Found August 09, 2012 on Fox Sports Kansas City:
The Royals refer to left-hander John Lamb these days as their "extra daft pick" for 2012 - an extra draft pick that could be ready for the big leagues some time in 2013. Lamb, actually a fifth-round pick in 2008, missed most of 2011 and this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, the same surgery that has shelved starters Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino. Lamb is almost completely back now, and the Royals have all eyes on him as he nears the time when he will take the mound again. Presently, Lamb, still only 22, is pitching live batting practice for the Royals' Arizona Rookie League team, and he likely will make some bullpen appearances in about 10 days. From there, Lamb is slated to join the Idaho Falls rookie-league team and start a few games before its season ends. Then Lamb will return to Arizona for the fall Instructional League. "Very excited about his progress," said Royals assistant general manager of player development J.J. Picollo. "He's come along very well and back to throwing where he had been. If all goes well, we expect him to be back at Double-A next year and definitely on the fast track hopefully to the big leagues." Lamb was perhaps the Royals' top pitching prospect before the injury. In 2010, he was 2-3 with a 1.58 ERA at Burlington, Iowa, then the Royals' Class A affiliate. He was quickly promoted to high-A Wilmington, where he was 6-3 with a 1.45 ERA. Last year, he was 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA in eight starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas before he was shut down because of elbow tightness. JOHNNY G AT THIRD BASE? Prospect Johnny Giavotella has been having a tough time convincing the Royals he's ready for another crack at second base with the Royals. So, the plan now is to have Johnny G play a little third base and some left field. He started at third base for Class AAA Omaha on Tuesday. "It's always an advantage to be able to play multiple positions," Giavotella told the Omaha World-Herald. "They like my bat, and anything I can do to possibly help out the team in the big leagues, they want me to be ready for it. "But second base is where I feel comfortable, and it's the position that I'll succeed at in the major leagues." Picollo agreed but believes Giavotella will get back to the majors more quickly if he can play multiple positions. "The promotions that have happened, whether it's Irving Falu or Tony Abreu, have been guys who have a lot of versatility," Picollo said. BUBBA HEATING UP The Royals' rookie league team in Burlington (N.C.) is stocked with several top picks from the 2011 draft as well as this year's draft, and the team is blistering the league with a 29-14 overall record. Outfielder Bubba Starling, the top pick in 2011, has settled into the No. 3 hole in the lineup. After a slow start, Starling is hitting .295 with seven homers and 25 RBIs. He also has six steals. "He seems more relaxed now and is really coming on," Picollo said. "His hitting, his defense, his all-around play is just what we want right now." That Burlington team actually has three other hitters who have more homers than Starling. Outfielder Fred Ford, from St. Peters, Mo., is tied for the team lead with 11 homers in the short season with 6-foot-4, 230-pound third baseman Patrick Leonard. Second baseman Kenneth Diekroeger, who is 6-feet-2, 200 pounds, has eight homers. "Physically, it's one of the biggest teams we've seen in awhile," Picollo said. "And these guys aren't just big, they're athletic. They can run, too." KYLE ZIMMER UPDATE This year's top pick, right-hander Kyle Zimmer, has had three starts at Class A Kane County (Ill.) and has fared well in two of them - each time giving up just one run in four innings. Those starts were sandwiched around a shaky one in which he gave up six runs in two innings. "He's actually been very impressive," Picollo said. "He's reaching 95-97 (mph) on the gun and hitting his spots." Another right-hander from the 2011 draft, Kyle Smith, also has raised some eyebrows. Smith has struck out 54 hitters in 40 innings, and he pitched a beauty last time out, giving up three hits and no runs through seven innings while striking out 12. "He's got an excellent curve ball and that's what attracted us to him," Picollo said. "That's his out pitch. Now, we're working with him to use his fastball a little more and, of course, like all high-school picks, work on a change-up."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Francoeur steals fan's popcorn after chasing foul ball

Jeff Francoeur is probably best known for his free-swinging ways at the plate, but he seems equally agressive when it comes to snacks. Francoeur wandered over to the right field stands in the eighth inning of Tuesday's game in the hopes of making a play on a foul ball. He wasn't able to make the catch, but he did grab an opportunity to steal a quick bite to eat. "Frenchy...
THIEF ON THE LOOSE

Jeff Francoeur steals fan's popcorn

For most Major League Baseball players, they usually wait till after the game to grab a snack or two but Kansas City Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur got some popcorn during the game.It happened in the eighth inning of last night's Chicago White Sox/Kansas City Royals game as Francoeur attempted to chase down a foul ball.Watch as Jeff takes some kernels from one of the fan'...

