Week 8 Recap and Awards

The KC Royals went 3-3 last week, but still are in last place in the American League Central at 21-28. They still have the worst record in the AL (third worst overall). The Royals begin a ten-game homestand today, beginning with division rival Detroit.

Three players on the DL began rehab assignments in the minors this week. Third baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier began play on Tuesday night for High-A Wilmington. In three games there (one at third base and two in right field), Dozier went 4-for-11 with a double, a walk, an RBI, a run scored, and six strikeouts.

TROPHYLefty reliever Scott Alexander pitched on Friday night for Triple-A Omaha, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in one inning of work. Fellow lefty Brian Flynn made his season debut with Omaha on Saturday. He allowed a hit and struck out one in an inning of work.

Speaking of Triple-A Omaha, they went 5-2 last week, but are still 3.5 games back in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division at 26-23. The Storm Chasers have won four in a row and continue their series with Round Rock this afternoon.

There were a bunch of roster moves on Monday that involved Omaha, as they received both starter Jake Junis and infielder Raul Mondesi back from brief big league stints. Junis made the start on Friday night for the Storm Chasers, allowing just two hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings. He took the no decision while striking out 12. Mondesi has a hit in each game since his demotion (11-for-27 with a double, two triples, 8 RBIs, and seven runs scored). Mondesi also has four stolen bases. Reliever Al Alburquerque was designated for assignment and accepted that assignment. He pitched on Saturday, allowing a hit and striking out one in his inning of work.

Catcher Brayan Pena was activated from the DL over the weekend and went 0-for-2 with a walk on Sunday.

Double-A NW Arkansas went 3-4 last week, but are tied for first place in the Texas League North Division (25-23 overall). The Naturals will enjoy this Memorial Day off before heading out on the road for six games, beginning in Frisco Tuesday night.

Catcher Allan de San Miguel was placed on the DL following a knee injury and fellow catcher Luis Villegas was activated to take his place. Villegas made his season debut on Thursday (he has gone 0-for-7 with two strikeouts in two games). Catcher Parker Morin was added to the roster from Omaha over the weekend and he caught on Sunday, going 0-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored (Zane Evans was “sent” to extended spring training).

High-A Wilmington went 5-2 last week, but are still four games back in the Carolina League Northern Division (26-24). The Blue Rocks have won three in a row and look to win their series against Potomac this afternoon.

The Blue Rocks received reliever Andrew Edwards, who has been on Omaha’s DL since the beginning of April. Edwards appeared in two games last week: 4.1IP, 3H, R 3BB, 8K.

Reliever Gabe Cramer, who started the season in extended spring training, was placed on the DL. The Blue Rocks received Justin Camp from Low-A Lexington, who only pitched in two games there (4IP, H, 0R, BB, 5K).

Low-A Lexington went 5-2 last week and are seven games back in the South Atlantic League Southern Division (24-26). The Legends start a three-game road trip today in Asheville.

Outfielder Nick Heath made his season debut on Wednesday, but played in just two games before heading to the DL. The Legends received fellow outfielder Rudy Martin from extended spring training and he made his season debut in Sunday’s doubleheader (2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored).

 

Now to the awards…

 

Royals Hitter of the Week: Second baseman Whit Merrifield went 8-for-19 (.421) last week with a solo home run, two walks, and three runs scored. He also stole two bases.

Royals Pitcher of the Week: The Royals bullpen continues to be a strength, as closer Kelvin Herrera went 2-for-2 in save opportunities last week (three strikeouts). Lefty Mike Minor pitched three scoreless innings with four strikeouts and right-hander Peter Moylan pitched two hitless innings.

 

Nicky Lopez

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

Minor League Hitter of the Week: Blue Rocks shortstop Nicky Lopez has been on a tear, as he is now fourth in the Carolina League in hitting. He is in the midst of an eight-game hitting streak and a 27-game on-base streak. Lopez went 9-for-22 last week with two triples, a home run, six runs scored, and four RBIs. He walked six times and struck out just three times. Oh and Lopez stole three bases.

Minor League Pitcher of the Week: Legends starter Andre Davis threw a complete game in Sunday’s second game of their doubleheader. In picking up the win, he allowed a run on five hits while striking out 11 in seven innings. Davis also started on Tuesday, in a game that was suspended (2IP, 2H, 0R 0BB, 2K).

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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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