Kansas City Royals News
9-26-16: The Royals moved their record back to two games above .500, as they registered 12 runs on 19 hits in Sunday’s rubber match victory at Detroit. Although Edinson Volquez allowed four runs in 2.2 innings on Sunday, Salvador Perez, Chelsor Cuthbert, Raul Mondesi and Alex Gordon each homered in the 12-9 win.
9-12-16: The Royals got Wade Davis back from the disabled list just in time for their weekend series at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, and he made his presence known, as he saved both of Kansas City’s victories. Although the Royals went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position on Sunday, they hit two solo home runs to win, 2-0.
8-30-16: On Monday, Kansas City continued to play well, as Dillon Gee threw six innings of one-run ball. Alcides Escobar homered for the fourth time this season. In addition, five other Royals drove in runs in their 8-5 win. The Royals look to finish their terrific August on a strong note with two more games against the visiting New York Yankees.
8-22-16: The Royals entered August with a record that was six games below .500, and with their eighth straight win on Sunday, they now own a record that is four games above .500 in 2016. On Sunday, Danny Duffy delivered his seventh consecutive quality start, as he threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball.
8-15-16: Paulo Orlando continued his hot streak with a home run and triple in Sunday’s rubber match, as he scored three runs and drove in three runs against the Twins in Minnesota. In addition, Lorenzo Cain went 4-for-4 and drove in three runs in the contest. The 57-60 Royals, who are finally having a strong month, next head to Detroit.
8-8-16: The Royals had a streaky week against opponents from the American League East, as they won two games, which was followed by three losses and back-to-back victories. On Saturday, Danny Duffy threw his fourth consecutive quality start, as the Royals won, 4-2. Then on Sunday, Yordano Ventura threw 6.2 innings of one-run ball, and Kansas City won the rubber match against the Blue Jays, 7-1.
8-1-16: The defending champions have fallen on hard times, as they lost yet another series. The Wade Davis-less Royals got Lorenzo Cain back, but he went 0-for-6 in his first two games in a month. Kansas City lost both of those contests in Arlington, as the Texas Rangers swept the Royals in the four-game series.
7-25-16: On Sunday, Kendrys Morales homered for the 16th time this season, as he gave the Royals a 1-0 lead against the visiting Texas Rangers. However, Kansas City did not score for the rest of the game, as the Royals lost the rubber match. Edinson Volquez threw six innings of one-run ball in the loss.
7-18-16: Yordano Ventura brought his ERA below 5.00 with seven innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts in Sunday’s rubber match, but his Royals did not have enough offense to beat the Detroit Tigers. Kelvin Herrera threw a scoreless inning, but Joakim Soria allowed Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s walk-off home run. The Royals will next head home for a nine-game homestand.
7-14-16: The Royals dominated the All-Star Game, as MVP Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez each homered en route to the American League’s victory. However, Kansas City will need to have a very strong second half of the season to take advantage of the home-field advantage in the World Series, as they have only three wins in July.
7-5-16: Last Wednesday, Lorenzo Cain strained his left hamstring on the base paths in St. Louis. Although he had to go on the disabled list, the Royals took three of four games from the Cardinals. However, Kansas City struggled in Philadelphia and did not start its series in Toronto on a strong note, as the Royals fell, 6-2.
6-29-16: The Royals activated Alex Gordon from the disabled list on Saturday after he missed more than a month; although he had struggled before his wrist injury, Gordon homered in his first game back. While Kansas City lost that contest, the team bounced back to win its next two games. However, the Royals lost on Tuesday after Yordano Ventura, who was returning from his suspension, allowed seven runs in 5.1 innings.
6-20-16: The Royals are coming on strong, as they won in walk-off fashion on Sunday to take the four-game series from the visiting Detroit Tigers. Third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert delivered the game-winning hit, and Chris Young pitched six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts in the Royals’ eighth win in their last nine tries.
4-20-16: The Royals have picked up right where they left off in 2016 and currently sit atop the A.L. Central at 9-4 on the season. Such a hot start hasn't appeared to factor into secondary market ticket sales, however, as the Royals own one of the cheapest ticket averages in the Majors. The average price for Kansas City Royals tickets on the secondary market over the team's remainin 75 games at Kauffman Stadium this season is just $78.85.
10-20-15: The Kansas City Royals own a 2-1 ALCS lead over the Toronto Blue Jays heading into Game 4 Tuesday afternoon. According to TicketIQ, the average secondary market price for Game 4 Blue Jays vs Royals tickets is $242.41 and the get-in price is $86. The series will extend to a Game 5 at Rogers Centre on Wednesday, where tickets average $267.86 and the cheapest ticket is listed for $96. The Blue Jays are looking to enter their first World Series since 1993 while the Royals have the opportunity to return to the Fall Classic after last year's seven-game series with the San Francisco Giants.
9-28-15: Although the Royals found out that Greg Holland could be done for all of 2016 due an ulnar collateral ligament tear, the Royals clinched their first American League Central title last week. On the day after Chris Young’s father died, Young pitched five no-hit innings and received the win in Sunday’s 3-0 victory over the visiting Cleveland Indians.
9-25-15: The Kansas City Royals are catching the injury bug at possibly the worst time in the season after watching Omar Infante and Alcides Escobar both start the week off by leaving the game prematurely. Escobar just has a contusion, also known as a bruise, but Infante has an oblique strain which could potentially end his 2015 season and leave the team scrambling for a replacement. Kansas City does have the option of calling up top prospect Raul Mondesi Jr. for the remainder of the season although the middle infielder would be ineligible for the postseason. Mondesi has not exactly pushed the issue with his call up this season only slashing .240/.279/.372 in 338 Double-A plate appearances but has been a strong defender and base runner while doing all the fundamentals well, also known as the Kansas City Royals way. The Royals cannot afford another injury after many inside the organization began to wonder about the health of recently acquired Johnny Cueto’s elbow. Cueto has struggled since coming over to the American League from the Cincinnati Reds and many wonder if his elbow is healthy and where his mindset is at this point of the season as the Royals streak towards the playoffs.
9-21-15: The Royals did not look good in their weekend series against the Detroit Tigers, as Kansas City lost on both Friday and Saturday. However, on Sunday, the Royals salvaged the final game of the series with a 10-3 drubbing of the Tigers. Kendrys Morales homered three times and Paulo Orlando added a two-run home run in the win.
