COLORADO ROCKIES NOTES:
I THINK WE’VE MET BEFORE
- The Colorado Rockies continue their seven-game road trip today with the first of three games against the Kansas City Royals.
- The Rockies were swept in four games by Arizona to begin the road trip … lost Thursday’s game 5-4 on a walk-off by Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll … it was the first time this season Colorado lost a game when leading after seven innings, the last team in the Majors to lose such a game.
- Following this series at Kansas City and an off-day on Monday, the Rockies return to Coors Field for a six-game homestand against the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.
- The Rockies are in the midst of 17-straight days without an off day … also in a stretch of 33 games in 34 days from May 19-June 21 … have gone 5-9 so far through this stretch.
- Colorado has gone 16-14 (.533) since April 30, the fourth-best record in the NL over that span behind the Dodgers (19-10, .655), Diamondbacks (18-11, .621) and Giants (17-13, .567).
HI, MY NAME IS
- The Rockies have used 26 total pitchers this season, the third-most in baseball behind Oakland (29) and Tampa Bay (28) … the Rockies used 25 total pitchers in 2022, 26 in 2021 and have used more than 30 pitchers just once since 2016 (31 pitchers, 2019).
- Colorado has also used 11 starting pitchers in 2023, tied for the third-most in the Majors … entering the season, the Rockies had used 22 total starting pitchers from 2017-22, Bud Black’s first six years as manager, the fewest starters in the Majors.
BACK IN BLACK
- Last Sunday’s win was the 441st of Bud Black’s Rockies career (2017-2023), passing Don Baylor for the second-most managerial wins in franchise history … Baylor, the Rockies’ first manager in franchise history, went 440-469 in six seasons at the helm from 1993-98 … Clint Hurdle holds the Rockies record for managerial wins, holding a 534-625 record in parts of eight seasons from 2002-09.
- Rockies Manager Bud Black returns to Kansas City, his second time managing against the Royals in Kansas City (also: 2017 with Colorado) … Black pitched for parts of seven seasons with the Royals from 1982-88 and ranks 14th in franchise history in innings pitched (977.2) and wins (56) … made 33 starts for the 1985 World Series Champion Royals, including one start and one relief appearance in the World Series … was also the Royals’ starting pitcher in the “Pine Tar Game” on July 24, 1983.
- Mike Moustakas played the first eight seasons of his career with the Royals after Kansas City selected him with the second overall pick in the 2007 Draft … ranks ninth in Royals franchise history in home runs (139) and 14th in games played (934) … two-time All-Star with the Royals in 2015 and 2017 and member of the 2015 World Series Champion team … has appeared in two games at Kauffman Stadium as member of the visiting team, going 1-for-4 in two games with the Reds Aug. 19-20, 2020 … also returned to Kauffman July 5-7, 2021 as a member of the Reds but did not play while on the injured list.
RETURN OF THE MAC
- Third baseman Ryan McMahon has reached base in 10-straight games, going 15-for-36 with three doubles, one triple, four home runs, 13 RBI and eight walks over the span … is the first Rockies player with at least 15 hits, eight extra-base hits,13 RBI and eight walks in a 10-game span since Troy Tulowtizki in 2014 … is just the fifth player in franchise history to post those numbers in a 10-game span, along with Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Ellis Burks and Larry Walker.
- McMahon’s 1.5 WAR (Baseball Reference) is second-best among all NL third basemen … his 0.8 dWAR and eight defensive runs saved each rank second among all third basemen.
- 21-year-old shortstop Ezequiel Tovar hit his fourth home run of the season Thursday … is slashing .333/.388/.533 over his last 13 games and his hitting .276 (34-for-23) over his last 35 games since April 23, raising his average from .172 to .241 on the season.
- Has started 54 games at shortstop, tied for the third-most in the Majors … his six defensive runs saved are tied for the third-most among shortstops while his 1.0 dWAR is tied for the seventh-highest overall in the Majors.
BABY GOT BACKSTOP
- Despite a three-game hitless streak, his first of the season, Rockies catcher Elias Díaz’s .314 batting average (54-for-172) ranks fifth in the Majors, fourth in the NL … his .374 average (34-for-91) average at home is the third-highest in the Majors while his .417 (20-for-48) average with runners in scoring position is tied for the sixth-highest the Majors.
- Has appeared in 48 games at catcher, the second-most in the Majors … his 10 catcher caught stealing are third in the Majors … tied for fourth among Major Leaguers with a 1.1 defensive WAR.
