Sunday Notes...

RC has been hearing about Gary Perez for a long time. When Perez was still in the Dominican Summer League, the Royals brass would rave about how they had a shortstop who was further along than both Angel Berroa and Andres Blanco had been at similar stages in their development.

Perez, who turns 22 in September, got his first crack at the American minor leagues this season. He's playing in Idaho Falls, where he's seen action at 3B, SS, and 2B. His natural position is shortstop -- and the Royals still view him as one -- but since Chris McConnell is also a Chukar, Perez moves around a lot.

After a slow start, Perez has been on fire of late. On July 9, his batting average stood at a miserable .233, and RC was starting to think that we'd been duped into believing Perez was someone to watch. But since that day, nobody in the Royals system has been better:

July 23
July 22
July 21
July 20
July 19
July 18
July 17
July 16
July 15
July 14
July 13
July 12

Since July 9, Perez has a line of .488/.593/.791, which has pushed his season line up to .340/.461/.515. Yes, the Pioneer League is a hitter's league, so offensive stats must be taken in context, but the most fascinating thing about Perez is independent of park factors: his plate discipline. In 103 at bats thus far, Perez has walked 22 times, which is a very good, and very odd for a young Dominican player. The saying in the Dominican Republic is that "you can't walk off the island," and it's rare to see a young Dominican player with a solid knowledge of the strike zone. Yes, it's too early to say that about Perez, but it's definitely something we'll be watching.

  • RC watched Kyle Snyder's return last night, and we were pleased. Snyder definitely looked better than the result (4.0 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K). His pitches had good movement, and above-expected velocity (fastball 89-91 mph). His stuff looked very similar to Runelvys Hernandez's, only Snyder's has a little more tailing action. It was his first start since 2003, so it's definitely something he can build on.

  • It doesn't happen often, but we think we were wrong yesterday about J.P. Howell. We expected Runelvys to begin serving his suspension yesterday, in which case Howell would be called back up for his next start, but that didn't happen. And as such, Howell is almost certain to get a start or two for Omaha.

    Of course, we have a new theory. Looking at the schedule, we see that the Royals have off days on August 18 and 22. With the two off days so close together, the Royals would be able to use a four-man rotation during that stretch. We bet Hernandez will drop his appeal then, and the Royals will get by with D.J. Carrasco, Kyle Snyder, Zack Greinke, and Jose Lima (if he's still around).

  • On the pregame show today, we heard that Mike Sweeney has ordered a special wrist pad -- similar to what Derek Jeter wears -- to protect his hand and wrist during his at bats. We know Sweeney objects to body armor, but we're pleased that he's changed his mind in this case.

  • RC is currently chained to our Official PC, because today's game isn't on MLB Extra Innings. At the time we wrote this, the Royals had clawed back nicely from a 4-0 deficit to take a 6-4 lead (Emil Brown just got picked off...dammit!). Carrasco hasn't looked very sharp thus far, and it looks like the bullpen is going to get some work. With Mike Wood unavailable today, it will be interesting to see who Buddy Bell calls upon to eat some innings. We expect Jimmy Gobble will probably get a couple. As for us, we're going to stick around a little while longer, but we'll have to miss the last few innings as we go to tonight's Bowie Baysox/Binghamton Mets game. Hopefully we get a good look (and some photos) of Mets #1 prospect Lastings Milledge.

  • Editor's note: RC did go to the Baysox/Mets game, and we did get some nice photos of Milledge. We'll post them this week sometime, but we can let you in on our preliminary conclusion: All the moaning from certain corners of Royals Nation about Baird taking Lubanski over Milledge in the 2003 draft is pretty silly.


    At 7/25/2005 2:20 AM, Anonymous Brooke *sweeneysangel on the royal board* said...

    I always loved Mikes passion for not wearing any body armor, because hes not a wimp like Barry Bonds or anything (Like bonds gets hit all that often anymore, the guy walks more, but yet, wears 50 pounds of armor, LOL)..but im glad hes going to wear something for his wrist. Its been getting beat up lately. I dont know how well it will work if he gets hit there again (which I pray he wont)

    Anyways, nice blog you have here. I havent been able to get to any arizona royal games yet because of class schedule. Keep up the updates though.

    At 7/25/2005 2:23 PM, Blogger Dave said...

    I agree, Brooke. Sweeney has been so unlucky this season with these freak injuries that it's probably best he wears as much protection as possible this year. That left arm of his has sure taken a beating.

    You haven't missed much with regard to the AZ Royals -- Bianchi has been hurt for the last week. Hopefully he'll be back soon, but all I know is that he's out with a mild back strain.

    BTW, today was AZ's last morning game. Starting tomorrow night, the games for the remaining month and a half all start at 7:00 pm.

    At 7/25/2005 6:54 PM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

    I'm sure it would make him even more of a liability than he already is on the base paths and in the field, but Sweeney should really consider wearing a full-body armour suit like Sir Lance-a-lot. The only way to protect him from all the injuries he's incurred this season.


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