Results tagged ‘ Royals ’

Ryan family readies for ALCS full of friends

When the American League Championship Series gets underway Friday, Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan and executive advisor Nolan Ryan will be keeping a close eye on the battle between the Orioles and Royals.

Both teams feature familiar faces for the Ryans in the dugout, front office and coaching staff from their years in baseball. There are some former Rangers playing for the Orioles, including Chris Davis and Nelson Cruz, as well as a handful of players who came through the Ryan-owned Minor Leagues clubs in Corpus Christi and Round Rock, including Bud Norris and Jimmy Paredes.

Nolan Ryan, former president of the Rangers, is also friends with Royals legend George Brett, who was inducted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 alongside Ryan.

“I’ve kind of pulled for Kansas City for a while now because of the fact that I know a lot of people over there, and I’ve been watching them progress the last few years,” Nolan Ryan said.

The Ryans know plenty of people with the Royals considering the two clubs share the same Spring Training facility in Surprise, Ariz.

“The Orioles and Royals are my sentimental favorites,” Reid Ryan said. “I know a lot of guys over there, as well as John Russell, who was instrumental in my dad’s career.”

Russell, the Orioles bench coach under former Rangers manager Buck Showalter, caught Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hitter on June 11, 1990.

“He played at [the University of Oklahoma] and so we’ve had fun over the years keeping up with him and his wife, who’s a good friend who I knew at TCU,” Reid Ryan said. “We watched him go through his Minor League managing career and Major League coaching ranks. He’s one of those guys you’re going to hear his name in the next few years as a manager candidate.”

Astros lineup vs. Royals

Here are the lineups for Wednesday’s finale between the Astros and Royals:


2B Jose Altuve

RF Brian Bixler

CF Justin Maxwell

1B Carlos Lee

LF J.D. Martinez

SS Jed Lowrie

3B Chris Johnson

C Chris Snyder

P Jordan Lyles


LF Alex Gordon

2B Yuniesky Betancourt

1B Billy Butler

RF Jeff Francouer

3B Mike Moustakas

SS Alcides Escobar

C Brayan Pena

CF Jarrod Dyson

P Bruce Chen

Astros face Royals in Interleague Play

Coming off a nine-game road trip (3-6), the Astros are probably happy to return to Minute Maid Park, but they’re facing a Royals team that hasn’t played poorly when playing away from home. The Astros are 18-14 at home and 9-25 on the road, and the Royals are 11-20 at home and 18-15 on the road.

Here is the Astros’ starting lineup:

2B Jose Altuve

SS Brian Bixler

CF Justin Maxwell

1B Carlos Lee

LF J.D. Martinez

3B Chris Johnson

RF Matt Downs

C Chris Snyder

P J.A. Happ

  • Astros first baseman Carlos Lee, who returned from the disabled list on Sunday and will celebrate his 36th birthday on Wednesday, is exhibiting arguably the finest bat control of his career, with over five hits for every strikeout. He has 59 hits and 11 strikeouts, for a 5.36 ration that leads the Majors.
  • Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is on pace to become one of the few National League second basemen since 1985 to lead his team in singles, doubles and triples. The only others to do that are the Dodgers’ Steve Sax (1986), the Astros’ Craig Biggio (1994), the Giants’ Jeff Kent (2000) and the Pirates Freddy Sanchez (2007).
  • Astros pitcher J.A. Happ features an impressive strikeout rate for a pitcher with a losing record. He’s 4-7, but is averaging 9.41 strikeouts per game. Happ’s strikeout rate is the second highest ever by an Astros left-hander (minimum 5 starts).  Randy Johnson averaged 12.38 strikeouts per nine innings while going 10-1 after joining the Astros in midseason 1998.
  • After matching his own team record with five bases on balls on Sunday, Alex Gordon has reached base 40 times since May 27, a total only one other hitter exceeds. Joey Votto has reached base in 45 times in that span. And with 20 doubles and 39 walks in 2012, Gordon is on the verge of joining Joey Votto (28, 54) and David Wright (22, 43) as the only players to total at least 20 and 40, respectively, this season.
  • Despite a 5.93 ERA over seven starts, Jonathan Sanchez has done a terrific job controlling the lead-off batter of each inning. Lead-off hitters are batting .111 (3-for-27) against him. However, after the leadoff hitter of each inning, Sanchez has permitted a .315 (29/92) batting average.
  • Since MLB split into three divisions in each league in 1994, only one team has removed as many base-stealers per game as this year’s Royals. The Royals have thrown out 46.9 percent of base-stealers (30 of 64), which is second only to the 1994 Twins (46.9).

Astros send Quintero, Bourgeois to Royals

The Astros have traded catcher Humberto Quintero and center fielder Jason Bourgeois to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Minor League lefthander Kevin Chapman and a player to be named later.

Both players hugged teammates and said their goodbyes as they left the facility following Tuesday’s game. Bourgeois was scheduled to start Tuesday against the Cardinals but was scratched just before first pitch. Quintero was supposed to play in the second half of the game, but he wound up not playing.

“It was a great opportunity to get my first full season in and now somebody wants me,” Bourgeois said. “I’ll always have place in my heart for Houston. I grew up there, so I think that says a lot.”

The 24-year-old Chapman, who was selected by KC in the fourth round of the 2010 June Draft out of the University of Florida, was one of the top strikeout pitchers in the Texas League while at Northwest Arkansas in 2011. In 25 relief appearances, he tallied 50 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings pitched while totaling three saves.

Chapman began the 2011 season at Class A Wilmington where he struck out 40 batters in just 22 1/3 innings in 15 appearances with seven saves. His combined stats for 2011 were a 1-4 mark with a 4.94 ERA in 40 appearances with 10 saves and 90 strikeouts in 62 innings.

“Jason and Humberto were a big part of this team last year and both will be missed,” general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. “They are quality players and well-liked in Houston.  This deal gives us an opportunity to add prospect depth and we are excited about both players coming our way.”

 Bourgeois, a 30-year-old Houston native, appeared in 93 games last year for the Astros, hitting .294 with 16 RBIs and 31 stolen bases. He was considered one of the favorites for the backup outfielder role, but the Astros added depth in that department in the offseason by bringing in Travis Buck, Jack Cust and Fernando Martinez, among others.

“It’s bittersweet,” Bourgeois said. “You always want to have a uniform on. I’m going to another organization and I’m glad somebody wants me.”

Bourgeois is a career .262 hitter with 46 stolen bases in 192 career Major League games with the White Sox and Astros, who claimed him off waivers in 2009.

Quintero, 32, is a hard-nosed backup catcher who has been with the club since 2005, the second-longest tenure on the team outside of Wandy Rodriguez. The strong-armed Quintero has spent parts of nine seasons in the big leagues and last year started 73 games at catcher when Jason Castro was lost for the season.

“I got my house and everything in Houston and I’m going to miss everybody here,” Quintero said. “Baseball is baseball and I’m going to go someplace else I get more opportunity to play.”

With Castro missing all of last year following knee surgery and undergoing foot surgery in December, the Astros signed Chris Snyder off the free agent market to add some depth at catcher. Castro is completely healthy

Quintero was bothered by a bulging disk in his back early in the spring, but the Royals had been scouting him for days as they search for a replacement for the injured Sal Perez. Quintero is a career .234 hitter with 15 homers and 94 RBIs in 379 career games.