April 2011

Royal Nite: $5 seats available in Hy-Vee Level, Royals and Indians battle for first

Monday is Royal Nite!  Hy-Vee Level tickets (excluding Hy-Vee Reserved Box) are just $5!  The Royals are 10-5, one game behind Cleveland as the clubs begin a four-game series.  Come on out to Kauffman Stadium and cheer on your Royals!

Here’s tonight’s lineup:  (Aviles – 2B), (Cabrera – CF), (Gordon – LF), (Butler – DH), (Ka’aihue – 1B), (Francoeur – RF), (Betemit – 3B), (Treanor – C), (Escobar – SS), (Davies – P)

Ned Yost media session: Royals go for the sweep

As the Royals prepare to go for the series sweep against the Seattle Mariners Sunday, manager Ned Yost stressed that his club comes in with the same approach as any other game.

“We come out to win every game, every day. Our goal is to win today,” Yost said.

Reserve outfielder Jarrod Dyson will receive his second consecutive start in center field Sunday afternoon. Yost stated that he chose Dyson to play back-to-back games to aid his development by receiving more at-bats. The skipper noted that Dyson’s speed is a valuable asset for the team, which played a big part in him earning a spot on the Opening Day roster.

“He’s the fastest guy in the league. It’s as simple as that,” Yost remarked.

Yost also explained that left fielder Alex Gordon flattened his swing after working endless hours with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer during the offseason. Gordon has hit safely in 10 straight games, the longest active hitting streak in the league. Over that span, he is batting .435 (20-for-46) with 11 RBIs and 14 runs scored.

Sunday lineup, plus Autograph Afternoon and the Sprint Fun Run!

The Royals will look to complete a four-game sweep of Seattle today.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:10.  Alumni Al Fitzmorris, Dennis Leonard, John Mayberry and Greg Pryor will sign autographs from noon to 1:00 p.m. at Gate A, near the Royals Hall of Fame.  Once the game is over, it’s time for the Sprint Fun Run!  Here’s your lineup:

(Dyson – CF), (Getz – 2B), (Gordon – LF), (Butler – 1B), (Ka’aihue – DH), (Francoeur – RF), (Betemit – 3B), (Pena – C), (Escobar – SS), (Francis – P)

Ned Yost media session: April 16

Before Saturday’s 12:10 game vs. the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium, Royals manager Ned Yost shared with the media his appreciation for his players and the discipline it takes to develop skills for improved hitting and offense. Yost complimented Billy Butler and his increased admiration for the designated hitter. Butler has shown great plate discipline, two-strike approach, knowledge of the opposing pitchers, having a plan every time he approaches the plate, and executing that plan.

Discipline, for Yost, is the main ingredient for his players to develop a better approach. He commented that discipline isn’t always easy but it’s what creates success during the game. By observing the Royals squad with a win in five of the last six games and 9-4 record on the season so far, it’s easy to see that the team has focused on a better hitting approac, looking for the right pitch and preparing to hit that right pitch in the right area. Yost remarks that the excitement of the game can get to a player, but the mark of a good hitter is making the adjustment and knowing when to swing.

On the defensive side, the Royals skipper also complimented players such as Melky Cabrera, Jeff Francoeur, Mitch Maier, and Jarrod Dyson for the versatility to play several positions on the field. As the Royals face the Seattle Mariners this afternoon for game three of the four game series, we will continue to see that discipline and versatility put into play.

Saturday lineup: 12:10 vs. Mariners

Fans were lined up early this morning for today’s jersey giveaway (first 20,000 fans, courtesy of FOX Sports Kansas City).

The Royals are 2-0 in the series vs. Seattle.  Let’s take a look at the lineup for the 12:10 start:

(Dyson – CF), (Getz – 2B), (Gordon – LF), (Butler – DH), (Ka’aihue – 1B), (Cabrera – RF), (Aviles – 3B), (Treanor – C), (Escobar – SS), (O’Sullivan – P)

Billy Butler of the 2011 Royals meets Bill Butler of the 1969 Royals

A few days ago, a Royals associate received an e-mail from Bill Butler, a member of the original 1969 Royals.  In the e-mail, the former Royal and current West Virginia resident explained that he would be in Kansas City with his wife, Pat, and would be interested in a tour of the stadium.  The message was passed on to Morrie Carlson, the club’s Manager of Ballpark Tours.  Carlson called Butler and got the details of his trip. 

Bill and Pat are attending tonight’s game – and here’s a picture of Bill with current Royal Billy Butler!  (For the record, Baseball-Reference.com lists only one other Bill or Billy Butler on a major league team – and that Bill Butler played in nine games for the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the American Association in 1884!)

We caught up with Morrie’s tour before tonight’s game.   Bill was explaining a picture of old Municipal Stadium to Pat.  The couple also received a tour of the Royals Hall of Fame, where director Curt Nelson showed them a Royals hat worn by Bill!

