Results tagged ‘ Kyle Davies ’

Trey Hillman: Season One

Thumbnail image for 9-18 Trey 3.jpg
 A Major League manager has duties that extend beyond what happens on the field, in the dugout and in the clubhouse. One major part of the job is to speak with the media on a daily basis. ATH estimates that Trey Hillman has had over 400 media sessions during his first season with the Royals. That’s two a day for nearly all of the 162 regular season games, plus spring training. Questioners come and go during the season, but it’s usually the same core contingent. Manager Hillman now knows many of these people very well. Today, he met with them one final time to discuss the 2008 Royals and what he sees going into 2009. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say:

Overall impression of 2008: Trey mentioned that the team made considerable progress as they finished 13.0 games behind the division leader after being 27.0 games back in 2007.


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 6-17 Davies.jpgOn pitching:
Hillman’s opening remarks included emphasis on Zack Greinke’s strong season. He later touched on Greinke’s strong preparation during the season. The emergence of Kyle Davies (right) was a key point that Hillman drove home. He said that Davies worked with Bob McClure and really improved his mental approach to each and every start down the stretch.

Differences between Japan and the U.S.: Hillman did not see “earth shattering” differences between the managing environments. He did note that Japanese teams have only one minor league club, so players have a little more urgency to prove themselves.


Thumbnail image for 9-21 Kila 3.jpgThe September charge:
The Royals finished a MLB best 18-8. Hillman noted that the strong finish left him with some nice memories to hang on to. He was impressed with the high character and intense work ethic of Kila Ka’aihue and Ryan Shealy. Hillman described the emotion that Devon Lowery brought to his first big league appearance. Manager Hillman will be speaking to the Royals’ instructional league players in Arizona on Wednesday morning. The “never be content” attitude of Ka’aihue, Shealy, and Lowery figures to be a central theme of his speech.

Changes in approach for 2009: Hillman spent much of the 2007-08 offseason getting to know the players on his roster. Now that relationships have been made, he wants to focus on other areas. He believes that any manager should strive to get better each season. One of his goals is to manage people better.

How the Royals can improve in 2009: When a media member asked if the Royals needed another big bat in the offense, Hillman contended that the run differential could be narrowed more by improvements on the mound. He said that the Royals will look for ways to add runs, but sometimes it is easier to improve from a pitching standpoint.

Other notes: Hillman will be studying an external hard drive filled with video of potential free agents. He has a ‘wish list’ of free agents, but he will leave any negotiating to Dayton Moore and his baseball operations staff. Hillman knows that the health of his players will go a long way toward a successful 2009. He has been working with the Royals training and conditioning staff for a few months on a ‘check and balance’ system for individual health and workouts this off season.

Thumbnail image for 8-27 Greinke.jpgRoyals Player/Pitcher of the Month: The September winners are Ryan Shealy and Zack Greinke. As we mentioned yesterday on ATH, Shealy led the Royals with 7 home runs, 20 RBI, and a .603 slugging percentage. This is his first Player of the Month award. Greinke went 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA, which placed sixth in the American League. The right-hander did not allow a run over his final 2 starts. This is Zack’s second monthly honor in 2008 (also April) and third of his career (September 2004).

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A September to Remember

The ATH crew is counting down the days until spring training after the Royals finished 2008 on fire. Kansas City won two of three in the Twin Cities, which secured the best September mark in Major League Baseball at 18-8.

Today’s post is stat-heavy. If you dig into the September stats, you’ll see that a few of the current Royals put themselves among elite company in the team history books.


Thumbnail image for 9-5 Shealy.jpg Seventh Heaven:
Ryan Shealy blasted 7 home runs during September, which tied him for the sixth-best September total in club history. (John Mayberry and Danny Tartabull share the record with 9 in 1972 and 1987, respectively. Steve Balboni, Carlos Beltran, and Jeff King clubbed 8 apiece.) Shealy, recalled from Omaha on September 2, also led the club with 20 RBI and a .603 slugging percentage.


