Trey Hillman media session: April 27
Manager Trey Hillman was asked about centerfielder Rick Ankiel’s availability:
Hillman said Ankiel took some batting practice in the cage and had light activity in the outfield. He said the centerfielder looks to be moving at 60 to 70 percent and is available to pinch hit. Hillman felt he could rush Ankiel into the lineup, but stated it was more prudent to allow the injury to heal completely.
The media asked Hillman to compare this team’s defensive ability to last year’s team:
Hillman likes his team’s ability to get to balls, both in the infield and outfield. He specifically mentioned his outfield arms; saying leftfielder Scott Podsednik and rightfielder David DeJesus have been incredibly accurate, in addition to being impressed by the arm strength shown by Rick Ankiel. Hillman has seen better lateral movement this year from shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and feels first baseman Billy Butler has significantly improved his ability around the bag.
Hillman was asked to comment on any pressure that Royals’ ace Zack Greinke may be feeling:
Hillman admitted that Greinke is probably feeling some pressure to duplicate last year’s success. Although Trey continued by saying that Greinke wouldn’t admit to any pressure.
Hillman finished by giving an update on second baseman Chris Getz:
Hillman said Getz is feeling good. He started today for the Omaha Royals at second, going 2-for-4 for the AAA club in a 10-inning game.