Monday

Off-day notes...The Daily Prospect Update returns!

After taking in Sunday's finale vs. the Chicago White Sox, RC returned to Headquarters in Virginia. Tonight, due to popular demand, we're proud to announce the return of RC's Daily Prospect Update. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Update, it's a free feature RC provides to our readers that tracks the daily progress of the Royals' top prospects in the minor leagues. Every night (most of the time very late), we scan through all the organization's box scores and compile stats and notes from the day's action. The content is then placed into an e-mail and sent to our subscribers' inboxes every morning.

No longer do you have to search like an animal through the Internet to see how your favorite Royals prospects are doing -- we do it all for you. And this season, we've expanded our list to include the Royals' top 40 prospects, so no significant player is left uncovered.

To sign up for this outstanding free feature, and to see a sample Daily Prospect Update from last season, simply go to this page and follow the instructions. It takes only a couple minutes to subscribe, and the time it promises to save you this season cannot even be calculated.

  • As we mentioned above, RC on Sunday watched as the White Sox salvaged the series finale vs. the Royals. It was a well-pitched game, with Scott Elarton throwing a very effective eight innings, only to be outmatched by Royals nemesis Mark Buerhle. Elarton induced weak contact all afternoon, the only exception being a 425-foot blast by Jim Thome, and if he continues to pitch like that, he could have a surprising season.

    Offensively, the Royals struggled to string hits together, and the only run was scored on a solo blast by Reggie Sanders. It was Sanders' first dinger of the year, including spring training, and it came in the ninth inning off of Sox closer Bobby Jenks. It would have been a two-run shot had the umpiring crew not overuled a call by third base umpire Bruce Froemming, who initially ruled that Joe Crede dropped a scorching Mike Sweeney line drive in the previous at bat. The correct reversal prompted the afternoon's most entertaining moment, as Buddy Bell came screaming out of the dugout in protest. RC whipped out our official camera and documented the proceedings:


    For more photos of the argument, click here, here, and here.

    On Tuesday the Royals open a three-game set with the Yankees, who are off to a 2-4 start. Joe Mays takes the hill for the opener vs. Chien-Ming Wang, and if his stuff isn't right, it could be a long afternoon for the Royals -- seven Yankees are .300 or better career hitters vs. Mays. On Wednesday Jeremy Affeldt faces off against Shawn Chacon, and Thursday's finale pits Denny Bautista vs. Randy Johnson. The Royals rarely play the Yanks well in the Bronx, but hopefully they can steal a game or two before heading to Tampa Bay over the weekend.


  • There's still no word about who the Royals will start on Friday vs. Tampa Bay, but Runelvys Hernandez certainly didn't help his case on Sunday. Hernandez got knocked around in his start for Omaha, lasting only 3.0 innings while surrendering eight earned runs on seven hits and four walks.


    Elvys was horrible on Sunday for Omaha.

    If Hernandez doesn't get the call for this weekend, there are a few candidates who could make the start instead. Mike Wood or Elmer Dessens could make a spot start, or the Royals could call up J.P. Howell, who pitched brilliantly on Saturday. None is a very appealing option, but we suppose Wood is probably the best bet if the Royals determine Elvys needs more time. It would leave the bullpen a man short (assuming the Royals don't call Joel Peralta up on Friday), and Dessens has been so good out of the pen that we'd hate to see his rhythm disrupted. Furthermore, the organization has made it clear that they want Howell to get a good dose of AAA this season, and we'd prefer they not abandon that plan so early in the season.

    Whatever happens, it will be a short-term solution, as Mark Redman's rehab is ahead of schedule, and it's been reported that Zack Greinke is close to returning to Arizona.


  • The Wichita Eagle on Sunday broke some interesting news about Alex Gordon. It was primarily a profile piece on Gordon, but toward the bottom of the article, it quoted Royals Assistant GM Muzzy Jackson as saying that Gordon could be in Kansas City more quickly than RC ever imagined.

    So how long will he be in Wichita? Probably not long.

    Jackson estimates Gordon could move up to Kansas City in a month or two.

    "It depends on Alex," said Jackson. "He's a guy who has terrific talent, and he had a great spring training. We obviously think he's going to be a fixture and a member of our organization for a long time.

    "... We need a month or two before really being able to gauge if he's major-league ready."

    That certainly comes as a big surprise to us. If Gordon is indeed "major-league ready," does that mean he'll be promoted to Kansas City? That's the way the Eagle interpreted that statement, and the Royals have always said that a player's readiness dictates his movement through the system. Of course, this raises a number of questions and concerns. Primarily, will Mark Teahen get another full season to prove he can hit Major League pitching, or is his leash actually shorter than we thought?


