Results tagged ‘ Gil Meche ’
The Royals Hot Stove show airs at 6 p.m. tonight on 610 Sports in Kansas City and on royals.com ( http://kansascity.royals.mlb.com/kc/fan_forum/hotstove.jsp ). You can catch the podcast at a later date at the Hot Stove page on royals.com.
Denny Matthews and Ryan Lefebvre are the hosts. They will talk with Gil Meche and J.J. Picollo. Gil’s recent retirement was featured on the New York Times website late yesterday. Picollo, the Assistant General Manager – Scouting and Player Development, oversees the farm system, which was rated number one this week by Baseball America.
Gil Meche acknowledged that his retirement might have been a shock to the reporters on the other end of the conference call. And it was: The pitcher who prefers a low profile was trending worldwide on Twitter on Tuesday, at one point passing up Regis Philbin, who also made a major announcement.
Meche felt great during his first two and a half years in Kansas City. Recently, he was admitted to being worn down, both physically and mentally. He said that his injury in 2009 wasn’t career-threatening. He admits that he came back too early that year, though he felt comfortable in bullpen throwing sessions in September. He felt fine at the outset of 2010, then the injuries hit and he felt like he wasn’t earning the contract he signed in December of 2006, which wore on him mentally.
Best Kansas City memory: Meche leaves Kansas City with good memories, friendships and a large amount of respect for the Royals organization. His favorite memory of Kansas City (and one of the best moments in his baseball career) came in 2007. He started on Opening Day, holding the Red Sox to a run on six hits and a walk over 7.1 innings. Upon leaving the field, Meche received a standing ovation from the crowd (above). He has since seen the photo around Kansas City, which he appreciates.
Complete-game shutout: Was the 132-pitch complete game shutout in 2009 a factor in Meche’s shoulder problems? Meche stated once again that the outing had nothing to do with his status today. He knows his body and would not have pitched one extra inning if he felt that the inning would eventually put a halt to his career. He wanted to throw the complete game, he felt fine, and the whole thing was blown out of proportion.
Decision time: Meche didn’t think that he could be healthy for all of 2011, which led him to think about retirement. The pitcher took his time with this decision and received support from his family, friends and agents. He mentioned it to his dad in mid-December. His dad said “If your heart isn’t in it, then it’s an easy decision,” which surprised Gil a bit. Meche and his agency approached the Royals in January as he wanted to give the club enough time to sort through other pitching options (versus coming to spring training and not being able to throw). Since the Royals were notified, they have inked pitchers Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen for 2011. The right-handed Meche stated that a contract settlement was never an option that he considered. He spoke several times about his respect for the Royals and believes that they are headed toward great things.
Up next: Meche has never been one for crowds – he is looking to get back to a “normal life”. He doesn’t think that he’ll ever regret his decision to leave baseball or the contract. He’ll miss the friendships, though he plans to stay in touch with his network of baseball friends that stretches all over the world. When asked if he planned to travel, Meche explained that he had traveled nearly 15 years. He just wants to sleep in his own bed on a regular basis. While he’s looking forward to some time at home and a few rounds of golf, he knows that his competitive drive will take him in a new direction soon – he cited a baseball academy as a possible way to give back to youth in his native Louisiana.
We wish Gil well in this new stage of his life and thank him for the last four seasons in Royal blue!
“After a lot of thinking and prioritizing of issues in my life I have decided to retire from baseball. As a competitor my entire life this is the hardest decision that I’ve ever faced, but it’s not fair to me, my family or the Kansas City Royals that I attempt to pitch anymore. I came into this game as a starting pitcher and unfortunately my health, more accurately, my shoulder, has deteriorated to the point where surgery would be the only option and at this stage of my life I would prefer to call it a career rather than to attempt to pitch in relief for the final year of my contract. I can’t thank the Kansas City Royals and their fans enough for my four seasons there and if I have any regret, it’s that we weren’t able to accomplish on the field what the goal was when I signed there.”
The 32-year-old Meche was 84-83 with a 4.49 ERA in 10 Major League seasons for the Seattle Mariners (1999-2000, 2003-06) and Royals (2007-10). Meche signed a five-year contract with the Royals on December 8, 2006 and served as the club’s Opening Day starter in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He posted a 29-39 record for Kansas City, compiling a 4.27 ERA in 111 games, including 100 starts. Meche tied for second in the Majors with 68 starts combined in 2007 and 2008 and also ranked tied for sixth with 44 quality starts over that span. The native of Lafayette, La., struggled with right shoulder injuries in 2009 and 2010, making 43 appearances (32 starts).