- The Rockies have gone 2-7 in Interleague play this season, with all nine games coming in American League ballparks … were swept in three games at Seattle April 14-16, took two of three in Cleveland April 24-26, and were swept in three games at Texas May 19-21.
- The Rockies are 12-16 all-time against the Royals, including 3-8 at Kauffman Stadium … dropped two of three to the Royals last season at Coors Field May 13-15 … last visited Kansas City in 2017, losing two of three.
ROCKIES STARTING PITCHER – #45 CHASE ANDERSON RHP
HEADING OUT WEST
- Chase Anderson will make his fourth start in a Rockies uniform tonight after being claimed off of waivers from Tampa Bay on May 12.
- Designated for assignment by Tampa Bay on May 10 … was acquired by Tampa Bay via trade with Cincinnati in exchange for cash considerations on May 3.
- Was signed by the Reds to a Minor League contract on Feb. 20 after spending the 2022 season with the club.
SO GLAD WE MET
- Last start came last Saturday against the Mets … went 5.0 innings and allowed one run on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts.
- Did not receive a decision in the 10-7 win, his third no-decision in as many starts … left with the game with the Rockies up 6-1.
CHASE THE ACE
- In his three starts with Colorado, all at Coors Field, has posted a 1.72 ERA (15.2 IP, 3 ER) with four walks and eight strikeouts … allowed 13 hits (.236 average) with two doubles and one home run allowed.
- Seventh pitcher in franchise history to toss at least 15 innings and allow three or fewer runs in his first three appearances with the club, the first since Jose Ureña in 2022 … is only the third pitcher in franchise history to put up those numbers in his first three starts at Coors Field, joining Jordan Lyles (2014), tonight’s opposing starter for Kansas City, and Denny Stark (2002).
ANNOUNCE HIS PRESENCE WITH AUTHORITY
- Made his first career start with the Rockies on May 16 vs. the Reds, drawing a no decision in a 3-1 Rockies loss … pitched five scoreless innings with one hit allowed, one walk and three strikeouts … left after five innings with the game tied 0-0.
- Became the ninth pitcher in franchise history to toss at least five scoreless innings in his first start with the club, the first since Antonio Senzatela did so in his Major League debut on April 6, 2017 … first Rockies pitcher to accomplish the feat in a home game since Drew Pomeranz on his Major League debut on Sept. 11, 2011.
FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING
- Will be making his first career appearance against Kansas City, the only team in the Majors he has not faced at least once.
- Has gone 1-4 with a 4.43 ERA (42.2 IP, 21 ER) in eight career starts against other AL Central clubs.
RAYS OF SUNSHINE
- Made two relief appearances for Tampa Bay on May 3 and May 9, both in relief after being acquired from Cincinnati on May 3.
- Pitched five innings without allowing a run in his relief appearances … allowed two hits and one walk, while striking out two.
- Tossed three scoreless innings on May 3 vs. Pittsburgh, garnering his first career save in an 8-1 Rays win.
HISTORY AT A MILE HIGH
- Over his 10-year career, has made nine starts at Coors Field, going 2-3 with a 5.60 ERA (45.0 IP, 28 ER), 17 walks and 30 strikeouts … has allowed 50 hits in his 45.0 innings at Coors Field (.294 average), including six home runs.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS NOTES:
70 HOURS AGO: Fresh off back-to-back off days, the Royals last played on Tuesday night in St. Louis, a 2-1 loss that ended 70 hours before tonight’s scheduled first pitch…the break in between marked Kansas City’s first scheduled back-to-back off days since April 6-7, 2016…hits were hard to come by Tuesday night, as Zack Greinke held the Cardinals to 2 hits over 5.0 scoreless innings, and Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas held the Royals to 3 hits over 8.0 scoreless innings, with 10 strikeouts…four batters after Greinke’s exit, Nolan Arenado broke the scoreless tie in the 6th with an RBI double, and Nolan Gorman added a sacrifice fly in the 8th…the Royals made it interesting in the 9th, when Vinnie Pasquantino and Salvador Perez began the frame with backto-back hits, and Bobby Witt Jr. spoiled the shutout bid with an RBI groundout…he later stole second base—his 17th of the season—to put the tying run in scoring position, before Michael Massey struck out to end the game.
Arenado’s RBI double in the 6th was the 1st run allowed by Royals pitching since the 4th inning on Sunday vs. Washington, snapping a 19.0-inning scoreless streak…since their 12-10 loss to the Nats a week ago tonight, the Royals have allowed 8 runs in 35.0 innings (2.06 ERA), but are 2-2 in those 4 games.
