!

Well, it has been over for about 24 hours now. The Burlington Royals wrapped up their 2014 season with a 3-2 13-inning loss at the hands of the Princeton Rays on Friday evening. Though the final record reads 28-40, the team was very young and improved greatly as the season went along. Far and away the highlight of the season was Logan Moon winning the Appalachian League batting title with a .332 average. Moon needed to go 1-for-1 in Friday’s game, and he requested to hit leadoff to get it done as quickly as possible. He hit a bouncing ball to the left side of the infield, deep in the hole at shortstop, and beat the throw. Infield single, job done. Congratulations Logan!

Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed spending 42 nights with you over the past few months. Broadcasting the Royals was a new challenge for me, and my first go-round in professional baseball was rewarding and exciting. I hope you enjoyed the games as much as I did. I’m back in class at Elon University (a mere 15 minutes from Burlington Athletic Stadium) for my junior year. This fall, I’ll be broadcasting Elon football on CAA.tv as well as serving as the public address announcer for the men’s soccer team. Later on, I’ll handle play-by-play duties on Elon basketball (men’s and women’s) and baseball games.

I’d like to say thank you to everyone, specifically Royals management- Ryan Keur, Jared Orton, Dan Moushon and Miles Wolff- and the great people I came in contact with from the Kansas City organization this year. Thank you to manager Tommy Shields and his coaching staff- Scott Thorman, Carlos Martinez and Nelson Liriano, for talking with me before and after games. Thank you to all the players, who have the same end goal as me: the big leagues. Best of luck down the road!

Thanks also to all the Royals interns that I got to know this year as well, you all did a great job!

Lastly, thank you fans for listening, reading and tweeting all year long. If you’re following a player who will be at another level next year, best of luck to him and I hope you enjoy that team as much as Burlington. If you’re a B-Royals specific fan, Kansas City Minor League expert or following a player who might return, I can’t wait to do it all again.

There will be sporadic posts and tweets in the offseason, primarily alumni updates. Keep it here for those.

Other than that, it’s a wrap for this season. See you in June 2015!

-Matt

Plundering Fourth? (Bristol Series Preview)

How quickly the tables can turn! Fresh off of a five-game sweep at the hands of the Danville Braves last week, the Burlington Royals limped home to face the Bluefield Blue Jays in a series that began Sunday. Thanks to strong pitching, the Royals were able to sweep the Blue Jays and move to only a game and a half behind them for fourth place in the Appalachian League East. Nik Stephenson tossed 7.1 innings on Sunday, allowing no earned runs and striking out seven in a 3-1 win. Yunior Marte, Carlos Herrera, and Eric Sandness combined to shut out the Blue Jays 5-0 on Monday. Colin Rodgers and Carter Hope protected a narrow lead and Chase Darhower saved the game on Tuesday as the Royals won 3-2.

Now, after an off day, the Royals will open a three-game set with the mathematically eliminated Bristol Priates. The first year of Pittsburgh affiliation in Bristol has not gone very swimmingly on the field, with the BriBucs (as they have come to be known) entering this series at 18-40. The Royals won two of three games when the two teams got together in Bristol June 22-24. In the series opener, the Royals won 12-3 as they got three hits from RF Cristian Cano and home runs from 1B Brandon Dulin and DH Chase Vallot. The Royals then took a 3-1 win in game two before falling 7-1 in the finale.

The Royals’ “negative magic number” is at four, but the realistic goal, according to Tommy Shields, is to get better each day and potentially take fourth from Bluefield. The Bristol series presents a big chance to do just that.

Royals Starting Pitchers

Thursday, 7:00 p.m.- RHP Scott Blewett (0-1, 5.50)

Friday, 7:00 p.m.- LHP Foster Griffin (0-2, 4.26)

Saturday, 7:00 p.m.- RHP Corey Ray (1-2, 3.34)

Who’s Hot

1B Josh Banuelos, who had two multi-hit games in the Bluefield series. He was 3-for-4 on Monday before a two-hit game Tuesday.

Follow the Games

All three games will be broadcast on the Burlington Royals Broadcast Network. Also, follow @BRoyals_Radio for updates!

Up Next

After this series, the Royals will head to Pulaski to face the Mariners for three games beginning Sunday at 7:00 p.m.

 

That’s all, enjoy the series!

