Billy Butler conference call notes
Last season, Billy Butler became the youngest player to win the Les Milgram Player of the Year award since a 22-year old George Brett won in 1975. Today, the K.C. first baseman joined Brett as the only player to win the award in consecutive years (Brett did that twice). Butler realizes that his accomplishments do not put him in the same category of player with a George Brett. He is honored just to be mentioned in the same sentence as the Hall of Fame third baseman.
Butler started slowly in 2009 – batting just .262 through the first month. This season, he was hot out of the gate – batting .326 in April and .355 in May. Butler attributes that to more at-bats during spring training. He felt more polished going into this year than he did in 2009.
The early success was slowed a bit by a hand injury. Butler learned about himself by playing through the pain. He played in 158 of 162 games and has missed just seven contests over the last two years. His hand is much better than when the season ended on October 3. Butler continues to do rehab from the injury under the advice of trainer Nick Kenney and physical therapist Jeff Blum.
This offseason is the first time that Butler will be eligible for arbitration. If the right deal came along, he would be more than happy to sign an extended contract with the Royals. He believes that the arbitration issue will take care of itself. His main focus is to help the team in any way that he can.