Results tagged ‘ Josh Worrell ’

And Then There Was One

No matter what type of season it is, a baseball campaign always seems to fly by. Today marks the beginning of the 2010 Appalachian League’s final week.

When you get into the routine of a season, it is easy to dismiss the excitement and the pleasure that comes with the job. A friend asked me a few days ago a question that lingered with me for a while: “It must be cool to be calling a playoff chase in the minors, huh?”

Yes it is. No doubt about it.

For everyone who supports this club, it must be fun, whether you are a long time supporter of Burlington baseball and have not seen a playoff run in a while or you are a friend or family member supporting a young man gunning for his first playoff appearance at the affiliated level.

For me, with this being my first year in the minors as a broadcaster/blogger/writer/etc., it has been such a treat.

Now, without further ado, today’s Bullets.

BURLINGTON BULLETS:

  • There is little doubt that Burlington’s most consistent bat all year long has been Ryan Stovall. The ’09 19th-round selection leads the team with a .315 batting average. Throughout this season, which has taken him to both Burlingtons and Wilmington, Stovall is hitting .284 in 75 games. As Royals skipper Nelson Liriano always talks about, finishing strong is more important than starting fast. Over his last 10 games, Stovall is hitting .381 (16-for-42) with five RBIs and six runs.
  • His best evening of the season came last night, posting a 4-for-5 effort with a pair of runs. From a win-loss standpoint, last night’s game may have been Burlington’s most important victory, and Stovall knows it. “We’re trying to make a little, late playoff push,” Stovall said. “Pulaski’s got a good squad…but we took care of business, and it is a very big confidence boost.”
  • Just a few other notes on Stovall this year. There is verly little difference in his numbers against lefties (.324, 2 HR, 8 RBI) versus righties (.310, 2 HR, 15 RBI). When Burlington does not have anyone aboard, Stovall likes to get things going, as he is the owner of a .369 batting average with the bases empty. “He’s always a positive guy,” Liriano said. “When the game starts, he is 100 percent focused on the game, and he plays hard every single time. He hustles all the time, runs the bases hard…For us, he brings a lot because he does a lot on the field.”
  • Speaking of offense, the Royals stil aren’t crushing the baseball, and that’s the area that needs the mots improvement in the season’s final week according to the second-year manager. “[We need to] continue to swing at better pitches,” Liriano said. “Sometimes, we miss good pitches to hit in fastball counts. If we do that in the last seven days like we’ve been doing in the last three series, we’re going to win a lot of games.”
  • The Royals’ pitching staff continues to work wonders, and last night was no different with Jonathan Dooley’s five shutout innings. Throw out Jon Keck’s tough outing Sunday at Pulaski, and the other four starters worked 26 innings and allowed only one run. The rotation starts another go-around today with Crawford Simmons on the bump.
  • Former B-Royal Chas Byrne has struggled a little bit during his first week with low-A Burlington. The righty has given up four runs on three hits in two innings of work over the course of a pair of outings, both coming against Beloit.
  • Three other former Burlington boys are with the Bees. Reliever Josh Worrell is currently on the seven-day disabled list, but he has only surrendered one run over six innings. Fellow right-handed reliever Ryan Wood, who was only here for a short time, has allowed five runs in four and a third frames. And shortstop Alex McClure is hitting .242 (15-for-62) with six RBIs and ten runs.
  • With only seven games left, it is impossible to ignore the standings now. Burlington sits two games behind the Braves for second place. Danville isn’t far from the Royals, as the Braves are at Greeneville for a three-game set this week. Tonight, Ronan Pacheco (3-5, 6.50 ERA), who already lost to the Astros last Friday, will go up against Greeneville’s Euris Quezada (3-2, 5.33 ERA).
  • Don’t forget about those Princeton Rays. Michael Johns’ crew is only a half game behind the Royals and two and a half back of the Braves. But the Rays have a tough series at Johnson City, with Eliazer Suero (1-4, 3.10 ERA) going against the Cardinals’ Kevin Siegrist (3-2, 1.78 ERA) in the opener this evening.

Our pre-game coverage gets going at 6:30 with the “Royals Series Report,” as I had a chance to chat with Kingsport skipper and former big league catcher Mike DiFelice. Then, the Pre-Game Show brought to you by Best Western at 6:45, followed by first pitch at 7. Enjoy the broadcast!