Matt

Royals Alumni Update: August 18

Congratulations, Christian Binford! The 2012 Burlington Royals pitcher becomes the second former B-Royal this month to be promoted to the Class AAA Omaha Storm Chasers, Kansas City’s highest farm club. Binford, who began the year at the Class A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks, had been with the Class AA Northwest Arkansas Naturals since early July. He is 8-6 with a 2.69 ERA between the two teams thus far, and has 130 strikeouts to only 17 walks in 130.2 innings pitched. Binford is ranked as Kansas City’s no. 8 prospect per MLB.com, and represented the organization at the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Minneapolis on July 13. He joins speedy OF Terrance Gore (2012), who was called up from Wilmington to Omaha in Early August.

Here’s what other former B-Royals are doing:

Major Leagues

Salvador Perez (2008) and the Major League Royals are hot, leading the American League Central by one and 1/2 games over the Detroit Tigers. Perez was 2-for-5 in Sunday’s win at the Minnesota Twins, hitting his 15th home run of the season as the Royals rolled 12-6.

RHP Kelvin Herrera (2008) has run his scoreless streak to 18 appearances after throwing shutout innings in Friday and Sunday against the Twins. He struck out two on Friday and one on Sunday.

OF David Lough (2007) was 0-for-3 in a start for the Baltimore Orioles against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.

OF Wil Myers (2009) played his last rehab game for the Durham Bulls, the Class AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, on Sunday. Myers is returning from a wrist injury that has sidelined him since May 30.

Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)

With the influx of young talent, Omaha is clearly making a push toward a Pacific Coast League title. They lead their division by two games over the Iowa Cubs right now, the biggest lead since June. On Saturday, Buddy Baumann (2009) threw five shutout innings in a 3-2 win over the Las Vegas 51s. Earlier in the week, LHP John Lamb (2009) made the start Thursday and struck out two in four and 1/3 innings as the Chasers lost to the Salt Lake Bees.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)

The Naturals beat the San Antonio Missions 6-4 on Friday night as Andy Ferguson (2011) made the start. He upped his record to 11-9 by throwing six shutout innings and striking out nine. The save went to Mark Peterson (2012), his third save with Northwest Arkansas. On Thursday, Northwest Arkansas took a 4-2 loss to the Corpus Christi Hooks, but OF Brian Fletcher (2010) homered and OF Lane Adams (2011) and C Juan Graterol (2007) had two hits each.

Wilmington Blue Rocks (A Advanced)

Wilmington beat the Winston-Salem Dash 6-5 in 10 innings on Saturday, and C Cam Gallagher (2012) hit a three-run home run in the first inning. On Friday, the Blue Rocks won 5-3 over the Dash, as Daniel Stumpf (2012) saved his second game and OF Bubba Starling (2012) walked twice and scored two runs.

INF Ramon Torres (2012) had two hits in a 4-1 loss to the Frederick Keys on Thursday.

Lexington Legends (A)

Lexington lost to the West Virginia Power on Saturday, with LHP Matt Tenuta (2013) taking the loss. The Legends did win Thursday’s series opener, with RHP Jake Junis (2012) winning the game to improve his record to 9-7 on the season.

Snapping the Skid? (Bluefield Series Preview)

It’s over. The Burlington Royals and Danville Braves have finished their five game series, and I don’t think anyone is happier to be done with the D-Braves than Burlington and manager Tommy Shields. Danville earned a rare five-game sweep over the Royals, with a few of the games coming in gut-wrenching fashion. Burlington led going to the bottom of the eighth inning in both the first and last games of the series, but the Braves came back for wins. Danville, the first place team in the Appalachian League’s East Division, utilized the series to push their lead out to 2.5 games over the second place Princeton Rays. As for Burlington, the Royals are now 22-33 with their “magic” elimination number at 6. Every time Burlington loses or Princeton wins, that number drops.

The good news for the Royals is that the fourth-place Bluefield Blue Jays will provide the opposition for the next three games. Bluefield is 27-29, 6.5 games behind first. Bluefield and Burlington have played six times already this year, three in Bluefield and three in Burlington. The Blue Jays have won five of the six meetings, with the lone Burlington win coming on Sunday, August 3 as the Royals scored five runs in the seventh and eighth innings to win 9-6. The Blue Jays won 11-7 in 12 innings the next day before a 7-4 win in the series finale.

Pitching Matchups

Sunday, 6:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Nik Stephenson (2-3, 2.45) vs. Bluefield RHP Conner Greene (1-1, 5.79)

Monday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Yunior Marte (2-3, 4.04) vs. Bluefield LHP Grayson Huffman (1-0, 1.00 in GCL)

Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Carter Hope (0-3, 4.25) vs. Bluefield TBD

Who’s Hot

Royals OF Logan Moon collected eight hits in the Danville series, and now has a batting average of .316, which places him seventh in the Appalachian League.

