The Royals announced today that they have recalled left-handed pitcher Brandon Finnegan from Double-A Northwest Arkansas and optioned infielder Orlando Calixte to Triple-A Omaha. Finnegan will be in uniform (#27) for tonight’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.
Finnegan, 22, opened the season with the Naturals, and made a pair of starts, going 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA (3 ER in 7.0 IP) with five walks and six strikeouts. The Royals’ first-round pick (17th overall) in last season’s June Free Agent Draft, Finnegan was called up to the Majors in September and made seven regular season outings and seven postseason appearances out of the bullpen, including two in the World Series.
Monday, April 27: Dish 440 or 412-28
Tuesday, April 28: Dish 440 or 412-28
Wednesday, April 29: Dish 441 or 412-29
Thursday, April 30: Dish 442 or 412-30
Manager Ned Yost was asked about the increased amount of focus the Royal hitters are showing at the plate this year; however, Yost said it’s not really focus but more lessons that the Royals have learned. Last year, “they would try to take the matters into their own hands,” which was evident by the number of 3-2 counts that led to strikeouts on bad pitches. This year hitters have learned to take the walk and let the next batter take his shot, which is attributed to the amount of trust the players have in one another. As a team they have become better by learning how to repeat “winning baseball” every game which has carried over since last season.
Eventually the Royals will cool off Yost says the team will be prepared for it. Yost described the season as, “full of peaks and valleys, you have ups and you have downs and your emotions have to stay consistent during those points.”
Omar Infante’s health is getting better every day and Yost said he could probably play today, but he just does not want to push him this early in the season. The versatility of Christian Colon is something that Yost values, noting that Colon is ”a guy that you’re confident in at shortstop if something happened to Esky, a guy you’re confident at putting in third if something happens to Moose, or you got confidence putting him at second base”. According to Yost, Colon is a good hitter and fielder, but most importantly, he’s a smart player.
Chris Young has been great for the Royals coming out of the bullpen, whether it be for one inning or three and he has earned Yost’s trust. Young picked up the win last night, the first of his career in relief and 66th overall.
By Sal DeFeo
Royals reliever Kelvin Herrera was suspended five games by Major League Baseball today, and manager Ned Yost thought that it was fair given the circumstances. Also with modern technology, it is easier to appeal the suspension which allows Herrera to pitch until the appeal process is over. Yost told the media that having Herrera available for the near future helps out the team especially with Greg Holland on the disabled list.
According to Yost, Omar Infante continues to improve in his recovery and was able to hit off the tee and in soft pitch without any discomfort. He expects Infante to be ready within a couple of days, and would be available today in an emergency situation.
After being hit 14 times through the first 12 games, the Royals have found some positives in learning how to deal with a situation like this, for both Yost and the players, if it is ever to occur again. It is still unclear as to why the Royals continue to be hit by pitches, whether it’s because they are the defending American League Champions or for any other reason, but to Yost it shows that teams are coming prepared and motivated to face them. The Royals play with passion and intensity and are ready for any challenge that a team may present.
By Sal DeFeo
In regards to Omar Infante’s groin injury, Ned Yost said the MRI revealed nothing alarming and they hope Infante will be able to play by Tuesday’s game. Yost had similar comments on Greg Holland’s MRI,” it was not a serious strain”. He also mentioned how Holland has been a quick healer in the past, which brings promise that he will heal according to the original time table. Concerning Escobar’s injury, he is still a bit sore however Yost expects him to be close to 100% for tonight’s game. Escobar in his past has played through injuries before and still been successful, according to the Royals’ manager. In three of the first four series the Royals have been involved in bench clearing incidents. At first Yost felt like it was just a fluke; however, now he starting to think it might have more to do with the Royals being the defending American League champs. Yost hopes that, for whatever reason these incidents keep occurring, things will calm down soon and go back to normal since no one likes to go through this type of situation. Yost expects Volquez to continue pitching the way he has been up to this point in the season, which has been, “very very good”.
By Sal DeFeo
Monday, April 20: Dish 444 or 412-32
Tuesday, April 21: Dish 441 or 412-29
Wednesday, April 22: Dish 443 or 412-31 (please note, this is a change from an earlier update).
Thursday, April 23: Dish 443 or 412-31
Friday, April 24: Dish 449 or 412-37
Saturday, April 25: Dish 445 or 412-33
Sunday, April 26: Dish 445 or 412-33
The Royals are looking for payback after being shut out by the Athletics on Saturday Night. After giving up five runs, Yordano Ventura was ejected for hitting Brett Lawrie in the elbow with a fastball. “I haven’t heard anything from MLB as far as a suspension,” said Ned Yost, “It’s out of my hands. We’ll see what they decide.”
Paulo Orlando will once again be holding down right field for the Royals and is starting to play more frequently. Yost said he doesn’t like to make decisions far ahead of time, because it can cause problems. “I go day-to-day when it comes to playing guys. Right now I like what Paulo is doing out there, he’s handling the position well, and swinging the bat OK.”
Alex Gordon has gotten off to a slow start at the plate but has been showing signs of improvement in the last few games. Yost said that it all has to do with the strength of his wrist and isn’t worried about him until he gets back to 100%.
Lastly, Yost made it clear that all the controversy that has occurred between his team and the Athletics ended yesterday. “It’s over. Ventura is a young guy and is going to learn from his mistakes. There’s no need to try to start something again.”
By Eric Paulson
The Royals announced today that they have placed two-time All-Star closer Greg Holland on the 15-day disabled list with a right pectoral strain. In a corresponding move, the Royals recalled right-handed pitcher Yohan Pino from Triple-A Omaha.
Pino, 31, tossed 7.0 scoreless innings, allowing one hit with no walks and six strikeouts last Sunday in a 4-0 win at New Orleans, his only outing with the Storm Chasers. He signed a Major League contract with the Royals on December 15, 2014, after pitching last season in the Minnesota Twins’ organization.
Media members met with former Royal Billy Butler today, prior to Ned Yost’s regular media session.
There was no doubt that Butler was very nostalgic about returning to his former stadium. “I’m sure that it’s going to be an emotional moment when I get up to bat,” Butler said, “This city has been great to me and my family.”
In terms of the game tonight, Ned Yost was firm in his decision that Lorenzo Cain was not moving from center field. “He’s the best center fielder in baseball. We’re going to leave him there.”
The Royals recalled Reymond Fuentes today from Omaha, optioning Terrance Gore back to Northwest Arkansas. The speedy outfielder was 8-for-18 in his first six games with the Triple-A club. “After Alex (Rios) got hurt I thought we could use a pinch runner,” Yost said, “it would add to our versatility. He gives us more options. It was the right time for Fuentes to come up.”
When asked about Butler, Yost said he was one of the few players he has followed after they left his team. “I follow Billy just about every day. It’s funny because generally I don’t pay much attention to what other teams/players are doing. It’s good to see that he’s doing well.”
Three Royals players; Gordon, Hosmer, and Perez, will be receiving their Gold Gloves before tonight’s game. Yost said that he wouldn’t be surprised if five or six of his guys could win gold gloves this year. “It’s crazy that you could have so many players on the same team who are Gold Glove Candidates. But it’s definitely possible.
The Royals announced today that they have placed outfielder Alex Rios on the 15-day disabled list with a left hand fracture. Rios sustained the injury when he was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of yesterday’s 12-3 win in Minnesota. The club will make a corresponding roster move prior to tomorrow night’s 7:10 p.m. game against the Minnesota Twins.