Thumbnail image for 8-5 Aviles.jpgRecord-Setting Rook:
Mike Aviles finished his storybook rookie campaign with a few more records and notes. Aviles led all MLB rookies with 33 hits during the month (Minnesota’s Denard Span has 30 hits. He could add to his total if Minnesota has to play Chicago on Tuesday.) Aviles’ 33 hits ties him with Carlos Beltran for the second-best September total by a Royals rookie. George Brett set the mark with 35 in 1974. Aviles also crossed the plate 22 times during the month, which ties him for third all-time in franchise history. Brett and Al Cowens scored 23 times apiece as the Royals rolled through September, 1977. Tartabull had 22 in 1987 and Beltran matched that mark in 2002 and 2003.

Consistent Callaspo: Alberto Callaspo hit in 18 consecutive games during September. The streak was the longest by a Royal in 2008. Callaspo batted .344 (22-for-64) during the 18 games. His streak was tied for the ninth-longest in club history.

3 x 4: Kyle Davies, Zack Greinke, and Gil Meche each went 4-1 during September. The last time three K.C. pitchers won 4 games in the same calendar month was August, 1989. Bret Saberhagen went 7-0 while Tom Gordon compiled a 5-1 record and Mark Gubicza chipped in with a 4-2 mark. Davies, Greinke, and Meche became just the third trio to win at least 4 games in September. The last time, you ask? The year was 1978, when team Hall of Famer’s Dennis Leonard, Larry Gura, and Paul Splittorff accomplished the feat.


Thumbnail image for 9-18 Soria.jpgClosing Points:
We can’t make it through this post without mentioning another dominant month from All-Star Joakim Soria. The right-hander converted all 9 of his save opportunities. The 9 saves surpassed Dan Quisenberry’s club record of 8 September saves, established in 1984. Soria tied Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels for the most saves in the big leagues during the month. KC’s closer posted a perfect 0.00 ERA while limiting opponents to an .091 batting average. His 42 rescues on the year ranks fourth in single-season club history, trailing only Jeff Montgomery (45 in 1993) and Dan Quisenberry (45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984).

A Look Ahead: Manager Trey Hillman is meeting with media members on Tuesday. We’ll bring you a wrap up of the press conference. During the off season, look for a few quick posts each week to keep you up to date on events in the Royals organization.

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The Final Home Game of 2008.


9-21 Kila 3.jpgLast night had no shortage of memorable moments and team photographer Chirs Vleisides was there to capture it. Among the most special was Kila Ka’aihue’s first Major League home run off Sox starter Gavin Floyd, complete with a curtain call made to a standing ovation from the almost capacity crowd.

The young slugger got a bit of a personal surprise with his September call-up, having to be added to the 40-man roster after hitting a combined 37 home runs in the minors this season. With 26 at Double-A Northwest Arkansas and another 11 in just a month at Triple-A Omaha, Ka’aihue had the fourth highest total in all levels of the minor leagues. He was named Texas League Player of
9-21 Kila.jpgthe Year, despite playing the final month of the season in the Pacific Coast League.

Ka’aihue was so dominant at Double-A he finished tied for the lead in home runs even though he played in 37 fewer games than his co-homer champ Arkansas’ Corey Smith. His 80 walks fell three short of the leader who played in 136 games compared to Ka’aihue’s 91 at Double-A. He coupled his high walk rate with a low strikeout rate. The Hawaiian struck out just 40 times in 287 at-bats in the Texas League. He had a .314 average and a .463 on-base percentage, neither of which qualified for the end of the season titles.

Alex Gordon also homered, his first one since coming off the Disabled List. Kyle Davies looked strong again, posting his second straight seven-plus inning start. He threw 15 9-21 Kila 2.jpgscoreless innings, ending in the eighth last night. Joakim Soria tied Doug Bird for third on the Royals all-time career saves list, notching his 41st save of the season and 58th of his career. Only Jeff Montgomery and Dan Quisenberry have more saves in their Royals careers than Soria. David DeJesus delivered yet again in the clutch, going 1-for-1 with runners in scoring position. DeJesus’ infield single moved the runner over who later scored. With the hit, DeJesus raised his RISP average to .413 – which leads the Majors and is percentage points more than Texas’ Ian Kinsler.

