Tag:Blake Wood
Posted on: December 1, 2011 12:30 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Kansas City Royals



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

Long a punching bag for fans and media alike, the Kansas City Royals have become a darling in recent years due to their strong farm system. We keep hearing about how they'll be a World Series caliber team by 2014 and the first wave of strong talent hit the bigs in 2011 -- with Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas leading the charge. There's more on the way, too. For the purposes of this exercise, though, the Royals get to add two All-Star veterans to the lineup who have long since departed. Oh, and they get back an aloof ace.

Lineup

1. Alex Gordon, LF
2. Johnny Damon, RF
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Carlos Beltran, CF
5. Billy Butler, DH
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Salvador Perez, C
8. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
9. Mike Aviles, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Zack Greinke
2. Luke Hochevar
3. Aaron Crow
4. Danny Duffy
5. Chad Durbin

Bullpen

Closer - J.P. Howell
Set up - Jeremy Affeldt, Greg Holland, Blake Wood, Tim Byrdak, Mike MacDougal
Long - Louis Coleman

Notable Bench Players

Matt Treanor, Kila Ka'aihue, Mark Ellis, David DeJesus, Mitch Maier, Jarrod Dyson

What's Good?

That really looks like a nice lineup. There's obviously some growing up to be done in the 6-7-8 spots, but that's a lot easier done when the top five spots are that strong. And remember, Wil Myers is on the way ...

What's Not?

With Beltran and Damon getting up into their high-30s, the outfield defense would lack range. Of course, DeJesus and Dyson are both available off the bench as late-inning defensive replacements, so the situation wouldn't be dire. There is no real closer, but that's a bit overrated anyway. And the starting rotation leaves something to be desired, for now, until Crow and Duffy prove their worth and some of the other prospects (like John Lamb and Mike Montgomery) start to arrive.

Comparison to real 2011

It's actually pretty similar, aside from a few huge names. These Royals have Beltran and Damon instead of Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur, while Greinke has been thrown atop the rotation. Those are upgrades and, remember, the real-life Royals didn't get full seasons out of many of their young players. It's reasonable to put this squad above .500 and maybe even lingering around in the playoff chase into August.

Up Next: Atlanta Braves

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Posted on: August 28, 2011 2:44 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Keppinger does in old team, again

Jeff Keppinger

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jeff Keppinger, Giants: For the second night in a row, the former Astro did in his old team. Saturday night Keppinger singled in Mark DeRosa from second with a single just over the head of 5-foot-7 Houston second baseman Jose Altuve to give San Francisco a 2-1 victory in 10 innings. On Friday, Keppinger hit a two-run double in the fifth, good for another 2-1 victory. Keppinger came to the Giants from Houston on July 19.

Chris Young, Diamondbacks: The Diamondbacks center fielder made sure fans went home happy -- and it wasn't just the because of the bobbleheads in his likeness the team gave out before the game. Young hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning off of San Diego starter Aaron Harang and that was enough for Joe Saunders, who allowed just an unearned run on four hits in seven innings as Arizona beat San Diego 3-1 for their fifth consecutive victory.

Brad Lincoln, Pirates: The rookie right-hander not only notched his first victory of the season (and second of his career), but also had a two-run double off of Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter in the Pirates' four-run fourth. Lincoln allowed six hits and no runs in six innings, striking out four and walking one in the Pirates' 7-0 victory over St. Louis, breaking the team's five-game road losing streak.


Chris Marrero, Nationals: Making his MLB debut, the former first-round pick by the Nationals saw a ball hit to him on the very first batter of his big-league career come right at him -- and by him, allowing Brandon Phillips reach in the first inning of the Nationals' 6-3 loss. Phillips scored on a wild pitch with two outs later in the inning. Phillips also scored on Marrero's second error when the Nationals first baseman fielded a double-play ball and threw it into left field, allowing Phillips to score from second, starting a three-run inning for the Reds. Despite his two errors, Marrero did manage his first hit, a single off of Reds starter Mike Leake in the fourth inning.

Royals bullpen: The day after Tim Collins walked in the winning run for a Kansas City loss in Cleveland, Louis Coleman surrendered a three-run homer to Asdrubal Cabrera for an 8-7 Kansas City loss to the Indians. With two outs in the eight and the Royals leading by two runs, Coleman gave up a single to Lonnie Chisenhall and walked Kosuke Fukudome to set up Cabrera's shot. Blake Wood also gave up three hits and a run in his 1/3 of an inning of work.

C.J. Wilson, Rangers: The same day Texas manager Ron Washington told reporters Wilson was going to be the team's horse down the stretch, pitching every five days no matter what, the left-hander gave up six runs on 10 hits and a walk in five innings. The Angels also hit four of their five solo homers off of Wilson as Los Angeles moved to within two games of Texas with a 8-4 victory.