ROSTER MOVE: The Royals announced today that left-handed pitcher Amir Garrett has been placed on the 15-day Injured List (retroactive to May 29) with left elbow valgus extension overload…in a corresponding move, right hander Jackson Kowar has been recalled from Triple-A Omaha…this marks Kowar’s second stint with the Royals this season following a brief stint two weeks ago, when he made 1 appearance on May 19 at the White Sox, in which he recorded 2.1 scoreless innings with no hits allowed and 3 strikeouts…he’s made 3 appearances with Omaha since returning to Triple-A, and last pitched on Wednesday, throwing 18 pitches in 1.0 inning of work.
BIG SLICK: This weekend marks the 14th annual Big Slick event, in which several Kansas City-native celebrities return to their hometown to raise money for Children’s Mercy Hospital, with the goal of eradicating pediatric cancer…tonight’s event is the Big Slick Celebrity Softball Game, which begins at 5:00 p.m. CT at Kauffman Stadium and will feature local celebrities Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle, Eric Stonestreet, David Koechner, Heidi Gardner and many more…a portion of the proceeds from the celebrity softball game will be donated to Big Slick to help in their mission…to date, Big Slick has raised more than $17 million for pediatric cancer.
CONSTRUCTION ALERT: Starting at 2 a.m. tomorrow morning, MODOT will be closing both directions of Interstate 70 to demolish the Blue Ridge Blvd. bridge…the closure will impact fans, employees and media who use I-70 to get to and from the stadium…construction is set to be complete by 5 a.m. on Monday…if you’re traveling to Kauffman Stadium this weekend, please allow plenty of time to navigate the delay this may cause.
If traveling to Kauffman Stadium from downtown eastbound on I-70, use Manchester Trafficway to avoid the closure and follow signs to the stadium…if arriving along westbound I-70, you’ll be redirected to take I-470 South to 435 North to get to the ballpark…if you come from 435, your route will not change.
ALL-STAR BALLOT: Major League Baseball on Wednesday launched the 2023 Scotts MLB All-Star Ballot for the Midsummer Classic, which will be played on Tuesday, July 11 at Seattle’s T-Mobile Park…the All-Star Ballot will once again feature two phases of fan voting to determine the starters for the 93rd Midsummer Classic… fans can now cast their votes exclusively online and via mobile devices at MLB.com, all 30 club sites, the MLB app and the MLB Ballpark app until the voting period for Phase 1 concludes on Thursday, June 22 at 11:00 a.m. CT…during this initial voting period, fans can submit up to five ballots per 24-hour period on MLB platforms.
Salvador Perez leads all primary catchers with 12 homers and ranks 2nd among American League catchers with 32 RBI…Perez, a seven-time All-Star, is batting .284 in 50 games this season with an .849 OPS.
Bobby Witt Jr. has 10 HR, including 9 as a shortstop, 2nd most in the AL at the position to Bo Bichette (12).
MAY HONORS: The Royals announced today that Salvador Perez and Zack Greinke have been named Royals Player and Pitcher of the Month, respectively, for May, an award determined by local media vote…Salvy led the Royals with 9 HR and 19 RBI last month, and his 9 HR matched Gary Gaetti (1995) for the most by a Royal in the month of May…Perez’s 9 HR trailed only Aaron Judge (12), Jorge Soler (12) and Pete Alonso (10) in the Majors, and his .635 slugging percentage ranked 4th behind Judge (.882), Mickey Moniak (.694) and Luis Robert Jr. (.640)…this marks Salvy’s seventh career Royals Player of the Month Award, 5th most since the award was introduced in 1995.
Greinke recorded a 2.30 ERA (8 ER in 31.1 IP) in 6 games last month, which ranked 7th in the American League and was the best mark by a Royal in the month of May (min. 30.0 IP) since Chris Young had a 1.45 ERA (4 ER in 31.0 IP) in May 2015…Zack issued only 3 walks in 31.1 innings, and his 0.86 BB/9 ranked 2nd in the Majors to Seattle’s Bryce Miller (0.75)…this marks Greinke’s ninth career Royals Pitcher of the Month Award, breaking a tie with Joakim Soria for the most Pitcher of the Month Awards since it was first established by the Royals for the 1995 season.