 DeJesus also hit his second career inside-the-park home run and the third for the Royals this season. An interesting note about the most exciting play in baseball, 77 of the team’s 93 inside-the-park home run have come at home in spacious Kauffman Stadium – it really makes a lot of sense when you think about it.

Last night was also “Shirts Off Their Backs” Night, which was a solid success, raising nearly $20,000 for Operation Breakthrough. With 23,754 in the stands for the 5-2 win over the White Sox and tickets going for a dollar, the total raised was close to a dollar per fan.

9-21 Shirts.jpgHere’s a picture of all of the winners on the field after the game with their new jerseys.

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Guillen DH
Shealy 1B
Teahen RF
Gordon 3B
Buck C
German 2B
Maier CF

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Legends Luncheon – Part 2: The Club through Trey Hillman's eyes

9-18 Buck.jpgYesterday we gave you a piece of the conversation held at the Crosstown Station between General Manager Dayton Moore, manager Trey Hillman, and former players Al Fitzmorris and Willie Wilson. Today we’ll bring you the rest of what was said during the final State Farm Legends Luncheon. For more information on the luncheons please visit www.thebestofbuck.com. The Luncheons are in honor of Buck O’Neil and have supported the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (www.nlbm.com) for nine years.

Part one of the Luncheon recap yesterday focused heavily on Moore and building the Club’s minor league system. Wilson, as a one-time Royals farmhand, put in his two cents about how to build the club as well.

Today, Around the Horn wants to focus on what Hillman had to say about his first year as a manger. We’ll preface Hillman’s comments by saying that after the conversation between the four men on stage finished, the audience was allowed to ask questions. One woman asked both Hillman and Moore what their best and worst decisions were since joining the Royals. Moore told the crowd his greatest baseball decision to this point was the hiring of Trey Hillman to manage the Royals.

9-18 Trey.jpgMoore fells so strongly that he has the right man he barely hesitated before responding. He sees in Hillman a desire and work ethic fit for the job. Two examples of that are Hillman’s seemingly tireless work while in spring training. Hillman would be on the back fields working with the minor league players long after the Major Leaguers had showered and left the complex. No one asked Hillman to do it, he just did.

In the same manner, he was at the Royals pre-draft workout hitting fungos to prospects who weren’t even in the organization yet. Moore said these are the types of things no other manager in the Majors is doing but they make the young players want to play for Hillman. If that kind of environment can be created, then a pride and desire to wear the Royal uniform will be created. Something Around the Horn wrote about yesterday in talking about strengthen the farm system.

Needless to say the fan was pleased and said she truly believes that Hillman and Moore are the best people in baseball today to take on the job of building a champion in Kansas City.

9-18 Trey 3.jpgWhen Hillman took the job, the first thing he did – which was his answer for his best decision – was to start talking to players but also to start raising the expectations. Hillman said he was wearing out his cell phone while he was still in Japan talking to people in the organization from players to publicity folks to the baseball minds. He did say not to mention this fact to the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, his club last season in Japan. So keep that on the down-low.

The expectation of the 2008 Royals was to win the World Series. That was Hillman’s best decision. He told people before the season, “If you aren’t aiming for a championship, you can’t win one.” He also knew that 2008 was going to be a season where a lot of questions needed to be answered.

Since Moore’s arrival, the team needed to address some issues like adding a front-line starter and a slugger to the lineup. Moore has done both of those things with Gil Meche, who was considered a middle-tier free agent when he signed, and Jose Guillen, who has come with some controversy but is an impact to the lineup. These players believe in what’s going on in Kansas City and want to win, which is where Hillman is coming from. He wants to win.

9-18 Soria.jpgThis season hasn’t been the easiest. Hillman said probably one of his other decisions that could go either way was not to use Joakim Soria during the 12-game losing streak. Using the Royals All-Star may have won that game, but the what-ifs can go both ways. Hillman is content to know that Soria is healthy and still pitching at an extremely high level. Had he been used on short rest during the streak, who knows what may have happened.

For the first-year manager, Soria is a bright spot. He heard so much good about the closer during spring training but didn’t see it. Soria didn’t pitch like an All-Star in the spring. But he turned it on once the season started. Hillman said he was amazed that he had 39 (now 40) saves on a team that had less than 70 wins.

