ICYMI: Wednesday photos

The Royals rallied with six runs in the eighth last night, winning 6-1!

Highlights included:

7.0 shutout innings by Liam Hendriks in his Royals debut.

An awesome catch by Alex Gordon as he went up against the chain-link fence.

Pinch runner Lorenzo Cain stole second and later scored the tying run on Jarrod Dyson’s bunt single.

Nori Aoki drove in the go-ahead run…and Liam Hendriks received Gatorade bucket after the game.

 

 

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Ned Yost media session: August 28, 2014

On the heels of an extremely effective performance by Liam Hendriks, the Royals will turn to veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie as the club takes aim at a series sweep over the visiting Twins.  Tonight’s start comes on the 10th anniversary of Guthrie’s Major League debut.

With Guthrie closing in on 200 innings of work for what will be the fifth such season of his career, manager Ned Yost said that Guthrie’s reliability has been anything but a surprise.

“He’s done that his whole career,” said Yost. “He’s been a very durable guy. He keeps himself in great shape in between starts. He’s a guy that commands the ball and he’s a guy that we feel like we have a chance to win every time he steps on the mound.”

The overnight transition from Hendriks to Guthrie serves as a microcosm of a starting rotation that has, by Yost’s account, been remarkably eclectic this season.

“Shields, Vargas, Guthrie, they’re experienced guys,” said Yost. “They know how to use a real solid defense behind them. Duffy and Ventura are learning that also. You’ve got power in the young guys and you’ve got great command and competitiveness out of the veteran guys. It’s a great mix and you are getting different looks every day.

According to Yost, injured first baseman Eric Hosmer is recovering well from a broken bone in his wrist. Yost said that Hosmer could begin his rehab assignment as soon as this weekend.

“He’s going to take BP today,” Yost said. “He went and hit in the cage. Took two rounds of soft toss, two rounds of live BP, felt great. He’ll come out and hit in a group here today, and we’ll just go day to day with him.

“If he can get a couple of days of BP under his belt, it could be as early as Saturday or Sunday that he could go out on a rehab and start that process. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed and we’ll see how it goes.”

By Kolby Paxton

 

Ned Yost media session: August 27, 2014

Kansas City will look to take yet another series this evening when the team, hotter than any in baseball, takes the field for game two of a three-game set in its final series of the season vs. Minnesota.

The Royals will do so without the services of Yordano Ventura, who has been scratched from tonight’s start and replaced by Liam Hendriks due to mid-back soreness. In order to make room for Hendriks, the Royals were forced to option reliever Aaron Crow to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

“He’s got options,” said manager Ned Yost of why the club elected to move Crow to the Naturals. “We just have so few guys right now that have options, one. And we can get him back in six days. We needed a spot for Hendriks so we could skip Yordano and that’s what we came up with.”

Yost does not expect the absence of Crow to negatively impact the Kansas City bullpen for the time being.

“I think we’re okay,” he said. “Everyone is well rested down there. Frasor’s been rested. Bueno’s rested. We’ve got Bruce. Of course, we’ve got Kelvin and Wade and Holly. After today, we’re back with Vargy and Shields, and guys that generally go deep into the game to get us to September 1, and we should be fine.”

According to Yost, Crow will throw two innings tomorrow, take a couple of days off, throw an inning on Sunday, and return to the team on Tuesday.

“You don’t really want to do it, but we did it with Wade Davis last year at the end of the year,” he said. “It’s something that you just have to do. Luckily for us, it’s not a deal where we miss him for 10 days. He’ll be back in six days and right back in the thick of it.”

Following last night’s game in front of 13,847 fans, Yost fell under criticism for comments he made about the importance of having fans turn out for the team’s remaining home games. This afternoon, Yost clarified those statements.

“What I said last night, I think, was pretty self-explanatory,” he said. “The reason I do this job, there’s two reasons. One, is I’ve been to the World Series six times. I know that feeling. I know the excitement that goes along with it. One of my main things is I want these players to experience that. Because it’s very, very important. The chance to be able to do it is so far and few between. I want them to experience that. And the other thing is, I want our fans to experience that. It’s a special time. It’s been a long time since our fans have been able to enjoy a playoff run.

“To be able to win the division is one of the toughest things to do in sports and you don’t know when this opportunity is going to come again. For me, I just think it is extremely important that our fans get the opportunity to come out and enjoy this with us. As a manager, you want every advantage you can get. When our fans are here and they’re rooting, it’s a special feeling. The excitement and electricity that they bring to the stadium is a definite advantage for us.

