Nobody comes close in Royals’ Hall of Fame election

07/26/2013 6:29 PM

07/26/2013 6:29 PM

The Royals Hall of Fame will remain at 25 inductees for at least another year after regular-phase balloting rejected the entire list of eligible players.

Nobody came close.

Induction requires that a player receive 75 percent of votes cast from a panel of the 19 living Hall members, select members of the front office and media, in addition to an online vote.

Outfielder Bo Jackson and catcher/first baseman John Wathan topped the balloting but garnered only 32.5 percent.

The regular-phase balloting, which covers players, occurs in odd-numbered years. Candidates must have played at least three years with the Royals and be retired from his playing career for at least three years.

A veterans committee meets in even-numbered years to consider non-player personnel and players no longer eligible for the regular-phase balloting.

Players remain on the following ballot if they receive 10 percent of the votes cast.

That means Jackson and Wathan will be on the 2015 ballot with third baseman Kevin Seitzer (27.5), catcher Darrell Porter (17.5), outfielder Al Cowens (17.5) and pitcher Al Fitzmorris (15).

First-time eligibles in 2015, barring a comeback, will include designated hitter/first baseman Mike Sweeney.

The Hall of Fame opened in 1986 with the induction of outfielder Amos Otis and pitcher Steve Busby. The only player elected since 2006 was pitcher Kevin Appier in 2011.

Groundskeeper George Toma was elected last year by the Veterans Committee.

Santana rumors

The availability of right-hander Ervin Santana continues to fuel the rumor mill as the clock ticks down to the non-waiver trading deadline of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Numerous postseason contenders are seeking to bolster their rotation, and officials from those clubs say the Royals show a willingness to consider offers for Santana, who will be a free agent after the season.

“I don’t know how serious they are about trading him, though,” one top official from a rival club said. “They seem to want a lot.”

The Royals don’t deny that.

“We’re not trading him,” one Royals official said, “unless we’re offered something we can’t refuse.”

The general view is the Royals want a higher price for Santana than the Chicago Cubs netted in trading Matt Garza to Texas: third baseman Mike Olt, pitchers Justin Grimm and C.J. Edwards and a player to be named later.

The Braves, Red Sox, Pirates, A’s, Cardinals and Phillies are among teams believed to be seeking a front-line starting pitcher.

Trade possibilities, in addition to Santana, include Jake Peavy (White Sox), Bud Norris (Astros), Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse (Brewers).

Pop at the top

A tidbit from the stat experts at the Elias Sports Bureau: The three-game weekend series at U.S. Cellular Field features the majors’ two top RBI leaders among leadoff hitters.

Chicago’s Alejandro De Aza entered the series with 44 RBIs, or one more than Alex Gordon.

It should be noted that all of De Aza’s RBIs have come as the White Sox’s leadoff hitter, where he has started for 93 of his 95 games. Gordon has 51 RBIs overall, but eight have come while batting third in the lineup.

Elias also notes the Royals’ bullpen, after three scoreless innings in Thursday’s 7-1 victory over Baltimore, has compiled a 1.40 ERA in games started by Jeremy Guthrie. That’s the lowest mark following any pitcher who has started at least 10 games.

Minor awards

Class AA Northwest Arkansas right-hander Kyle Zimmer tops the latest

Prospect Hot Sheet by Baseball America

after working 12 scoreless innings in two starts since his promotion from Hi-A Wilmington.

Zimmer, 21, was the fifth overall pick in the 2012 draft but struggled earlier this season at Wilmington before making some mechanical adjustments.

“Zimmer’s stuff never really dropped off,”

Baseball America

reported, “but he was opening up his front side too early. His fastball too often would run back over the plate, and his slider flattened out.”

Zimmer allowed five runs in his last three starts at Wilmington, but he has been even better since joining Northwest Arkansas: 12 innings, no runs, six hits, three walks and 19 strikeouts.

The

Prospect Hot Sheet

seeks to identify those prospects each week who are performing at a high level. It is not an overall re-ranking of those prospects.

More minor awards

The updated mid-season top-100 prospect rankings by MLB.com include five Royals, topped by Zimmer at No. 34.

Also ranked:

Class AAA Omaha pitcher Yordano Ventura at No. 39, Lo-A Lexington outfielder Bubba Starling at No. 45, Lexington shortstop Raul Adalberto Mondesi at No. 52 and Wilmington outfielder Jorge Bonifacio at No. 99.

Minor details

The Royals released veteran outfielder Willy Taveras from their Omaha roster. He was batting .239 with a .308 on-base percentage in 79 games.

Taveras, 31, signed last December with the Royals as a minor-league free agent in a comeback bid after not playing in 2012. He batted .274 in 670 games over seven big-league seasons with four teams from 2004-10.

Looking back

When George Brett stepped aside Thursday as the Royals’ interim hitting coach, he did so exactly 23 years after he became the club’s last player to hit for the cycle — a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.

It was the second cycle of Brett’s career and the sixth in franchise history. It came in a 6-1 victory at Toronto. Brett’s other cycle came in 1979 against Baltimore at then-Royals Stadium in a 16-inning game.

Frank White also did it twice, in 1979 at California and in 1982 vs. Detroit. Fred Patek did it in 1971 at Minnesota, and John Mayberry did it in 1977 vs. Chicago.

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