The KC Royals went 6-1 last week, but are still in last place in the American League Central and have the worst record in the AL (tied with Oakland). The Royals will enjoy today off before playing three games against the NY Yankees at Kauffman Stadium.
Jake Junis was back up again on Tuesday in Tampa Bay and he earned his first big league victory, as the Royals won in 12 innings. The Royals then made a flurry of moves, with relievers Seth Maness and Al Alburquerque joining the club. Maness made his debut on Saturday, allowing a home run to Chris Davis in the sixth (the Royals came back to win and he was credited with the victory). Alburquerque made his debut in TB on Thursday, throwing a scoreless inning. He allowed two runs on a hit and a walk on Sunday against Baltimore (both runs scored after he was pulled).
Junis was back with Triple-A Omaha in Las Vegas and made the start on Saturday night (6.1IP, 6H, R, 3BB, 9K).
Triple-A Omaha went 4-2 last week, as they swept Las Vegas in four games over the weekend. The Storm Chasers are now 18-17, 4.5 games back in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (tied for second place). After enjoying today off, they will play eight games in seven days at home.
Outfielder Terrance Gore was promoted from Double-A and went 3-for-10 with two walks, an RBI, five runs scored, and two stolen bases in four games. Pitcher Yender Caramo returned to pitch in two games (4IP, 3H, R, 0BB, K).
Double-A NW Arkansas went 2-4 last week, as they were swept at home in four games by Tulsa. The Naturals are 18-16 and tied for first place in the Texas League North Division. They begin an eight-game road trip tonight at Arkansas.
Outfielder Elier Hernandez was promoted from High-A and went 2-for-12 with a walk and a run scored in three games. Infielder Carlos Diaz returned (0-for-4 in two games), as fellow infielder Jack Lopez was “sent” to rookie ball.
High-A Wilmington went 5-2 last week, as they swept a three-game series over the weekend (their first home series victory of the season). The Blue Rocks are still in last place in the Carolina League Northern Division at 17-20. They now begin an eight-game road trip against division rivals Potomac and Frederick and could move into second place by winning both series.
First baseman Chris DeVito was promoted from Low-A, where he leads the league in all three triple crown categories: batting average (.347), home runs (11), and RBIs (38). In four games so far with the Blue Rocks, DeVito is 6-for-14 with a double, a walk, two RBIs, and three runs scored. He has struck out just once.
Low-A Lexington went 4-2 last week and are now 16-21 overall (eight games back in the South Atlantic League Southern Division). The Legends have won three in a row and continue their series in Augusta tonight.
The Legends received first baseman Joe Dudek from extended spring training and he went 4-for-14 in four games with a double, four runs scored, and three RBIs. They also received pitchers Matthew Wynne and Anthony Bender from extended spring training to replace starters Gerson Garabito and Nolan Watson (who were “sent” to rookie ball). Wynne earned the victory in relief on Saturday, though he allowed a run on two hits in his one inning of work. Bender earned the save on Sunday, pitching three scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
*The Blue Rocks sure could use a starter.
Now to the awards…
Royals Hitter of the Week: The Royals offense is starting to come alive, with the middle of the order doing the most damage. Lorenzo Cain went 11-for-24 (.458) with two doubles, three RBIs, and four runs scored. First baseman Eric Hosmer continued his second week of hot hitting, going 12-for-29 (.414) with three doubles, two RBIs, and four runs scored. Catcher Salvador Perez went 10-for-21 (.476) with two doubles, a home run, six RBIs, and three runs scored.
Royals Pitcher of the Week: Starter Jason Vargas continues to dominate the American League. In one start last week (against TB), he allowed three hits and a walk while striking out four over seven scoreless innings. Vargas improved to 5-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.01.
Minor League Hitter of the Week: It is hard to argue with a 29-game on-base streak and that is exactly what Blue Rocks outfielder Anderson Miller is in the middle of. While earlier in the streak he was just getting on base, now he is starting to hit. Miller went 10-for-24 (.417) last week with a double, two home runs, six runs scored, and six RBIs. He also stole two bases and walked four times (compared to just two strikeouts).
Honorable Mention: Naturals shortstop Humberto Arteaga is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak. Last week, he went 9-for-15 (.600) with a double, two RBIs, and a run scored. Just like last year, Arteaga struggled in April and the start of May, but has begun to heat up (13 for his last 23 to raise his average to .280, after hitting .217 in April).
Minor League Pitcher of the Week: It had been a rough go in Double-A for starter Matt Tenuta to start the season, but he seems to have figured it out (at least in his last two starts). For the first time this season, he lasted more than 4.1 innings and he did that in back-to-back starts. Over 12 innings in two starts last week (six innings in each), Tenuta allowed two runs on 11 hits and a walk while striking out ten.
*I’ll be on vacation starting tomorrow, so there will not be a recap and awards post for next week (week 7). I’ll be back at it the following week.