Trey Hillman media session: April 28
During manager Trey Hillman’s meeting with the press before Wednesday’s game, he addressed questions concerning Rick Ankiel, John Parrish, Yuniesky Betancourt, and Jason Kendall. Hillman quieted concerns about Ankiel not being in the lineup due to a strained right quad, saying that they are still being cautious with the outfielder. Hillman also noted that everyone in the bullpen is available except for Parrish because he has a sore shoulder.
In regards to Betancourt, Hillman said he is pleased with his improved defense, especially in his ability to take better angles to the left side. According to the manager, Betancourt also seems more focused and has a better sense of urgency this season.
The main topic of the session centered on catcher Jason Kendall’s ability to play day after day, year after year. Kendall will play his 1,927th career game behind the plate today, tying former Royals’ catcher Jim Sundberg for sixth on the all-time career games caught list. When asked how this “iron man” does it, Hillman said it is Kendall’s mindset that keeps him going. He said the catcher expects to play everyday and he does a good job listening to his body as well. Hillman also added that hopefully the next 20 games will be a bit lighter for Kendall.