Lamb Ready To Make Another Impression

KANSAS CITY On the first-floor corridor outside the Royals' spring training clubhouse in Surprise, Ariz., hangs a life-size picture of lefthander John Lamb as the organization's 2010 minor league pitcher of the year.

"It's definitely cool to see it up there," Lamb said.

Lamb would like to see his picture there in a few years as major league pitcher of the year.
"That's the goal. Now we're talking," said Lamb, 20, a fifth-round pick in 2008 out of Laguna Hills (Calif.) High.

Lamb went 10-7, 2.38 in 148 innings in 2010 between Double-A Northwest Arkansas, high Class A Wilmington and low Class A Burlington. He posted a .226 opponent average, struck out 159 and walked 45.

Lamb struggled initially after his promotion to the Texas League, posting a 7.94 ERA in his first four starts. He yielded just five earned runs in his final 16 innings over three starts with the Naturals—including 6 1⁄3 no-hit innings on Aug. 26 at Springfield. He had a 3.12 ERA in two playoff starts.

"Once I got to Double-A after experiencing all the success I had at low A and high A, I tried to do too much when I got there," Lamb said. "I didn't really realize it was really the same game.
That's where I really realized that I've got to sit down with the pitching coach (Larry Carter) and figure out what's going on.

"The first few outings I had in Double-A, the hardest adjustment I had was I just couldn't command the ball the way I was in the lower levels. There were some better hitters that were a little bit more patient and guys that could jump on my mistakes a little bit easier than at the lower levels."

The youngest player invited to Royals spring training this year, Lamb returned to Northwest Arkansas to open the season and was 0-1, 5.56 through three starts with eight strikeouts and eight walks in 11 innings.

"I'm just trying to get where I want to be at the end of the year. I'd love to finish up in Kansas City," Lamb said.


• Low Class A Kane County outfielder Brett Eibner, a 2010 second-round pick, tore ligaments in his left thumb while making a diving catch in his second game.

• The Royals sold righthander Victor Marte to the Cardinals. Marte went was 3-0, 9.76 last year.