Spring Training Final Day

My final day in Arizona took me to Peoria to the backfields on the San Diego side (the Padres share the complex with Seattle). Do not ask me what the final scores were because neither field had a scoreboard.

Jonathan Dziedzic

Jonathan Dziedzic during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

The KC Royals upper levels were playing the Padres. Jonathan Dziedzic started the Triple-A game, while Christian Binford started the Double-A game (both pitched on Sunday).

I watched the first two innings of the Triple-A game and Dziedzic struggled right away. He allowed a leadoff single to Carlos Asuaje and then Andrew Cashner (big league pitcher) sacrificed him to second. Dziedzic then got a fly out before Padres prospect Hunter Renfroe singled him in. A ground out ended the inning, though he threw a lot of pitches.

In the second, Dziedzic induced two ground outs before Cashner singled down the first base line (he stayed in to run the bases). Another ground out ended the inning.

On offense, Ramon Torres led off by grounding back to the pitcher. Brett Eibner (who has been struggling) singled past the second baseman. After Jorge Bonifacio flied out, Jose Martinez doubled over the left fielder’s head to drive in a run. Balbino Fuenmayor followed with an RBI single to right-center.

In the second, Cheslor Cuthbert doubled into the left-center gap on an 0-2 pitch. After Hunter Dozier flied out, Parker Morin singled in a run. Zane Evans blooped a single into center and Dusty Coleman loaded the bases with a single to right field. Up came Torres, who doubled in two runs with a double over the right fielder’s head. Eibner popped up behind the plate to end the inning.


Now to the Double-A game….

I headed over to this field in the fourth. Bubba Starling led off with a pop up on the infield. Mauricio Ramos hit a bouncer through the 5-6 hole for a single. Elier Hernandez followed with a single past the third baseman. Even after a wild pitch, the Royals could not score because back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.

The Padres got a run on the board in the bottom of the inning when Nick Schulz homered off Binford.

In the fifth, Mike Hill (who caught the final four innings) singled on a 3-2 count down the left field line. Carlos Garcia (playing second base) flied out to shallow left field. Orlando Calixte singled to left and Dominique Taylor flied out to right (Hill moved up to third base). However, Ryan O’Hearn grounded out to end the inning.

Jake Junis

Blue Rocks starter Jake Junis on September 7, 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Jake Junis entered in relief in the sixth and pitched the final four innings. The first batter he faced singled to left-center. After a pop up on the infield, the base runner stole second base and took third on the throwing error. Junis rebounded by getting another fly out and a strike out of Schulz.

In the top of the seventh, Alfredo Escalera led off the inning with a single past the shortstop and then he stole second base. After Chad Johnson flied out, Hill singled right through the first baseman in a long at-bat to score a run. Hill stole second base and Garcia walked. Calixte drove in a run with a single (inning over).

Junis got a pop up in shallow left field for the first out before a ground-rule double into the right-center field gap started the bottom of the seventh. Junis walked the next batter in a long at-bat and his defense couldn’t turn a double play (in another long AB) that scored a run. However, the inning ended on a caught stealing on a perfect throw to second base by Hill.


Back to the Triple-A game…

Matt Alvarez relieved Dziedzic in the fourth and inherited runners. Cashner laid down another sac bunt. Then a hard liner back at Alvarez took off his glove but he recovered to get the out. A ground out ended the inning.

Kevin McCarthy

Blue Rocks reliever Kevin McCarthy pitching on July 26, 2015 (Jen Nevius).

Fast forward to the sixth, when Kevin McCarthy entered in relief. He allowed two runs in the sixth. The seventh started with two ground outs to shortstop. Then he allowed a bloop single down the left field line. Another ground ball to shortstop (Coleman) was thrown away, putting both runners in scoring position. McCarthy escaped by getting a fly out.

Brian Flynn made his first minor league appearance this spring by walking the first batter he faced. He would walk two in the inning, but an inning ending double play got him out of it.

Fellow lefty Scott Alexander, just back from big league camp, also walked two in the ninth. However, he struck out the side.


Now I’ll be heading back home to Jersey in the morning. I will miss the Arizona weather though. And the baseball.

You can look for photos and videos to be posted on this site’s facebook page next week.


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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