Making a roster move the morning after losing the World Series, the Royals traded right-hander Liam Hendriks to the Blue Jays for minor league catcher Santiago Nessy. Hendriks pitched for Toronto briefly this season before being traded to Kansac City along with catcher Erik Kratz for infielder Danny Valencia. They apparently want another look at him.
Hendriks was the Twins’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2011 and has always posted strong numbers in the minors, but he’s been knocked around for a 3-15 record and 5.92 ERA in 189 innings as a big leaguer.
Hendriks’ raw stuff is underwhelming and he’s also a fly-ball pitcher, but he’s still just 25 years old and a 3.19 ERA in nearly 400 innings at Triple-A suggest he could be a decent back-of-the-rotation starter.
Nessy is a 21-year-old who’s yet to advance past Single-A, hitting .231 with one homer and a .645 OPS in 69 games this season.
After resuming a suspended game from August 31, the Indians hung on to defeat the Royals 4-3 in 10 innings early this evening at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
It only took nine minutes to complete, as the Indians had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 10th when play was originally halted due to rain. Get your “speed up the game” jokes in here. Scott Atchison was tasked with protecting the lead for Cleveland and gave up a leadoff single to Mike Moustakas. Eric Hosmer then pinch hit for Erik Kratz and struck out swinging before pinch-runner Terrance Gore stole second base. Alcides Escobar grounded out to third base for the second out, but Nori Aoki then laced a single to left to bring the Royals within one run. Things got really interesting when pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson stole second base, but Atchison got Omar Infante to pop up to shortstop to end it.
With the victory, the Indians now trail the Royals by 2 1/2 games for the second Wild Card spot. The two teams will begin a crucial three-game series in a little less than one hour from now. The Athletics still appear vulnerable despite having a half-game lead for the top Wild Card spot and the Mariners are just one game behind the Royals. This week should be a lot of fun.
The fates are smiling on the Kansas City Royals these days. In addition to winning like crazy and taking over first place in the AL Central, they’re doing just fine even if key players go down.
Last night catcher Salvador Perez left the game in the seventh inning with right knee discomfort. That’s a bad thing. But then backup Erik Kratz entered the game and hit two solo home runs in his only two plate appearances. The first home run extended the Royals’ lead to 4-0 in the seventh, and his second came in the ninth inning to make it a 6-1 game. Which was necessary, as the Twins mounted a mini-rally in the ninth, falling short.
After the game, Kratz had this to say:
“You put your work in before the game as a bench guy to be ready to go in,” Kratz said. “Some people could say well, Salvi plays every day, so why not take a day off? In my opinion, what’s the point of taking a day off if that might be the day you come in and play?”
While this runs somewhat counter to one of my own favorite dynamics in life — sometimes being utterly unprepared is totally thrilling — it is probably the better approach to take.
Meanwhile, Perez’s removal from the game is said to be precautionary. He’s day-to-day.