9-18-15: The Kansas City Royals may be coasting into the postseason in 2015 after presumably winning a second consecutive American League Central Division title but that doesn’t mean everything is as it should be inside Kauffman Stadium. The Royals have voiced a legitimate concern with their closer Greg Holland as he has essentially fallen off the map of late. Holland has seen a significant dip in his velocity lately leading the team to give him a 10-day rest period with the hopes of revitalizing his arm. The 29-year old did not respond to the extra rest and has continued to struggle in the back end of games lately for Kansas City putting the team’s World Series hopes in serious trouble. Not only are the Royals worried about the remainder of the 2015 season but the team is also beginning to worry about the 2016 season as well as the team expects to pay out a significant raise to his $8.25 million salary in his final season of arbitration. With a team like Kansas City that has a relatively small payroll the team has to get the most value out of every single contract in order to compete. The team has dumped a ton of money into the bullpen with no one making more than Holland so the team hopes that their All-Star closer can turn things around before the calendar changes over to October.
9-14-15: Johnny Cueto continued to struggle in a Royals uniform, as he allowed eight runs in 6.1 innings in Sunday night’s rubber game at Baltimore. He allowed 11 hits, four of which were home runs, as he lost his fifth consecutive start. On the bright side, Kansas City has a 10-game lead in the American League Central standings.
9-11-15: The Kansas City Royals are basically coasting to the American League Central Division crown and can thankfully use the month of September as one big audition for the playoffs. The Royals want to bring the best 25 players with them into October and are in the unique situation that allows them to play their younger guys and prospects rather than their veterans every single game. This much was evident when the team decided to call up Joba Chamberlain and Louis Coleman from Triple-A to give them a shot in their bullpen. Chamberlain began the season with the Detroit Tigers but suffered from the same struggles that led him to fall out of grace with the club in the second half of the 2014 season and he was ultimately given his release before latching on with Kansas City on a minor league deal. Coleman on the other hand will be reaching the big leagues for the fifth straight season with the Royals and will look to add to his career 174.1 innings pitched, 3.25 ERA, 9.6 K/9 and 3.9 BB/9. Coleman and Chamberlain needed 40 man roster spots to come back to the big leagues and to accommodate the Royals designated both Dusty Coleman, no relation to Louis, and right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino. The need for a deeper bullpen may be caused by the struggles of Johnny Cueto who has posted a pedestrian 4.86 ERA in eight starts since being acquired before the July 31st trade deadline.
9-7-15: Mike Moustakas, who had just two at-bats in September before Sunday, looked like he has put his hamstring injury behind him. The Royals received a home run from him on Sunday, and Salvador Perez and Jerrod Dyson added homers as well. However, Johnny Cueto allowed five runs in three innings, as the Chicago White Sox completed the sweep of the Royals.
9-4-15: The Kansas City Royals started their week off by announcing their roster moves and September call ups this week. That list of players included left fielder Alex Gordon who was activated off the 15 day disabled list, catcher Francisco Pena, infielders Cheslor Cuthbert and Christian Colon, outfielder Terrance Gore and pitchers Miguel Almonte and Scott Alexander. Joining this group of roster call ups is outfielder Jonny Gomes who was acquired from the Atlanta Braves before the August 31st trade deadline. The Braves agreed to take on roughly half of salary still owed to Gomes for the remainder of the season, roughly $380K, while Kansas City will send minor league infielder Luis Valenzuela back to Atlanta to complete the trade. Gomes, who has pitched as recently as last week as a member of the Atlanta Braves, brings a .247/.412/.466 triple slash with him to Kansas City against left-handed pitching this season. Gomes will serve as a reserve outfielder for the Royals, platoon bat and bench piece for the playoff run that manager Ned Yost can use.
8-31-15: The Royals took a brief 2-1 lead in Sunday’s contest at Tropicana Field, but they were not able to win their fourth consecutive game. In search of the sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays, Danny Duffy threw five innings of two-run ball, but Luke Hochevar allowed a solo home run, as he received his first loss of 2015.
8-28-15: The Kansas City Royals sat and listened as utility man Ben Zobrist told reporters that he would be open to returning to Kansas City as a free agent after the 2015 season. Zobrist said Kansas City was always high on his list of potential destinations for him but being here and playing for the team these final two or three months of the season may have solidified his decision to sign a long-term deal with the club. Whether Zobrist comes back or not may have a lot to do with whether the team makes a run at signing Eric Hosmer to a long-term contract. Hosmer is already under contract for $8.25 million in 2016 and has one more year of team control after that through the arbitration process meaning that if Kansas City wanted to buy out multiple years of his free agency they may have to pay him anywhere from $10-$15 million annually or more.
8-24-15: Although the Royals dropped the first two contests of their four-game series at Fenway Park, they bounced back to beat the Red Sox on Saturday and Sunday. Mike Moustakas drove in a game-high four runs, as he went 3-for-5 in Sunday’s come-from-behind 8-6 victory. His go-ahead double in the top of the ninth inning proved to be the difference.
8-21-15: The Kansas City Royals window to win with this current team may not extend beyond the 2015 season as the team has many key players set to hit free agency after this season. Lorenzo Cain, the team’s center fielder, is expected to hit free agency after the season while Alex Gordon has an opt-out clause that he is expecting to exercise after the season. The Royals are expected to use the finances the team will have coming off the books to make a run at free agent outfielder Jason Heyward. Heyward is expected to get really expensive when he hits free agency and could fetch at least $200 million in possibly a seven to ten year deal. If the team cannot get Heyward they can always bring Cain back and make a run at the postseason again with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas. The pair of Scott Boras clients are under team control for two more seasons giving Kansas City a very small window to win with this current team unless they want to spend big money in free agency. The team obviously realizes that this window may be closing and the team added some minor league depth this week just in case the team needs it in September. The team signed Wandy Rodriguez and Joba Chamberlain to minor league deals this week and will stash both in their Triple-A affiliates just in case either need to come up and fill in the bullpen or rotation next month.
8-18-15: The Royals, who continue to have a strong season, won their third consecutive game on Sunday with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels. Alex Rios hit a sacrifice fly off closer Huston Street to tie the game in the ninth inning, and Kendrys Morales delivered a game-winning single the next inning.
8-14-15: The Kansas City Royals are gearing up for the playoffs run and are finally starting to get healthy at just the right time. The Royals are close to getting outfielder Alex Gordon back off the disabled list as he is set to begin a minor league rehab assignment. The Royals did acquire former Oakland Athletics utility player Ben Zobrist at the July 31st trading deadline and have been using him in left field but that will change when Gordon takes over as the everyday left fielder. Zobrist will instead play both corner outfield spots along with a lot of second base as manager Ned Yost plans to bounce him around quite a bit. The Royals can get away with mixing and matching now as they have an 11 game lead in the American League Central Division race at the end of this week. Kansas City has the easiest schedule of any of the potential or contending playoffs teams this season and may coast into October with one of the best records in all of the American League. At one point the Royals were chasing down the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins in the division race but they have now began to run away with the division lead and crown.