Hillman was also impressed with Mike Aviles. He told Moore that Aviles would make an impact on this ball club during the spring. However, Hillman didn’t think the rookie would make this much of a difference to the 2008 team. Likewise with Ryan Shealy. During their demotion meetings, both players were somewhat upset but quickly turned around their feelings to a desire to work and get better.

Another question and answer was Zack Greinke. They wanted to see him stay healthy and stay consistent in the rotation for a full year. 9-18 Greinke.jpgGreinke has matured and blossomed this season. Hillman said he’s become a pitcher and not just a thrower. One of the key’s for Greinke (who starts today) is to pitch around 91-92 mph and keep his 96-97 mph heater in his back pocket to break out every once in a while and baffle a hitter. Greinke has done that and so much more. He has become a student of the game.

Fitzmorris said that he and the pitchers on his teams were constantly talking to hitting coach Charlie Lau. They wanted to know how hitters thought about hitting. Hillman said this team is becoming students of the game in the same manner. He hopes that the inefficiency of the starters comes as a bit of a “slap in the face” and spurs them to work more. Look at what Kyle Davies accomplished two nights ago. That is a perfect example. Hillman said that if Davies can reproduce 75 percent of what he did on Tuesday he will be a solid performer. True, its one start and this late season surge is in September. But Hillman likes to live by a saying he got from Moore.

“Believe in what you see and not what you hear,” Hillman said.

Short
For starters, congratulations to Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki. He received a warm ovation from the Kauffman crowd when he collected his 200th hit of the season last night. With the hit, Suzuki tied a Major League record and broke the American League record by recorded eight straight seasons with at least 200 hits. He broke Wade Boggs’ A.L. mark of seven (1983-89) and tied Wee Willie Keeler (1894-1901)…Jose Guillen and Alberto Callaspo have career high hitting streaks going at 14 games and 11 games, respectively…Ryan Shealy homered for the second straight night, the second time he’s accomplished the feat this season (third in his career)…The Royals are riding a season-high six-game winning streak and have 11 homers during the streak…Joakim Soria is one of three Royals pitchers to record a 40 save season and currently has the fourth best season in team history behind Jeff Montgomery’s 45 in 1993 and Dan Quisenberry’s 45 in 1983 and 44 in 1984.

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus LF
Aviles SS
Guillen DH
Shealy 1B
Teahen RF
Olivo 21
Gordon 3B
Callaspo 2B
Maier CF

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Dazzling Davies

9-16 Davies.jpgKyle Davies pitched arguably his best game as a Royal – if not his career – last night. As he dominated the Mariner hitters, the Royals got on the board and secured a solid victory.

Last night was an example of how the Royals want to win ballgames. Strong starting pitching, followed by a shut down bullpen and then an offense which will get the job done. To look at how that happened last night, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
He’s had two other eight strikeout efforts and he’s had two other eight inning games (one complete game). He’s also held opponents scoreless before. But Kyle Davies had never brought all of those elements together in one outing before last night.

The other impressive number about Davies’ four-hitter? Zero walks. He didn’t walk anyone, something he has not done this season. In fact he’s only recorded two other walkless starts, both of which were less than six innings.

Davies retired the first 12 batters he faced until Jose Lopez singled to lead off the fifth inning. Davies also combated another problem he’s had this season. He kept his pitch count low. He threw 98 pitches during his eight innings of work.

Manager Trey Hillman called Davies performance the best he’s seen.

9-16 Guillen.jpgSecond
Jose Guillen has hit in a career-high 13 games. Since his career started in 1997, he hadn’t hit in 13 straight, but he’s on that kind of a roll now.

Maybe more impressively, he has nine multi-hit games during his current hitting streak, including a 2-for-4 night last night with a double and a run scored.

Guillen is hitting .418, banging seven doubles and two homers with 12 RBI during his 13-game streak. He’s also scored six runs. With his recent surge, he has repositioned himself for a shot at 100 RBI and if he stays hot, he’ll have a chance to eclipse his career high of 104 (set in 2003). His 2003 season is his only 100-plus RBI season, though he reached 99 last year in Seattle.

