Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So I was in Springdale, Ark. yesterday...

...and got a good look at new Royals pitcher Anthony Lerew - the former Braves top prospect. Lerew, who I begged the Royals to sign several weeks ago, is still attempting to bounce back from major elbow surgery after getting cut by the Braves. Lerew spent a brief time in the bigs with the Braves before being cut, and the Royals picked him up quickly. After all, Dayton Moore and J.J. Piccollo were responsible for his draft and sign with Atlanta in the first place.

Anyways, he looked brilliant against the Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros) on Tuesday. In front of the fourth largest crowd in Arvest Ballpark's brief history, Lerew tossed 6 2/3 innings against the Hooks and struck out six while allowing eight hits, three runs and a walk.

Lerew served up a controversial two-run homer to Mitch Einertson in the seventh, shortly before his exit in the game. The ball hit the top of the wall in left center, and after a long chat by the umpires it was ruled a homer. The only other run he allowed in the game came on a solo shot to Chris DeLome in the sixth. He started leaving the ball up in the sixth, clearly as a result of fatigue.

Still, Lerew looked really good. The Royals should be excited about what this kid can bring to the organization. His ERA currently stands at 3.07 and he's showing signs of re-gaining his old form. Center fielder Jose Duarte banged two doubles in the game, and looks like a much improved player over the guy I saw last season. He appears to have added some much needed bulk, and was swinging the bat very well.

Mario Lisson has moved from third base to shortstop, and looks like he is still adjusting to the move. He's played there before, but lacks a great deal of range at the position. He played pretty well though. Plus, the Royals feel he will hit. He has the body type to resemble Alex Rodriguez. With six years of steroids he may hit like him too. Bad joke.

Shame on me.

NW Arkansas won the game, 9-7, after Gilbert De La Vara (who was taken by the Astros in the Rule 5 Draft, but returned to Kansas City before the start of the year) nearly Kyle Farnsworthed the game with a horrible day on the mound. He allowed four runs and couldn't get out of the 9th. Chris Nicoll came on and slammed the door, stranding the tying run at first. The Naturals allowed four runs in the ninth.

I got some good pictures at the game that I will add when I do posts about these guys in the future. Got this shot of Lerew. Think I'm going to print it and have it signed. What do you guys think?

I'll be attending several more Naturals games all over the midwest this season and I'll keep you updated on how the young guys are looking.

By the way, Dan Cortes got hammered on Monday night. He's struggling to start the year.

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