Ex-Chukar Holland chosesn as All-Star replacement

Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland (2007 Chukar) was named a replacement Sunday for the MLB All-Star Game.

Holland and Baltimore pitcher Chris Tillman were selected as replacements for Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander and Seattle pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who both started Sunday. Under baseball’s labor contract, pitchers who start the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt out of the All-Star Game.

Holland’s selection gives the Chukars two alums in the All-Star Game. Catcher Salvador Perez (2008-09 Chukar) previously earned a spot as a reserve.

His selection, along with Perez’s and Alex Gordon’s, also gives the Royals three representatives on the American League roster for the first time since 1988.

More substitutions are expected later today.

Holland snubbed from All-Star Game; July 14 ex-Chukar update

Of all the snubs on the American League’s All-Star roster, Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland (2007 Chukar) could be the largest.

The 27-year-old’s season has arguably been the best for closers in baseball. He’s converted 22 of 24 saves, owns a 1.80 ERA and leads all of baseball with an average of 15.43 strikeouts per nine innings. And in advanced metrics, he leads all Major League relievers with a 1.32 FIP, a metric that measures what a pitcher’s ERA would have been assuming a league average defense.

He’s been even better lately.

Since blowing his last save May 6, Holland has converted 15 straight saves. He’s posted a 0.78 ERA, walked four and struck out 41 in that 23-inning stretch. But Holland isn’t taking the snub too hard.

“It just didn’t happen,” he told the Kansas City Star. “There were a lot of guys who didn’t make it who were deserving too. So you’ve just got to move on.

Continue reading “Holland snubbed from All-Star Game; July 14 ex-Chukar update”

Royals recall ex-Chukar Teaford

The Kansas City Royals called up former Chukar Everett Teaford on Saturday.

The left-handed reliever rejoins the big league club after pitching for the Royals in 2011 and 2012. In 44 Major League appearances, the 2006 Chukar owns a 4.27 ERA and has struck out 63 in 105 1/3 innings.

Teaford joins the Royals as it shuffles its pitching staff after starter Wade Davis left for maternity leave Thursday. Kansas City originally called up Donnie Joseph. But it exchanged Joseph for Teaford on Saturday.

Teaford has spent all of 2013 with the Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers, posting a 2.88 ERA in 23 appearances (nine) starts. He struck out 60 and walked 23 in 59 1/3 innings.

Teaford’s call-up gives the Royals six former Chukars on their roster. He joins closer Greg Holland (2007), catcher Salvador Perez (2008-09), first baseman Eric Hosmer (2008), third baseman Mike Moustakas (2007) and Billy Butler (2004).

Ex-Chukar update, July 7

Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (2004 Chukar) tied Bo Jackson with the 10th most home runs in Royals history June 28. The homer against the Minnesota Twins was the 109th of Butler’s career with the Royals, tying him with Jackson in the club’s history.

…First baseman Eric Hosmer (2008 Chukar) earned the Kansas City Royals’ player of the month award for June. After hitting one home run the first two months of the season, Hosmer jacked six homers in June while hitting .303 and driving in 17 runs. He is hitting .359 in the seventh inning or later, third best in the American League. Continue reading “Ex-Chukar update, July 7″

Duffy nearing MLB return; June 30 ex-Chukar update

The Kansas City Royals reinstated left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy (2010 Chukar) from the 60-day disabled list Tuesday and he threw five shutout innings for the Royals’ Triple-A affiliate, the Omaha Storm Chasers, later in the day. He had made three previous rehab starts while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Duffy made 20 starts for Kansas City in 2011 and six starts for the Royals in 2012 before his injury.

… Right-handed pitcher Santiago Garrido (2009-10 Chukar) threw one scoreless inning for the North Division All-Stars on Tuesday in the Texas League All-Star Game. Garrido was the second pitcher of the night for the North Division and induced a ground ball, a fly ball and a lineout in nine pitches during a perfect inning.

Continue reading “Duffy nearing MLB return; June 30 ex-Chukar update”

BBQ sauce named after Billy Butler flying off shelves

Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (2004 Chukar) is further working himself into Kansas City culture with his own barbecue sauce.

