Royals Notebook

Royals turn attention to signing pitcher Sean Manaea

Updated: 2013-06-11T02:25:53Z


The Kansas City Star

After signing first-round pick Hunter Dozier on Monday, the Royals’ focus will now turn to inking left-hander Sean Manaea, selected 34th overall in last Thursday’s major-league draft.

The negotiation comes with a few wrinkles. Manaea, who just completed his junior year at Indiana State, was viewed as a high first-round talent before a hip injury caused many teams to back off. Still, the Royals believe they acquired a potential steal with their second pick in the draft.

“Our feeling is we got two first-round picks, two legitimate first-round picks,” said Art Stewart, the Royals’ senior advisor to general manager Dayton Moore. “If this didn’t happen to him with the hip, we don’t get him at eight even, because he’s going to be gone.”

Manaea, 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds, lit up the Cape Cod League during the summer of 2012, rocketing to the top of many draft boards. A hard-throwing left-hander, Manaea finished 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA and 85 strikeouts against only seven walks en route to being named the Cape Cod League’s most outstanding prospect last summer.

Manaea, though, will be sidelined until next spring after he has surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right hip, the same injury suffered by Alex Gordon in 2009. The need for surgery, however, could motivate Manaea to sign as soon as possible. And Royals officials believe Manaea has the ability to be a fast riser through the minor-league system.

“He has the stuff to be a top-of-the-rotation pitcher,” Stewart said. “His fastball — and he’s left-handed now, remember this — is 94-95 (miles per hour) plus movement plus command. And he’s got a big-league breaking ball right now, a slider, and a big-league change-up.”

“He could be on a fast track,” Stewart said.

Paulino update

Right-hander Felipe Paulino is ticketed for roughly 70 pitches Tuesday when he begins his minor-league rehab assignment by pitching for Class AA Northwest Arkansas against Arkansas.

Paulino, 29, is a little over 11 months into his recovery from Tommy John surgery to replace a torn elbow ligament. His assignment to Northwest Arkansas follows several outings in extended spring training.

“Good morning fans!!!” Paulino said Monday on his twitter account. “On My way to Arkansas nortwest !!! Ready to star(t) My first official rehab game !!”

Rules limit pitchers to 30 days on a formal minor-league rehab assignments. (Non-pitchers are limited to 20 days.) Because Paulino is out of options, he must be activated within 30 days or moved off the roster.

Tuning in

Fox Sports Kansas City pulled a 7.4 household rating for Sunday’s 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros at Kauffman Stadium.

It was the third-highest rated game of the season and ranked No. 4 in FSKC’s history of carrying the Royals.

Some perspective: Sunday’s telecast pulled a higher rating than game two of the NBA Finals between Miami and San Antonio on Channel 9 (ABC) and the Tony Awards on Channel 5 (CBS).

Minor details

Class AAA Omaha lefty Will Smith made his second relief appearance in three days Sunday when he worked 12/3 scoreless innings in a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma City.

“We are trying to get him acclimated to that role,” assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said, “if we were to need him to work out of the bullpen in the major leagues.”

The rotation grew crowded recently at Omaha with right-handed Yordano Ventura and lefty Danny Duffy arriving from Northwest Arkansas.

Ventura is the organization’s top pitching prospect, and Duffy is on a rehab assignment in his recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Smith is 4-3 with a 3.12 ERA in 12 outings, including 10 starts, for the Storm Chasers. He gave up four earned runs and seven hits in four innings for the Royals in an April 28 spot start against Cleveland

Minor awards

Northwest Arkansas outfielder Brian Fletcher was cited as the player of the week for June 3-9 in the Texas League despite playing just four games after missing two months because of an injury.

In those four games, Fletcher went seven for 15 with three homers and six RBIs.

Looking back

It 39 years ago Tuesday — June 11, 1974 — that Joe Burke replaced Cedric Tallis as the Royals’ general manager.

Burke served as general manager until October 1981, when he was succeeded by John Schuerholz. Burke became club president and continued to serve as the club president until his death from cancer in 1992.

The Royals have had six general managers in their 44-year history: Tallis (1969-74), Burke (1974-81), Schuerholz (1981-90), Herk Robinson (1990-2000), Allard Baird (2000-06) and Dayton Moore (2006-present).

| Tod Palmer contributed to this report.

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