The Royals are back in Kansas City, taking on the second-place Twins tonight in an American League Central showdown. Chris Young will be taking the bump for the Royals and is looking to keep his success going against Minnesota this year. In his last appearance against Minnesota, Young tossed six and 1/3 innings of one-hit ball, earning a 2-0 win for his club.
Ned Yost made it clear in his pre-game interview that it is not a secret that this is going to be a big four-game series. “We just played a bunch of good teams on the long road trip,” said Yost, “It’s important that we come back and take care of business against team’s in our division, no matter what place they are in.”
Yordano Ventura’s comeback from the disabled list is going as well as expected and Yost said his fastball is looking as good as he has ever seen it. The Royals manager said he is experiencing very slight pain and once the symptoms are gone, he will be back in the rotation.
Here are the upcoming channel numbers for our friends with Dish Network:
Monday, June 29: Dish 443 or 412-31
Tuesday, June 30: Dish 444 or 412-32
Wednesday, July 1: Dish 441 or 412-29
Thursday, July 2: Dish 446 or 412-34
Friday, July 3: Dish 446 or 412-34
Saturday, July 4: on FOX
Sunday, July 5: Dish 446 or 412-34
The Royals announced today that they have returned left-handed pitcher Danny Duffy from his rehab assignment and reinstated him from the 15-day disabled list for tonight’s 9:10 p.m. (CT) game against the Seattle Mariners. In a corresponding roster move, the Royals have optioned right-handed pitcher Michael Mariot to Triple-A Omaha.
Duffy, 26, has been sidelined since May 25 (retroactive to May 17) with left biceps tendinitis. He made a pair of rehab starts with the Storm Chasers, posting a 2.35 ERA (2 ER in 7.2 IP) with one walk, 10 strikeouts and a .179 opponents’ batting average.
Omar Infante has played through multiple injuries in his career including last year and this year; however, Yost said that Infante is “as healthy as he’s been”, “he’s running great, he’s moving great”.
Royals starter Jason Vargas played catch today to, “extend it out farther” said Yost referring to Vargas’ pitching motion. Yost doesn’t think that Vargas will require a rehab assignment before coming back to the Royals starting rotation.
Salvador Perez and Mike Moustakas are getting the day off today mostly to get some rest, but also because of the extreme heat that is expected at game time. Expect both players to be back in the lineup for Monday’s opener at Seattle.
Aaron Brooks was recalled from Omaha today, taking the place of Yohan Pino, who started last night. Brooks will be used in the “back end” of the bullpen for now according to Yost.
After pitching well in his last rehab start, Danny Duffy is scheduled to return to the Royals starting rotation on Wednesday June 24. Yost wanted Duffy to be able to throw 100 pitches in a rehab start before bringing him up. He threw 85 in his last game, however with three starters currently out of the rotation, “he’s a good option for us” said Yost.
Salvador Perez was taken out of last night’s game in the eighth inning when the Royals were down six runs. According to Yost when he sees a good opportunity to give Salvy a few extra innings off, especially if he has played a lot of games in a row, Yost will take advantage of it. Perez will “probably” get the day off tomorrow “because it’s gonna be so hot” said Yost.
Yohan Pino will make his first Major League start of 2015 and first as a Royal tonight. Yost has confidence in Pino to pitch well, even though he hasn’t made a Major League start since last year with the Twins.
Royals starting pitchers Yordano Ventura, Danny Duffy and Jason Vargas are on the disabled list. Earlier in the year, Yost eluded to Ventura and Duffy trying to do too much and getting away from who they are. Yost expects the strong performances of the veteran starters (Jeremy Guthrie, Chris Young, and Joe Blanton) to relieve some of that pressure when Ventura and Duffy come back.
The All-Star voting has drawn a lot of attention to the Royals as they currently have eight of the nine starting spots for the American League. Yost said that for the first time he actually looks forward to Mondays, when the latest voting totals come out.
Regarding the amount of young talent that has been coming up to the Majors quicker than ever before, Yost said “when we were coming up you had to pay your dues in Double-A and Triple-A, and now we’re bringing up guys a lot earlier”, “there is a lot more developing going on in the Major Leagues then there was 10 to 15 years ago, which is a good thing”. Yost used Houston as an example of how it has worked well, since they brought up their young talent last year to develop and they are off to a great start so far this year.
By Sal Defeo
The Royals and FOX Sports Kansas City today welcomed kids from Alphapointe, a non-profit group that serves people who are blind and visually impaired in Kansas City. The Forever Royal Fan Express brought the kids and their families to Kauffman Stadium, where they experienced a touch tour of the Royals Hall of Fame, played beeper ball on the Blue KC Little K, met with Royals broadcasters and took in the game vs. the Milwaukee Brewers. The experience provided an up-close perspective for the young fans who enjoy Royals games through different senses. Their visit was part of FOX Sports Young Fans week, which is happening across baseball. FOX Sports Fan Express buses will help take more than 1,000 kids to games.
The Royals are looking to sweep the Brewers tonight in the final match-up of the four game series. Kansas City’s skipper, Ned Yost, is also looking to make history tonight, as he is set to become the wins leader among Royals managers. When asked what his thoughts were on the subject, Yost said he hadn’t thought about it and was just looking to go out and win a ball game.
Kansas City has made a roster move, putting Yordano Ventura on the D.L., with slight numbing in his throwing hand. “It’s something that if you try to battle through it can get worse. It’s not major but the best thing to do is give it time to heal,” said Yost. Yohan Pino will be recalled from Triple-A Omaha to make the start for the Royals tomorrow.
The final topic was the Royals attendance, which went over the 1,000,000 mark last night. “I’m really pleased with the support our fans have given us this year,” mentioned Yost on the Royals topping the mark in 31 games, a new record. “We don’t want to win for ourselves but for the city and the fans. That’s what it’s all about.”
By Eric Paulson
The Royals have signed first-round pick Ashe Russell, who met with the media today at Kauffman Stadium. Russell then watched batting practice, where he met several Royals including manager Ned Yost, fellow first-round pick Luke Hochevar (2006) and a former 50th-round pick, Jarrod Dyson (also 2006). Russell also signed his first autographs as a professional. Congrats and welcome!