Jeff Francoeur helps himself to fan's popcorn (Video)

Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur helped himself to a fan's popcorn during Tuesday night's game at U.S. Cellular Field against the Chicago White Sox. Francoeur chased a foul ball to the right field corner, and realized as he reached the stands that he couldn't get it. However, he also realized that he needed a snack and grabbed a few pieces of popcorn...

Jeff Francoeur and the Opposite Field

Lee Judge’s blog, Judging the Royals is, well, interestimg. I would have titled it Mock Scout with Lee J., but, surprisingly, I was not asked for my thoughts on the matter. I always imagined my first FanGraphs post on Judge would be for NotGraphs, and I suppose there is still time for that. However, if one can look past the Ron Polk Point System (Hey, Alex Gordon finally passed...

Royals' Chen increases reliance on fastball, ends slump

Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost had a discussion with left-hander Bruce Chen about being more aggressive on the mound. Chen was winless in his previous seven starts before Tuesday, and his fastball was sitting mostly in the 83-85 mph range. In his previous start, Chen was staked to a 6-0 lead against the Indians, but he was knocked out in the third inning. "His last...

Rearranging the deck chairs on the S.S. Royals

In an unexpected move last Sunday, the Royals designated infielder Yuniesky Betancourt for assignment. I’m sure there’s some Royals fans who think this is an elaborate joke being played on them and the Yunibomber will be back. But it’s true. Yuni is no longer a Royal. Really! (I think.) Remember when the Royals signed Betancourt to a one-year, two million dollar contract,...

Guthrie earns first win for Royals

Jeremy Guthrie is back in the win column, and it's been a long time coming. Guthrie dominated the White Sox in a 2-1 victory Wednesday night as the Kansas City Royals won the final two games of the series at Chicago. Guthrie pitched eight scoreless innings, allowed five hits, walked none and struck out six. He threw 74 strikes in 104 pitches. "That arguably could be...

Royals 2, White Sox 1

Jeremy Guthrie picked up his first victory since late May, scattering five hits over eight innings in the Kansas City Royals' 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. Guthrie (1-3) got his first win with the Royals and improved to 4-12 overall since arriving in a late July trade with Colorado. He struck out five and walked none. His last victory was an 11...

Butler leads Royals past Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Billy Butler came within a single of hitting for the cycle, and the Kansas City Royals beat Baltimore 8-2 on Thursday night to end the Orioles' five-game winning streak and take the luster off Manny Machado's impressive major league debut. Butler homered in a four-run first inning, doubled in the third and tripled in the fifth. Needing only a single to...

Jeff Francouer admits role in the ‘Great Popcorn Heist at Cellular Field’ (video)

Kansas City Royals right fielder Jeff Francouer finally fessed up and admitted his role in the “Great Popcorn Heist at Cellular Field” that occurred Tuesday during a game against the White Sox in Chicago. He had little choice but to cop to his part in the caper, as cameras captured his sticky-fingered act of popcorn [...]

Royals 8, Orioles 2

Billy Butler came within a single of hitting for the cycle, and the Kansas City Royals beat Baltimore 8-2 on Thursday night to end the Orioles' five-game winning streak and take the luster off Manny Machado's impressive major league debut. Butler homered in a four-run first inning, doubled in the third and tripled in the fifth. Needing only a single to become the first Kansas...

Royals top White Sox 2-1

CHICAGO (AP) -- Jeremy Guthrie picked up his first victory since late May, scattering five hits over eight innings in the Kansas City Royals' 2-1 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. Guthrie (1-3) got his first win with the Royals and improved to 4-12 overall since arriving in a late July trade with Colorado. He struck out five and walked none. His last victory...

Machado hits 2 HRs as Orioles beat Royals

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Luke Hochevar threw 90 pitches, 87 of which he found satisfactory. The other three cost him dearly. Hochevar yielded three home runs and didn't make it out of the sixth inning in the Kansas City Royals' 7-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night. In his previous 22 starts, Hochevar (7-10) gave up a total of 13 homers. In this one, Omar Quintanilla...

Welcome back, Royals!

For the last 2 years, the Kansas City Royals have been masquerading as an organization that is finally headed in the right direction, only to be ultimately exposed once again as the disgraceful Royals we have known for the better part of the last 20 years. Everyone outside of the Kansas City Royals fanbase has been able to see it for years, so why do Royals fans themselves continue...

A powerful breakfast

As a guy who has lacked in home run power over the beginning of his career in Kansas City, Billy Butler, has taken the bull by the horns this season setting a new career high in home runs only 111 games into the 2012 season.  Butler is on pace to become the first Royal to hit 30 home runs in a season since Jermaine Dye did it in 2000. A 12 year drought could be broken by a player...
Royals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.