The slugger leads the Royals in hits (147), doubles (40), homers (20), RBI (93), total bases (249) and multi-hit games (44).

Short
One strikeout is all the Club needs to tie its single-season record. The 1990 pitching staff fanned 1,006 batters compared to this season’s 1,005, which is the sixth-highest total in the American League this season…Alberto Callaspo also has a career-high hitting streak going at nine games…Ryan Shealy has reached base in seven of his eight games and is hitting .387…Mike Aviles has scored nine runs during his seven-game hitting streak and is one of five Royals with over 60 runs this season…David DeJesus snapped a 127-game errorless streak with his throwing error in the sixth…Mark Teahen is hitting .338 since August 27 with nine extra base hits…From Trey Hillman’s pregame press conference: “Nothing is more powerful to the atmosphere than winning,” Hillman said in response to the environment in the Royals clubhouse before today’s game (the lights were dimmed, music was pumping and some players were dancing)…Also: “Pitching is as contagious as hitting,” Hillman said voicing his hopes for Brandon Duckworth’s start tonight following last night’s four-hit shutout.

9-15 Tee.jpgThird
How can you beat the deal we got going here tonight? $3 tickets and a long-sleeve tee upon entering.

Tomorrow, the 17th, of course is Halfway to St. Paddy’s. Flannigan’s Right Hook will be on hand to play before the game starts and get the crowd primed.

Plenty of other great promotions are left this week and there are just six home games including tonight’s ballgame. You should come out and join the fun.

Also: The Royals will be announcing their 2009 home schedule (no game times) tomorrow at noon. Keep an eye out for that!

Today’s lineup:
DeJesus CF
Aviles SS
Guillen RF
Shealy 1B
Teahen LF
Gordon 3B
Ka’aihue DH
Olivo C
Callaspo 2B

Duckworth P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Minor Mashers

8-26 Hosmer.JPGThe Minor League seasons are winding down. But with the end of the season come a lot of things that shed hope on the future. Yesterday we mentioned some of the post-season awards which have already been won, but today we have two more things to celebrate down on the farm.

September is next week and that means September call-ups aren’t too far away, and with so much success going on in the minors, we’re not even going speculate what might happen, but we can talk about the positives in the system right now. To do that, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
The first moment of celebration for the organization was the debut of Eric Hosmer (wearing No. 21) last night at Idaho Falls. Hosmer was hit in his first professional at-bat – as if to say welcome to the pros Mr. No. 3 overall pick. But Hosmer showed some of what earned him his draft position, ending the night 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, a run batted in and a walk. Hosmer’s Chukars mustered 10 hits, but could not hold off the Raptors. ATH expects he’ll be back out there again tonight as Idaho Falls finishes its season series with Ogden. The Chukars have 10 games left after tonight, a five-game series versus the Orem Owls through the weekend and then five game in Casper to face the Ghosts (we still love that Casper nickname).

8-26 Bees.jpgThe other big celebration for the organization includes another First Rounder. 2007 first round pick Mike Moustakas and his Burlington Bees are in the playoffs. They officially entered the postseason on Sunday despite losing. They are still in contention for their division title but are guaranteed a playoff spot and a postseason series starting next week in Burlington. Moustakas leads the Midwest League with 21 homers, is second in total bases, sixth in slugging and is in the top 10 in hits and runs.

While we’re mentioning high draft picks, this year’s sandwich pick is tearing up his first professional assignment. Michael Montgomery is throwing very well in Surprise for the Surprise Royals. He owns a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 innings and has 31 strikeouts to 11 walks. Opponents are hitting just .217 off him.

Finally, yesterday we devoted some space to Kila Ka’aihue, the slugging first baseman who won Double-A Texas League Player of the Year despite playing the last month in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. The pronunciation of the Hawaiian’s name has been a question mark among several media outlets. Well, we’ve got an official ruling on how to say his name. It’s Kila (KEY-luh) Ka’aihue (Ky-uh-HOO-A). Or, you can call him K.K., which is what manager Trey Hillman and the baseball operations people call him. And for those curious on his status because he left Sunday’s game after being hit by a pitch, Ka’aihue hit a double in going 1-for-3 with a run and two walks last night. He has walked 98 times this season and struck out 62 times and owns a .462 on-base percentage with a .635 slugging (combined Double-A and Triple-A stats).

