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Cochise
04-10-2005, 10:16 PM
Burgos dazzles in Double-A debut
Reliever strikes out four, picks up win in relief
By Matt LaWell / Special to MLB.com

WICHITA, Kan. -- Ambiorix Burgos made his first appearance at Double-A Wichita on Friday night and it might not be too much longer before he pitches at Kauffman Stadium.

Burgos, the highly touted 20-year-old former starter who pitched in Major League camp during Spring Training, came on in the top of the eighth inning of Wichita's 8-7 win over the Tulsa Drillers and pitched two shutout innings for the win.

That wasn't what dropped every jaw in Lawrence Dumont Stadium, though.

During the brief outing -- his first as Wichita's closer -- Burgos struck out four of the seven batters he faced, including Drillers designated hitter Ryan Spilborghs, who whiffed on a 3-2 split-finger to end the ninth inning.

"He has a lot of arm speed, he had good action out there tonight and he's got a good split-finger," Wichita pitching coach Larry Carter said. "He's got a split-finger from hell."

Burgos, who struck out 172 batters in 133 2/3 innings last season at Class A Burlington, wasted no time in recording his first strikeout of the 2005 season. He set down the first batter he faced, Tulsa left fielder Tony Miller, on three pitches. Then he struck out Jeff Salazar on three more.

"He was throwing nails the first inning," Wichita manager Frank White said.

Burgos got Jayson Nix to ground out to second base to end the inning, after which Burgos walked off the field to a raucous ovation.

He opened the ninth inning by striking out Sean Barker on three pitches before running into a brief problem with his control. Burgos walked Corey Slavik on four pitches and started out 2-0 on the next batter, Javier Cardona. At that point, Wranglers catcher Matt Tupman went to the mound to settle down Burgos. What did Tupman say to the young fireballer?

"I didn't say anything," Tupman said. "In that situation, my job isn't to say anything. I just went out there to give him a breather and get him back on track."

And that's exactly what happened. Two pitches later, Cardona flied out to left field. Then, Spilborghs struck out on that 3-2 splitter that still has folks buzzing.

"It moved," Tupman said. "It moved a lot.

"His splitter does move a lot and that's a pitch I usually try to stay away from until there are two strikes. But they really can't hit him. He throws 98 (miles per hour) and I've heard he's hit 100 before."

On Friday night, Burgos was clocked between 92 and 97, Carter said. His average pitch speed was 94 mph.

That kind of stuff is perfect for Burgos' new role as a closer. He spent four years as a starter with Salcedo, Arizona and Burlington with mixed results: a 12-28 record -- including 7-11 last season -- and a 4.66 ERA. But he struck out 290 batters in 276 1/3 innings of work.

Burgos couldn't be happier about his new job.

"I used to be a starting pitcher," Burgos said through clubhouse interpreter Nelson Liriano. "I used to throw 100, 115 pitches, or more. Now I just throw 20 or 25. I like that.

"Frank White told me I would be the closer ... and if I'm given the opportunity, I'll take it. I'm trying to be the best I can be and take the next step."

Burgos' power pitching demeanor is ideal, as is his approach to throwing fastballs, Carter said.

"Burgos isn't afraid to throw hard," he said. "And you don't see a lot of 20-year-olds with arms like that. You don't see a lot of arms like that, period. A lot of guys like to throw breaking stuff and throw soft. He's just got a good arm."

His arm could soon be pitching at Triple-A Omaha or for the Royals sometime this season. But for now, White is just happy that Burgos is a Wrangler.

"It's nice to have him," White said. "It's nice to have anyone who has stuff like that, be it a starter or a closer.

"But if he keeps throwing like that, we might not have him long."

Matt LaWell is a contributing writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Demonpenz
04-10-2005, 10:23 PM
the royals look to have alot of talent. I think it's funny that if we won the central it would be like a WS apperience and ho hum the braves have won it thirteen straight times

ChiefsCountry
04-10-2005, 10:25 PM
Man when I dont know what I am going to do when Wichita plays Springfield. Root for the hometown team, or the farm club of my favorite MLB team.

