Scoring change strengthens Mike Leake's ROY bid

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A week later, Mike Leake’s case for NL Rookie of the Year honors just got a whole lot better.
MLB on Monday made a scoring change that gave Scott Rolen an error on a shot to third that was originally ruled a Lastings Milledge double in last Tuesday’s game between the Reds and Pirates.
As a result, Leake, who was originally charged with seven runs — six earned — over five innings in his third loss of the season, now gets tagged with no earned runs in the game.
His ERA, which had stood at 3.86, drops down to 3.43, placing him 18th in the NL.
Leake remains a long shot to win Rookie of the Year, but with Jaime Garcia returning to earth and Jason Heyward having missed time, he has a chance. Here are the stats of the top contenders at the moment:
Mike Leake – 7-3, 3.43 ERA, 132 H, 78/44 K/BB in 126 IP
Jaime Garcia – 9-5, 2.53 ERA, 113 H, 97/46 K/BB in 121 IP
Jon Niese – 7-5, 3.63 ERA, 124 H, 93/42 K/BB in 119 IP
Jonny Venters – 3-0, 1 Sv, 1.10 ERA, 33 H, 60/25 K/BB in 57 1/3 IP
Jason Heyward – .261/.375/.443, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 8 SB in 341 AB
Buster Posey – .342/.389/.518, 8 HR, 37 RBI, 0 SB in 222 AB
Starlin Castro – .308/.356/.443, 3 HR, 33 RBI, 5 SB in 289 AB
Gaby Sanchez – .294/.355/.461, 12 HR, 52 RBI, 5 SB in 395 AB

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.