The Billy’s Hit it a TON Barbecue sauce launched in April through Zarda’s, a local restaurant chain, and was available on Kansas City-area grocery store shelves. All profits from the sauce benefit Butler’s Hit-It-A-Ton charity, which he started with his wife, Katie, an Idaho Falls native, to raise food for needy families in Kansas City.

You can buy it online here.

The sauce started as a limited-time promotion. But its popularity skyrocketed when it found its way into the Royals dugout June 5. The Royals ended an 11-game home losing streak that night and promptly won seven of eight, bestowing the sauce the moniker “Rally Sauce” in the Royals clubhouse and earning it mention on the local game broadcasts.

That led to a spike in orders and grocery stores re-upped their orders of the sauce. Continue reading “BBQ sauce named after Billy Butler flying off shelves”

Ex-Chukar finally gets the call

It took 10 years. But former Idaho Falls Chukar Ed Lucas finally got his call to the big leagues Wednesday.

The Miami Marlins purchased the contract of the 31-year-old infielder and called him up after the Marlins designated Nick Green for assignment. He wore No. 59 and remained on the bench Wednesday in the first Major League game of his career as the Marlins hosted the Tampa Bay Rays.

Lucas started his professional career as shortstop for the Idaho Falls Chukar in 2004, hitting .312. The career .278 hitter was hitting .304 this spring for the Marlins Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans before the call-up.

Ex-Chukar updates, July 22

Left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez (1999-2000 Padre) has reinvented himself as a relief pitcher with the Seattle Mariners.

The New York Mets released Perez, 30, prior to the 2011 season with $12 million still left on his contract, and he spent the entire 2011 season in Double-A with the Washington Nationals. But the Mariners picked him up prior to the 2012 season, and after starting the year in AAA, they called up him to the big leagues in June.

Since then, he has appeared 12 times out of the bullpen and owns a 3.18 ERA. In 11 1/3 innings, he struck out 11 and walked four.

Kansas City Royals DH Billy Butler (2004 Chukar) made up for his pitching staff blowing a pair of leads Wednesday when he cranked a ninth-inning, walk-off home run to beat the Seattle Mariners 8-7.

The ball traveled an estimated 395 feet into the left-center field seats.

Continue reading “Ex-Chukar updates, July 22″

Ex-Chukar updates, July 15

Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (2004 Chukar) competed in his first MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday.

Butler — the lone Royal selected for the All-Star Game, which was hosted by Kansas City — caught the ceremonial first pitch from Hall of Famer George Brett before entering the game in the seventh inning.

Butler received a standing ovation when it was announced he’d led off the seventh against Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels. Butler grounded out to third base against Hamels and then struck out after working a full count in the ninth against Pittsburgh closer Joel Hanrahan to finish the game 0 for 2.

Butler had eight family members in the stands, including his wife, Katie, a Skyline High School graduate he met in Idaho Falls and who is expecting another child in January.

“In his big-league career, this is the biggest moment for sure,” Katie Butler told the Kansas City Star. “It’s an unforgettable experience, being around all the Royals fans, and our family, and where we’ve been since 2007. … Six years here, and this is the best we’ve ever seen Kansas City.” Continue reading “Ex-Chukar updates, July 15″

Ex-Chukar updates, July 8

The Toronto Blue Jays designated RP David Pauley (2001 Padre) for assignment Thursday. The Blue Jays picked Pauley up off waivers two weeks ago, and the 29-year-old right hander made four appearances for Toronto, surrendering four earned runs in 31/3 innings. The Blue Jays are the fifth Major League club Pauley has pitched for in his career. He started the year with the Detroit Tigers, but the Tigers cut him before the start of the season. He then signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and made five appearances before getting his release. Pauley’s best season as a pro came last year between the Seattle Mariners and the Tigers. He appeared in 53 games and threw 74 innings with a 3.16 ERA, 44 strikeouts and 22 walks.

… Baseball America named OF Wil Myers (2009 Chukar) the No. 3 prospect in all of minor league baseball Thursday in its midseason Top 50 prospects list. Continue reading “Ex-Chukar updates, July 8″