Posted on: June 14, 2010 7:56 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:55 am

Alex Gordon stuck in Triple-A

Alex Gordon Poor Alex Gordon.

Drafted No. 2 in the 2005 MLB draft and considered by many to be the best Royals hitter since George Brett, Gordon has instead disappointed many with his evolution into a league-average player. Except being an average player in the majors is nothing to be disappointed about.

Gordon hit .260/.351/.432 in 2008 as a 24-year-old for Kansas City, but struggled through an injury-marred 2009 season. He only got 12 games to his name in 2010 before the Royals decided enough was enough and demoted him to Triple-A.

Prior to the demotion, Gordon was hitting .194 but had seven walks to his name and no indication that his power was suffering. To no one's surprise, Gordon is laying waste to Triple-A pitchers and proving he truly belongs in the major leagues. In 38 games for Omaha, he's hitting to the tune of a .359/.486/.641 line -- as a left fielder.

That's right, the Royals decided to move Gordon to a position that commands players be big sluggers instead of keeping him where he can produce the most bang for buck.

Gordon will probably never be a George Brett clone, but at age 26 with an ability to man third base in the major leagues, he has value to any major league team. Except the Royals aren't interested.

"I don't want to bring Alex up here right now if he's not going to play," Royals manager Ned Yost told USA Today . "And we've got enough outfielders with [Rick] Ankiel coming up, and that's going to create another player to put in the mix. To me, he's better off down there playing every day until something opens up."

Unfortunately for Gordon, the organization seems sold on Chris Getz (hitting .195/.278/.207 through 98 plate appearances) at second base. Otherwise, there's a pretty obvious position available: shift Callaspo back to second and slot Gordon in at third base.

Alas, Gordon will have to content himself by playing left while he sees players like Jose Guillen and Scott Podsednik pile up the losses for KC.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 13, 2010 4:54 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2010 5:06 pm

Adjustment pays off for Greinke

CINCINNATI -- At least one scout was in Cincinnati Sunday to see just what was wrong with the Royals' Zack Greinke. Whatever it was, that scout didn't see it, nor did the Reds.

The Royals scored their first run for Greinke in 22 innings in the first and added six more for a 7-3 victory. Greinke allowed five hits and struck out 12 in the complete-game performance.

The difference between Greinke's four-game slide (0-4, 7.97 ERA in his last four outings) and Sunday's victory over the National League's top offensive club may have been as small as a tenth of a second, manager Ned Yost noted.

Following last Tuesday's six-run outing in Minnesota, Greinke spent Wednesday in the Target Field video room with Royals pitching coach Bob McClure studying video.

"What they found was he was a tenth of a second to a tenth-and-a-half of a second, whatever that computes to be, quicker in the windup," Yost said. "What that does, it doesn't give him enough time to get back and fully loaded and in turn, his arm starts to drag. They increased his load, got his hands in a better position and the results were obvious today."

In his last outing, Greinke noticed two Twins, Michael Cuddyer and Jason Kubel, took good swings on his curveball -- "and it doesn't seem like they ever take good swings on curveballs" -- so he went back to look at the video of what he was doing on those pitches. Greinke and McClure watched where his hands were for those pitches and his glove hand was down low sometimes and up high sometimes, no matter the pitch.

"We noticed my glove was moving differently on certain pitches," Greinke said. "It would be random, but the guys were seeing how the glove was different. [McClure] looked at last year; I was always up last year and this year I've been down and up."

Sunday, he kept his glove up and sent the Reds down. Greinke allowed two runs in the first -- including a solo homer to Joey Votto, but then retired the next 11 batters he faced and didn't allow another run until Votto's solo homer in the ninth.

The first homer, Greinke noted, wasn't as much a physical mistake as a mental one: "I didn't want to throw Votto changeups going in, I threw him one and he hit it well, it was being stupid," Greinke said. Even then, the homer was one that would likely be an out in most parks around the majors.

Greinke's 12 strikeouts were a season-high and he struck out National League RBI leader Jonny Gomes three times.

