By my count, there are currently eight KC Royals players participating in winter baseball right now. Minor leaguers Justin Trapp and Jared Schlehuber will be beginning play in the Australian Baseball League for Melbourne on Halloween. The Puerto Rican League begins on November 1st and I am sure that there will be a few Royals playing there.
Here is a recap of how the eight Royals minor leaguers are playing across the winter leagues:
Let’s start in Mexico, where two pitchers are playing. The Mexican Pacific League began play on October 11th.
Right-hander Spencer Patton, coming off a very solid 2013 season where he reached Triple-A for the postseason, is pitching for Los Mochis. Los Mochis is currently 6-8 on the season, sitting in fifth place (6.5 games back of first).
Patton has made four appearances, two of which he picked up saves. His first came on October 12th, when he allowed a hit and a walk over one inning. He threw 11 of his 21 pitches for strikes. He was much more efficient in his next outing on October 16th. He needed just ten pitches (seven for strikes) in his perfect inning of relief. He struck out one.
Patton took the loss on the 18th, when he allowed a run in the 10th inning. He pitched two innings of relief and in his second inning allowed a two out triple and an RBI single followed. He picked up his second save on October 25th when he struck out one in a perfect inning of relief (17 pitches, 14 strikes).
Lefty Ryan Verdugo is starting for Hermosillo. His team is in first place at 12-1. Verdugo has two of those victories in his three starts.
His first start was on on October 16th, when he allowed just one run on three hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out two while throwing 47 of his 72 pitches for strikes. Verdugo struggled in his next start, allowing five runs on six hits (two home runs) and four walks over just four innings. He struck out two, but only threw 34 of his 71 pitches for strikes. He has the team’s only loss.
Verdugo picked up his second win on the 25th, as he allowed five hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. He struck out three and threw 60 of his 82 pitches for strikes in front of over 12,000 fans.
The Venezuelan Winter League was the first winter league to start and that was on October 10th. Four position players are currently in Venezuela.
Outfielder Paulo Orlando is playing for Lara, who is in last place at 4-11. He has played in 14 games and moved all over the lineup, mainly batting fifth through seventh (though he did bat leadoff once).
After going 0-for-10 over a three game span (October 20-22nd), Orlando has gotten hot. He has gone 9-for-21 (.428) over his last five games, 7-for-10 over his last three. In his last two, he hit home runs, including a walk off in the 10th inning on October 26th.
Fellow outfielder Gorkys Hernandez is playing for Caribes, who is 10-6. He has played in 17 games, while playing centerfield and batting second in all of them.
Hernandez has been pretty consistent for Caribes. He has only gone hitless four times. He has five multi-hit games. On October 16-17, Hernandez went 5-for-8 with a triple, two RBIs, and three runs scored.
Hernandez had an outfield assist on October 26th.
Catcher Manny Pina is currently playing for Margarita, who is 5-10. He has played in 11 games, though three of them were as a defensive replacement.
Pina saw his first start come on October 13th, when he went 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. On October 24th and 26th, he delivered two out RBIs and hit doubles.
Fellow catcher Juan Graterol is playing for La Guaira, who is 6-9. He has played in four games.
Graterol went 1-for-2 as a pinch-hitter in his first game (October 18th). In his first start (October 23rd), he went 2-for-4 with a two out, two-run homer while batting ninth. The following day however, he went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and an error. He entered on defense in the 10th inning on October 26th.
The Dominican Winter League started on October 18th. Two Royals minor league pitchers are there.
Lefty Buddy Baumann made two relief appearances for Toros, who is just 1-7. Unfortunately, he struggled in both. His first appearance was on October 19th. In 2/3 of an inning, he allowed two runs on three hits (including a homer). He did strike out two, but also allowed two inherited runners to score.
In Baumann‘s second outing (October 25th), he allowed three runs on three walks. He did not record an out in the 3rd inning and allowed an inherited runner to score.
Right-hander Santiago Garrido is pitching for Aguilas, who is in first place at 7-1. In his first relief outing, he allowed a hit in his one scoreless inning of work (the sixth). In his second outing, Garrido allowed an inherited runner to score. In 1/3 of an inning, he allowed one hit and a walk.
Check back next Monday for another update!