Yost said that he gets considerable enjoyment out of fan participation and, again, alluded to the impact that fans have on the team.

“When you look up at the scoreboard in between innings and you see little kids jumping up and down wearing their Royals caps and their Royals jerseys, I get a thrill out of that. I get a thrill when we win the ballgame and we walk off the field and see our fans going nuts. I get a thrill out of that and I want our fans to enjoy that. I want our fans to be proud of what we’re doing. Anyone that thinks I said something negative or was criticizing the fans last night, they’re dead wrong. I just want them to be a big part of this with us, because, in reality, they are.”

Yost said that the team hopes to give Royals fans a September and October to remember.

“If we can do what we’re hoping to do, they’re going to remember it. These kids that are here jumping up and down, the ones I’m talking about being up on the Jumbotron, they’re going to remember this for the rest of their lives.

“I know this, when the place is filled, it definitely has an effect. When our fans are out there and they’re screaming and they’re yelling, that energy that’s provided that’s coming onto the field, it’s electric, I mean, it’s a buzz that you feel internally, and it does give you a bit of a boost. It’s a special, special feeling. It is an advantage to have them here.”

By Kolby Paxton

Ned Yost media session: August 26, 2014

The Royals will look to rebound from their first two-game losing streak since the end of July when the club welcomes division foe Minnesota to Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday evening. Kansas City will be looking to some newer faces for contributions as the club tries to stay hot.

The Royals will be without the services of Omar Infante, Nori Aoki, and Yordano Ventura for some or all of the upcoming series.

For Aoki, his absence in the lineup is due to an increased production from fellow-outfielder Jarrod Dyson.

“We’re going with the hot hand right now,” said manager Ned Yost. “Dyson’s been getting two hits a game and Nori’s been in a little bit of a slump. But we’ll get Nori back in there in the next day or so. Just giving him a little bit of a breather and trying to get some offense from the top of the order. Nori’s been really, really good for us since the start of the second half. He’s done a great job for us. He’s just run into a little bit a slump right now, so we’re going to ride Dyson’s hot hand for another day or two.”

Infante will be missing in action as a result of shoulder inflammation and will be replaced in the lineup by Christian Colon.

“Omar has been dealing with this for two or three weeks,” said Yost. “It’s just gotten to a point now where let’s just see if we can give him a couple of days. And the good thing about it is, we feel real comfortable that we’ve got Christian Colon that can handle the position. So it gives us the ability to get some of that inflammation out of there over the next couple of the days and then finish the year out strong.”

Rookie right-hander Yordano Ventura will miss his next start, scheduled for Wednesday, due to mid-back tightness. In his stead, the Royals will look to Liam Hendriks, who has pitched at Triple-A Omaha since being acquired from Toronto with Erik Kratz in exchange for Danny Valencia. Hendriks has posted a 4-1 mark, 35 strikeouts to six walks, and a 2.83 ERA in five starts with the Storm Chasers.

“After his last start, he started experiencing some mid-back tightness and soreness,” said Yost. “It’s gotten better over the last couple of days, but it’s something that we don’t really want to push. Could he pitch tomorrow? Probably, maybe. But as a precaution, we think it’s smart just to go ahead and bang him one start and go from there.”

Yost said the organization prefers to exercise caution when it comes to the health of either of its younger starters.

“I think you’re more cautious with guys like Ventura and Duffy than I would be with Vargas and Shields,” he said. “Back when we had our heyday in Atlanta, Glavine, Maddux, Smoltz, they dealt with all kinds of issues. Bicep tendonitis, shoulder tendonitis. These guys were veteran pitchers, they knew how to get through these things. But the younger guys, you know, until they get themselves more established, you kind of guard them a little bit more. Especially when you’ve got somebody as good as Ventura, and as good as Duffy. These guys are going to be the cornerstones of our pitching rotation for years to come.”

With just 32 games remaining and the Royals leading the American League Central by 1.5 games, Yost said the physical grind of the dog days of summer has turned equally mental as the club enters the stretch run.

“It’s as much a mental grind, because you have to really stay focused,” said Yost. “Every pitch matters and you know it. You have to stay positive. You have to really train yourself to focus day-to-day and not worry about anything that’s going on tomorrow, not really worry too much about other teams, knowing that right now, we’re in the driver’s seat and if we take care of business we’re going to be fine. There is stress that goes along with it. The grind now is every bit as mental as it is physical.”