It also helped that the Royals scored, touching Reds rookie Sam LeCure for four runs in 6.2 innings and adding three more to the Reds' brutal bullpen. The Royals hadn't scored a single run with Greinke on the mound since May 18.

"He pitched great today, he had a lot more break on his slider today and he was locating the ball today," said Billy Butler, who had four hits and four RBI, including his sixth home run of the season. "He had that confidence that he had last year today and hopefully he can build on that and hopefully we keep putting up seven runs for him."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 11, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 6:32 pm

Kansas City to get 2012 All-Star Game

The Kansas City Star says Bud Selig will be in Kansas City to officially name Kauffman Stadium the host of the 2012 All-Star Game.

Major League Baseball promised Kansas City an All-Star Game if it approved major renovations to the 38-year old stadium. Renovations were completed in time for the 2009 season and Selig will make it official on his visit.

The Royals start a three-game homestand against the Astros on Tuesday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:12 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm

Are interleague 'rivalries' still relevant?

Interleague play opens up again Friday and yet again I'm underwhelmed by the Reds-Royals, Mets-Orioles and Pirates-Tigers.

But it's not just those mashups of also-rans that have begun to bore -- anyone excited for Cubs-White Sox? A's-Giants? Dodgers-Angels? Aren't those the reasons we're still stuck with a bastardized schedule? OK, it's Mets-Yankees and nothing else.

Every time this argument comes up, we're pointed toward interleague attendance numbers, without noting that most of those dates are summer nights on the weekend -- nights when teams would draw regardless of the visiting Royals or Pirates.

So what's on tap this weekend for our interleague overlords?

White Sox at Cubs: Nurse that hangover from the Blackhawks parade at Wrigley. What does it say that the NHL in June will overshadow one of the prime interleague matchups? Everything, really.

Astros at Yankees: Loser has to claim Roger Clemens?

• Mets at Orioles: When the Wilpons and Peter Angelos get together, there are no winners. Really.

• Pirates at Tigers: Well, there will be two nice looking uniforms on display.

Nationals at Indians: Yes, they're going to play twice before Steven Strasburg pitches. But one relevant game out of three ain't bad.

• Royals at Reds: The first-place Reds 24th in home attendance. There's only one way to solve that -- a visit by the Royals.

Phillies at Red Sox: OK, I'll admit, this should be a good series. Boston plays in front of sold-out crowds every night, so it's not like this is going to help the gate.

Braves at Twins: Two of the best debuts of 2010 (non-Strasnurg division), Target Field and Jason Heyward meet.

Rangers at Brewers: Does any argument about interleague play hold up when it involves the Brewers?

Blue Jays at Rockies: I got nothing... Blue Jays. Rockies. That's enough.

Mariners at Padres:
Two great ballparks, two awesome cities, one good team.

Angels at Dodgers: If you live in Southern California and want to see the Angels, you've got 81 chances.

• A's at Giants: See above, substitute "Southern" for "Northern."

Oh, the excitement.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 8:25 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:12 pm

Familiar surnames in draft

Through 50 rounds of the MLB Draft, several familiar names -- or at least last names -- are picked . Among those kin to current or former big-leaguers drafted:

• Delino Deshields Jr. (1st round, Astros), son of Delino Deshields.
• Cam Bedrosian (1st round, Angels), son of Steve Bedrosian.
• Kellen Sweeney (2nd round, Blue Jays), brother of Mark Sweeney.
• Mel Rojas Jr. (3rd round, Pirates), son of Mel Rojas.
• Cory Vaughn (4th round, Mets), son of Greg Vaughn.
• James Baldwin III (4th round, Dodgers), son of James Baldwin.
• Dickie Thon Jr. (5th round, Blue Jays), son of Dickie Thon.
• Connor Narron (5th round, Orioles), son of Jerry Narron.
• Drew Cisco (6th round, Reds), grandson of Galen Cisco.
• Patrick Leyland (8th round, Tigers), son of Jim Leyland.
• Benjamin Gamel (9th round, Yankees), brother of Mat Gamel.
• JaDamion Williams (10th round, Twins), son of Reggie Williams.
• Reggie Williams Jr. (10th round, Cardinals), son of Reggie Williams.
• Hunter Jones (11th round, Indians), son of Tracy Jones.
• Josh Magee (18th round, Astros), son of Wendell Magee.
• Dillon Moyer (22nd round, Twins), son of Jamie Moyer.
• Ozney Guillen (22nd round, White Sox), son of Ozzie Guillen.
• Mark Tracy (22nd round, Rockies), son of Jim Tracy.
• Bryan Harper (28th round, Cubs), brother of Bryce Harper.
• Brett Bochy (30th round, Giants), son of Bruce Bochy.
• Benito Santiago Jr. (31st round, Cubs), son of Benito Santiago.
• Andy Fermin (32nd round, Blue Jays), son of Felix Fermin.
• Devon Ethier (32nd round, Dodgers), brother of Andre Ethier.
• Logan Thompson (33rd round, Indians), son of Robby Thompson.
• Andrew Benes (35th round, Cardinals), son of Andy Benes, nephew of Alan Benes.
• Bobby Geren (36th round, A's), son of Bob Geren.
• Jake May (39th round, Reds), grandson of Lee May.
• Bo McClendon (39th round, Tigers), son of Lloyd McClendon.
• John Franco (42nd round, Mets), son of John Franco.
• Chad Wallach (43rd round, Dodgers), son of Tim Wallach.
• Benjamin Verlander (46th round, Tigers), brother of Justin Verlander.
• Joesph Jackson (50th round, Royals), great-great-grandnephew of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 9, 2010 6:39 pm
Edited on: June 9, 2010 6:50 pm

Suspended Volquez to start rehab assignment

Reds starter Edinson Volquez, currently serving a 50-game suspension, will start Saturday for the Lychburg Hillcats as part of a rehabilitation assignment, according to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon .

The suspension, for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, will not impact his ability to play in minor league games. Volquez, an All-Star in 2008, underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Aug. 3, 2009. Volquez has not thrown in a game since last June.

Although he's suspended for testing positive for PEDs, Volquez was allowed to continue his rehab at the Reds' facilities in Goodyear, Ariz., and will be eligible to return from his suspension next week, although his rehab will likely take longer than that.

Volquez could be used as a reliever upon his return to help the Reds' ailing bullpen or he could return later and take some of the pressure off of rookie starter Mike Leake, who has already thrown 73 innings this season, more than half of the 142 innings he threw at Arizona State last season. Leake bypassed the minor leagues and the Reds are closely monitoring his pitch counts and the number of innings he's thrown.

Another Reds starter, Homer Bailey, started for Triple-A Louisville on Tuesday night and could return for his spot in the rotation on Sunday aganst the Royals. Reds manager Dusty Baker told reporters before the game that no decision has been made on Sunday's starter. If Bailey isn't ready, Sam LeCure will start against Kansas City's Zack Grienke.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 8, 2010 6:44 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:30 am

Grandal had no pre-draft deal

Leading up to Monday night's first round of the MLB Draft, AOL Fanhouse's Frankie Piliere reported that there was a deal done between Miami catcher Yasmani Grandal and the Kansas City Royals. By Monday, word was the Royals weren't taking Grandal and when the picked fourth, they took Cal State Fullerton shortstop Christian Colon.

Grandal went 12th to the Cincinnati Reds.

On Tuesday, Grandal told reporters in Cincinnati, “I didn’t have any pre-draft deals. I had no clue what was going on. I don’t know where the rumor started. I didn’t speak the Royals or anybody.”

Grandal also denied reports that he was seeking "Buster Posey money" and he had signability issues.

"For the Reds to give me an opportunity, to be picked in the first round, it’s just great. I’m ready to go," Grandal said.

Grandal was 1-for-3 with two RBI in Miami's 10-3 victory over Texas A&M on Tuesday.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com