June 27th Minors Recap

Triple-A Omaha lost their doubleheader at Colorado Springs. In the first three games of the series, the Sky Sox have scored 38 runs (there are two more games left). YIKES!

omahaThe Storm Chasers lost the first game, 14-6. They led 6-3 before allowing 11 runs combined in the fifth and sixth innings.

Jonathan Dziedzic took the loss, as he allowed eight runs on ten hits and three walks over 4.1 innings. Seth Maness then allowed six runs on six hits and a walk over 1.2 innings.

Omaha collected nine hits and worked five walks, but went just 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. The bottom two in the order, Garin Cecchini and Terrance Gore, each had two hits. Gore doubled, drove in a run, and scored two runs.

The Storm Chasers lost the second game, 10-2.

Christian Binford took the loss, as he allowed all ten runs on 11 hits and a walk over 4.1 innings. He allowed three home runs that accounted for seven runs. On a positive note, Al Alburquerque threw 1.2 scoreless innings of relief. He allowed one hit and struck out three.

The Storm Chasers collected six hits, two each from Ryan O’Hearn and Dean Anna. O’Hearn doubled (his 17th) and scored a run.


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Texas League All-Star Game Recap

The Texas League held its All-Star Game in Frisco on Tuesday night, as the host South Division beat the North, 10-3. With the score tied at 3-3 in the fourth, the South scored seven runs.

tl asg logoDouble-A NW Arkansas had six representatives and all six got into the ASG. The Naturals three position players all started, with two of them playing the entire game.

Second baseman Jack Lopez batted second, going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He was also thrown out trying to steal second base. First baseman Samir Duenez batted sixth, going 0-for-2. Duenez was pinch-hit for in the 6th inning. Shortstop Humberto Arteaga batted ninth, going 0-for-3. Arty grounded into a double play.

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June 26th Minors Recap

There were quite a few roster moves in the KC Royals organization. The Royals activated lefty Brian Flynn from the 60-day DL, but optioned him to Triple-A. Fellow pitcher Nate Karns was placed on the 60-day DL.

Nicky Lopez

Blue Rocks shortstop Nicky Lopez on April 8, 2017 (Jen Nevius).

Despite being in the All-Star break, there were eight roster moves that had dealt with Double-A NW Arkansas. Four Wilmington All-Stars were promoted to the Naturals: shortstop Nicky Lopez, outfielder Anderson Miller, and relievers Yunior Marte and Richard Lovelady. It will be interesting to see who gets the bulk of the playing time at shortstop for NWA, as they now have two All-Stars to man that position (Lopez and Humberto Arteaga). These additions make a strong case for a championship run in the Texas League postseason.

To make room for the above foursome, four were sent to High-A Wilmington. They are lefty relievers Luis Rico and Tim Hill, outfielder Jose Sanchez, and utility fielder Carlos Diaz. The Blue Rocks lost four key players and gain two struggling relievers and two backup position players. Rico started the season in Wilmington, but has struggled since his promotion (a 7.33 ERA in 27 innings). Hill has a 5.94 ERA, but hasn’t given up a run since June 2nd (a span of six appearances). Sanchez has played in just 11 games this season (4-for-29) and Diaz was hitting just .200 in 21 games with the Naturals.

*I just found out today that Naturals reliever Pedro Fernandez was added to the North Division roster for the TL ASG. He joins five other Naturals plus the coaching staff for tomorrow night’s game.


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Week 13 Recap and Awards

The KC Royals continue to make their move in the American League Central, as they went 4-2 last week. At 37-37, the Royals are just 2.5 games back of first place. After enjoying today off, the Royals will head to Detroit for three games.

Earlier in the week, the Royals promoted reliever Kevin McCarthy from Triple-A Omaha and sent starter Eric Skoglund back to Omaha. KMac pitched twice last week, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks over three innings. He struck out one. Skoglund made the start for Omaha on Thursday and allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. He struck out two.

On Friday, the Royals signed reliever Neftali Feliz. They then designated Chris Young for assignment. Feliz made his Royals debut on Sunday, allowing a run on two hits in an inning of relief.

TROPHYTriple-A Omaha went 3-3 last week. With a record of 37-36, the Storm Chasers are still in third place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (six games back). They begin a four-game series in Colorado Springs tonight, with Skoglund making the start.

Lefty Danny Duffy made his first rehab start for Omaha on Saturday, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. He struck out three, but allowed a home run.

Pitcher Miguel Almonte came off the DL and has moved to the bullpen. In two relief appearances last week, he allowed two hits and a walk over three scoreless innings. He struck out two.