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Posted on: July 15, 2011 3:00 am
Edited on: July 15, 2011 8:49 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Good starts, bad finishes

Aaron Harang

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Aaron Harang, Padres: In his last two outings, Harang has combined to throw 13 scoreless innings and allow just five hits since coming off the disabled list and the Pades have no wins to show for it. On Saturday he left after six no-hit innings only to see the Padres lose in the ninth inning. Thursday, Harang gave up five hits, but struck out four and walked one during his seven innings. He left the game with a 1-0 lead to the Padres' usually stellar bullpen. But after Mike Adams' scoreless eighth, Heath Bell blew his second save of the season when Aubrey Huff homered to lead off the ninth. The Padres would go ahead and lose in the 12th (see below).

Matt Garza, Cubs: Garza has had some bad luck in his first season with the Cubs, entering Thursday's start with a 4-7 record and 4.26 ERA, but with an xFIP of 2.86 -- xFIP is a metric that is supposed to take out the factors the pitch can't control, such as having Starlin Castro as your shortstop and the ballpark, which is the x part. Anyway Thursday Garza had just his second scoreless start of the season, holding the Marlins scoreless through seven innings, giving up six hits and three walks while striking out six and lowering his ERA to 3.97. Like Harang, Garza was in line for the win until the game got to his closer (see below).

Derek Holland, Rangers: Unlike the other two, Holland didn't let anyone else screw up his start. Holland allowed five hits in his second-straight shutout. The 24-year-old lefty went just 2/3 of an inning in his first start of July, but then shutout Oakland last week and Seattle on Thursday. Holland allowed five hits and a walk and struck out eight and took a perfect game into the sixth inning before walking the first batter he faced and then giving up a single to Chone Figgins. Unlike Garza or Harang, Holland picked up the W, improving to 8-4 with a 4.32 ERA.


Luke Gregerson, Padres: Bell blew his second save of the season, but it was Gregorson who picked up the loss for San Diego in the 12th inning against the Giants. The right-hander started the 12th with two walks and then committed an error to load the bases. After getting a popup and a strikeout, he threw four straight balls to Mike Fontenot to give San Francisco the lead. Pablo Sandoval's two-run single was the first hit of the inning and ended Gregorson's night in the 6-2 loss.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs: It wasn't just that Marmol walked the first three batters he faced in the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead, it was that after he gave up a double to Greg Dobbs, he failed to back up the play. It was apparent he expected all three runs to score, and they would have easily scored had Dewayne Wise not fallen after rounding third. The ball got past catcher Geovany Soto and with Marmol out of position, Wise was able to score. He then walked Emilio Bonifacio before being replaced by Kerry Wood, who allowed both of his inherited runners to score as the Marlins scored all six of their runs in the ninth, winning 6-3.

Blake Wood, Royals: Coming in to try to keep the Royals within a run over the Twins, Wood loaded the bases and then walked Ben Revere to score one run and followed that by hitting Alexi Casilla to make it 6-3. He was replaced by Everett Teaford who gave up a two-run single to Joe Mauer to close the book on Wood. Teaford was replaced by Louis Coleman, who got out of the inning, but the damage was done in Kansas City's 8-4 loss.

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Posted on: March 14, 2011 10:55 pm
Edited on: April 18, 2011 11:54 am
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/14: Pie's day

By C. Trent Rosecrans

3 UP

1. Kyle Lohse, Cardinals -- Lohse has been a weak, expensive link in the Cardinals' rotation the last two years, but is impressing this spring. On Monday, Lohse allowed just one hit over six innings against the Braves. This spring, he's allowed just two runs in 13 innings.

2. Matt Cain, Giants -- In his first start since the spring opener, Cain pitched three hitless innings against the Brewers on Monday. Cain hadn't pitched since Feb. 27 because of inflammation in his right elbow.

3. Felix Pie, Orioles -- The outfielder had a hit in four at-bats Wednesday, but he's here because it was his day, Pi Day (3.14). Sure, it's a stretch, but it's just spring training.

3 DOWN

Andrew McCutchen

1. Andrew McCutchen, Pirates -- Not only did McCutchen lose his glove trying to catch a home run by Baltimore's Randy Winn, in the same inning he was thrown out at the plate and complained that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters didn't avoid contact as much as he should in spring training (pictured).

2. Bruce Chen, Blake Wood, Jason Kendall, Royals -- One of the best days of spring is the one scheduled off day. For players (and reporters) the one day without a game in March is the prize of six weeks in Arizona and Florida, who go without a day to themselves from the middle of February until April. The Royals trio all had to show up to work on Monday, Chen and Wood worked in a minor-league intrasquad game, while Kendall continued his rehab from shoulder surgery.

3. Chris Sale, White Sox -- The 21-year-old lefty was good last season after being called up at the end of the year, but has struggled this spring. Chicago's first-round pick in the 2010 draft allowed three runs in the fifth inning of Monday's game against the Padres. He has a 7.36 ERA in five appearances this spring.

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