7-31-15: The Kansas City Royals came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time buyers in the market. The Royals set the tone and the market last week when the team sent Brandon Finnegan and two prospects to the Cincinnati Reds for possibly the best starting pitcher on the market in Johnny Cueto but the team was not done there by any stretch of the imagination. The team also grabbed the best second baseman on the market in Ben Zobrist by sending two minor league pitchers Aaron Brooks and Sean Manaea to Billy Beane and the Athletics. Zobrist will presumably send the struggling Omar Infante to the bench and will also give manager Ned Yost a suitable backup for left fielder Alex Gordon. In a corresponding roster move for Cueto the team designated Joe Blanton for assignment and thankfully for the team the Royals were able to work out a trade before he cleared waivers. Rather than hitting free agency or heading back down to the minor leagues the Royals were able to send Blanton to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a deal that brought Kansas City back cash considerations or a player to be named later.
7-24-15: The Kansas City Royals were handed a big blow to their pitching staff this week when the team learned that Jason Vargas would have to undergo Tommy John surgery ultimately ending his 2015 season. Vargas will likely miss most, if not all, of the 2016 season as well after getting the ulnar collateral ligament in his left throwing elbow replaced by Dr. James Andrews. The good news for Kansas City is that the team has insurance on his $8.5 million contract for the 2016 season which allows the team to recoup around $6 million of the $8.5 million owed next season if he misses the entire season with the injury. Vargas is in the middle of a four year deal that he signed before the 2014 season worth $32 million with Kansas City that will play him $8.5 million in 2016 and $8 million in 2017. Right-handed pitcher Yordano Ventura was called back from Triple-A to replace Vargas in the rotation and on the roster after the injury after Ventura was optioned to Triple-A earlier in the week. Despite having the best record in the American League right now the team could not afford the loss of a starting pitcher after posting the 7th highest starter ERA in the league before the injury. The loss of Vargas may force the team into the July 31st trading market but not for the big fish like Johnny Cueto and Cole Hamels but instead the team is more likely to pursue a Mike Leake type starter.
7-17-15: The Kansas City Royals have been forced into the July 31st trading deadline with the news that Alex Gordon will be out for nearly two months with a Grade II groin strain. One player the team has already tried to trade but failed to is RHP Jason Frasor who was designated for assignment last week. Frasor went unclaimed and is now a free agent with the Royals paying the remainder of his salary for the 2015 season. Frasor has pitched extremely well this season and would bring a veteran presence to any contending team’s bullpen and who he will sign with was yet to be determined until the Atlanta Braves lost their closer Jason Grili. In 33.2 innings Grilli had a 2.67 ERA and 24 saves with a 12.03 K/9 before his season ended this week. The Braves had discussed trades that would have sent Grilli to either the Los Angeles Dodgers or the Toronto Blue Jays which made for some terrible timing with the injury. The good news for Atlanta is that right around the time Grilli went down with the season ending injury a potential replacement in Jason Frasor was being designated for assignment by the Kansas City Royals. Atlanta quickly snatched him and his sub-2.00 ERA up and will essentially hand him the Grilli’s spot on the active roster.
6-16-15: The Royals moved back to 10 games above .500 with their 8-5 victory over the Brewers on Monday in Milwaukee. Lorenzo Cain hit his fifth home run of the season in the win. Edinson Volquez allowed two runs in five innings. In the victory, seven of the Royals’ eight starting position players scored runs.
6-5-15: The Kansas City Royals desperately need to acquire some starting pitching at the trading deadline this year if the team wants to make a serious run at repeating as American League champions in 2015. Entering the week Kansas City’s starting rotation ranked 13th in the American League in team ERA and with the window for the Royals to compete closing quickly it may be time to go all in this July. After the 2015 season the team may lose Alex Gordon and face potential free agency with both Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas after the 2017 season. One player the Royals will have under contract for the 2016 season is DH Kendrys Morales after GM Dayton Moore may have gotten the bargain of the century with his two year deal this offseason. Morales was signed for two years and $17 million this winter despite a horrible 2014 season at the plate for Seattle. The window is closing for Kansas City to compete and the team has recently fallen behind the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central division which may force the team into the trading market earlier than expected this season.
6-1-15: Alex Rios, who the Royals activated from the 15-day disabled list over the weekend, had
missed more than six weeks with a fractured left hand. However, on Sunday, his first
game since April 13, his team lost, 2-1, in extra innings. He started in right field and went
0-for-4. With the loss, the Royals dropped to second place in the American League Central.
5-30-15: The Kansas City Royals jumped all the way to the top of the USA Today Power Rankings this week and took over the best record in all of Major League Baseball before the New York Yankees welcomed the team to the Bronx on Memorial Day. New York banged out 14 runs on five home runs on Memorial Day and beat them again the very next night leaving the Royals wondering what went wrong by the time the team left Yankee Stadium. The team lost Danny Duffy this week when the team placed him on the 15 day disabled list but just in the nick of time the team added Jason Vargas back to the active roster in time for a start against that same New York Yankees team. Vargas did not pitch well and the Royals were swept away by New York losing their best record in the major leagues titles. Now the team will look to turn things around while focusing on the MLB First year Players Draft that will go down next week on June 8th and seen on MLB Network.
5-26-15: On Monday, the Royals placed left-hander Danny Duffy on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 17, with left biceps tendinitis. That day, the New York Yankees blew out the Royals, 14-1, as Jeremy Guthrie had the worst start of his career. On the bright side, Kansas City remains in first place in the American League Central, and Alex Rios could return from his hand injury this week.
5-5-15: After winning four of their first five series of the season, the Royals have been victorious in just one of their last three. Although the Royals won the first two games of their four-game series with the visiting Detroit Tigers, Kansas City could not win either of the final two games. On Friday, the Royals placed shortstop Alcides Escobar on the seven-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to April 29, after being hit in the face with a pitch by Danny Salazar.
4-28-15: The Royals bounced back from their losses on Saturday and Sunday to defeat the Indians on Monday in Cleveland behind five hits with runners in scoring position, including two from Alex Gordon. However, the Royals continued to participate in bench-clearing brawls, as they had one with the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, leading to four new suspensions for Kansas City players.
4-21-15: The Royals moved to 10-3 on Monday with their third victory in their last four games. They won their series with the Oakland Athletics after a hectic weekend. It culminated with a bench-clearing brawl, which resulted in five ejected Royals. On Saturday, the Royals placed Greg Holland on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain.