By Kolby Paxton

 

Ned Yost media session: August 25, 2014

The New York Yankees return for the final in the regular season on Monday, playing a rescheduled game from June 9th. For longtime shortstop Derek Jeter, it will be the last trip to Kauffman Stadium of his 20-year Major League career. In his final tour, Jeter has received numerous items from a surf board to golf clubs. Kansas City will donate $25,000 from Royals Charities to Derek’s foundation, Turn-2, which “creates and supports signature programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “TURN 2″ healthy lifestyles.” In 66 games at “The K” entering Monday, Jeter hit .315 (90-for-286) with 45 runs scored, 13 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 32 RBI.

Royals manager Ned Yost reflected on Jeter during pregame today.

“For me he’s the consummate professional, he’s the ultimate professional,” Yost said. “He’s a guy that plays the game to an extremely high degree but it seems to me like he’s never changed who he was, he’s never forgotten who he was, he’s never forgotten where he came from, he’s never forgotten this game is played to have fun and he looks like he has fun when he plays the game. I think he’s a tremendous role model for young baseball players all over the country.”

Kansas City returns after a 6-3, 10-day road trip to Minnesota, Colorado and Texas. With a 2.0 lead in the American League Central, Yost was asked what he expects from the crowd tonight; “Excitement. A buzz. Energy. I think it should be an electric-type energy.”

Since July 22, the Royals have dropped just seven out of 31 games. The team is on a roll and playing well.

“There’s a lot of confidence,” Yost said. “They had confidence in themselves even when we think of it as treading water. They knew they were capable, as a group, of doing special things. Now the confidence level has been increased knowing that they’ve got what it takes to take this thing all the way through.”

In injury-related news, first baseman Eric Hosmer, who has been on the disabled list since August 2  with a fractured right wrist, could begin hitting off a tee as early as Thursday, according to Yost.

Homestand Highlights: August 25 – September 3

The Kansas City Royals return home for a ten-game homestand to host the New York Yankees (August 25), Minnesota Twins (August 26-28), Cleveland Indians (August 29-31) and Texas Rangers (September 1-3). The single game against the Yankees is the make-up game from June 9 that was postponed due to rain and will have a 6:10 p.m. start time. In addition, the game against the Indians on August 31 has been selected for ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball.” The game will be televised on ESPN2 and first pitch is now 7:07 p.m.

Throughout the homestand, there will be many great theme nights, including Irish Heritage Night (August 27), #RoyalsSocial Media Night (August 28), Water Awareness Night (August 29), Retro Night (August 30) and KU Night (August 31). In addition, fans can pick up fantastic giveaways including a Royals Green Cup Set (August 27), an Eco-Friendly Baseball Cap (August 29) and the Mr. Royal Bobblehead (August 30). Please see below for more information.

Monday, August 25 – New York Yankees vs. Royals, 6:10 p.m.
• Royals To Honor Jeter – The Royals will salute the stellar playing career of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter in a special pregame ceremony prior to the series finale. The game marks the last regular-season contest at Kauffman Stadium for Jeter, who is retiring at the end of the 2014 season.

Tuesday, August 26 – Minnesota Twins vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday, August 27 – Minnesota Twins vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Irish Heritage Night presented by the Kansas City Irish Fest – Fans who are Irish or think they’re Irish can enjoy a special night at The K! Throughout the evening, fans can enjoy special entertainment and activities. Ticket packages start at $20 and include a ticket to that night’s game and a single day admission to Kansas City Irish Fest. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/irish.
Green cup set_Aug. 27• Royals Green Cup Set – In conjunction with Irish Heritage Night, the first 10,000 fans will get a green Royals shamrock cup set, courtesy of FOX Sports Kansas City.
• Student Night presented by INK Magazine – Rivals Outfield Box or Hy-Vee Infield tickets are available for Wednesday home games for youth and students with a valid ID at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office for just $8. Select tickets are also available online at http://www.royals.com/studentnight. Seating is subject to availability. All Student Nights include pregame food and beverage specials available at the Crown Classic concession area.
• Local Music Showcase presented by INK Magazine – Catch a free pregame concert on us. Every Wednesday Student Night also features live local music prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. Performing during this showcase will be the band, Flannigan’s Right Hook, performing authentic Irish music. For details, visit http://www.royals.com/studentnight.