Second
Manager Trey Hillman has his rotation set – hopefully – for the remainder of the season. The current quintet is locked in to finish out. Tonight’s starter is Zack Greinke, with Brian Bannister throwing tomorrow. Kyle Davies will open the Detroit series on Friday followed by Brandon Duckworth on Saturday and last night’s starter Gil Meche draws Sunday’s assignment.

8-26 Rotation.jpgHillman said he’s comfortable with the rotation as it is. He said last night Meche just didn’t have the same he has of late and it probably wouldn’t have mattered as much if he were facing a lesser hitting team. Hillman said tonight, Greinke needs to have all of his pitches working to have success.

This group has combined to start all but 35 games for the Boys in Blue this season. Duckworth is the low man on the totem pole, making his first start last Sunday, while Gil Meche leads the team with 28 starts.

Hillman said Kip Wells is probably stretched out the most in the bullpen and would merit the emergency start if need be, but that’s without knowing exactly which players will get the September 1 call-up. Triple-A Omaha finishes its season on Monday the 1st, an off-day for the big league Royals.

Currently nine players on the O-Royals are on the 40-man roster. Of those players, five are pitchers and four have spent time in the Majors this season (Jimmy Gobble – 31 MLB games, Tyler Lumsden – no MLB experience, Neal Musser – one MLB game, Josh Newman – four MLB games and Carlos Rosa – two MLB games). Although Rosa is on the 7-day D.L. and Gobble is finishing a rehab assignment.

Double-A Northwest Arkansas, which is still in the playoff hunt, has two players on the 8-26 NWA.jpgRoyals 40-man. The lone pitcher is Julio Pimentel, who threw a scoreless inning in the 2008 MLB Futures game during the All-Star festivities. But with the Naturals entering today’s play tied for the division lead and fighting for the post-season, Around the Horn doubts the Royals will subtract any players from their roster on Sept. 1.

Two other quick Naturals notes: Pitching Coach Larry Carter was selected as the Texas League coach of the year…Veteran Minor Leaguer Cory Aldridge drove in seven yesterday with two homers.

Short
David DeJesus knocked in his 58th run last night, tying his career high set last season…10 of John Buck’s last 15 hits have been for extra bases including six doubles, a triple and three homers…Alberto Callaspo collected his first RBI since before going on the Disabled List in late June. His last RBI was June 22 versus San Francisco…From Trey Hillman: He does not expect Alex Gordon back anytime soon. He told Gordon there is no timetable because there is no precedent for how the third baseman heals from an injury of this type since he’s never had one…Also from Hillman: With Gordon out and veteran Mark Grudzielanek out, Callaspo will see a the majority of the time at second…Last word from Hillman: He thinks instant replay will be a good addition and will take pressure off of umpire crews. He respects the umpire’s way of life, living on the road for the sixth-month season and anything that can help alleviate their stress and is good for the game is a good thing in Hillman’s opinion.

Third
Yesterday we mentioned in passing the Hot Dog Derby contest. You, yes you, can sign up to be either Relish, Mustard or Ketchup.8-26 Derby.jpg If you’d like the opportunity to don the color of your condiment, you can do so right now, all you have to do is enter.

The last weekend of the season, nine lucky fans will become hot dogs and compete for the ultimate glory – winning the Kauffman Stadium Hot Dog Derby Race. September 19-21 is your chance.

Tonight’s lineup:
Aviles SS
Callaspo 2B
DeJesus LF
Guillen RF
Teahen 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Olivo C
Gathright CF

Greinke P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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Eric Hosmer Day at the K

8-22 Conf.JPGProbably the biggest news today is Eric Hosmer. The Royals 2008 First Round pick was here today to meet with the media before starting his professional baseball career.

The big club has a lot going on as well. Injuries are plaguing the roster. To take a look at the stories and more, let’s go Around the Horn…

First
The No. 3 overall pick of the 2008 June Free Agent Draft displayed a little bit of 8-22 Hosmer.jpgwhy he merited such a high honor today. Back in June, the Royals tabbed Eric Hosmer, a 6’4″, 215-pound first baseman from American Heritage High in Plantation, Florida. The left-handed hitting and throwing slugger was considered the best high school power bat in the draft.

