Sunday, August 27, 2006

Omaha Royals

I went to the Omaha Royals vs. Oklahoma Redhawks game on Friday night. The Omaha Royals won 4-2 in a well-pitched game by both teams. Mike Wood made a rehab start for the Wranglers and left the game in the 3rd inning. Wood was pretty hittable, giving up a lot of line drives. The defense also made a few mistakes behind him, contributing to his early departure. Pat Mahomes came in and pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings. Mahomes has a strange delivery, but kept hitters off-balance with good offspeed stuff. Leo Nunez closed out the game with a solid inning and picked up his 4th save.

On the offensive end, Shane Costa hit his 10th HR of the season, a blast to right field that bounced off the back of the bullpen. Paul Phillips had two hits, including a double. Kerry Robinson drove in the game-winning run.

Here are my impressions of some Omaha players:

Justin Huber: Huber didn't have a great night at the plate, but he hit the ball hard twice. Huber looked pretty comfortable in left field. He looked faster than I expected, getting to balls in the gap quickly. He did a pretty good job reading flyballs and made a tough catch against the wall in LF. I think Huber will end up as a left fielder in the majors and it was a good decision to move him there. I don't think it's unreasonable to think he could be the Royals' starting left fielder next year.

Shane Costa: Costa looked pretty pissed off, most likely because he wasn't promoted to the big league club after Sanders' injury. Costa hit a very deep homerun to RF. Costa has shown improved power this season. Costa is naturally very strong like Teahen, so I think he could have a breakout season like Teahen.

Mike Aviles: Aviles looked surprisingly big. He showed good speed on the basepaths as well and drew a couple of walks. He's probably a AAAA player, but could be a useful utility guy.

Paul Phillips: Phillips had a nice night at the plate and has shown decent power this season (9 HRs). I wasn't impressed with his defense, particularly his throws. He had two wild throws during the game, on to second and the other to third. As much as Royals' fans lament Buck, Phillips isn't the answer either.

Leo Nunez: Nunez pitched a very good inning for the Royals. He allowed just one hit, a bloop single. I didn't see him throw much other than his fastball though, but he commanded it well.

My camera battery wasn't fully charged, so I only got a few good pictures, but here they are:


At 12:00 PM, Blogger SoonerRoyal said...

Pics from top to bottom: Shane Costa, Mike Aviles, Justin Huber, Mike Wood


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