Thursday, August 28 – Minnesota Twins vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
GordonationShirt2014_004b• GordoNation – Fans can enjoy being a part of GordoNation, a special seating section in left field that will be reserved for die-hard Alex Gordon fans on Thursday home games throughout the season. The first 100 GordoNation fans will also receive an Alex Gordon big head. Tickets cost $35 and come with a gold GordoNation t-shirt (photo attached). For details, visit http://www.royals.com/gordonation.
• All You Can Eat Seats – Fans can purchase All You Can Eat Seats located in the Loge Level (Sec. 318 – 325), which include unlimited ballpark fare. All the hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, pretzels and Pepsi products you can handle for $40 per seat! Individual and group discount tickets are available. For details, visit http://www.royals.com/allyoucaneat.
• #RoyalsSocial Media Night presented by AOS Technology – For those who follow, like, and have the Royals in their Circle, #RoyalsSocial Media Night is for you! A special $30 ticket package includes a social hour at Rivals before the game featuring a special Q&A with Royals Live host Joel Goldberg, a ticket in the Dugout Plaza seating section, #Royalssocial sunglasses (photo attached) and chances to win great prizes throughout the night. For details, visit http://www.royals.com/royalssocial.

Eco-Friendly cap_Aug. 29Friday, August 29 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Eco-Friendly Baseball Cap – The first 10,000 fans will receive an eco-friendly baseball cap made from 100% recycled water bottles, courtesy of Grundfos.
• Water Awareness Night – The Royals partner with Grundfos for Water Awareness Night at The K. The importance of water use and efficiency will be highlighted through information cards distributed at the gates with eco-friendly baseball caps.
• Buck Night – Hot dogs, small Pepsi products and peanuts are just $1 each all night long. http://www.royals.com/fanvalue.
• Summer Fireworks – Fans will enjoy a spectacular fireworks show, presented by Hy-Vee and Pepsi, after the game.
• First Responders Night – The Royals and GovX are proud to salute members of the military and first responders. During select games throughout the season, members will be honored during a pregame presentation. In addition, specially-priced tickets will also be available throughout the season. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/govx.

Saturday, August 30 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 6:10 p.m.
• 610 Saturday – The Royals have teamed up with Entercom and 610 Sports Radio for special pregame festivities outside Rivals Sports Bar that include 610 Sports Radio personalities, special guests, food and drink specials and much more. Fans can enjoy the 610 Saturday Appetizer Special – Rivals Tacos for just $6.10 – in Rivals Sports Bar from the time the gates open until the first pitch. Listen to 610 Sports Radio and receive a coupon code to purchase a ticket for only $6.10 in the Hy-Vee Infield. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/610saturday.
Mr. Royal bobblehead_Aug. 30• Retro Night – Join us for Retro Night as the Royals celebrate the year 1974! Both the Royals and Cleveland Indians will wear throwback uniforms from the 1974 season. In addition, great events will take place throughout the night including a pre-game concert on the Hy-Vee Stage, Royals alumni appearances, a live organist, special in-game features and more! For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/retro.
• Mr. Royal Bobblehead– The first 10,000 fans will receive a bobblehead of Mr. Royal. Mr. Royal first appeared in the 1970s and could be found anywhere from the old crown scoreboard to pocket schedules and other promotional materials.

KU Day cap_Aug. 31Sunday, August 31 – Cleveland Indians vs. Royals, 7:07 p.m.
• KU Night – Supporters of the University of Kansas can join fellow Jayhawks for a night of big league action presented by FOX Sports Kansas City and Rally House. To join fellow Jayhawks, fans can visit http://www.royals.com/ku for details or to purchase discounted tickets. The first 2,000 Jayhawk fans who bring their KU Night discounted ticket to the KU table located inside Hy-Vee Gate B will receive a limited edition crimson, blue and white KC Royals Kansas cap (photo attached). Gate B opens at 5:30 p.m. To reserve a group of 20 or more tickets, call (816) 504-4174.
• Family FunDay Sunday – Each Sunday home game features pregame interactive kids entertainment by School of Rock, plus face painters, caricature or balloon artists in the Outfield Experience. New this season, fans also have the opportunity to get pregame autographs from select players each Sunday. All-Day Play Passes for unlimited activities in the Outfield Experience are available for just $10. In addition, the Royals are offering a Family FunDay Sunday 4-Pack that includes four Hy-Vee Infield tickets, $10 in loaded value per ticket to use for concessions and merchandise and four All-Day Play Passes – over $150 in value – for just $80! Due to the time change, there will not be a Fun Run following the game. For more information, visit http://www.royals.com/sunday.

