The KC Royals continue to make their move in the American League Central, as they went 4-2 last week. At 37-37, the Royals are just 2.5 games back of first place. After enjoying today off, the Royals will head to Detroit for three games.
Earlier in the week, the Royals promoted reliever Kevin McCarthy from Triple-A Omaha and sent starter Eric Skoglund back to Omaha. KMac pitched twice last week, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks over three innings. He struck out one. Skoglund made the start for Omaha on Thursday and allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. He struck out two.
On Friday, the Royals signed reliever Neftali Feliz. They then designated Chris Young for assignment. Feliz made his Royals debut on Sunday, allowing a run on two hits in an inning of relief.
Triple-A Omaha went 3-3 last week. With a record of 37-36, the Storm Chasers are still in third place in the Pacific Coast League American Northern Division (six games back). They begin a four-game series in Colorado Springs tonight, with Skoglund making the start.
Lefty Danny Duffy made his first rehab start for Omaha on Saturday, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk over 2.2 innings. He struck out three, but allowed a home run.
Pitcher Miguel Almonte came off the DL and has moved to the bullpen. In two relief appearances last week, he allowed two hits and a walk over three scoreless innings. He struck out two.
Reliever Mark Peterson was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and assigned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has yet to pitch.
Double-A NW Arkansas began the Texas League’s second half on Tuesday and have gone 3-3 so far. The Naturals are currently one game back in the North Division as they begin their three day All-Star break. The TL ASG will be played in Frisco Tuesday night with the Naturals having five representatives (shortstop Humberto Arteaga, infielder Jack Lopez, first baseman Samir Duenez, and relievers Jake Newberry and Sam Selman) and the coaching staff.
High-A Wilmington began the Carolina League’s second half by going just 1-3 in Salem. The Blue Rocks continue their road trip with four games beginning tonight in Frederick.
South Atlantic League All-Star Grant Gavin (though he did not pitch in the rain-shortened game) was promoted to Wilmington and made his High-A debut on Saturday. He struck out one over 2/3 of an inning.
Lefty starter Colin Rodgers was placed on the DL, as Colton Frabasilio was added back to the roster. Outfielder Kort Peterson was placed on the DL on Sunday (he was injured on Friday night), as fellow outfielder Brandon Downes once again returned from the DL. Downes went 1-for-4 yesterday with a home run (his fifth in 13 games).
Low-A Lexington started the South Atlantic League’s second half, going 2-2. The Legends return home for four games against Columbia beginning tonight.
Reliever Justin Camp returned from Wilmington, throwing two scoreless innings on Thursday. He struck out three. Catcher Luis Villegas joined the Legends, catching the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He went 0-for-3. To make room for Villegas, the Legends sent pitcher Geoffrey Bramblett to rookie level Idaho Falls. Bramblett pitched on Saturday, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk over 3.1 innings of relief.
The rookie level seasons have begun.
Idaho Falls went 4-3 to start the Pioneer League season. Last year’s 25th round pick Robby Rinn is off to a hot start, going 14-for-31 (.452) with three doubles, two home runs, 14 RBIs, and six runs scored. Rinn has walked five times compared to just two strikeouts. Outfielder Amalani Fukofuka is back with the Chukars after starting the season with Lexington. So far, he has gone 11-for-29 (.379) with three doubles, three homers, and nine RBIs. Right-hander Randy Acevedo has pitched twice out of the Chukars bullpen. Over eight innings, he has allowed three runs (two earned) on 14 hits and a walk while striking out four.
Burlington went 0-3 to start the Appalachian League season. Dennicher Carrasco has gone 4-for-12 to start the season with a home run and two RBIs. Michael Gigliotti, the Royals fourth round pick a week ago, has gone 3-for-11 with two home runs and three RBIs. 19th round pick last year Tyler Fallwell allowed two unearned runs on two hits and a walk over 2.1 innings on Thursday.
The AZL Royals opened the season on Sunday, going 1-0. Catcher turned pitcher Zane Evans allowed two hits and struck out one in his debut (one inning). First round pick Nick Pratto went 0-for-3 with a walk, a run scored, and two strikeouts.
Now to the awards…
Royals Hitter of the Week: It has been a rough season for soon-to-be free agent shortstop Alcides Escobar. However, this past week hopefully has jump started his offense. Esky went 8-for-21 (.381) with a double, a triple, four runs scored, and an RBI.
Honorable Mention: Catcher Salvador Perez went 6-for-18 (.333) with two doubles, a homer, and five RBIs.
Royals Pitchers of the Week: Closer Kelvin Herrera went a perfect 3-for-3 in save opportunities. Lefty Mike Minor has been outstanding all season (1.88 ERA over 31 games) and last week he pitched 4.1 scoreless innings. Minor allowed three hits, walked one, and struck out five. Fellow lefty Travis Wood has struggled all season (6.28 ERA over 25 games), but last week threw three scoreless innings.
Minor League Hitter of the Week: Storm Chasers shortstop Raul Mondesi has been on fire since his demotion from the big leagues in May. Last week, he went 10-for-21 (.476) with three doubles and a triple. Mondy scored four runs and drove in five.
Minor League Pitcher of the Week: Luke Farrell was dominant last week for Omaha, picking up two wins to improve to 7-3 on the season. Over 14 innings, he allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits (two home runs) and zero walks. Farrell struck out 18.
Honorable Mention: Foster Griffin went 2-0 last week to improve to 5-1 in Double-A. Over 12.2 innings, he allowed one run on 12 hits and three walks. Griffin struck out 12.