Reliever Mark Peterson was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has yet to pitch.

Double-A NW Arkansas began the Texas League’s second half on Tuesday and have gone 3-3 so far. The Naturals are currently one game back in the North Division as they begin their three day All-Star break. The TL ASG will be played in Frisco Tuesday night with the Naturals having five representatives (shortstop Humberto Arteaga, infielder Jack Lopez, first baseman Samir Duenez, and relievers Jake Newberry and Sam Selman) and the coaching staff.

High-A Wilmington began the Carolina League’s second half by going just 1-3 in Salem. The Blue Rocks continue their road trip with four games beginning tonight in Frederick.

South Atlantic League All-Star Grant Gavin (though he did not pitch in the rain-shortened game) was promoted to Wilmington and made his High-A debut on Saturday. He struck out one over 2/3 of an inning.

Lefty starter Colin Rodgers was placed on the DL, as Colton Frabasilio was added back to the roster. Outfielder Kort Peterson was placed on the DL on Sunday (he was injured on Friday night), as fellow outfielder Brandon Downes once again returned from the DL. Downes went 1-for-4 yesterday with a home run (his fifth in 13 games).

Low-A Lexington started the South Atlantic League’s second half, going 2-2. The Legends return home for four games against Columbia beginning tonight.

Reliever Justin Camp returned from Wilmington, throwing two scoreless innings on Thursday. He struck out three. Catcher Luis Villegas joined the Legends, catching the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He went 0-for-3. To make room for Villegas, the Legends sent pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett to rookie level Idaho Falls. Bramblett pitched on Saturday, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk over 3.1 innings of relief.

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June 25th Minors Recap

Triple-A Omaha split their series with Memphis, as they won 5-3 on Sunday afternoon. The Storm Chasers now head to Colorado Springs for four games.

Luke Farrell

Right-hander Luke Farrell during spring training 2016 (Jen Nevius).

The Storm Chasers broke the scoreless tie in the third on a Jorge Soler double. He would later score on a Cam Gallagher one out single. Soler put the Storm Chasers up 5-1 in the fourth on a three-run home run.

That made a winner of Luke Farrell, who allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits (a solo home run) over six innings. He struck out nine, as he improved to 7-3 on the season.

Miguel Almonte made his second relief appearance since coming off the DL earlier this week. Over two scoreless innings, he allowed two hits and walked one.

The Storm Chasers had four players with two-hit games. Leadoff hitter Billy Burns went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Raul Mondesi also went 2-for-4. Bubba Starling went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. He committed an error that cost them a run, but also threw out a base runner at second base.


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June 24th Minors Recap

Triple-A Omaha lost to Memphis, 3-1.

Danny Duffy

The Royals Danny Duffy warming up in the bullpen in Baltimore on April 26, 2014 (Jen Nevius).

Lefty Danny Duffy made his first rehab start, lasting 2.2 innings. He allowed two hits and a walk. One of the hits was a two out, two-run home run in the 3rd inning. Duffy struck out three.

Yender Caramo followed and allowed a run on four hits and three walks over five innings. Al Alburquerque stranded two runners in the eighth (1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K).

The Storm Chasers out-hit the Redbirds, 9-6, but went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and struck out ten times. Raul Mondesi, Jorge Soler, and Brayan Pena each had two hits in the loss. All three doubled, Mondesi drove in a run, and Pena scored a run.

*Catcher Cam Gallagher was out of the lineup for the second straight game. He was pinch-hit for on Thursday. Also, reliever Mark Peterson was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies.


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Royals trade Peterson to Phillies

On Friday night (though it was not announced until Saturday), the KC Royals traded minor league pitcher Mark Peterson to the Philadelphia Phillies. Peterson, who was pitching out of the bullpen for Triple-A Omaha, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Mark Peterson

Reliever Mark Peterson pitching during spring training 2016 (Jen Nevius).

Peterson has been one of my favorites since watching him pitch in 2014 when he was a Carolina League All-Star with High-A Wilmington. In that season, he led the CL in saves with 22 (and had an ERA of just 1.31), despite moving up to Double-A in July.

Peterson, a non-drafted free agent signed out of Radford in 2012, has had his struggles in Triple-A. Outside of that, he has been pretty dominant. In his career, he has a 2.86 ERA over 197 games (totaling 299.1 innings). He has walked 107, struck out 232, and opponents have hit .245 against him.

It may also have to do with the fact that when he is pitching late in games, he is at his best. While with Omaha, he was usually pitching in middle relief.

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