Exactly one week ago, Hosmer inked his deal with the Royals and today he met the media. Hosmer started his day at the K with a 3:30 press conference. With General Manager Dayton Moore, Senior Director-Scouting Deric Ladnier and Assist. GM-Player Personnel and Scouting J.J. Picollo by his side, Hosmer fielded questions smoothly. He talked about his decision whether to sign or go to college. Ultimately, it came down to his drive to play – a dream he’s worked on for a long time. He was asked about the wood bat. Hosmer admitted it will be an adjustment, but they aren’t foreign to him. He took some batting practice with them in high school. And he was asked about playing for the Midland (Ohio) Redskins, an amateur team in the Connie Mack League which he made a commitment to and felt he needed to fulfill.

8-22 Hosmer 1.jpgOnce the press conference was over, Hosmer was taken into the Royals clubhouse. He was next seen emerging from the Royals dugout, wearing a blue batting practice jersey complete with No. 25 and his name on the back. Traditional baseball fans will be happy to note that he wore his socks high. After stretching, Hosmer took some hacks in the batting cage on the field. He was in the first group, trading turns with Jose Guillen, Ross Gload and Joey Gathright. He took a regular B.P. – laying down bunts, working all fields and depositing one ball into the fountains and several more over the wall. 

After the workout, he made the rounds. It was an Eric Hosmer overload. First he chatted with Joel Goldberg for FSN-KC’s Royals Live pregame show. Then he talked with Steve Stewart for the Royals Radio Network’s pregame show. And finally, Marty Wall of 610 Sports, the flagship station for RRN, interviewed Hosmer.

Tomorrow will be another long day for the First Rounder. He’s got a ticket to Idaho Falls (actually the team opens a three game series against the Ogden Raptors tonight) to start his professional career as a Chukar. Moore said in an interview shortly after the signing that Hosmer’s assignment to the short season Rookie League instead of the Arizona League, a place most high school selections go, is a credit to his ability.


8-18 Gordo.jpgSecond
Injuries have riddled the 25-man roster as of late. Within the last week, Ron Mahay has battled a foot injury, Luke Hochevar suffered a rib contusion, Mitch Maier was struck in the face by a pitch and yesterday Alex Gordon left during the fifth inning versus the Indians.

Gordon and Mahay are headed to the Disabled List. Gordon was originally listed as day-to-day when removed from yesterday’s game. But a muscle tear has been found in Gordon’s upper right leg (we’ll have more on this when we get the details). Manager Trey Hillman said the pain Gordon was experiencing was severe but the second-year third baseman wanted to take his next at-bat. Instead he was removed from the game after the fourth and examined, which is when the tear was found. He is expected to be out for several weeks.

Mahay, on the other hand, had pitched just once over the last 12 games and was be placed on the D.L. retroactive to August 16. His case of plantar fasciitis, a bruise to the tendons which spread weight out among the heel and ball of the foot, is still bothering him. Kyle Davies is being called up from Omaha and will start tomorrow’s game, filling in half of the two-slot hole in the rotation. Sunday’s starter is still not finalized.

Short
The Royals infielders worked on some fundamentals before today’s game…That group included Mark Teahen, who is filling in at third base – his old position – in Alex Gordon’s absence. Teahen is starting at third tonight and has not started a regular season game at the hot corner since 2006…Fresh off the D.L., Joey Gathright is making his return to the Royals lineup for the first time since July 23 versus Detroit…From Trey Hillman’s Press Conference: He doesn’t blame injuries for the team’s play…Tonight is the first night of the Kauffman Stadium reduction. Only 27,000 seats are available per game through the end of the season due to renovations.


8-22 Christian Family.jpgThird
Tomorrow is Christian Family Night. A concert will follow the game, featuring Natalie Grant and Chris Sligh. Manager Trey Hillman, General Manager Dayton Moore and pitcher Brian Bannister are expected to speak, will all events to be held outside the stadium on the first base side.

Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato from “Veggie Tales” will also be on hand.