VS. ROCKIES: The Royals are welcoming the Rockies to Kauffman Stadium this weekend for just the fifth time and first time since Aug. 22-24, 2017… the Royals are 16-12 (.571) all-time vs. Colorado, their 2nd-best win percentage vs. any opponent, trailing only their 15-7 (.682) record vs. San Francisco… they’re also 8-3 all-time vs. the Rockies at Kauffman Stadium, where they’ve outscored them 54-37 (+17)…in 28 overall games vs. Colorado, the Royals have batted .298 and averaged 6.0 runs/game, both of which are their highest marks vs. any opponent…the Royals are 6-3-0 in nine series vs. the Rockies and haven’t lost a set since 2011 at Coors Field…they’re 3-0-1 in four series since and have won 7 of 10 games, including 2 of 3 in Colorado last season from May 13-15…the Royals clinched that series win with an 8-7 win in the finale, scoring 2 runs in the 9th inning after blowing a 6-run lead earlier in the game.
Rockies Manager Bud Black played seven of his 15 big league seasons with the Royals from 1982-88, including a World Series championship in 1985.
Mike Moustakas was drafted 2nd overall by Kansas City in 2007 and spent the first eight seasons of his 13-year career with the Royals, and was a World Series champion in 2015…Moose also set the single-season club record with 38 HR in 2017, a mark that’s been passed twice since.
The Royals are 7-13 in Interleague play this season, but are 4-3 in their last 7 games vs. National League opponents after starting 3-10.
HOME: The Royals tonight begin a 3-game homestand vs. the Rockies, which marks their only home games during an 11-game, two week stretch from May 29-June 11…the Royals are 8-21 at Kauffman Stadium, but are 6-5 in their last 11 home games, in which they’ve outscored opponents 60-47 (+13).
The Royals have had 2 walk-off wins in the 9th inning in their last 7 home games, including May 11 vs. the White Sox and Sunday vs. the Nationals.
The Royals hit 26 HR in 16 home games in May and are on pace for 92 HR at home, which would shatter the club record of 88 HR (1997, 2002, 2017).
Following Sunday’s finale vs. the Rockies, the Royals will fly to Miami to begin a 3-game series vs. the Marlins starting Monday night…that will conclude a run of four straight series vs. National League opponents, as that trip will continue to Baltimore for 3 games vs. the O’s next weekend.
TONIGHT’S STARTERS: RHP JORDAN LYLES (0-9, 7.30 ERA)
JORDAN LYLES is making his 12th start of the season and 333rd appearance (226th start) of his career tonight vs. the Rockies…he was originally selected by Houston in the 1st round (38th overall) of the 2008 Draft out of Hartsville High School (S.C.), and signed a two-year contract with the Royals on Dec. 28, 2022.
LAST START: The Royals suffered a 12-10 defeat to the Nationals a week ago at Kauffman Stadium, a game in which Kansas City held a 2-1 lead into the 6th, when the first four batters reached vs. Lyles, a stretch capped by Corey Dickerson’s go-ahead, 3-run home run, as Lyles finished with 5 runs allowed on 6 hits (2 home runs), 3 walks and 2 strikeouts…Lane Thomas led off with a solo home run on the 5th pitch of the game, and the next 2 batters reached via a single and a walk, but from there Jordan hit his stride, retiring 14 of his last 16 hitters through the 5th inning… pitching with a 2-1 lead in the top of the 6th, Luis García (who ended the game 6-for-6) and Joey Meneses hit back-to-back doubles before Jeimer Candelario walked, setting up Dickerson’s lead-taking homer that pushed Lyles out of the game.
Lyles yielded 2 home runs, and has allowed at least 1 home run in 8 of his 11 starts this year…16 HR in 61.2 innings (2.3 HR/9) lead the Majors, ahead of Yusei Kikuchi & Lance Lynn, and he’s allowed multiple homers in 7 of his 11 starts.
The Royals are 0-11 in games started by Lyles this season, and he has set a new career high with a 9-game losing streak (across 11 starts) since his most recent in in his final start of 2022, a 2-1 victory at Yankee Stadium with the Orioles.
THE ROLLER COASTER: Lyles has begun his Royals career with an 0-9 record through 11 starts, setting a career-worst losing streak…in those starts, a troubling trend has emerged, as his struggles have come in the beginning and end of his outings, while he’s been largely dominant in the middle innings…through his first 15 pitches, he has allowed opponents to hit .405 (15-for-37) with 5 home runs, and from pitches 61 and up, opponents are batting .278 (25-for-90) with 9 doubles, 9 home runs and a triple…the good has come between pitches 16-60, when he has held opponents to a .190 average (22-for-116) with only 9 extra-base hits and 19 strikeouts.
