James Shields and Wade Davis introduced in Kansas City
Newly acquired right-handed pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis donned Royals uniforms for the first time today at a morning press conference. General Manager Dayton Moore and Manager Ned Yost joined the media session.
Yost said that Shields and Davis “have winning flowing in their veins”. He is excited with these additions plus Jeremy Guthrie and Ervin Santana, noting how important it is to have five consistent starters. The aforementioned pitchers currently line up as KC’s first four, with Yost foreseeing a spring battle for the fifth spot.
Yost saw the 2012 All-Star week as a turning point, noting the big crowds for all of the events that week. He is excited for the possibility of a similar “phenomenal atmosphere” at Kauffman Stadium in 2013.
Shields echoed Yost’s comments, noting the passion and drive of the fan base. Shields settled in with a number 24 jersey, though he has worn 33 for most of his career. That number is currently held by Jeremy Guthrie. Lighthearted negotiations for 33 are ongoing, with Shields knowing that he may have to find a pair of shoes (or two) for Guthrie, who likes his sneakers.
Moore and Yost were asked about the importance of a winning culture, something that is hard to put into numbers. Yost cited his experiences in Atlanta, where the addition of a few key pieces were the difference as the Braves went from worst to first. Moore spoke about Zack Greinke and his return from anxiety issues. Moore believes that the culture – from the front office to the media – helped Greinke get to where he is today.
Speaking of Greinke, Davis was asked about a May, 2010 start in which he tossed 7.0 shutout innings in a 1-0 Rays win over the former KC righty. Davis remembered it fondly and is ready to have more opportunities as he returns to a starting role.