Monday, September 1 – Texas Rangers vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Value Monday – All Hy-Vee Level tickets, excluding Hy-Vee Box, are just $8 courtesy of Hy-Vee. http://www.royals.com/fanvalue.

Tuesday, September 2 – Texas Rangers vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday, September 3 – Texas Rangers vs. Royals, 7:10 p.m.
• Student Night presented by INK Magazine – Rivals Outfield Box or Hy-Vee Infield tickets are available for Wednesday home games for youth and students with a valid ID at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office for just $8. Select tickets are also available online at http://www.royals.com/studentnight. Seating is subject to availability. All Student Nights include pregame food and beverage specials available at the Crown Classic concession area.
• Local Music Showcase presented by INK Magazine – Catch a free pregame concert on us. Every Wednesday Student Night also features live local music prior to the game in the Outfield Experience. Performing during this showcase will be the band, Victor & Penny. For details, visit http://www.royals.com/studentnight.

Fans may purchase tickets online at royals.com, by calling 1-800-6ROYALS, at area Hy-Vee stores or at the Kauffman Stadium Box Office.

Royals on FSKC: Dish channel numbers, August 23 to 31

Saturday, August 23:  Dish 442 or 412-30

Sunday, August 24:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Monday, August 25:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Tuesday, August 26: FOX Sports 1
Wednesday, August 27: Dish 441 or 412-29
Thursday, August 28: Dish 441 or 412-29
Friday, August 29:  Dish 441 or 412-29
Saturday, August 30: Dish 443 or 412-31
Sunday, August 31: ESPN

August 31 game time changed for ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball”

The Royals have been notified that ESPN2 will televise the Sunday, August 31 game at Kauffman Stadium against the Cleveland Indians at 7:07 p.m. (CDT), thus moving the game time from the previously scheduled 1:10 p.m. start.

The nationally televised game will feature Dan Shulman providing the play-by-play and John Kruk and Buster Olney serving as analysts.

August 31 will remain a Family FunDay Sunday with activities for kids of all ages as well as KU Day in which fans can purchase a special KU ticket package and receive a limited edition Crimson & Blue KC Royals KU Cap.

Gates will now open at 5:30 for the 7:07 first pitch

Ned Yost media session: August 14, 2014

Royals starting pitchers have gone deep into games of late, including a complete game by Jeremy Guthrie on the last road trip and two shutouts on the homestand (James Shields and Jason Vargas). Manager Ned Yost was asked about how the preparation of his veteran starters compares to pitchers that Yost worked with in Atlanta, particularly Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Yost said that the current pitchers do much more work in the weight room (a common trend across baseball compared to 20 years ago).

Yost talked about the balancing act of getting a pitching staff through a 162-game season (using relievers more early in the year, relying on starters now). He mentioned that the Royals will need to rely on their relievers as they mix-and-match with opponents late in the year, due to the many close games that the Royals play.

Yost was asked about Shields’ presence in the clubhouse and what makes him a leader.

“He’s got a ton of energy, he’s a tremendous competitor and he’s a great communicator,” said Yost. “He’s always talking to guys, he’s always encouraging guys and always upbeat with guys. He’s in it for the team more than he’s in it for himself.”

Ned Yost media session: August 13, 2014

Jason Vargas will make his third start tonight since undergoing an appendectomy on July 9. Vargas has a 5.79 ERA in two starts following surgery but manager Ned Yost believes he’s back to being the pitcher he was prior to surgery.

“He’s back to full strength,” Yost said. “It’s just getting his sharpness back. His first two starts he had his good stuff but his command was off a little bit. The progression is going to come with his command and sharpness. His stuff’s good.

Vargas will oppose Oakland lefty Scott Kazmir, who the Royals beat in Oakland on August 3.

Christian Colon will spell Mike Moustakas at third base tonight and could possibly start at second base to give Omar Infante a break tomorrow, according to Yost. Colon has embraced a role that most young guys are unfamiliar with; a bench player.

“It’s tougher for a younger guy,” Yost said. “The older guys know what’s expected of them. But he acts like an older guy.”

“He keeps himself prepared every single day for anything that could happen. He takes ground balls at short, at second, at third. You’ll see him before his group hits running the bases in case we need him to be a pinch-runner. He does a great job of keeping himself prepared so that when his name is called he’s going to be ready to for whatever we need him to do.”

Colon will be making his fourth start of the season and has batted .364 (4-for-11) with three doubles, a triple, and an RBI with the Royals going 2-1 in those contests.

By Nate Rowan

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