His opponents’ OPS of 1.398 from pitches 1-15 is the highest in Major League Baseball (min. 10 starts), as are his 10 extra-base hits allowed, which are 3 more than the next closest pitchers (A. Gomber, L. Giolito & R. Hill, 7 apiece).
ON STRIKE: Jordan walked 3 batters in his last start on May 26 vs. the Nationals, but despite that his career BB% is still 7.7%…he’s improved in that category with age, as his BB% of 7.2% since the start of 2021 ranks 3rd in the AL (min. 400.0 IP), behind only José Berríos (6.0%) and Gerrit Cole (6.4%).
READY FROM THE JUMP: Despite ranking 29th in the American League in 1st pitch strikes (61.3%), opponents have swung at 34.7% of his 1st pitches, 13thmost in the AL…in 0-0 counts, opponents are slashing .421/.400/.895 (16-for-38, 1.295 OPS) with 9 extra-base hits (4 home runs)…the 1.295 OPS is his 3rd-highest of any count he’s in, behind 3-0 counts (2.800 OPS, 1-for-2 with 1 home run) and 3-1 counts (1.489, 3-for-9 with 1 home run, 2 doubles).
WORKHORSE: The Royals are the eighth club Lyles has pitched for during his 13-year big league career that has included stops with Houston (2011-13), Colorado (2014- 17), San Diego (2017-18), Milwaukee (2018-19), Pittsburgh (2019), Texas (2020-21), Baltimore (2022) and Kansas City (2023)…since the start of 2021, his 420.2 innings rank 3rd among AL pitchers behind Gerrit Cole (455.2 IP) and José Berríos (429.1 IP).
He was one of only four American League pitchers to record at least 175.0 innings from 2021-2022, along with Cole, Cole Irvin and Robbie Ray.
Across his 13 seasons and 332 Major League appearances, he has only been placed on the Injured List on five occasions: June 10-29, 2019 (left hamstring tightness), March 28-April 4, 2019 (right side discomfort), June 24-July 29, 2018 (right elbow inflammation), June 1-end of season, 2015 (sprained left big toe) and June 5-Aug. 6, 2014 (fractured left hand).
FRIENDS TURNED FOES: Jordan has faced Colorado 14 times (8 starts), and has gone 3-3 with a 5.30 ERA (32 ER in 54.1 IP), including 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA (28 ER in 46.2 IP) as a starter…he last started against the Rockies on Aug. 31, 2021 and he earned the win with 6.2 frames of 3-run ball with 7 strikeouts.
Jordan pitched for these Rockies from 2014-17, going 13-16 with 1 save and a 5.22 ERA (163 ER in 281.0 IP)…he began his Rockies career with a 5-game (8 start) winning streak, from April 2-May 10, 2014, when he pitched to a 2.66 ERA (15 ER in 50.2 IP) and a .223 opponents’ batting average.
He was released by Colorado on Aug. 1, 2017 and signed to a minor league contract by San Diego 6 days later…he had his contract purchased on Sept. 1 and pitched the rest of that season and the 2018 season with the Padres.
FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR OWN HOME: Over the course of his 13-year career, Lyles has fared better when pitching in front of his home fans, going 36-42 (.462) with a 4.81 ERA (382 ER in 715.0 IP) in 169 appearances…in 163 appearances (114 starts) on the road, he’s 30-57 (.345) with a 5.62 ERA (420 ER in 673.0 IP)…in 2022 while pitching for the Orioles, Lyles pitched extremely well while in Camden Yards, pitching to a 3.47 ERA (32 ER in 83.0 IP) across 14 starts, but was hit hard on the road, where he was hit to the tune of a 5.25 ERA (56 ER in 96.0 IP) in 18 starts.
Although he’s just starting to call The K “home,” he’s looking to change course, as he’s 1-6 in 9 starts with a 5.50 ERA (34 ER in 55.2 IP) here.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: Lyles has been nothing if not a consistently strong defender, averaging less than 1 defensive miscue per season during his 13-year career (12 errors in 1388.0 IP)…he has not committed an error since Sept. 22, 2020, and has made 76 appearances (74 starts) since.
Jordan’s 420.2 innings without an error since the start of 2021 are the most among all big league pitchers, ahead of White Sox ace Lucas Giolito (408.2 IP, 30 chances) and Mets ace Max Scherzer (372.1 IP, 42 chances), and he’s converted all 57 of his defensive chances during this stretch.