8-22 Gameday.jpgThe final issue of Gameday Magazine is hitting the newsstands tonight. With David DeJesus on the cover, the issue features Frank White, Mike Aviles and a preview of the stadium renovations. Also don’t miss a fun look inside the Royals clubhouse at some college football rivalries that exist.

Today’s lineup:

Aviles SS
German 2B
DeJesus LF
Guillen RF
Teahen 3B
Butler DH
Gload 1B
Buck C
Gathright CF

Bannister P

Today’s Official Game Notes.

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And so it starts.

6-17 85 WS.jpgAll eyes in the state of Missouri will be on St. Louis over the next three days… or at least they should be.

The legacy of ’85 is draped over Kansas City-St. Louis, otherwise known as the I-70 Series. Since interleague started, the cross-state rivals have been a fixture on the Royals schedule. Today is the first of six games in the 2008 Show-Me-State series. After a 3-3 record last season against the Cardinals, KC owns a 4-2 record this season against two first place National League teams.

First
Kyle Davies (2-0, 1.53 ERA) throws tonight, coming off a no decision against Texas last week. Davies, who has been impressive so far this season, faces Joel Pineiro (2-3, 4.41. Davies run since his recall from the Omaha Royals on May 31 has been pretty stellar, allowing only three runs to cross the plate in 17.2 innings. In fact, before his recall, Davies was leading the Pacific Coast League in ERA and had allowed just four earned runs in his last 25 innings in Triple-A. Quick math for the challenged, that’s a 1.48 ERA in his last 42.2 innings.

Thumbnail image for 6-17 Davies.jpgSecond
With Davies throwing tonight, the Royals look to extend the strong starting pitching performances they have had over the last seven games. The next two games in St. Louis, the Royals send Brian Bannister and Zack Greinke to the mound.

Wednesday: Bannister is 1-0 versus the Cardinals when he pitched seven shutout innings in Kansas City last summer. In a switch from the original probables , Braden Looper pitches tomorrow instead of today.

Thursday: Greinke looks to continue his streak of nine straight shutout innings after seven on Friday night in Arizona. Anthony Reyes will be recalled from the minors for Thursday’s day game.  He will take the place of ex-Royal Todd Wellemeyer who is battling right elbow inflammation.

Short
Yesterday’s off day was the Royals first in 13 days, going back to June 2…They had also played the previous 20 straight days before June 2…Joey Gathright (3), Mark Grudzielanek (5) and Jose Guillen (10) enter tonight with three or more game hitting streaks…The Club scored 20 runs in the final two games of the Arizona series, including season highs for runs (12) and hits (17) on Saturday.

Third
Tonight will be big, not just because the Royals start their first series of the season with St. Louis viewing party in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Tonight’s game will be broadcast on the 192 square foot HD video screen in the KC Live block. The Game Entertainment folks will be working hard all night with complete between inning features throughout the entire game including the hot dog derby, in-game host Tim Scott and plenty of contests and prizes.

The fun will start an hour before first pitch with performances by the Lee’s Summit North Broncos drumline and the Lee’s Summit North Northern Stars dance team – the reigning Class 6A Missouri State Champions. Sluggerrr and the K Crew will be on hand as well.

Look for tonight’s starting lineup later today, until then here’s the Royals Official Game Notes.

See you at the Power & Light District.

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Davies Takes the Mound

Kyle Davies was officially recalled from Omaha Saturday and makes his first start of the season for the club tonight facing Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia (3-6, 4.74 ERA).

To make room for Davies on the roster, we designated catcher Brayan Pena for assignment. Pena was a waiver claim Friday from the Atlanta Braves. We now have 10 days to place him on waivers, trade him or release him.

Back to Davies…the right-hander posted a 6-2 mark with a 2.06 ERA (Pacific Coast League-leading) in 10 starts for the O-Royals. He allowed just 13 earned runs in 56.2 innings pitched, giving up 47 hits, walking 20 and striking out 37. In his most recent start for the Triple-A team, he allowed just one run on five hits in seven innings to lead Omaha to a 4-1 victory over Round Rock on Monday. Omaha was 8-2 in his 10 starts.

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