Follow the Games

All three games will be broadcast on the Burlington Royals Broadcast Network. Also, follow @BRoyals_Radio for updates!

Up Next

After this series, the Royals will have an off day Wednesday before hosting the Bristol Priates in a three-game series beginning Thursday.

 

That’s all, enjoy the series!

Matt

 

Royals Alumni Update: August 14

It’s been a few days since we did one of these, and there is some fairly significant news to pass along: OF Terrance Gore (2012) has been promoted to Class AAA Omaha. Gore is known for his speed, having stolen 36 bases this season with the Class A Advanced Wilmington Blue Rocks. Gore has already swiped five bags in seven games since the call-up.

On to other news…

Major Leagues

Salvador Perez (2008) and the first-place Kansas City Royals knocked off Oakland 3-0 on Wednesday. Perez had an RBI despite going 0-for-3. He was 1-for-2 with a double in KC’s 11-3 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday night.

RHP Kelvin Herrera (2008) has extended his scoreless streak to 16 straight appearances. He struck out two in Monday’s win over the Athletics in a scoreless inning.

OF David Lough (2007) had a hit in a pinch hit appearance against the New York Yankees on Monday in an 11-3 win for his Baltimore Orioles.

OF Wil Myers (2009) is rehabbing a wrist injury for the Tampa Bay Rays, currently playing at Class AAA Durham with the Bulls.

Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)

Gore’s callup will help spark the Chasers, who are tied for first place in their division in the Pacific Coast League.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)

RHP Mark Peterson (2012) picked up his second save since his call-up on Tuesday in a 4-3 win over the Corpus Christi Hooks. On Wednesday, RHP Christian Binford got the start, going six innings and allowing one run on three hits as the Naturals fell 6-5.

Wilmington Blue Rocks (A Advanced)

The Blue Rocks played a doubleheader on Wednesday against the Frederick Keys and won both games, 4-0 and 1-0. Daniel Stumpf (2012) earned the win in game two, upping his record to 3-8 on the season. OF Fred Ford (2012) homered in game one.

Lexington Legends (A)

The Legends have dropped ballgames at the Kannapolis Intimidators the past two days. C Chad Johnson (2012) had an RBI single in a 5-1 loss Tuesday and two hits in a 9-7 defeat on Wednesday.

From Dan Daniel Park on the Dan River in Danville… (Series Preview)

It’s the last series of the year between the Royals and Danville Braves. Burlington will enter this five-game (more on that later) set on a two-game winning streak thanks to a pair of wins over the Greeneville Astros on Monday and Tuesday. The D-Braves are trying to get back on their feet after a mighty tumble of late, losing six of their last eight. Danville now finds themself in second place in the Appalachian League East, a game behind the Princeton Rays.

This series will be “five” games due to the suspension of the Royals-Braves game on July 23 in Danville. That game lasted only four batters before rain interfered with the proceedings. The score is tied at 0-0 with two outs in the top of the first with Logan Moon at bat for the Royals and runners at first and second. That game’s resumption Wednesday at Dan Daniel Park will be followed by a seven-inning game. Thursday’s game will be in Burlington before games in Danville on Friday and Saturday.

So far this season, the season series is knotted at 3-3. The two teams split a four-game set in early July, with the Braves winning twice in Danville and the Royals winning twice in Burlington. In the two games that were completed in mid July, the Royals earned a road win, as did the Braves.

Pitching Matchups 

Wednesday, Game One, 5:00 p.m.: Burlington RHP Carter Hope (0-3, 4.71) vs. Danville RHP Alec Grosser (4-1, 2.92)

Wednesday, Game Two: Burlington TBD vs. Danville LHP Michael Flores (2-0, 3.38)

Thursday, 7:00 p.m.: Burlington RHP Scott Blewett (0-1, 2.93) vs. Danville RHP Max Povse (2-2, 3.81)

Friday, 7:00 p.m.: Burlington LHP Foster Griffin (0-1, 3.31) vs. Danville RHP Andry Ubiera (3-2, 3.33)

Saturday, 7:00 p.m.: Burlington RHP Corey Ray (1-2, 3.60) vs. Danville RHP Daniel Cordero (4-3, 4.30)

Who’s Hot

OF Leland Clemmons had a hot road trip that included a grand slam against Johnson City on Friday and a solo shot against Greeneville on Tuesday.