4-14-15: The last remaining undefeated team in Major League Baseball in 2015 is the Royals, as they defeated the Twins in Minnesota on Monday, 12-3. Kansas City’s relievers combined for 2.2 more scoreless innings in the win, remaining the only bullpen to not give up a run this season. Unfortunately, on Tuesday, Alex Rios was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in his left hand, and there is no timetable for his return.
4-7-15: Over the weekend, Yordano Ventura agreed to a five-year, $23 million contract extension with club options in 2020 and 2021. In Monday’s Opening Day start against the Chicago White Sox, he threw six innings of one-run ball, but he left the game with a right thumb cramp. Alex Rios and Mike Moustakas each hit home runs in the 10-1 win.
3-31-15: On Wednesday, the Royals announced that Yordano Ventura would be their Opening Day starter when they take on the Chicago White Sox on April 6. The 23-year-old Dominican starting pitcher looked strong on Friday against the Seattle Mariners. He did not allow a run or a hit in seven innings in the 5-1 win.
3-25-15: In Sunday’s 4-2 win over the San Francisco Giants, Alex Rios and Eric Hosmer kept up their strong spring performances. The outfielder went 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen
base. His one run batted in came on his single that brought in Hosmer, who also went 2-for-3 with a double that day.
3-18-15: On Monday, the Royals signed infielder Rafael Furcal to a minor league contract. The 2000 National League Rookie of the Year, three-time all-star and 2011 World Series champion is now 37 years old and a low-risk Kansas City signing. Last week, the Royals optioned left-handed pitcher John Lamb to Triple-A Omaha.
3-4-15: Alex Gordon is progressing well in his return from offseason wrist surgery. Last Friday, he was cleared to hit off a tee. Gordon will be instrumental in the Royals’ attempt to make it back to the World Series, and it looks like their left-handed hitting outfielder will be ready for Opening Day.
3-3-15: Last Wednesday, Eric Hosmer and the Royals avoided arbitration with a two-year deal worth $13.9 million. Then, on Thursday, Kansas City signed left-hander Franklin Morales to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Danny Duffy reported to camp at 212 pounds, 17 pounds heavier than he was last season, and manager Ned Yost is very happy to see it.
2-17-15: Last week, the Royals signed several pitchers: Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Joe Blanton and Derek Gordon. Kansas City avoided arbitration with Holland for one year and $8.25 million on Friday and with Herrera for two years and $4.15 million on Thursday. Blanton and Gordon each received minor league contracts for 2015.
2-9-15: Quite a few Royals have avoided arbitration recently. Left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy agreed to a one-year, $2.425 million contract with the club on Friday. Earlier last week, the Royals also signed one-year deals with Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas. Cain’s contract was for $2.725 million, and Moustakas received $2.64 million.
10-28-14: The Kansas City Royals came into the postseason for the first time since 1985 and have made the most of the opportunity. Kansas City won the American League’s first Wild Card spot and hosted the Oakland Athletics in the one game Wild Card Round playoff game as the team came from behind to win in extra innings as the Royals beat the A’s 9-2 in 12 innings. Kansas City went into the ALDS as a huge underdog against the overall top seeded Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and ended up sweeping away the team from LA in three games including two more extra inning affairs. Kansas City met the second best team in the American League in the Baltimore Orioles in the ALCS as the Royals hoped to clinch their first World Series trip since they won it all in 1985. Kansas City made quick work of the Baltimore Orioles also sweeping them including one extra inning victory to ride an 8-0 record into the World Series against the San Francisco Giants. The Royals are being deemed as the Cinderella team this October and the never say die underdogs while the Giants are looking to cement a dynasty with their third World Series championship in the last six seasons under manager Bruce Bochy. These two teams had four full days off each before the start of the series so rust was expected to be a factor in the first couple games of the World Series. As you remember the Kansas City Royals have home field advantage for this series as the American League beat the National League in the All Star Game played in July.
In Game One of the 2014 World Series the fans were entertained by a pitching matchup of each team’s ace as San Francisco sent Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off with James Shields. With the long layoff for both clubs the rust was present and obvious for both teams in the early innings, especially for Shields as he allowed three runs in the first inning including a Hunter Pence two run home run. Shields only lasted 3.0+ IP and was taken out of the game after allowing two more runs in the fourth inning as the Giants took a commanding 5-0 lead into the 7th inning. Danny Duffy was pitching for the Royals in the 7th as he looked to complete his fourth inning of relief but the Giants had other plans as the team scratched two more runs across the board to take a huge 7-0 lead with that dominating bullpen looming in the distance. Bumgarner went out to the mound for the 7th inning and completed the inning allowing his first run of the contest to Royals catcher Salvador Perez when he allowed a two out solo home run. Bruce Bochy went to his bullpen and Javier Lopez in the 8th and Hunter Strickland in the 9th inning as the Giants won the game by the score of 7-1. San Francisco and their offense took a 1-0 lead in the series and now hold home field advantage in the World Series. San Francisco is now just three wins away from their third World Series title in six seasons.
In Game Two of the 2014 World Series Kansas City looked to even up the series by sending rookie Yordano Ventura to the mound to face off with the Giants veteran Jake Peavy. You would think Ventura would feel the pressure of the postseason and the Fall Classic while the veteran Peavy would be cool, calm, and collected but the exact opposite occurred in this contest. Ventura lasted 5.1 IP and allowed just two runs while striking out two batters before Ned Yost handed the ball to his three headed monster of Kelvin Hererra, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland. Peavy on the other hand lasted just 5.0 IP allowing four earned runs striking out just one batter. Grego Blanco had a solo home run for the Giants in the first inning and Brandon Belt had an RBI double in the fourth inning to make up the scoring on the night for San Francisco while Kansas City put their Game One offensive woes behind them in the contest. Omar Infante led a five run breakout inning in the 6th inning for the Royals that included a home run off Giants relief pitcher Hunter Strickland that caused both benches to clear as hostility was in the air. No suspensions were given and the umpires did a great job helping to avoid any kind of altercation as Kansas City’s bullpen shut down the Giants en route to a 7-2 victory for the Royals. Kansas City tied up the series at 1-1 as both teams find themselves three victories away from a World Series championship.