    Could Gordon be in KC this summer?

    Gordon's played exceptionally well throughout spring training and his first week in double-A, but the Royals had better be sure about both his Major League readiness and Teahen's ability before they start his service clock. Gordon is simply too valuable a commodity to rush, and we'd hate to see the Royals lose a year of his services before he's ready to contribute to a competitive Royals team. All told, it's too early to rush to judgement on the basis of one article, but it's definitely something to watch closely.


  • Finally, RC has completed this week's Draft Prospect Update. There was surprising movement on our list, as new information dictated that we make some changes. About a month ago, the Royals were reportedly zeroing in on four collegiate pitchers -- Andrew Miller, Max Scherzer, Ian Kennedy, and Daniel Bard -- for the first overall pick in this year's draft. However, Baseball America last week spoke with Royals scouting director Deric Ladnier, who indicated that the Royals have now expanded their search.

    "There is not one particular player or pitcher that's standing out right now and stepping forward to say, 'I want to be the guy,'" said Ladnier.

    Although Miller remains #1 on our list, there is now more uncertainty than ever about who the Royals will ultimately select. Of course, even when the Royals do identify who they plan to select, they're certainly not going to go public with that information. For all we know, they might even already have a good idea who they're going to draft. Regardless, the draft is just two months away, and we'll continue to track the progress of the nation's top collegiate talent.
  • 10 Comments:

    At 4/11/2006 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Do you really think the umps made the right call on the Crede catch. The rule book states that the player must "voluntarily and intentionaly" take the ball out of his glove.

    I think by the letter of the law it was not a catch.

    -Bob Wheeler
    Camp Lejeune, NC

     
    At 4/11/2006 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    RC is far and away the best Royals site on the net. Great work guys!

     
    At 4/11/2006 12:06 PM, Blogger Max said...

    Great work on the Prospect Update. I look forward to it.

    Also, supposedly the Royals have said Mike Wood will start this weekend, not Runelvys.

     
    At 4/11/2006 12:11 PM, Anonymous Chris Ray said...

    Max is correct. Scott Elarton is starting Friday and Mike Wood on Saturday.

     
    At 4/11/2006 12:45 PM, Blogger Guy Behind the Guy said...

    Talk about a surplus of infielders! I'm not sure how Gordon fits in right now. I thought he'd stay in the minors for a season or two, until at least Sweeney's situation is clearer. I'd hate to give up on Teahen already and I like Mientewicz at first.

     
    At 4/11/2006 12:57 PM, Anonymous Eric said...

    Agree with your Teahen/Gordon feelings. I really don't want the Royals to promote Alex to KC before they are able to deal Teahen for some speed. I still think a Teahen to Tampa for Gathright deal makes a whole lot of sense for both teams. That is probably why it would never get done.

    Anyway, you really need to add Brad Lincoln - RP Houston, to your draft watch. He is leading the NCAA in SO with a nasty curve and mid-90s heat. I think the only college pitchers still in contention for the Royals pick are Miller, Morrow, Lincoln and Scherzer. You could easily drop Dallas Buck off your list as reports say his velocity has been down this year. He likely won't go in the top 15.

     
    At 4/11/2006 1:31 PM, Anonymous eric said...

    My mistake, Tim Lincecum is leading the NCAA in SO with 109. Lincoln has 92.

     
    At 4/11/2006 2:23 PM, Anonymous Brian S. said...

    I wouldn't read as much into that article as they did in Wichita. I'd agree that Gordon won't see July in AA, but why wouldn't the Royals promote him to Omaha for a couple of months before September? He'd be a huge draw there and probably two month's he'd never forget. This is the type of goodwill the Royals need to be showing there prospects and AAA afiliate fans.

    Gordon will be here soon enough in the meantime, let's make sure we know exactly what we have in Teahan. BTW, I love that Teahan/Gathright thought. That does make plenty of sense. \

    (Although Teahan probably isn't any better than Burroughs who they recently acquired)

     
    At 4/11/2006 6:17 PM, Anonymous Alex F said...

    It seems like the newspaper interpreted Jackson's quote rather liberally, if you ask me. I doubt he'll be called up before September, and then start next season in the bigs. Then, when he struggles, everyone will rip the Royals for bringing him along too quickly.

     
    At 4/12/2006 11:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    That comment didn't have anything to do with when the guy actually will get to the big leagues. He just said they need a month or two to figure out what they have with the guy... and to start projecting out when he WILL be ready to get here. You know, things like: how is he defensively, what does he need to work on, should he start getting some OF work in, etc.

    The guy isn't Superman or the Messiah.

     

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