Eric Hosmer Day at the K
The big club has a lot going on as well. Injuries are plaguing the roster. To take a look at the stories and more, let’s go Around the Horn…
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2008 June Free Agent Draft displayed a little bit of why he merited such a high honor today. Back in June, the Royals tabbed Eric Hosmer, a 6’4″, 215-pound first baseman from American Heritage High in Plantation, Florida. The left-handed hitting and throwing slugger was considered the best high school power bat in the draft.
Exactly one week ago, Hosmer inked his deal with the Royals and today he met the media. Hosmer started his day at the K with a 3:30 press conference. With General Manager Dayton Moore, Senior Director-Scouting Deric Ladnier and Assist. GM-Player Personnel and Scouting J.J. Picollo by his side, Hosmer fielded questions smoothly. He talked about his decision whether to sign or go to college. Ultimately, it came down to his drive to play – a dream he’s worked on for a long time. He was asked about the wood bat. Hosmer admitted it will be an adjustment, but they aren’t foreign to him. He took some batting practice with them in high school. And he was asked about playing for the Midland (Ohio) Redskins, an amateur team in the Connie Mack League which he made a commitment to and felt he needed to fulfill.
Once the press conference was over, Hosmer was taken into the Royals clubhouse. He was next seen emerging from the Royals dugout, wearing a blue batting practice jersey complete with No. 25 and his name on the back. Traditional baseball fans will be happy to note that he wore his socks high. After stretching, Hosmer took some hacks in the batting cage on the field. He was in the first group, trading turns with Jose Guillen, Ross Gload and Joey Gathright. He took a regular B.P. – laying down bunts, working all fields and depositing one ball into the fountains and several more over the wall.
After the workout, he made the rounds. It was an Eric Hosmer overload. First he chatted with Joel Goldberg for FSN-KC’s Royals Live pregame show. Then he talked with Steve Stewart for the Royals Radio Network’s pregame show. And finally, Marty Wall of 610 Sports, the flagship station for RRN, interviewed Hosmer.
Tomorrow will be another long day for the First Rounder. He’s got a ticket to Idaho Falls (actually the team opens a three game series against the Ogden Raptors tonight) to start his professional career as a Chukar. Moore said in an interview shortly after the signing that Hosmer’s assignment to the short season Rookie League instead of the Arizona League, a place most high school selections go, is a credit to his ability.
Injuries have riddled the 25-man roster as of late. Within the last week, Ron Mahay has battled a foot injury, Luke Hochevar suffered a rib contusion, Mitch Maier was struck in the face by a pitch and yesterday Alex Gordon left during the fifth inning versus the Indians.
Gordon and Mahay are headed to the Disabled List. Gordon was originally listed as day-to-day when removed from yesterday’s game. But a muscle tear has been found in Gordon’s upper right leg (we’ll have more on this when we get the details). Manager Trey Hillman said the pain Gordon was experiencing was severe but the second-year third baseman wanted to take his next at-bat. Instead he was removed from the game after the fourth and examined, which is when the tear was found. He is expected to be out for several weeks.
Mahay, on the other hand, had pitched just once over the last 12 games and was be placed on the D.L. retroactive to August 16. His case of plantar fasciitis, a bruise to the tendons which spread weight out among the heel and ball of the foot, is still bothering him. Kyle Davies is being called up from Omaha and will start tomorrow’s game, filling in half of the two-slot hole in the rotation. Sunday’s starter is still not finalized.
The Royals infielders worked on some fundamentals before today’s game…That group included Mark Teahen, who is filling in at third base – his old position – in Alex Gordon’s absence. Teahen is starting at third tonight and has not started a regular season game at the hot corner since 2006…Fresh off the D.L., Joey Gathright is making his return to the Royals lineup for the first time since July 23 versus Detroit…From Trey Hillman’s Press Conference: He doesn’t blame injuries for the team’s play…Tonight is the first night of the Kauffman Stadium reduction. Only 27,000 seats are available per game through the end of the season due to renovations.
Tomorrow is Christian Family Night. A concert will follow the game, featuring Natalie Grant and Chris Sligh. Manager Trey Hillman, General Manager Dayton Moore and pitcher Brian Bannister are expected to speak, will all events to be held outside the stadium on the first base side.
Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato from “Veggie Tales” will also be on hand.
The final issue of Gameday Magazine is hitting the newsstands tonight. With David DeJesus on the cover, the issue features Frank White, Mike Aviles and a preview of the stadium renovations. Also don’t miss a fun look inside the Royals clubhouse at some college football rivalries that exist.
Today’s Official Game Notes.