Ned Yost media session: September 20

Before opening a two game series with tonight’s 7:10 contest vs. the Detroit Tigers, Royals manager Ned Yost gave an update on closer Joakim Soria. The two-time All-Star has been day-to-day with a strained right hamstring since pitching the ninth inning for a 2-1 win for the Royals at Seattle on September 11.  Soria played catch today but has yet to throw a side session.  With Soria out, this leaves opportunities for relief pitchers Aaron Crow and Greg Holland.

“It’s not a bad thing to give them [Crow andH olland] closing experience even though it’s a week or two weeks,” Yost said. “Every little bit of experience helps.”

Designated hitter Billy Butler is out of the lineup today due to illness. Mitch Maier will be filling the designated hitter role and batting seventh. The Royals skipper confirmed that Butler has a small touch of the flu bug. Butler is receiving treatment and Yost hopes that he will be ready for Wednesday.

“If it was a real dire situation we’d probably play him [Butler] tonight,” Yost said. “Right now we want to make sure we don’t want to wear him out too much and let him go ahead and finish the last seven games strong.”

Starting right-hander Luis Mendoza will be taking the mound for the Royals tonight, making his first big league appearance in 2011 after having his contract selected from Triple-A Omaha. Mendoza appeared in four games in 2010 as a reliever, with his last Major League start in 2008 with Texas.

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