Cochise
04-10-2005, 10:26 PM
Burgos, who struck out 172 batters in 133 2/3 innings last season at Class A Burlington


That line is mainly why I posted the article. That's just freakin' sick.

Demonpenz
04-10-2005, 10:27 PM
is ainkel down in AA ?

Demonpenz
04-10-2005, 10:27 PM
BA looked grood today! I wouldn't mind him being moved for some prospects. The royals need to shoot for next year and beyond

Cochise
04-10-2005, 10:28 PM
is ainkel down in AA ?

I think it was in AA that they had him playing outfield, which is Springfield?

ChiefsCountry
04-10-2005, 10:29 PM
I think it was in AA that they had him playing outfield, which is Springfield?

That would be correct, he isn't here yet but he will be.

Cochise
04-10-2005, 10:32 PM
BTW, damnit don't turn my Royals thread into a Cardinals thread! :cuss: :bang:

Demonpenz
04-10-2005, 10:36 PM
sorry bought that. I just put a bunch of royals shit in my room today. I Printed off a large bulliton that says

This room is for royals fans.... all other fans are directed to go **** themselves.

Then there is another printoff i have that says
"face it. god hates st louis"

tk13
04-10-2005, 10:41 PM
The dude can throw 100 mph, he's gonna be nasty if he develops...

Sure-Oz
04-10-2005, 10:43 PM
Maybe our closer of the future?? i hope so!

beavis
04-10-2005, 11:18 PM
The dude can throw 100 mph, he's gonna be nasty if he develops...
Yeah, and Affeldt = corner outfielder bait. But that's assuming Baird takes his head out of his ass, which I know is a long shot.

tk13
04-10-2005, 11:43 PM
Yeah, and Affeldt = corner outfielder bait. But that's assuming Baird takes his head out of his ass, which I know is a long shot.
I think Sweeney and Anderson are trade bait before Affeldt... if they both keep playing like they have so far during this spring and regular season, they might get flipped for more young guys, preferably pitchers and corner outfielders.

Ninjaman
04-11-2005, 12:00 AM
What about the other Royal first rounders ?

What are they doing ?

Colt ?

mcan
04-11-2005, 12:13 AM
Screw trading anybody right now. I think we oughta go out there and win some games behind some good starting pitching and good bullpen. I finally see a team this year that can really get outs. We might be able to win a couple of those 2 or 3 run games! Hell we're in a crappy division, and if we win it... I know it's a long season, but why not believe. I mean, if Brian Anderson can get a win, then anything is possible, right?

Bob Dole
04-11-2005, 06:39 AM
"I used to be a starting pitcher," Burgos said through clubhouse interpreter Nelson Liriano. "I used to throw 100, 115 pitches, or more. Now I just throw 20 or 25. I like that.

With a work ethic like that, he's going to go a long way.

beavis
04-11-2005, 08:26 AM
I think Sweeney and Anderson are trade bait before Affeldt... if they both keep playing like they have so far during this spring and regular season, they might get flipped for more young guys, preferably pitchers and corner outfielders.
Absolutely... but I think Affeldt might have more value, given his salary and untapped potential.

Mark M
04-11-2005, 09:12 AM
What about the other Royal first rounders ?

What are they doing ?

Colt ?

Colt has been a flaming turd with control problems. Which is what a team gets when they get a high school kid who does nothing but throws hard.

Maybe they could make him an outfielder ... ;)

As far as trades, I still say (and have been for two years) they should dump Sweeney. He made a good defensive play yesterday, but I just don't see how he justifies the $11 million they're paying him.

MM
~~:shrug:

Cochise
04-11-2005, 09:27 AM
As far as trades, I still say (and have been for two years) they should dump Sweeney. He made a good defensive play yesterday, but I just don't see how he justifies the $11 million they're paying him.


He means more to the team than hits and rbi's.

