Where is Justin Huber?
I'll get to today's game in a moment, but first, there's a rumor floating around KC that RC #3 Royals prospect Justin Huber is actually in Kansas City right now. Huber wasn't in Wichita's lineup yesterday or today, and there has been no mention of injury spoken anywhere. His absence coincides with a report today that Mike Sweeney may be headed to the Disabled List, so Huber's presence in KC would seem to make sense. So would the Royals' silence on the matter, as they did precisely the same thing with J.P. Howell, who was actually with the team in San Francisco two days before his first start in Arizona.
The fact is that IF Huber was in Wichita, he would have played today -- not only because he didn't play Saturday, but because the Wranglers now have their midseason break and won't play again until Thursday. Barring injury, it would make no sense to give Huber that many consecutive days off.
It's something to keep our eyes on, but I wouldn't be shocked if Huber makes his Major League debut as early as tomorrow. I'm sure we'll know more soon enough, and you can count on RC to relay any updates as soon as we get them. Moving along...
Offensively, the Royals did a nice job against Brandon Backe, drawing five walks while scoring five runs. Emil Brown had the big blow, a three-run golf shot in the sixth that landed halfway up the grassy hill in left field. Emil now sports an .847 OPS (.289/.360/.487), and he is tied with Mike Sweeney for the club RBI lead.
On defense, it was Mark Teahen Day. Teahen made four fantastic plays, each showing off a different defensive asset. On the first great play, he snared a line drive hit to his left. Next, he charged in on a Willy Taveras bunt and made a spectacular barehanded play, nailing Tavares by a step. Then he robbed Craig Biggio of a sure double when he dove to his right to snag a shot down the line, hopped up, and gunned Biggio down at first. For his final act, he fielded a chopper behind the bag at third and from foul territory threw a missile to first base to nail the runner. Folks, Teahen is one hell of a defensive third baseman, and he really could win several Gold Gloves before his career is over. He's got the best arm RC has seen in a long time.
In all, today's win was another solid, well-played victory: the Royals had a good offensive approach, excellent defense, and superb pitching. Hopefully they can carry that into Chicago this week, because RC really hates the White Sox.
The only potential downer from today is that Ambiorix Burgos had to leave the game in the eighth inning because of shoulder pain. Let's all hope it was just a precautionary move, but regardless of what happens, he's probably on the shelf for a while.
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