It wasn’t a bad week for the KC Royals. They swept Cleveland to start the week at home, pushing the Indians closer to last place than first place. However they couldn’t continue that winning streak, as they lost two of three to Texas. Overall, they went 4-2 last week to improve to 45-62, good for last place in the American League Central (12.5 games back).
On the upside, the Royals are only four games worse than Philadelphia (who some think can creep back into the playoff picture). It doesn’t get any easier though, as they head out on the road to face first-place Chicago and then to Baltimore.
Omaha is in the midst of a three-game losing streak (after a four-game winning streak) to go 4-3 last week. Overall, they are 68-48, still sitting atop the American Northern Division in the Pacific Coast League with a 16 game lead. The Storm Chasers still have three more games in their homestand against Colorado Springs.
NW Arkansas also went 4-3 this past week, but are still in last place in the North Division of the Texas League. The Naturals are 13-30 in the second half, 16.5 games back. They even have a playoff elimination number of 12 already. They finish up their road trip against Arkansas tonight.
Wilmington went 2-4 last week, but stayed a 1/2 game back in the Northern Division of the Carolina League (everyone in the division is 4-6 in their last ten games). The Blue Rocks have off today, as they begin a six-game homestand on Tuesday against Winston-Salem.
Kane County went 3-4 this past week. The Cougars are 21-21 in the second half, good for a tie for third place in the Midwest League’s Western Division (five games back). They continue their home series against Cedar Rapids tonight.
Hitters of the Week
Majors: The centerfield duo of Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain has been hot. Dyson is hitting .526 and Cain is hitting .400 and both have scored three runs. They are a combined 20-for-44 (.455) with five RBIs and eight stolen bases.
Minors: Tony Abreu, Omaha. There is a reason that he was promoted when Yuni was designated (and it’s not his defense). Over the last week, Abreu was 11-for-24 (.458) with three doubles, six runs scored, and 12 RBIs. His seven-game hitting streak came to an end on Friday.
Honorable Mention: Abreu’s teammate in Omaha, Johnny Giavotella. He was 8-for-28 (.286) with four runs scored and seven RBIs.
Pitchers of the Week
Majors: Over the last week, the bullpen has been used alot. Three relievers have thrown at least four scoreless innings. Greg Holland has pitched much better of late since being named the closer. Over four innings, he allowed three hits and two walks while striking out three. He picked up the victory on Sunday with their walk-off win in extra innings.
Kelvin Herrera has also not allowed a run over 4.1 innings. He allowed two hits and one walk while striking out six. He did not allow an inherited run to score over those two outings.
Lefty Tim Collins did not allow a run over three outings last week (4.2 innings). He allowed just one hit and two walks while striking out three.
Minors: This week, I have broken this award into two categories. First is the starting pitcher of the week, which goes to Wilmington’s Andy Ferguson. In two road starts, he allowed three runs on 12 hits and three walks over 13.2 innings. He struck out 15, but did not pick up a win.
The reliever of the week is a tie between Kane County‘s Jason Mitchell and NW Arkansas‘ Ethan Hollingsworth.
In two long relief outings, Mitchell threw a combined six shutout innings. He allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out two.
Hollingsworth also pitched twice and picked up the victory on August 3rd with two hitless innings of relief. Combined, he did not allow a run over 8.1 innings. He allowed four hits and two walks while striking out four. Oh an he was just named Texas League Pitcher of the week.