Ninjaman
04-11-2005, 09:28 AM
I think we all have slammed the Royals for taking the H.S. guys but they may have got the point from all the bashing they got for all those first round pitching failures which RUINED the team.

One word. Grienke. (high school player)

Mark M
04-11-2005, 09:33 AM
I think we all have slammed the Royals for taking the H.S. guys but they may have got the point from all the bashing they got for all those first round pitching failures which RUINED the team.

One word. Grienke. (high school player)
Taking high school kids doesn't bother me. Taking high school pitchers who do nothing but throw hard bothers me.

There's a difference between throwing and pitching, something that KC scouting department can't quite get yet.

He means more to the team than hits and rbi's.
I keep hearing how he's a leader, but I've never seen the guy do anything that justifies that. So he's a nice guy ... great ... so?

He doesn't run out ground balls ... when there's a play at the plate, he tip toes around the catcher, rather than showing some grit and heart and doing what other guys do: plow into the catcher ... his bat is average at best ... he fielding is below average at best ...

I'd say Randa and Ibanez were better leaders. But there's a reason I'm not a MLB GM ...

MM
~~:shrug:

beavis
04-11-2005, 09:48 AM
Colt has been a flaming turd with control problems. Which is what a team gets when they get a high school kid who does nothing but throws hard.

Maybe they could make him an outfielder ... ;)

As far as trades, I still say (and have been for two years) they should dump Sweeney. He made a good defensive play yesterday, but I just don't see how he justifies the $11 million they're paying him.

MM
~~:shrug:
Last I heard, the had converted Griffin to a reliever and he was doing better. Amazing the difference between having a cannon for an arm, and knowing what to do with it makes.

I think they haven't traded Sweeney because -
a) they can't find anyone to take on his salary and at the same time give them what they consider fair value.
b) they anticipate a fan revolt if they dump their only "marquee" player. I know that sounds stupid, but they did veto a trade for Randa for the same reason.

Cochise
04-11-2005, 09:49 AM
I keep hearing how he's a leader, but I've never seen the guy do anything that justifies that.

Well, I think you might have to be with the team on a daily basis to see that...

Mark M
04-11-2005, 09:57 AM
Well, I think you might have to be with the team on a daily basis to see that...

I guess you are with them every day, then?

;)

Last I heard, the had converted Griffin to a reliever and he was doing better. Amazing the difference between having a cannon for an arm, and knowing what to do with it makes.
I head that the other day as well, but the kid is still having control issues. It's sad that he and Kyle Austin have flamed out ... :(

I think they haven't traded Sweeney because -
a) they can't find anyone to take on his salary and at the same time give them what they consider fair value.
b) they anticipate a fan revolt if they dump their only "marquee" player. I know that sounds stupid, but they did veto a trade for Randa for the same reason.
I think you're 100% correct.

His injury history means that the Royals would have to eat a big chunk of his salary (which won't happen), and a lot of fans like Mikey, so there is that part of it as well.

Of course, for $11 million they could afford some more pitching. I guess having a nice guy that the fans like is more important, though ...

MM
~~;) :D

beavis
04-11-2005, 10:12 AM
He doesn't run out ground balls ... when there's a play at the plate, he tip toes around the catcher, rather than showing some grit and heart and doing what other guys do: plow into the catcher ... his bat is average at best ... he fielding is below average at best ...

I just flat out disagree with you there. They guy runs out every single ball he hits, and plays the game as hard as he can. I question a lot of things about him, but I don't question his desire to win.

I am skeptical about him as a clubhouse leader though. The lone thing I think Tony Muser was ever correct about is us having too many "nice guys".

SCTrojan
04-11-2005, 10:36 AM
I don't know if it's just because I'm paying more attention to these things, but it seems as though the Royals are stockpiling some young, talented pitchers these days. If they pan out, we'll be competitive for a while.

Demonpenz
04-11-2005, 10:40 AM
we could further stockpile them if we traded BA. If we can baby these some of them might stay. The way grienke has been pissed says to me he is 5 and out

SCTrojan
04-11-2005, 10:42 AM
I'm fairly sure BA will be gone by the trading deadline if he pitches decently. I think Baird is looking for a corner outfielder, though.