In Game Three of the 2014 World Series the series shifted to San Francisco and AT&T Park as Kansas City lost their designated hitter advantage and their pitcher’s had to pick up a bat. The obvious advantage would seemingly go to the Giants in this one as San Francisco sent Tim Hudson to the mound in his first World Series start of his career. Kansas City countered the veteran right hander with veteran Jeremy Guthrie on the bump for the Royals. Hudson showed some nerves in his first Fall Classic start allowing three runs in 5.2 IP but the San Francisco bullpen shutdown the Royals for the remainder of the game to keep the Giants in the contest. Guthrie bested the savvy veteran Hudson as he pitched 5.0 IP of his own allowing just two runs handing the Royals bullpen a two run lead in the 6th inning when Kelvin Herrera came into the contest. Herrera allowed one inherited runner that was charged to Guthrie before getting out of the 6th with a 3-2 Royals lead. Herrera started the 7th and handed the ball to rookie Brandon Finnegan for Kansas City for the rest of the 7th. Ned Yost’s recipe for success continued in the 8th inning with Wade Davis and the 9th inning with Greg Holland as the Kansas City Royals held on for the 3-2 victory to take the 2-1 lead in the series. The Royals bullpen did not allow a single hit in the contest in 4.0 inning of relief while striking out four. Herrera did walk two batters but ultimately settled down as Kansas City finds themselves just two wins away from their first World Series victory since 1985.
In Game Four of the 2014 World Series San Francisco had to be thinking this was a must win game. No team has come back from a 3-1 deficit in the Fall Classic conveniently since the 1985 Royals did it to win the series. San Francisco sent Ryan Vogelsong to the mound looking to tie up the series and Kansas City sent Jason Vargas to the mound looking to take a commanding lead in the series. Many around the league questioned Bruce Bochy’s decision to not have Madison Bumgarner pitch on short rest in the series rather than saving him for Game 5 and Vogelsong did not help to quell the second guessing. The Giants jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning without getting a single hit and was riding high on emotions until Kansas City came up in the Top of the 3rd inning. In the inning Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, and Salvador Perez all knocked in runs in a four run inning for the Royals as Kansas City took a 4-1 lead in the contest. Buster Posey knocked in an RBI with a single in the bottom of the 3rd to bring San Francisco back with 4-2 before Yusmeiro Petit came out of the Giants bullpen to shut down the Royals offense and allow the Giants back into the game. San Francisco second baseman Joe Panik doubled to lead off the 5th inning which chased the Royals starter Vargas and Hunter Pence singled him in two batters later to inch the Giants closer as the Royals lead shrunk to 4-3 before Kansas City brought left hander Danny Duffy into the game. San Francisco would load the bases off Duffy but a sacrifice fly would tie the game up at 4-4 in the 5th inning before Brandon Crawford struck out to end the inning and the rally. The Giants would load the bases against rookie Brandon Finnegan in the 6th inning and Pablo Sandoval would single to give the Giants a two run lead at 6-4 followed by a Brandon Belt single that gave San Francisco a 7-4 that the Giants bullpen would need to hold for three innings to tie up the series. San Francisco’s offense continued to pile on with four more runs to go on and easily win the game and tie the series with an 11-4 victory. The World Series is knotted back up at 2-2 and both teams are just two wins away from a World Series championship.
In Game 5 of the 2014 World Series the San Francisco Giants sent their ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound to face off with the Kansas City Royals ace James Shields in a rematch of Game One of the World Series. Bumgarner came into the contest looking to cement a World Series MVP trophy with a victory while Shields looks to rebound from a tough start and tough postseason in 2014. Shields was much better in this contest as he lasted 6.0 IP and allowed just two runs in the contest but Bumgarner was just that much better. Bumgarner pitched a complete game shutout allowing just four hits and striking out eight for his second win during this World Series. The Giants Brandon Crawford had a pair of RBI hits off Shields in the 2nd and 4th innings and had another off the oft-reliable Kelvin Herrera in the bottom of the 8th inning to put the Giants up 5-0. Juan Perez, friend and teammate of the recently Oscar Taveras, also came up with a big two run RBI double off the untouchable Wade Davis in the inning to help the Giants go on to victory. The Giants lead the series 3-2 and will look for their third World Series championship in six years on Tuesday night as the series shifts back to the American League and to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.
10-20-14: The Kansas City Royals have been the best team in the postseason this year and have definitely been the Cinderella team and talk of the playoffs in 2014. The Royals won the Wild Card and hosted the Oakland Athletics in the Wild Card Playoff Game in an extra innings affair that saw the Royals come out on top in the come from behind fashion. Kansas City then went to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to take on the AL’s best record and easily swept away Mike Scoscia’s club in three games in the ALDS. Kansas City went on to the ALCS to take on the team with the second best record in the American League in the Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City’s bullpen continued to dominate last week and the hitting continued to be timely as the Royals took a 2-0 lead in the ALCS heading home to Kauffman Stadium this week for games three, four, and five if necessary.
In Game Three of the ALCS Kansas City sent Jeremy Guthrie to the mound to face off with the Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen in Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. This game did not feature the big dominant starting pitchers or the sexy names that draw fans to the ballpark but this was one of the best pitched games in the entire ALCS. Steve Pearce got things going for the Orioles in the Top of the 2nd inning with a double and JJ Hardy got a double of his own off Guthrie to give the Orioles an early 1-0 lead. This would be the only run that Guthrie would allow in the contest as he went 5.0 IP and allowed just three hits and the one run before turning things over to the Kansas City bullpen. Chen was rolling into the 4th inning before the Royals Billy Butler hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1. Two innings later Alex Gordon had an RBI groundout to give the Royals a 2-1 lead for their bullpen and gave Chen an end to his night. Chen finished with 5.1 IP and allowed seven hits and two runs before handing the ball to Kevin Gausman. The three headed monster in the Royals bullpen of Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland shut down the Orioles for the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings as Holland notched his third save of the series and the Royals took a commanding 3-0 lead in the best of seven series. Kansas City finds themselves just one win away from their first World Series berth since 1985.
In Game Four of the ALCS Baltimore sent Miguel Gonzalez, not Chris Tillman the team’s ace, to the mound to face off with the Royals Jason Vargas in a controversial decision made by O’s manager Buck Showalter. Gonzalez made Showalter look like a genius on the day as he lasted 5.2 innings allowing two runs, just one of them earned, while striking out four. Vargas was even better for Ned Yost and the Royals as he lasted 5.1 innings and only allowed one run, a solo home run, while striking out six Baltimore Orioles. Kansas City jumped out for both runs off Gonzalez in the bottom of the first inning as Eric Hosmer singled in a run while another was unearned giving the Royals a quick 2-0 lead in the game. Ryan Flaherty and the Orioles inched back in the Top of the 3rd with a solo shot off Vargas accounting for the only mistake Vargas made on the day. In the 6th inning the Royals went to the bullpen once again with their three headed monster in Herrera for 1.2 innings, Davis for 1.0 inning and Holland for the 9th inning. In the Top of the 9th Baltimore sent up the heart of their order in Nelson Cruz, Delmon Young, and JJ Hardy to face the Royals closer. Cruz started the inning by drawing a walk and being pinch run for by Alejandro De Aza. Young would immediately bounce into a rally killing double play to put the Royals just one out away from the World Series with all that was standing in their way was Hardy, the highest paid shortstop in all of Major League Baseball. Holland made quick work of Hardy and the Baltimore Orioles as the Royals swept the AL East champions 4-0 in the series. Holland saved all four games in the series as the Orioles had no answer for him, Herrera, or Davis. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain was named the 2014 ALCS MVP for the AL champion Kansas City Royals.