The Royals have returned right-handed pitcher Gil Meche and infielder Josh Fields from their respective rehab assignments and reinstated them from the 60-day Disabled List. In addition, the club has recalled catcher Lucas May from Omaha. To create space on the 40-man roster, the Royals have transferred right-handed pitcher Luke Hochevar and outfielder David DeJesus to the 60-day D.L. Meche, Fields and May will be in uniform for tonight’s game. May will wear No. 22.
Meche, 31, has missed 86 games with right shoulder bursitis. He was 0-4 with a 6.66 ERA in nine starts for the Royals prior to being placed on the D.L. on May 29 (retroactive to May 26). Meche returns to the Majors in a relief capacity, where he made his final three rehab appearances for Omaha, allowing one run on two hits in 4.2 innings, striking out five.
The 27-year-old Fields is looking to make his Royals debut after being acquired with Chris Getz on November 5, 2009 from the White Sox for Mark Teahen. He underwent labral surgery on his right hip toward the tail end of Spring Training and was placed on the D.L. on March 28. Fields began a rehab assignment with Surprise on August 12 and went 4-for-10 with four RBI for the Royals’ rookie-level club before hitting .436 (17-for-39) with eight doubles and 9 RBI in 11 games for Northwest Arkansas (AA).
May, 25, was acquired by the Royals on July 28 from the Dodgers in the deal that sent outfielder Scott Podsednik to Los Angeles. The five-foot-11, 195-pounder is making his first appearance on a Major League active roster. May was hitting .275 (25-for-91) for Omaha with seven doubles, five home runs and 13 RBI in 24 games. In 104 games this season, he has combined to bat .283 with 16 home runs and 59 RBI, posting a .483 slugging percentage.
Hochevar is currently on a rehab assignment at Omaha. He has been sidelined since June 16 (retroactive to June 12) with a right elbow sprain. He is currently eligible for reinstatement.
DeJesus has missed the past 37 games with a right thumb sprain suffered on July 22 at Yankee Stadium. The outfielder is eligible to be reinstated on September 21.
Yesterday, Ned Yost mentioned that he would talk to GM Dayton Moore today about September call-ups. Naturally, that was the first question in today’s media session. Yost said that Moore is having conversations with minor league coaches and scouts about potential call-ups. Yost and Moore had a brief chat on the topic that centered around three immediate possible roster additions: reliever Gil Meche, infielder Josh Fields and catcher Lucas May.
Meche is here in KC already and will be activated tomorrow to fill a bullpen role. Fields also will likely be here after his rehab stint with NW Arkansas. He is healthy once again and swinging a hot bat for the Double-A Naturals (.429 entering today). Yost has heard the reports about Fields but wants to see it for his own eyes. As for May, Yost is not sure that it will happen tomorrow since May was hit by a pitch in last night’s game with Omaha. He believes in having three catchers and it would be a chance to evaluate May, who joined the organization in the Scott Podsednik trade last month. However, Yost hinted that duty would be limited for May as he also sees more playing time for Brayan Pena in September.
Yost does not expect a large number of call-ups. He doesn’t want to fill the bench with guys who are unlikely to play. Reporters asked about several prospects, including outfielder Jarrod Dyson and left-handed reliever Tim Collins. Yost said that Dyson wasn’t talked about in his brief conversation with Moore. While Yost would like to add a left-hander or two and stressed championship clubs have at least two in their bullpen, he downplayed talk of a Collins call-up as the lefty just turned 21 and is in his first month at Triple-A.
Wilson Betemit’s emergence has been a regular topic among reporters. Yost said that everybody is at a similar heightened skill level in the Majors and that the mental aspect is what separates most players. He does believe that players can have something click – he has seen it in his time with Atlanta and Milwaukee. Yost believes that something has clicked with Betemit, who did not have the right chance with his previous organizations. He sees Betemit’s eventual role as a super-utility player, similar to that of Willie Bloomquist.