Cochise
04-11-2005, 10:45 AM
I guess you are with them every day, then?

;)



I don't claim to be. I just have no reason to believe otherwise when the unanimous opinion of people more closely associated with the team is that he does fill an important role on the team that way. I don't see why Pena or someone would outright lie and say someone was a clubhouse leader when they aren't. Presumably nothing to gain there.

And on top of that, the team doesn't have a lot of identity outside of him, if you think attendance sucks now, you'd really see something if they traded him for whatever minimal compensation they could get for him.

I'd like to know where people think we can trade him, it isn't like there are a million American League teams who are in need of a designated hitter, don't already have someone servicable in that role, and are willing to pay $11 million for one who has only marginal power.

Demonpenz
04-11-2005, 10:47 AM
I'd like to know where people think we can trade him, it isn't like there are a million American League teams who are in need of a designated hitter, don't already have someone servicable in that role, and are willing to pay $11 million for one who has only marginal power.



What about trading a crappy middle setup man who is going to be out of baseball next year. for a young prospect that throws in the mid 90's

Demonpenz
04-11-2005, 10:49 AM
I wish sweeney could bottle up that anger he showed against weaver and unleash it when he wants too. But as a red ass tobacco loving baseball fan it kills me to see him 4 minutes after ****ing up laughing about it.

SCTrojan
04-11-2005, 10:53 AM
What about trading a crappy middle setup man who is going to be out of baseball next year. for a young prospect that throws in the mid 90's

ROFL Just an example of what can happen when a shortsighted team thinks it's just one player away from something big.

Cochise
04-11-2005, 10:54 AM
What about trading a crappy middle setup man who is going to be out of baseball next year. for a young prospect that throws in the mid 90's

I'm not really sure what this has to do with Sweeney.

Do you know of a potential suitor? What amazing trade are we going to pull for sweeney?

The best we could hope for is a larger-market AL team attempting to make a playoff push wanting to add a bat. And, I think all we could expect to get in return would be one higher level prospect. And that is IF he is healthy which is by no means a sure thing by the end of July.

Demonpenz
04-11-2005, 10:57 AM
I'm not really sure what this has to do with Sweeney.

Do you know of a potential suitor? What amazing trade are we going to pull for sweeney?

The best we could hope for is a larger-market AL team attempting to make a playoff push wanting to add a bat. And, I think all we could expect to get in return would be one higher level prospect. And that is IF he is healthy which is by no means a sure thing by the end of July.


Just points out that you never going to know what you can get for a player in april.

KChiefs1
04-11-2005, 11:27 AM
I'd love to see the Royals steal another hot prospect away from one of the higher payroll teams....such as Melky Cabrera from the Yankees....he'd look great in royal blue! :thumb:

AirForceChief
04-11-2005, 11:52 AM
I'm not really sure what this has to do with Sweeney.

Do you know of a potential suitor? What amazing trade are we going to pull for sweeney?

The best we could hope for is a larger-market AL team attempting to make a playoff push wanting to add a bat. And, I think all we could expect to get in return would be one higher level prospect. And that is IF he is healthy which is by no means a sure thing by the end of July.

Well, here's one Wichita Eagle columnist who agrees with you:

Pitching only hope to help KC

By Bob Lutz

This is the state of the Kansas City Royals: The best thing that could happen to them early this season is for their best hitter, Mike Sweeney, to come out of the gates unbelievably hot. Crushing baseballs all over the place. Hiking that batting average up and over .350 and zooming toward .400.

Then the Royals might be able to trade Sweeney and get something of value in return.

Yes, folks, the best thing that could happen to Kansas City early this season is for the Royals to trade their best player.

That's the state of the Royals, who are the odds-on favorite to again produce the worst record in baseball.

Last year's team was 58-104. Fathers would take their youngsters to games at Kauffman Stadium and make them shut their eyes.