Kansas City will now head to their first World Series since 1985, the last time the team won the World Series, with a perfect 8-0 postseason record in 2014. Kansas City, a Wild Card winner for the American League in 2014, will face off with the second Wild Card winning San Francisco Giants in the Fall Classic. This is just the second all Wild Card World Series in the history of Major League Baseball.
10-16-14: For the first time in 29 years, the Kansas City Royals are heading to the World Series. The team hasn’t clinched a Fall Classic berth since 1985, where they would go on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games. Their journey to Major League Baseball’s biggest stage has come with relative ease after leading two series sweeps over the Angels in the ALDS and Orioles in the ALCS. Along with carrying their brooms this far into the postseason, the Royals will also see huge ticket prices on the secondary market at Kauffman Stadium. They gear up to host Games 1 and 2 and, if necessary, Games 6 and 7 of the World Series at home against either the Cardinals or Giants, who own a commanding 3-1 series lead over St. Louis entering Game 5 today at AT&T Park.
10-14-14: The Kansas City Royals have quickly become the Cinderella team this postseason as the team came from behind and beat the Oakland Athletics in extra innings of the one game Wild Card playoff series to advance to the ALDS against the first seed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Angels were expecting to run all over Kansas City but the Royals won a pair of come from behind 11 inning contests to take a commanding 2-0 series lead over Anaheim before James Shields and the Royals offense broke out against the Angels CJ Wilson to complete the sweep and knocked out the best team from the AL in 2014. Kansas City had almost a full week off before heading to Baltimore to take on the American League East winning Orioles in Camden Yards.
In Game One both teams were well rested and ready for the ALCS to begin as Baltimore started their ace Chris Tillman against the Royals ace James Shields. Both starting pitchers may have been a little rusty with all the extra rest and neither pitcher finished with a pretty pitching line. Tillman only lasted 4.1 innings and gave up five earned runs while Shields was also on a short leash lasting only 5.0 innings and allowing four runs. Kansas City had the lead in the ball game 5-4 when they took Shields out of the contest and handed the ball to their reliable and shutdown bullpen but rookie Brandon Finnegan allowed two hits and a run without recording an out to blow the lead for the Royals. The Royals manager Ned Yost handed the ball to Kelvin Herrera to get out of the inning and also to pitch the 7th inning while Baltimore countered with Kevin Gausman, Tommy Hunter, Andrew Miller, and Zach Britton. Wade Davis pitched the 8th inning and the 9th inning for the Royals while Darren O’Day took the ball to finish the 9th for the Orioles as the game headed into extra innings. In the top of the 10th Kansas City scored three runs off O’Day and Brian Matusz including a Mike Moustakas home run to give the Royals a three run lead heading into the bottom of the 10th. The Royals closer came in to pitch the bottom of the 10th and allowed a run to make things interesting at 8-6 Kansas City but shut the Orioles offense down for the save and a victory for the Royals. Kansas City leads the ALCS 1-0 as the Cinderella story continues.
In Game Two Kansas City sent rookie fire baller Yordano Ventura to the mound to face off with the Orioles starter Bud Norris as Baltimore looked to even the series. It looked as though the rust and days off affected these two starting pitchers as well as Norris only lasted 4.1 innings while allowing four earned runs while Ventura lasted 5.2 innings allowing four runs of his own. The Royals handed the ball to the bullpen once again and Brandon Finnegan, Kelvin Herrera, and Wade Davis shut down the Orioles offense while Brad Brach, Andrew Miller, and Darren O’Day shut down the Royals offense as the game headed into the 9th inning tied at 4-4. Kansas City decided they would win a game in nine innings this time around as Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain helped the Royals score two more runs in the ninth inning setting up Greg Holland for the bottom of the ninth for the second straight night. Holland allowed a hit and recorded a strikeout in a somewhat easy inning as the Royals won the game by the score of 6-4 to take a commanding 2-0 series lead in the ALCS as the series shifts to Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
10-7-14: The Kansas City Royals won the first Wild Card spot in the American League and hosted a one game Wild Card playoff game against the Oakland Athletics. The Royals sent their ace “Big Game” James Shields to the mound to pitch in one of his first big games with the team since being traded to Kansas City as he faced off with the Athletics ace Jon Lester. There was not a single Royals ticket not sold for this game as the fans filed into Kauffman Stadium for what was scheduled to be a pitcher’s duel. Each team jumped out early scoring in the first inning before the starting pitching settled in and slowed down the offenses. Kansas City’s hopes and dreams looked to be going down the toilet in the 6th inning of this game as the Oakland Athletics put up five runs in the 6th including a three run home run by Brandon Moss, his second of the game, but the Royals refused to quit. Kansas City answered with three of their own in the bottom of the 8th inning and one more in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game and send it to extra innings. These two teams traded zeroes until the 12th inning when Oakland put another run across the board to take an 8-7 lead but the Royals responded in the bottom of the 12th inning when Salvador Perez, the Royals catcher, came up to the plate. Perez hit a single down the third base line to score Eric Hosmer and give the Royals a 9-8 victory.
Kansas City advanced to the American League Division series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim where Jered Weaver and the hosting Halos hosted the Royals Jason Vargas. Kansas City must have been riding high off their big victory over Oakland because Kansas City shocked many when they came out of the gates quick against the Angels. Vargas lasted 6.0 IP and allowed two runs before handing the ball over to the reliable Royals bullpen for five shutout innings of relief. Weaver of the Angels went 7.0 IP and allowed two runs of his own before handing the ball to his own bullpen for three innings of shutout relief. Anaheim’s Fernando Salas came in for the Top of the 11th inning and subsequently allowed a Mike Moustakas home run that ended up being the game winner. Kansas City needed extra innings in Game One once again but ultimately won the game by the score of 3-2 with closer Greg Holland getting the save.
