MINNEAPOLIS — MINNEAPOLIS Outfielder Wil Myers keeps making it harder for the Royals to keep him at Class AAA Omaha.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Myers hit his minor-league-leading 27th homer Sunday afternoon in helping the Storm Chasers to a 6-0 victory over Albuquerque. His three-run shot in the sixth inning broke open a scoreless tie.
Club officials continue to maintain Myers, 21, is a prime promotion prospect later in the year but, privately, suggest that time could be growing near. Not imminent, perhaps; but near.
Myers, 21, is batting .329 with 71 RBIs while splitting 79 games between Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He is batting .317 with 14 homers and 41 RBIs in 44 games since his promotion to the Omaha.
Baseball America put Myers on the cover of its current issue under the heading, “Kansas City, Here I Come.” And he will be coming Sunday to Kauffman Stadium – for the All-Star Futures Game.
Omaha pitcher Jake Odorizzi and Class A Wilmington pitcher Yordano Ventura will also be at the Futures Game, which seeks to bring together the game’s top upper-level prospects.
Lefty Will Smith and three relievers combined Sunday on a six-hit shutout. Smith struck out nine and walked one in six innings. Center fielder Lorenzo Cain, on a rehab assignment for a torn left hip flexor, went one for four with two RBIs served as the DH.
Yuni’s big month
Yuniesky Betancourt provided one of the few bright spots in Saturday’s double-header loss to the Twins by driving in two runs in the first game. He finished June with 24 RBIs in 21 games, including 17 in his last 12 games.
The club record for RBIs in a month is 32 by John Mayberry in July 1975 and Jermaine Dye in July 1999.
Betancourt spent nearly all of May on the disabled list because of a high right ankle sprain before returning June 1 to active duty. He had just three RBIs in 15 games prior to his injury.
Right-hander Vin Mazzaro is the tentative pick to draw a spot start Tuesday in Toronto after lefty Everett Teaford pitches tonight in the series opener.
Mazzaro worked 2 1/3 innings Saturday in relief of an ineffective Jonathan Sánchez but threw only 25 pitches.
“That was just kind of like a little polish up for him,” manager Ned Yost said. “He hadn’t thrown in seven days, and we wanted to give him 25 pitches. He’s still OK (for a possible spot start on Tuesday).”
Yost said he prefers a right-hander for Toronto’s predominantly right-handed lineup. That’s why Luke Hochevar will jump ahead of Sánchez for Thursday’s conclusion to the four-game series. Luis Mendoza will start Wednesday’s game.
Sánchez and Bruce Chen are in line to start the first two games of next weekend’s series at Detroit. Yost said next Sunday’s starter is still to be determined, although Teaford and Mazzaro, at the moment, would be lined up to pitch.
Pitching coach Dave Eiland is expected to rejoin the club Tuesday in Toronto after departing between games of Saturday’s double-header to tend to his ailing mother, June, who passed away Sunday.
Bullpen coach Steve Foster shifted to the dugout to handle Eiland’s duties on an interim basis. Bullpen catcher Bill Duplissea ran the bullpen in Foster’s absence.
It was 19 years ago today – July 2, 1993 – that Royals Stadium was renamed as Kauffman Stadium in honor of owner and founder Ewing Kauffman. It remains the only American League stadium named in honor of a single person.
Kauffman passed away less than a month later, on Aug. 1, from the effects of bone cancer. He made his last public appearance on May 23, 1993 when inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame.
First baseman Eric Hosmer raised his average to .233 by going three for four. He is 11 for 25 in his last seven games.
Lefty reliever José Mijares worked two-thirds of an inning and has not allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings over his last 13 appearances. His ERA is down to 1.74.
Irving Falu broke a zero-for-16 slide with a two-run double in the Royals’ four-run sixth inning. He started at second base when manager Ned Yost rested Mike Moustakas by starting Betancourt at third.
The four homers by the Twins were the most they’ve ever hit at Target Field. The last time they hit four homes in a game was Oct. 4, 2009, when they hit five…against the Royals in a 13-4 victory at the Metrodome.
To reach Bob Dutton, call 816-234-4352 or send email to email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/Royals_Report.