The Royals tried everybody. Damian Jackson, Mendy Lopez, Adrian Brown, Rich Thompson and Ruben Mateo received cameos. So did pitchers Jimmy Serrano, Ryan Bukvich, Eduardo Villacis and Jorge Vasquez.

Manager Tony Pena tried everything. But a Royals team that left 2004 spring training with promise quickly went into the tank. And the days seems like months.

The season produced a failed Juan Gonzalez Experiment. It saw 2003 rookie of the year Angel Berroa demoted to Double-A. It saw the trade of perhaps the best player to come through the system since George Brett when Carlos Beltran was dealt to Houston for three prospects. It saw the fresh-faced debut of a 20-year-old right-hander who has a chance to become the Bret Saberhagen of his generation.

It saw promise turn to disgust.

Which is where the Royals stand as the 2005 season beckons with an Opening Day game at Detroit.

How do the Royals pull themselves up from this awful place?

It has to start with pitching, and Kansas City has some hope on the mound.

Zach Greinke, now 21, has the right stuff. He throws hard and he throws soft, depending on the situation. Hitters hate facing pitchers who can do that. Greinke had good moments last season, but also some bad ones. He has had an inconsistent spring. But he is capable of winning 15 games.

To anchor the rotation, the Royals re-acquired right-hander Jose Lima, who won 13 games last season for the Dodgers and shut out the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Divisional Series. Lima is 21-8 the past two years, but with an ERA not as impressive. Still, he is a proven pitcher and the Royals need all of those they can get.

Greinke and Lima aren't sure deals, but they look like stone cold locks compared to the rest of the Royals' rotation.

Runelvys Hernandez is coming back from serious arm problems that make you wonder whether he can ever be the same. Denny Bautista made the team this spring because of his electric arm. But that electric arm produced an 0-4 record and 8.49 ERA in a brief stay with the Royals last season. And, of course, there is left-hander Brian Anderson, another veteran the Royals would love to trade. But that would necessitate another team wanting Anderson, and they aren't exactly lining up.

The bullpen looks shaky, although Jeremy Affeldt, I'm convinced, is someday going to develop into a very good closer.

Now for the offense.

Pena's biggest challenger as the Royals' manager will be figuring out ways to scratch across runs.

Kansas City has hardly anyone -- outside of Sweeney, catcher John Buck and platoon outfielder Matt Stairs -- capable of hitting 20-plus homers. And don't talk to me about Calvin Pickering, who should never have been kept on the team ahead of Ken Harvey, the team's only 2004 All-Star who was bounced to Triple-A Omaha.

If the Royals are to score runs, leadoff hitter David DeJesus and Berroa, the team's fastest players, have to get on base. Trouble is, neither player is very patient at the plate, having combined for only 56 walks in nearly 900 at-bats last season.

Sweeney, if healthy, can drive in 100 runs. Stairs is a professional hitter. Newcomer Terrence Long, an outfielder, will be adequate.

The Royals have to get production from Buck, who showed some pop after coming over from Houston but hit only .235. They have to get production from promising second baseman Ruben Gotay. And they have to get something from rookie third baseman Mark Teahen, the prize of the Beltran trade.

Teahen has been a strong hitter throughout his minor league career, but the worry is that he lacks home run power. And on a team desperate for that, he might just be another average contributor.

KC has the least feared lineup in baseball.

Sweeney, really, is the only guy in that lineup capable of carrying a team.

The Royals need Sweeney to carry them for a month or two at the start of this season. They need him to lead the league. Then they need to trade him for the kind of prospects who can help them in the long term. Because the long term is really all this team has.

beavis
04-11-2005, 01:33 PM
What about trading a crappy middle setup man who is going to be out of baseball next year. for a young prospect that throws in the mid 90's
We've only got one of those left, and he's on the DL.

Sure-Oz
04-11-2005, 02:10 PM
We've only got one of those left, and he's on the DL.
That Sullivan?

beavis
04-11-2005, 02:13 PM
That Sullivan?
Yeah.