In Game Two the Kansas City Royals went to their third consecutive extra inning postseason game and won their third consecutive extra inning postseason game by the score of 4-1 over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 11 innings. Matt Shoemaker made the start for the Angels and faced off with Yordano Ventura making his first postseason start for the Royals. If Ventura was unnerved by the playoff atmosphere it did not show as the fire baller went 7.0 innings allowing just five hits and one run while striking out five Angels. Shoemaker matched Ventura with 6.0 innings of his own allowing just one unearned run while striking out six Royals in the contest before the game was handed over to the bullpens. Kansas City’s often reliable bullpen consisting of Wade Davis, Justin Frasor, Brandon Finnegan, and Greg Holland combined for four shutout innings of relief allowing just two base runners on a walk and a hit. The Angels bullpen of Jason Grilli, Joe Smith, and Huston Street matched Kansas City with four shutout innings of their own before Kevin Jepsen entered the game in the top of the 11th. Jepsen allowed two hits, three runs, two earned runs, and a home run to Eric Hosmer that handed Kansas City a 2-0 series lead in the best of five series.
In Game Three Kansas City sent their ace in James Shields to the mound looking to close out the series and sweep the best record holding Angels while Los Angeles countered with CJ Wilson looking to send the series at least to a Game 4. Kansas City’s offense wanted no part of a Game 4 situation and looked to put the Angels away early putting up three early runs in the first inning. Shields looked rocky early after giving up a home run to Mike Trout in the first inning and another to Albert Pujols but settled down and ended up with a pitching line of 6.0 IP with two earned runs allowed on six hits with six strikeouts. Wilson did not favor as well as Shields only lasting 0.2 of an inning allowing the three runs and handing the ball off to the Angels bullpen. Anaheim’s bullpen did not favor much better in the contest as Hector Santiago and Mike Morin each allowed two earned runs each in the contest including a pair of home runs to Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas to ultimately put the game out of reach. Kansas City’s bullpen has been dominant all postseason long and on this day combined for three innings of one run ball as the Royals blew out the Angels by the score of 8-3. Kansas City swept the best of five game series with Anaheim and will head to Baltimore next week to take on the American League East winning Baltimore Orioles while Trout, Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and the Angels head home for another long winter.
10-1-14: Before the season, the Royals were a popular pick to get into the playoffs. In the end, manager Ned Yost's team proved all of people right, as his squad snagged the No. 1 wild card spot in the AL. The Royals beat the A’s 9-8 in 12 innings in dramatic fashion Tuesday night in the AL wildcard game. They rallied from 7-3 down in the 8th inning to tie the game then surrendered a run in the top half of the 12th inning to give Oakland an 8-7 lead. Once again, the Royals would rally in the bottom half of the 12th and give Kansas City’s baseball fans their first postseason win since 1985. The Royals will play the Angels in the ALDS.
9-30-14: The Kansas City Royals learned this week that the outfielder they recently acquired Josh Willingham will retire at the end of the season at age 35. Willingham has been slowed by a groin injury and a wrist injury this season and has seen his production and power zapped out of his bat this season. Willingham played 11 seasons in his career and finished with 195 home runs in his career with a low .200 career average. Willingham ended up denying the allegations when they first came down as we deal with conflicting reports out of Kansas City. While Willingham is on his way out of the Royals clubhouse Brandon Finnegan has stepped right in like a veteran and has filled a key spot in the Kansas City bullpen. Finnegan was drafted in the 2014 MLB First Year Players Draft and has been in the Royals bullpen for the entire month of September. Finnegan will get an extended look in Spring Training 2015 and could replace James Shields in the Kansas City starting rotation. Kansas City took Detroit all the way to the final game of the season and almost forced a AL Central tie breaking game but had to ultimately settle for one of the two Wild Card slots in the American League. Kansas City finished the 2014 season with a 89-73 record and will host the Oakland Athletics in the AL Wild Card Playoff Game this week.
9-25-14: Considering the Tigers have dominated KC head-to-head this season, avoiding a sweep with a win this past Sunday was big for the Royals. That leaves the Royals one game back in the AL Central standings, and are tied with Oakland for the top AL wild-card spot. It's a fun time to be a Royals fan as they look to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1985. After one more game against Cleveland, they finish with a four-game series on the road against the White Sox.
9-23-14: The Kansas City Royals just a few weeks back had a comfortable lead over the Detroit Tigers for the American League Central division championship and this week may be looking in from the outside of the playoffs if the team does not start to play better. The team’s offense is struggling but they continue to get big starts from their rotation including Yordano Ventura and James Shields. Speaking of Shields the team has all but announced that they will offer a qualifying offer to Shields after the season in hopes of getting draft pick compensation for their ace if he decides to leave via free agency. Is Shields were to accept he would get a one year deal with Kansas City worth around $15 million. The Royals continue to fall and find themselves now two games behind the Detroit Tigers with an 84-71 record. If the season ended today the Royals would be the winner of the second Wild Card spot and would travel to Oakland to take on the Athletics in the Wild Card game.
9-18-14: The Royals have come back down to earth a bit after a pair of series losses last week. Rather than leading the division, they are now 1.5 games back of the Tigers in the AL Central and are clinging to a one game lead over the Mariners for the second AL wild-card slot. Kansas City has split two games with the White Sox this week and finish off the week with a big three-game series against the Tigers at home that could either teams fate.
9-16-14: The Kansas City Royals placed right hander Blake Wood on waivers this week after designating the pitcher for assignment last week. Joining him on outright waivers this week is former top prospect and right handed starting pitcher Chris Dwyer. Dwyer has struggled as a relief pitcher in Triple-A while Wood has struggled to come back from Tommy John surgery which led to both players being designated for assignment. Both players quickly cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple-A. Neither player could elect free agency and were forced to accept their assignments to stay with the team. The Royals have lost their grip on first place in the division and are 1.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central. The Royals in one week’s time went from a comfortable lead in the division to leading the second wild card spot by a mere game over the Seattle Mariners. This is a young Royals team that will truly be tested in these final two weeks of the season.
9-12-14: The Royals took care of business with series wins against the Rangers and New Yankees last week. This week has been a different story as they have dropped two straight to the Tigers have seen their two-game lead in the AL Central standings evaporate. The pitching staff remains the strength of this team. They will need to offense to step up if Kansas City wants to make the postseason for the first time since winning it all in 1985.