- Brian

From Copperheads to Appy Leaguers

One of the many awesome aspects of being a broadcaster at various levels of sports is being able to watch former players progress further and further into the sport. Today is pretty cool because this will be the first player I see in this league from the team I used to cover. In 2008 and 2009, I was the “Voice of the Southern Ohio Copperheads.” The Copperheads are a summer collegiate league team in the Great Lakes League, located in Athens, Ohio. During my first summer, a guy by the name of Ricky Marshall, now a reliever for the Bristol White Sox, went 3-3 with a 2.56 ERA for the Copperheads.

Marshall, an Austin Peay hurler, is pictured here on the team website, right above my favorite coach in the Great Lakes League, Chris Moore. And according to White Sox skipper Ryan Newman, Marshall will probably pitch at some point during this series. If so, I promise there will be a couple funny stories to share from the comical and talented friend of mine.

Now for today’s Bullets on a cloudy Sunday from Boyce Cox Field.

BURLINGTON BULLETS:

  • With only 29 games left in the season, skipper Nelson Liriano knows one thing that he wants his team to work on down the stretch–solving the offensive woes, especially with men in scoring position. “I’d like to see, with men in scoring position, a little patience with our hitters,” Liriano said. “The pitchers have the problem, not the hitter. So just have a little patience and have a good swing.”
  • In the last two losses to Bluefield Friday and Saturday, Burlington went a combined 1-for-14 with men in scoring position. The only hit came in the first inning Saturday, when Ryan Jenkins brought in the Royals’ only two runs of the game on a single.
  • As promised, I had a chance to speak with new pitcher (and former Royal hitter) Ryan Wood. He switched positions earlier this season and worked four and a third innings in Surprise before returning to the Appy League. “It was kind of a mutual decision,” Wood said about the switch to pitching. “I was happy with it and I was excited to get going.”
  • Wood joins a pitching staff that is among the league’s best, boasting the third best ERA in the league at 3.20. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the…guys we have up here,” Wood said. “I’ve been impressed so far.”
  • Speaking of the bullpen, Josh Worrell is back with the club after a week with Kansas City’s advanced-A affiliate in Wilmington. He worked three shutout innings with the Blue Rocks in two appearances.
  • Burlington finishes the month of July with a record of 15-15 to put them right in the playoff chase in 2010. The Royals finish the season with 16 road games and 13 home games. And, as mentioned before, 14 of the final 26 (beginning Thursday) are against either Pulaski or Danville.

Our pre-game coverage begins with the sixth installment of the “Royals Rewind” at 6:30 p.m. First pitch is slated for 7, as Jonathan Dooley looks to win for the fourth time in his last five outings. As always, you can e-mail into the broadcast at burlingtonroyalsradio@gmail.com. Enjoy the broadcast!

- Brian

.400 is .400 Wherever You Do It

Jack Maloof, a current hitting coach within the Kansas City minor league system, hit .400 in his first season of minor league baseball in the New-York Penn League. He is currently here in Burlington working with the Royals during the three-game set with Bluefield. This season, Darrell Ceciliani of the Brooklyn Cyclones is giving Maloof’s mark a run, currently hitting .390 through 39 games. Ceciliani spent last season with the Kingsport Mets right here in the Appalachian League. There is a great write-up on both Maloof and Ceciliani HERE.

It was fun chatting with Maloof, who talked baseball with me for about 15 minutes after batting practice. He will head out Sunday and take in some games with the other rookie-advanced club within the organization–Idaho Falls.

I will attempt to hit .400 with the Thursday edition of the Bullets.

BURLINGTON BULLETS:

  • In the last eight days, Burlington has played 86 innings, or almost 11 innings a game. The Royals have played two 14-inning games and a 13-frame tilt since last Wednesday. “We are facing good pitchers and good teams,” skipper Nelson Liriano said. “That’s good when that happens. That means the players compete every pitch and every inning.”
  • Although this is only a 68-game season, there are many players who have been going at this since either extended spring training or the college season. With the heat staying strong and the season just past its midpoint, we have reached what the cool kids call the “dog days of the summer.” Responding to this part of the season is the key. “That’s what separates the good players from the bad players,” infielder Ryan Stovall said. “You just have to grind. And when it comes to that point, you just have to fight through it. And whoever does usually comes out in the end the winner.”
  • As mentioned previously on the blog, the schedule gets difficult once August rolls around. Burlington plays either Pulaski or Danville in 14 of the final 26 games. Before that span begins, the Royals play both last place clubs–Bluefield and Bristol. “We do look ahead a little bit,” Stovall said. “We saw we had this team coming up, and we played pretty good against them last time, and I hope we can do the same.” The Royals are 5-1 against Bluefield this season.
  • Daniel Hernandez is scheduled to throw another bullpen today after everything went well in his first session Monday. The plan is to have him start and throw one inning in a couple of weeks. If he is healthy enough, he will throw in instructional ball this fall.
  • Robert Penny is no longer starting for Burlington tomorrow against Bluefield. It will be Jon Keck per the organization’s request. But Penny will pitch tomorrow out of the bullpen. Either way, it will be the first switch within the rotation this season, which is pretty fortunate seeing as the Royals are halfway through the season.
  • Former Burlington Royal Josh Worrell made his debut with the Wilmington Blue Rocks Tuesday night and went a scoreless inning, scattering two hits.
  • Speaking of former Royals, Drew Robertson, now with the Burlington Bees, is hitting .179 with three runs batted in up in the Midwest League.
  • Big props to all of the kids who attended the game yesterday morning/afternoon. The cheering was almost constant, and many of them stuck it out for all 14 innings. Who says baseball doesn’t connect with the young people?

Hear from former Burlington Indian and current Bluefield skipper Einar Diaz during the “Royals Series Report,” which begins at 6:30 p.m. on burlingtonroyals.com. First pitch is set for 7 p.m. Enjoy the broadcast!

- Brian

The Year of the Pitcher

UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): The grounds crew is still working on the field, so we will not get this game going on time. The plan is to play the game but at a later time. For all the up-to-the-minute updates on the field and the broadcast start time, log on to our Twitter at http://twitter.com/BRoyalsKC

For the fifth time this season, a big league pitcher fired a no-hitter last night. Tampa Bay’s Matt Garza (a former Elizabethton Twin) allowed just one base runner, a second inning walk to the best-named player in the league–Brennan Boesch. Boesch was erased on a double play, so Garza faced the minumum.

It is the most no-nos since 1991, and there have been more during the first four months of the 2010 season than in ’08 and ’09 combined.

The Burlington Royals are contributing to the “Year of the Pitcher” in the Appalachian League. Some stats and moves, among other things, in today’s edition of the Bullets.

BURLINGTON BULLETS:

  • Burlington has made a switch in the rotation, with Michael Giovenco heading to the bullpen. Giovenco has surrendered 20 runs in his last three starts. Replacing him in the rotation is Robert Penny, who is on the opposite side of the spectrum. He has not given up a run since June 25, which is a span of 21 and two thirds innings.
  • Reliever Josh Worrell is heading to Wilmington to join the Blue Rocks’ bullpen. Wilmington is the advanced-A affiliate for Kansas City. Worrell went 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 14 innings of work here in the Appalachian League.
  • Worrell becomes the third Burlington Royal to earn a promotion during the season. After only a few games with the club, catcher Drew Robertson was sent to Burlington, Iowa, to join the Bees, KC’s A affiliate. Ryan Stovall also went to Wilmington, but his trip only lasted a few days before returning to Burlington.
  • Despite last night’s 5-1 loss, the Royals bullpen continued its stellar efforts. Over the last four games, the men in the ‘pen have allowed only one earned run in 23 and a third innings. “It’s really good when you know every night you are going to have good pitchers on the mound,” skipper Nelson Liriano said.
  • Every reliever has been a part of this four-game stretch, and it has helped push the Royals to a team ERA of 3.32, the third-best mark in the league. “Pitching and defense wins games,” reliever Chas Byrne said. “We’re just working really hard. All the pitchers are.”
  • But the offense has been struggling. Burlington is now ninth in the league in batting average (.242) and eighth in runs per game (4.4). The Royals have only scored 13 runs in their last five games, with the team posting just one win during that span. “Our weakness lately is the hitting,” Liriano said. “We need to score more runs.”
  • Break out the Bluefield Orioles. The O’s, the worst offensive team in the league, posted 11 runs to defeat Pulaski last night, which is a big help to the Royals.

Rain has passed through the area, but we should be set for baseball. Our pre-game coverage begins at 6:45 with the Pre-Game Show brought to you by Best Western. Enjoy the broadcast!

- Brian

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