Making the grade
When asked if he will evaluate his young squad any differently in tonight’s game against the White Sox, a club competing for the division title, Yost said no, he doesn’t add weight to games against certain teams. The manager expects everyone’s best effort each and every day, and he will put his best team on the field every day as well. He believes he owes it to fellow division teams and the league to start his best lineup.
Same guy, new position
Yost doesn’t know exactly what the future holds for converted pitcher Brian Anderson, but he has definitely noticed the former outfielder’s success on the mound this year. Yost noted that Anderson’s fastball can max out at 97 mph and he throws it comfortably at 95 mph. He thinks Anderson is making great progress and deserves a look, but he doesn’t know if that opportunity will come in September or next spring.
? Yost said he moved Kila Ka’aihue to the three-hole in order to split up the lefties.
? Gil Meche left Kansas City today for his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha. He should see action in tomorrow’s game.
The Royals and Worlds of Fun are teaming up for an autograph session tomorrow, August 21. Mike Aviles, Billy Butler, Dusty Hughes and Mitch Maier will be on hand from 11:00 a.m. to noon. Sluggerrr will also make an apperance. A Worlds of Fun ticket is required for admission to the event. For ticket information, visit www.worldsoffun.com/royals.
Save the date
Yost expects Gil Meche to begin his rehab assignment this Saturday in Omaha. He will start off throwing 20-25 pitches and will build his way to 40. When Meche eventually returns to Kansas City, Yost plans on using the pitcher only after the fifth or sixth inning and for only one or two frames at a time. The manager said Meche will not go back-to-back days this year because it doesn’t make sense to push him.
Saved by Soria
Joakim Soria is tied for second in the Majors in saves after notching his 35th last night against the Indians. Yost said it is a great feeling to have a guy like Soria as a closer because he has total confidence that the pitcher will get the job done. Yost realizes that Soria will eventually make a mistake or two, but as far as he’s concerned, Soria is as close to a robot or machine as you can get.
Filling the gap
With the trade of Kyle Farnsworth and the placement of Robinson Tejeda on the D.L., the Royals were left without some set-up relievers between the starters and Soria. Since then, other guys in the bullpen have had opportunities to try to fill the void. Yost believes opportunity is a wonderful thing, and the right guys will stand up and take charge when given the chance. Recently, Blake Wood has shook off some rookie stumbles to take the reins in the eighth.
KC looks for the sweep tonight on College Night…show your high school or college ID at the box office for a special deal! Kyle Davies takes the mound. Tonight’s lineup features the same nine who combined for nine runs and 12 hits last night.
You might remember that former Kansas Jayhawk Cole Aldrich threw out a first pitch a few months ago. Tonight, it was K-State’s turn, with men’s basketball coach Frank Martin taking the mound. Martin was the first member of his family born in the U.S. after they immigrated from Cuba. This afternoon, he met with Yuniesky Betancourt and Brayan Pena, both natives of Cuba.
It’s Miller time
With the placement of Brian Bannister on the 15-day D.L. retroactive to August 8 with right rotator cuff tendinitis, outfielder Jai Miller was recalled from Triple-A Omaha. Yost said he plans to use Miller on a day-to-day basis, but will most likely use him in the outfield against left-handed pitchers. Miller provides just what Yost was looking for–a right-handed bat in the outfield.
Who’s on first?
Yost also discussed his plans to use Kila Ka’aihue and Billy Butler at first base, saying the decision on who starts will be day-to-day in order to give both players a fair chance. According to Yost, Butler has been working early and diligently every single day in order to get better, which the manager believes is starting to pay off. Additionally, Butler has been working on not allowing his offense to carry over to his defense.
The skipper also said that Ka’aihue came in with a reputation as a solid first baseman and has been working on his hitting in the cage with Kevin Seitzer. Yost believes Ka’aihue is starting to get his feet under him, and it will only be a matter of time before he takes off.
On the mend
Gil Meche and Luke Hochevar are consistently getting better as they work their way back from injuries. Yost said Meche threw very well during his simulated game, and Hochevar looked really good after his bullpen session. Yost expects Meche to make a rehab start in Omaha soon.
It’s a girl!
Hochevar and wife, Ashley, welcomed a new baby girl into the world this morning. Laney Hochevar was born at 5:40 a.m., weighing 6 pounds, 12 ounces. The pitcher is the sixth Royals player this season to have a child (DeJesus, Podsednik, Maier, Blanco, Betancourt). Be on the lookout as both Alex Gordon’s wife, Jamie, and Dusty Hughes’ wife, Jennifer, are both due in the next few months as well!
Plus, tonight is Super Fan Night…wear your favorite Royals gear for a chance to win great prizes! A pregame party will start at 5:30 in the Outfield Experience. A trivia contest will follow at 6:15, with the costume contest taking place at 6:50.
Here’s the lineup for tonight’s game: (Blanco – CF), (Kendall – C), (Butler – 1B), (Ka’aihue – DH), (Betemit – 3B), (Gordon – LF), (Maier – RF), (Betancourt – SS), (Getz – 2B), (Chen – P)
In today’s pregame interview with manager Ned Yost, questions focused on the pitching staff. The first hurler to be discussed was Bryan Bullington. Having just earned his first Major League win after 8.0 innings of shutout work against the Yankees on Sunday, the media asked if the righty would see another start. Yost replied by saying he doesn’t know what the future holds, it could all depend on how Brian Bannister looks after throwing his next side, which was scheduled for today. Yost added that the eventual return of Luke Hochevar will force the coaches to make even more decisions about the pitching rotation. When asked how close Hochevar is to being ready, Yost said he is pretty close, as is reliever Robinson Tejeda.
Yost also provided his thoughts on pitchers who seem to have success in their first several starts in the Majors, saying most of the success is due to luck and the fact that teams have never seen the pitchers before. However, he was also quick to note that this was not the case for Bullington, who had also thrown very well in his first start this year against the Angels as well.
The Royals announced today that the club has signed 2010 second-round selection, centerfielder Brett Eibner, and fifth-round pick, right-handed pitcher Jason Adam. Consistent with club policy, terms of the contracts were not disclosed. Both players will report tomorrow: Eibner to the Idaho Falls Chukars and Adam to the Surprise Royals.
Eibner, a Houston native, hit .333 with 22 home runs and 71 RBI for the Arkansas Razorbacks as a junior this season. The six-foot-four, 210-pounder was named to the 2010 watch list for the Golden Spikes Award and the Olerud Award, which recognizes college baseball’s best two-way player. Eibner also compiled a 3-5 mark and a 4.34 ERA in 58.0 IP on the mound as a right-handed pitcher. The right-handed hitter was originally drafted by the Houston Astros in the fourth round in 2007, but chose to attend the University of Arkansas.
Adam is a local Kansas City product from Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., where he went 4-3 with a 1.51 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 41.2 innings for the Huskies. Adam was named first-team All-State in Kansas Class 6A in June. The six-foot-four, 225-pound hurler turned down a scholarship offer from the University of Missouri to sign with the Royals.
The Royals signed 37 of their 50 selections from the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, including 21 of the club’s top 22 picks.