9-9-14: The Kansas City Royals current roster has never been in first place this late in the season but they are heading into the last three weeks of the 2014 season. Kansas City currently has a 79-62 record and leads the second place Detroit Tigers by a mere two games heading into a big head to head series starting Monday. One member of the Royals that is unlikely to be there for the stretch run is Danny Duffy who was removed from his start this weekend against the New York Yankees with shoulder soreness after just one pitch. Duffy will be tough to replace if he is out for any stretch of time as he has posted a 2.42 ERA this season while throwing over 141 innings for a young Royals team. Another member that will not be there for the stretch run for a totally different set of reasons is starting pitcher Bruce Chen who was released from the team this week. Chen was sporting a 7.45 ERA for the 2014 season and the left hander was finishing out his one year deal worth $3.25 million before being designated.
9-4-14: The Royals ended a fantastic August on a sour note, as they carried a three-game losing streak
into September. That being said, they have beaten Texas two straight games and still hold a
half-game lead over the Tigers in the AL Central standings. The Royals are a team built for
postseason success, as they have a legitimate ace in James Shields and proven veterans behind
him. They have the best bullpen trio in baseball in Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Greg
Holland. If they can get in, they will be a force.
9-2-14: The Kansas City Royals have claimed utility infielder Jayson Nix this week from the Pittsburgh Pirates after the Pirates designated the 31 year old for assignment. Kansas City will be his fourth club he has latched on with this season and is likely to be called up when rosters expand in September. One player that is unlikely to be with the team in September is pitcher Bruce Chen after the team designated him for assignment this week. Chen has had seven starts and has made seven relief appearances for the Royals this season and has posted an ugly 7.45 ERA. Chen signed a one year deal worth $4.25 million this offseason with an options for next season worth $5.5 million. Kansas City still sits in first place by just .5 game ahead of the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central division with a 74-62 record.
8-27-14: The Royals just keep on winning. They are now 25-12 in the second half after winning a weekend series against the Rangers and beating the Twins on Tuesday. That's enough to give them a slim 1.5 game lead in the AL Central with six games left against the Tigers. The Josh Willingham pickup could go down as one of the best waiver deals of all time. Willingham has six extra-base hits and eight runs scored in 13 games since joining the Royals.
8-26-14: The Kansas City Royals are still in first place in the AL Central division as we head into the final week of August. Kansas City has a 72-57 record and lead the Detroit Tigers by two games in the division. If the season ended today Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles would face off in the ALDS in a five game series, a series not many predicted before the season started. The Royals have a young team and are looking to compete beyond just the 2014 season and learned this week that they will have third baseman Alex Gordon at least through the 2016 season. Gordon is in the middle of a four year contract worth $37.5 million and has a $13.25 million player option for the 2016 season that he intends to exercise. It is a bit early for Gordon to be thinking of the 2016 season but as a 32 year old it will be hard for him to leave that much money on the table unless he is absolutely tearing the cover off the ball in 2015.
8-20-14: No one can ignore what the Royals have done over the past month. There are the tall of the baseball world as they have an MLB-best 15-3 record in the month August and are 22-5 overall in their last 27 games played. Josh Willingham has given KC a nice offensive bat since being picked up off waivers. The starting rotation has been lights out and there is what makes the Royals a scary team down the stretch. They have a two game lead over Detroit and tt would be such a great story if the Royals made the playoffs this season.
8-19-14: The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Josh Willingham last week from the Minnesota Twins and this week had to designate Wilking Rodriguez for assignment to make room for the right hander. Rodriguez has since been placed on release waivers and was removed off the 40 man roster. Willingham has helped the Royals take over first place in the American League Central at the midway point in August, something no baseball insider or fan could have predicted. Kansas City has a 68-55 record and leads the pitching stacked Detroit Tigers by 1.5 games in the division heading into the stretch run of the season. Kansas City may be forced to keep Billy Butler for the 2015 season and pick up his steep $12.5 million option if the team makes a deep playoff run in 2014.
8-13-14: The Royals are now 16-4 in their last 20 games, and have overtaken the Tigers in the AL Central. Their lead is narrow at just a 0.5 game, but wouldn’t it be something if the Royals made the playoffs for the first time since winning it all in 1985? They have split two games with the A’s this week and finish up the week with the struggling Giants. Right now, Kansas City is MLB’s best story.
8-12-14: The Kansas City Royals have been searching for a right handed power hitting outfielder all season long as the team continues to battle for a Wild Card spot and they may have found their man in Josh Willingham. The Twins traded Willingham to Kansas City for right hander Jason Adam. Willingham was claimed off revocable waivers by Kansas City and is owed $1.836 million for the remainder of this season. Willingham will be a free agent after this season and is in his age 35 season. While Willingham has struggled this season only batting .210/.345/.402 he does have 12 home runs and is an upgrade over the production the team is currently getting. Willingham was never considered to be a strong defensive outfielder in his career and is likely to be hidden in the designated hitter spot when he is not splitting time in the outfield with Raul Ibanez.
8-6-14: The Kansas Royals had given Danny Duffy almost no run support over his previous four starts and little or none all season. Well, that changed Tuesday against the Diamondbacks. The Royals scored ten runs on three swings of the bat. Billy Butler had a three-run homer among his four hits, Nori Aoki hit a grand slam and the Royals bashed the Diamondbacks 12-2 on Tuesday night. KC had 10 of its 15 hits by the fifth inning. The Royals are just 4.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central and a 0.5 game back in the wildcard.
8-5-14: The Kansas City Royals received some terrible news regarding their first baseman Eric Hosmer this week that may make or break their 2014 season. Hosmer may miss the remainder of the 2014 season with a stress fracture in his right hand. The good news on Hosmer is he is expected to avoid surgery but the bad news is the rehab program is still anywhere from six to eight weeks of rest and rehab before getting back on the field. The Royals may now look to add a first baseman during the waiver trade period in August after failing to make any moves in July. The Royals were said to be unwilling to trade away their young players and unwilling to add much payroll which kept them from making a lot of deals.
7-30-14: The Kansas City Royals traded Danny Valencia this week to the Toronto Blue Jays for right handed starting pitcher Liam Hendricks and catcher Erik Kratz. Hendricks was once considered to be a Top 10 prospect inside the Minnesota Twins organization and at 25 years old seems primed to finally put it all together. Hendricks struggled in the major leagues for Toronto this season posting a 6.06 ERA in over 13 innings this season. Kansas City also spoke with the San Diego Padres this week about the availability of outfielder Chris Denorfia although the Royals should have plenty of competition for the righty. The Giants, Blue Jays, Mariners, and Braves also seem to be in on the Denorfia sweepstakes.
7-28-14: Although the Boston Red Sox swept the Royals right after the All-Star break, Kansas City has been playing fantastic baseball recently. The Royals won their fourth consecutive game on Friday behind a Billy Butler pinch-hit home run. Unfortunately, Eric Hosmer’s career-best 16-game hit streak ended as he exited Wednesday’s game with a hand injury.