Last night’s events were frustrating for Yost because he had to burn a pitcher even though everyone knew a storm was blowing in. He said the team will try its best to get through tonight’s 18 innings without using yesterday’s starter, Sean O’Sullivan. Yost added that it wouldn’t be earth-shattering to use Sully and he knows the pitcher could do it, but he feels it is unnecessary to take that chance. Look for O’Sullivan to be available to toss a couple innings of relief work in tomorrow’s contest, if needed. That would be his normal side day.
Yost said Luke Hochevar looked great as he threw 25 pitches today. He also claimed the righty looked unhittable and without a doubt passed the test. The next step for Hochevar is to toss another session on Tuesday in Detroit. The number of pitches will increase to 30-35, and Hoch will throw 15-18, sit down for five minutes to simulate an inning break, and will then throw the rest. If all goes well, the pitcher will be sent on a rehab start next Saturday.
Additionally, Brian Bannister will make a rehab appearance on Monday in Omaha. Yost expects Banny to toss 25-30 pitches over 2.0 frames. Gil Meche will pitch in relief tonight for Omaha as well.
Making the grade
When asked if he will evaluate his young squad any differently in tonight’s game against the White Sox, a club competing for the division title, Yost said no, he doesn’t add weight to games against certain teams. The manager expects everyone’s best effort each and every day, and he will put his best team on the field every day as well. He believes he owes it to fellow division teams and the league to start his best lineup.
Same guy, new position
Yost doesn’t know exactly what the future holds for converted pitcher Brian Anderson, but he has definitely noticed the former outfielder’s success on the mound this year. Yost noted that Anderson’s fastball can max out at 97 mph and he throws it comfortably at 95 mph. He thinks Anderson is making great progress and deserves a look, but he doesn’t know if that opportunity will come in September or next spring.
? Yost said he moved Kila Ka’aihue to the three-hole in order to split up the lefties.
? Gil Meche left Kansas City today for his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha. He should see action in tomorrow’s game.
Save the date
Yost expects Gil Meche to begin his rehab assignment this Saturday in Omaha. He will start off throwing 20-25 pitches and will build his way to 40. When Meche eventually returns to Kansas City, Yost plans on using the pitcher only after the fifth or sixth inning and for only one or two frames at a time. The manager said Meche will not go back-to-back days this year because it doesn’t make sense to push him.
Saved by Soria
Joakim Soria is tied for second in the Majors in saves after notching his 35th last night against the Indians. Yost said it is a great feeling to have a guy like Soria as a closer because he has total confidence that the pitcher will get the job done. Yost realizes that Soria will eventually make a mistake or two, but as far as he’s concerned, Soria is as close to a robot or machine as you can get.
Filling the gap
With the trade of Kyle Farnsworth and the placement of Robinson Tejeda on the D.L., the Royals were left without some set-up relievers between the starters and Soria. Since then, other guys in the bullpen have had opportunities to try to fill the void. Yost believes opportunity is a wonderful thing, and the right guys will stand up and take charge when given the chance. Recently, Blake Wood has shook off some rookie stumbles to take the reins in the eighth.
Short and Sweet
On a day when it’s actually nice to be outside for more than five minutes, the media did not have many questions to ask during Ned Yost’s pregame interview. He did discuss Gil Meche’s potential return to the mound, saying the former starter could fit into the bullpen, which would help limit his shoulder problems. Yost also said Meche is getting closer to a rehab assignment after a 30-pitch session this morning, if the club chooses to go that route. When asked about the 2011 season for Meche, Yost said that as of today, he’d be leaning toward having the right-hander pitch as a reliever.
The manager also briefly discussed Kila Ka’aihue’s performance, saying he can’t make a judgment about Ka’aihue because the rookie is still settling in and adjusting to new pitchers and a new overall experience.
Luke Hochevar, Robinson Tejeda, and Gil Meche are all chomping at the bit to get back on the field. Yost said Meche threw very well today and has looked good in his last couple outings.
The Young Guns
According to Yost, the Royals lost veterans on purpose in order to take a look at younger players. Yost said it takes time for new guys to get in a groove, but you just have to let them play and go through it. He added that they are all in the big leagues for a reason–because they have all had success.
Yost also discussed Kila Ka’aihue’s numbers at the plate. Ka’aihue enters tonight’s contest hitting .103, but Yost says he looks for good at-bats and execution, not at averages.