Monday, April 4, 2011

The Royals look into the future and past to start the season

Typically a couple days away allows me to come down from excitement and not overreact to what I've seen as I never want to overreact or cloud my judgement but when it comes to Mike Montgomery I just can't seem to pace myself. I've seen him twice this spring once versus the Cincinnati Reds and then again in the Futures game and he's been lights out both times. 8 innings 2 hits 2 walks 7 K's and 1 run allowed during that time. On Saturday he sailed through a pretty solid AA lineup working 91-93 pretty consistently while blowing away Wil Myers in the 1st inning with a 96 mph fastball. He featured the fastball so there wasn't many changes or curves thrown to report on I'll sure I get to see many more of those as the season goes on but from what I've seen so far he definitely has the makings of a #1 who I think we'll see in KC before the year ends.

Johnny Giavotella vs Christian Colon - This is a rivalry that should be fun to watch all season long, Colon hasn't excited me defensively at SS and while I didn't expect him to I'm unsure if his defense is good enough at 2b to eclipse Gio's offense. Giavotella is patient, knows his offensive limitations and is a good enough baserunner that he might be a difficult hurdle for the higher drafted Colon to get over. Giavotella looked much better on defense during the Futures game than I've seen him in the past making a good turn on a double play and making a jumping throw from the SS side of second base. Giavotella is never going to be an All Star second baseman but he has the chance to have a plus bat along with at his peak a average glove. I overheard some Royals scouts getting excited by Giavotella's play.

Danny Duffy - Looked alot like the pitcher we've seen most of the spring showing a low to mid 90s fastball with some shaky control (walked 3). Duffy only gave up one hit an infield single which was quickly erased by a double play. In the second inning when Mario Lisson reached via a walk Duffy was a little too deliberate to the plate allowing Lisson to get a extremely good jump and stealing second base but Duffy made up for that mistake by freezing #4 overall pick Christian Colon with a 77 mph bender. Duffy essentially got five outs in his third inning of work striking out three despite having to work an extra couple batters due to a Moustakas error at third and a Falu error at short.

Other pitchers - John Lamb's velocity was far from exciting throwing anywhere from 86-89 while touching 91 with his fastball but he gutted his way thru 2.2 innings giving up just one run on three hits. Lamb gutted out his effort by picking off Lorenzo Cain and allowing only a couple hard hit balls. The early muscle problems should be good for Lamb a little bit of adversity to overcome when not at 100%. Brandon Sisk only got to face one hitter (Moustakas) but he tied him up with a 90-91 mph fastball and two solid change ups, four pitches and a K against a premiere prospect, not bad. Chris Dwyer again like Lamb wasn't as impressive as I had hoped in the the velocity department working in 89-91 range while exhibiting some iffy control (3 walks). The AA pitchers fell victim to some poor defense behind them which could've lead to some of Dwyer's troubles trying to be too fine. One pitcher who didn't disappoint was Will Smith who despite giving up a in the park HR on a misplayed ball in LF worked quickly while touching 93 a couple times with his FB. One nice sequence for Smith was against David Lough starting him off with a couple low 90s FB, a 93 mph FB and then freezing Lough with a 76 mph deuce for strike three. Patrick Keating was disappointing to me as he was throwing in the low 90's which is quite a bit off from where scouting reports had him last season.

Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer - Neither player stood out with their results although Moose hit several balls hard. Hos on the otherhand seemed a bit impatient which is to be expected playing in the major league park in game action for the first time. The pair finished a combined 1-12 at the plate while Moustakas had a ball go right thru the wickets on defense leading to a Naturals run. Hosmer looked good on defense making all the plays in his area while also making a nice pick of a Van Stratten hard hit near the line.

Wil Myers- Myers had a tough start to the game turning a Hosmer flyball into a circus catch in RF while striking out 2 of his first 3 times at the plate. He settled on defense however making some routine plays and looks as if he'll be fine in RF. He also lined a pitch from Louis Coleman down the third base line for a double, that's a good sign as I expect Coleman will be extremely tough on righty's in the bigs with his arm angle and start from the extreme right side of the pitching rubber.

Other notes- David Lough and Jamie Romak hit the only Home Runs off the arms of Chris Dwyer and Blake Wood. Wood was throwing in the low 90s as opposed to the upper 90s like some had reported during spring training. I'll watch the guns closely in Omaha to see if that is the case once the AAA season starts.

MVP Mike Montgomery
Offensive MVP Johnny Giavotella 1-3 2-BB 1-2b

Royals announced a minor league deal with Jeff Suppan today. Suppan started for four seasons with the Royals compiling 132 starts and 832 innings over a 4 year period from 1999-2002. This is a decent little low risk deal for a ML veteran, if a couple injuries would take place the Royals could bring up Suppan to take over in the rotation as opposed to rushing Duffy or Montgomery to KC.

NEXT UP Pics and Video of the Futures game
Omaha Storm Chasers Workout Wednesday at the new Werner Park


  1. Thanks for the post. I took the family to the Sat. game for all of us to see just what you reported. FUN! Monty was awesome. Hope to see good reports from you, Clint, as you will be our northern "eyes."

  2. Thanks a ton I'll try to get to as many games as possible