Follow the Games

Listen to all five games on the Burlington Royals Broadcast Network or follow @BRoyals_Radio on Twitter.

Up Next

After this, the Royals return home to host the Bluefield Blue Jays for a three-game set beginning Sunday.

 

That’s all, enjoy the series!

Matt

Star Gazing (Greeneville Series Preview)

Burlington Royals at Greeneville Astros, August 10-12, 2014, Pioneer Park, Greeneville, TN

The Burlington Royals will stay on the road to take on the Greeneville Astros. This is the second series of the year between the Astros and B-Royals, with Burlington sweeping the three games at Burlington Athletic Stadium. The Royals took a 5-1 win on June 28, an 11-0 dominance on June 29 and closed out the series with an incredible 9-8 comeback, walk-off win on June 30.

Since that time, the Astros have played more consistent, and have risen to second place in the Appalachian League West. They are 25-22, two games behind the Elizabethton Twins. Manager Josh Bonifay’s squad is led in batting by OF Ydarqui Marte, who is hitting .280. Marte and C Jacob Nottingham are tied at three home runs, so Greeneville does not rely on power to win ballgames. Greeneville only played one of three scheduled games at the Pulaski Mariners in this past series due to rain in the area that washed out both Friday and Saturday’s games.

Pitching Matchups

Sunday, 6:00 p.m- Burlington RHP Corey Ray (1-2, 3.70)

Monday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Nik Stephenson (1-3, 2.59)

Monday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Yunior Marte (1-3, 4.58)

Who’s Hot

OF Logan Moon was 3-for-3 in the series finale against Johnson City on Saturday.

Follow the Games

Tune in to the Astros’ radio call here. You can also follow along on Twitter @BRoyals_Radio.

Up Next

The Royals will play an (almost) five game series with the Danville Braves beginning Wednesday. The series begins with a resumption of a suspended game from July 23. Wednesday, Friday and Saturday will be in Danville and Thursday’s game will be in Burlington.

 

That’s all, enjoy the series!

Matt

Royals Alumni Update: August 8

Once again, we’ve hit the second day of a series. As we did last update, we approach this with a sort of “back to the future” mentality. Former Burlington Royal OF Lane Adams (2011) spent three games with the B-Royals this week as he rehabbed an injured wrist. Adams played center field and hit leadoff, providing a major spark to the Burlington lineup as he went 5-for-10 with two doubles and two triples. Joining Adams in Burlington is OF Brian Fletcher (2010), who is rehabbing an ankle injury. Fletcher is only 1-for-8 so far in limited action with the B-Royals, but he had not played in a game since May and is on a gradual schedule.

On to the other guys who have left Burlington and are not back…

Major Leagues

Salvador Perez (2008) went 3-for-5 on Tuesday for the Royals against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He homered, drove in three and scored two runs in the Royals’ 12-2 win. Perez also collected a hit in a 6-2 win last night to conclude the series.

RHP Kelvin Herrera (2008) is pitching lights-out for Kansas City. He has now logged 14 straight scoreless outings out of the Royals’ bullpen, the most recent of which came Wednesday night in Arizona. Read about his ascent here.

OF David Lough (2007) got a start on Wednesday for the Baltimore Orioles against the Toronto Blue Jays. He went 0-for-3.

OF Wil Myers (2009) is beginning a rehab stint for the Tampa Bay Rays. He will rehab with the Class AAA Durham Bulls, who are home this weekend. If you’re in the area, make the short trip down I-40 and check out this former Burlington Royal as he rehabs his injured wrist.

Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA)

The Chasers continue to bounce back and forth with the Iowa Cubs for first place in the Pacific Coast League’s American Conference, Northern Division.  As of now, Omaha is 1/2 game behind. In a 7-4 loss to the I-Cubs on Tuesday, Buddy Baumann (2009) took the loss to drop to 1-3.

Northwest Arkansas Naturals (AA)

The Naturals, now with Adams back on board, dropped a game to the Corpus Christi Hooks on Thursday 7-2. Christian Binford (2012) took the loss on the mound, allowing seven runs on 10 hits and two walks, but struck out four in six and 2/3 innings. Both Naturals runs scored on an RBI single by C Juan Graterol (2007).

The day before, Northwest Arkansas won 9-8 over the Hooks. Graterol and INF Mark Threlkeld (2012) had two hits each and Mark Peterson earned his first AA save after 22 with Class A Advanced Wilmington.

