Series of firsts for former Royals

Former KC Royals dot the baseball landscape and there were quite a few firsts for those former players.

The latest will be when right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon makes his Major League debut with Atlanta. Marimon, who had spent his entire career with the Royals before signing with Atlanta this offseason, was called up on Monday. The Braves expect him to be their long reliever after a solid eight year starting career with the Royals. Marimon is a native of Columbia, where he and Braves ace Julio Teheran grew up together. Marimon made one appearance for Triple-A Gwinnett and threw three perfect innings with two strikeouts.

Infielder Pedro Ciriaco was told he made his first Opening Day roster with the Braves the Saturday before the season opened. Less than 24 hours later, the Braves traded All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel and decided to send Ciriaco to the minors. In Triple-A, he is 7-for-22 (.318) with a double, three runs scored, and four RBIs.

Kyle Davies was supposed to start this weekend for Triple-A Scranton, but instead found himself pitching at Yankee Stadium, in the big leagues for the first time since 2011. The NY Yankees needed a fresh arm and Davies gave them just that. He threw 2.1 scoreless innings of relief on Sunday, while allowing three hits and striking out two. However, he was then designated for assignment to make room for another fresh arm.

Royals infielder Johnny Giavotella during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

Royals infielder Johnny Giavotella during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

Infielder Johnny Giavotella, who was never really given a chance with the Royals, earned the LA Angels starting second base job. Thus, he was on his first Opening Day roster. Gio is currently hitting .300 (6-for-20) with a walk. Over the weekend with the Royals in town, he received his American League Champions ring and went 0-for-7 at the plate with a run scored.

Clint Robinson also earned his first Opening Day roster spot, but with Washington. He made just his second Major League start last Thursday in left field, the same day his good friend Paulo Orlando made his first ever start (also in left field). Overall, Robinson has gone 5-for-14 (.357) with a double, triple, an RBI, and two runs scored.

On Saturday, Cleveland lost starting catcher Yan Gomes to a knee injury. In need of a backup catcher, the Indians are expected to call on one of two former Royals at their Triple-A affiliate in Columbus. That would be Brett Hayes, who was the Royals backup catcher for most of last season and has gone 0-for-5 in two games this season with the Clippers.

The other catcher with Columbus is Adam Moore. He is currently 1-for-8 this season with a run scored.

Hayes caught former Royal Bruce Chen on Opening Night for the Clippers. He earned the win, as he threw six scoreless innings. Chen allowed three hits and walked one while striking out three. He is scheduled to pitch one of the games of the Clippers doubleheader today.

Justin Maxwell made the SF Giants Opening Day roster, the team he grew up rooting for. Maxwell was a non-roster invitee, but hit well over .300 this spring. While he is being used as a bench player with Hunter Pence being out, he did provide some heroics in the top of the 12th inning against San Diego last Thursday. His pinch-hit RBI single proved to be the game winner. Two days later, Maxwell drove in one of the Giants’ two runs.

KC Royals outfielder Carlos Peguero during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

KC Royals outfielder Carlos Peguero during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

With the injuries piling up once again for Texas, they called up outfielder Carlos Peguero from Triple-A Round Rock, where he was 4-for-6 with a double, triple, walk, and two runs scored. Peguero has played in the last three games for the Rangers, going 4-for-10 with three walks, two runs scored, and an RBI.

Peguero’s teammate in Round Rock was right-handed reliever Spencer Patton. He has made one appearance so far and that came on Opening Night. Patton allowed three hits and walked one over 1.1 scoreless innings. He struck out two.

With all the injuries to the TB Rays pitching staff, lefty Everett Teaford (back from Korea) was so close to making the roster. Instead, he headed to Triple-A Durham to give the Rays depth. Teaford made the start for the Bulls on Friday night, pitching five scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, walked one, and hit a batter.

After not being able to advance in the Royals farm system, right-hander Tim Melville seems to have found life with Detroit. In big league camp and hanging out with the likes of David Price and Justin Verlander seems to have paid off. Melville made the Saturday start for Triple-A Toledo, but it was more of what Royals fans had come to expect from him. He allowed four runs on five hits (a homer) and three walks over four innings. He did strike out five.

Lefty Kyle Bartsch was surprisingly assigned to High-A Lake Elsinore out of his first spring training with SD (I thought after last year’s second half he was headed to Double-A). Bartsch struggled in his first appearance with the Storm on Opening Night (just like he did last season). However, he bounced back in his one inning on Sunday. Overall, he has allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over two innings. He has struck out four.

Two Royals relievers were traded at the end of spring training. One was Angel Baez, who was traded to Houston and assigned to prospect-laden Corpus Christi (Double-A). He earned the save on Opening Night, pitching three innings. He allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out two. However, the Hooks have too many players, so he was placed on the temporarily inactive list following the game and should be activated again soon.

Andrew Triggs was traded to Baltimore and assigned to Double-A Bowie. In his first game with the Baysox, he took the loss in their 14 inning Opening Night marathon (1.1 IP, 3H, R, BB, K). However, Triggs bounced back on Sunday with two scoreless innings of relief (two hits).

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About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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