Bill’s baseball career took him to Cleveland in 1972, so he never played at the current stadium as a Royal.  However, he told us that he did help build the stadium in the offseason alongside Frank White and other players!  (Bill had the chance to catch up with Frank tonight).  Bill later pitched here as a member of the Twins in 1975 (and this was his first time back since 1975!)

At the time, he thought that Royals Stadium was “wonderful” and describes The K as “awesome” now after the recent renovations.  Bill fondly remembers the excitement of being a 22-year old rookie in 1969 and pitching against the best of the best.  We asked him about his one-hitter, the first in club history.  Bill recalled allowing a third inning single to Eddie Leon of the Indians (the Indians also had four walks in the 10-0 KC win on August 9, 1969 in Cleveland).  Welcome to Kauffman Stadium, Bill, we’re glad to see you back in KC!

Ned Yost media session: April 15

Before Friday’s matchup against the Seattle Mariners, Royals manager Ned Yost reflected on a number of topics, most notably last night’s outstanding pitching performance from left-hander Bruce Chen. Chen tossed 8.0 innings for a rain-shortened complete game and his sixth straight win dating to August 29, 2010. Yost said that Chen is changing speeds and using different arm angles to keep opposing hitters off balance.

The skipper also noted that he will be giving his starting outfielders some rest over the next few games, beginning tonight when Mitch Maier will start in left field, allowing Alex Gordon to have the night off. Yost mentioned that in the American League it is more difficult to work reserves into the game and that the starting outfield of Gordon, Melky Cabrera and Jeff Francoeur has played so well that he has refrained from taking them out of the lineup.  Yost’s plan is for Francoeur to take tomorrow off and Cabrera will sit on Sunday.

Heading into tonight’s contest, the Royals are tied for first place in the AL Central at 8-4 and 4-3 in divisional play. Yost stated that the difference offensively is that KC hitters are going to the plate with a plan in mind and have shown marked improvement over their two-strike approaches last season. The Royals have been solid defensively, especially lately after rough first two games.

Tonight’s starter Luke Hochevar won his last time out on Sunday at Detroit and has walked only two hitters in 18.2 innings this season. Yost expressed that he would to see his big right-hander continue to pound the strike zone while keeping the ball down to force ground balls and quick outs.

Tomorrow afternoon (12:10 first pitch), Sean O’Sullivan will make his first start of 2011 and will have Matt Treanor working with him behind the plate. Yost spoke highly of the veteran catcher’s ability to provide guidance for young pitchers, including Hochevar and Kyle Davies.

Friday lineup: All players will wear #42 on Jackie Robinson Day

The Royals won 5-1 last night and are now 8-4 on the season.  Tonight, all players will wear #42 to honor Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier on this day in 1947.  Prior to his historic stint in the Majors, Robinson played in Kansas City for the Monarchs in 1945.  The 7:10 game at Kauffman Stadium is also a Buck Night, with hot dogs, small Pepsi products and peanuts available for $1 each, all night long.

Here’s the lineup:

(Getz – 2B), (Cabrera – CF), (Butler – DH), (Francoeur – RF), (Ka’aihue – 1B), (Aviles – 3B), (Maier – LF), (Treanor – C), (Escobar – SS), (Hochevar – P)

Ned Yost media session: April 14

Prior to Thursday’s 7:10 p.m. first pitch against the Seattle Mariners at Kauffman Stadium, Royals manager Ned Yost shared with the media his optimism about getting Robinson Tejeda healthy and placing Blake Wood into the Royals’ bullpen mix. Tejeda is suffering from rotator cuff fatigue and some inflammation but Yost is confident that with rest, a cortisone shot which he received today and extensive strengthening programs, that he will be back to join the squad shortly.

Wood was recalled from Omaha (AAA) to take Tejeda’s spot. Yost commented that the Georgia Tech product is talented, fits in well with the bullpen, and had a solid spring training. Wood made 51 appearances out of the pen for KC last year after making his Major League debut on May 12, 2010 vs. Cleveland.

The Royals skipper spoke about tonight’s starting pitcher Bruce Chen and hopes for a great outing as the lefty goes up against the Mariners. He compliments Chen’s strategy of keeping the ball down and changing speeds effectively. Yost, after being asked a question regarding what he likes about how his club is doing in the early going, acknowledged that the squad has been simply doing well at playing baseball. The team has shown great defense (after committing 5 errors in first 2 games, team has made just 3 in last 9), excellent base-running, good hitting, and an exciting, young bullpen. He also said there’s no replacement for talent and the club has a lot of talented players.

Thursday lineup: Royals return home to face Seattle

The Royals are back in Kansas City after a 3-2 road trip to Detroit and Minnesota.  Here’s the lineup for tonight’s 7:10 start:

(Getz – 2B)

(Cabrera – CF)

(Gordon – LF)

(Butler – DH)

(Ka’aihue – 1B)

(Francoeur – RF)

(Betemit – 3B)

(Pena – C)

(Escobar – SS)

(Chen – P)

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