Wilmington Blue Rocks (A Advanced)

The Blue Rocks lost 5-1 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on Thursday. INF Ramon Torres (2012) had a double, a triple and scored a run. The result was similar to Wednesday’s, a 5-0 Blue Rocks loss. Yender Camaro and John Walter (both 2012) did not allow a run in one and two innings out of the bullpen, respectively. OF Bubba Starling (2012) had a single. In a 2-0 loss in the series opener on Tuesday, Torres had two hits.

Lexington Legends (A)

Lexington won 2-1 over the Greenville Drive in 10 innings on Thursday courtesy of a single by OF Dominique Taylor, who was with the B-Royals for four rehab games last month. He drove in INF Humberto Arteaga (2012). Arteaga had an RBI in a 4-2 loss to the Rome Braves on Wednesday as well. C Chad Johnson (2012) scored the first run of Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to Rome.

 

Please note that this update will take a break on Monday and will return on Thursday, August 14.

On The Road Again (Johnson City Series Preview)

The Burlington Royals played three entertaining games against the Bluefield Blue Jays in the early part of this week, with a 9-6 comeback win Sunday leading into a 12-inning game on Monday that resulted in an 11-7 Blue Jays win. The Royals were up four with four outs to get, but a three-run homer from Rowdy Tellez and an RBI double by Richard Urena tied the game. After the two clubs traded runs in the 10th, CF Josh Almonte hit the go-ahead home run in the top of the 12th and the Blue Jays tacked on three insurance runs. Tuesday was a slow burial for the Royals as they gave up runs in five of nine innings to the Jays and never trailed by more than four, eventually losing 7-4.

Now, with the Royals back in fifth (last) place and six games out of first place and 5.5 games out of the second playoff spot, a sense of urgency overtakes the team. Only 22 games remain to be started, with two suspended-game conclusions as well. 5.5 games is certainly doable, but the Royals have to jump over three teams- Bluefield, Princeton and Pulaski, the same three that the Royals just went 3-5 against in a critical stretch. With those games in the rearview mirror, Burlington will embark on its second western road trip of the year. The Wagon Wheels are rolling to Johnson City, Tennessee (fun fact: the Cumberland Gap is actually well west of Johnson City) to face the Johnson City Cardinals.

Burlington and Johnson City have met three times already this year at Burlington Athletic Stadium, with the Royals winning two of the three. On July 12, Foster Griffin and Julio Pinto dazzled, throwing a two-hitter in a 3-1 win. A day later, Logan Moon hit two homers and the Royals won 10-1. Johnson City took a 9-4 win in the series finale in the infamous Chase Vallot obstruction game that saw Royals skipper Tommy Shields get thrown out.

Johnson City is now 22-22, two games better than the Royals. They are three games behind the Elizabethton Twins in the Western division, and one game behind the Greeneville Astros for the second playoff spot. C Jose Godoy leads the Cardinals with a .344 batting average, but 2B Casey Turgeon is only one point back at .343 and has 44 more at-bats.

Pitching Matchups

Thursday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Carter Hope (0-3, 4.60) vs. Johnson City RHP Dailyn Martinez (3-2, 4.71)

Friday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington RHP Scott Blewett (0-1, 1.69) vs. Johnson City RHP Landon Beck (1-0, 3.45)

Saturday, 7:00 p.m.- Burlington LHP Foster Griffin (0-0, 1.26) vs. Johnson City RHP Julio Mateo (1-0, 0.00)

Who’s Hot

OF Lane Adams, who rehabbed with the Royals in the past three games, was an impressive 5-for-10 with two doubles and two triples. Sadly for Burlington, he’s gone off to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.

3B Manny Olloque started all three games with the Royals in the Bluefield series, and collected six hits. Olloque is finally healthy, and his playing time is increasing.

Follow the Games

Check out the Johnson City broadcasts from Houston Stutz here. Also, you can follow along on Twitter @BRoyals_Radio.

Up Next

The Royals will stay on the road to face the Greeneville Astros from Sunday through Tuesday.

 

That’s all, enjoy the series!

Matt

Pat O’Conner Interviews

On Tuesday, August 5, Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner stopped by the Burlington Royals-Bluefield Blue Jays game. Here’s a pair of interviews with him- a pregame chat about Minor League Baseball as a whole, and an in-game visit about his personal role within MiLB and his travels.

Pregame Interview


In-Game Interview

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