It was an abbreviated, yet successful week for the KC Royals, as they went 4-1 to start the season. They ended the week with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins.
On Friday night, the Royals rallied in the eighth. On Saturday night, Ian Kennedy made his Royals debut with 6.2 scoreless innings. The Royals offense backed Kennedy with three solo home runs. In the Sunday finale, the Royals walked off in ten innings, as pinch runner Terrance Gore scored on a wild pitch (after going first to third on an errant pickoff throw). The Royals had tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the ninth.
Triple-A Omaha went 2-2 against New Orleans to start the season. The Storm Chasers continue their homestand tonight beginning with four games against Round Rock. Brooks Pounders will make his first Triple-A start.
Double-A NW Arkansas went 1-3 to start the season and continue their homestand tonight against Midland. Eric Skoglund makes his Double-A debut tonight for the Naturals.
High-A Wilmington went 0-3 to start the season, after being swept by visiting Potomac. The Blue Rocks continue their homestand tonight as they welcome Carolina to town for three games (weather permitting).
Low-A Lexington went 3-1 to start the season (all against visiting Lakewood). The Legends continue their homestand tonight as they welcome Augusta to town for three games.
Now to the awards…
Royals Player of the Week: In spring training, Omar Infante won the starting second base job. He has started the season off right. Infante went 4-for-13 (.308) with a double and two RBIs. His sac fly on Friday in the 8th inning proved to be the game winner.
Royals Pitcher of the Week: Edinson Volquez pitched like an ace in two starts last week. Over 11.2 innings, he allowed two runs on ten hits and three walks. Volquez struck out 15.
Honorable Mention: Lefty Danny Duffy could turn into a key cog in the already mighty Royals bullpen. In two games last week, he allowed three hits and walked one over three scoreless innings. He struck out two and stranded two inherited runners.
Minor League Player of the Week: This was a tough one, especially with Omaha and Lexington’s offense clicking over the first four games. I am going to go with the Legends duo of Chase Vallot and Ben Johnson. Vallot went 7-for-14 with three doubles and four RBIs. He also walked four times compared to five strikeouts. Johnson went 5-for-13 (.385) with a double, a triple, and seven RBIs. He walked three times compared to two strikeouts.
Honorable Mention: Omaha third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert and NWA infielder Raul Mondesi. Cuthbert went 8-for-16 with a double, a homer, and eight RBIs. However, he committed three errors at third base. Mondesi went 5-for-16 (.313) with two home runs and three RBIs. However, he committed two errors at shortstop.
Minor League Pitcher of the Week: While many in the NWA bullpen struggled over the first four games, reliever Yender Caramo was not one of them. In two appearances (totaling 5.2 innings), he allowed an unearned run on two hits while striking out three. Caramo also induced nine ground outs.