Results tagged ‘ Trey Hillman ’
The decision to send infielder Mike Aviles to Triple-A Omaha was the big news today during Trey Hillman’s pregame media session. The move was made as a result of pitcher Gil Meche’s return from the 15-day disabled list (right shoulder bursitis). Hillman noted that Aviles was disappointed during their meeting but also expressed trust in what the club was doing. “Mike gets the big picture,” said Hillman. Aviles will play shortstop for the majority of his stint in Omaha and Hillman expects him to get plenty of at-bats.
As last night’s success begins to resonate, Royals’ manager Trey Hillman looks for the bullpen to gain confidence. The Royals were able to hold down an extremely potent Red Sox offense; eventually finishing with one of the game’s top closers, Joakim Soria, securing the win in the ninth. Hillman was questioned on whether he feels his bullpen is beginning to settle into roles. He cited that last night’s effort by all but three backend arms will go a long way into establishing more permanent roles. However, Hillman does not expect anything to be cemented for several weeks.
One specific late-inning arm that Hillman touched on was reliever John Parrish, who has been effective in limited action this year. One reporter asked Hillman if he saw more innings in Parrish’s immediate future. Hillman stated that he could see Parrish being used multiple nights in a row as a situational pitcher used primarily against lefties. But with Parrish’s career being slowed by injuries, the coaching staff must keep a watchful eye on the southpaw.
Hillman was also asked about several hitters that have yet to see significant playing time. Hillman responded that while he would like to get players like Mitch Maier and Mike Aviles in the mix; starters like Getz, Kendall, and Podsednik have shown such promise early this season that he does not want to break their rhythm and playing time will be decided upon a day-to-day basis.
Here’s what Royals manager Trey Hillman had to say before Friday’s game vs. Boston:
On Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke…
”Zack put us on the map,” said Hillman. “He got the organization lots of attention and makes everyone in the organization proud. It was a spectacular year for Zack.”
On second baseman Chris Getz’s speed and future…
”He’s a green light guy,” said Hillman. “He has a different gait. I was shocked at his running times because he just doesn’t look that fast. I knew when he came in that he was quick. Going 25-for-27 last year [in stolen bases] is pretty impressive. That was enough for me. I think eventually he’ll be a great leadoff or two-hole (hitter).”
On utilizing the bench…
”I like to get the regulars into a flow,” said Hillman. “I think mixing too early sends a bad message. It would be easier to do if we were 3-0, but I have every intention of using the bench. We’ll get there as soon as we can, but not at the expense of getting the offense in a flow. We’ll see how we roll and make adjustments for the road trip if we need to.”
On pitcher Gil Meche’s Sunday start…
”It’s official,” said Hillman. “There’ll have to be a roster move, but we’ll see. We still have a couple days to evaluate.”
With the final game in the series being an early start and last night’s 11-inning game, manager Trey Hillman faced questions about availability of several key pieces. After attempting a four-out save last night and throwing 32 pitches, Hillman said that closer Joakim Soria’s availability is in question and that no decision will be made until after the first pitch is thrown. Hillman’s preference is not to use Soria for more than three outs in future appearances, but cited that the most important factor is winning ball games.
Another question coming into today’s game is the condition of catcher Jason Kendall following last night’s extra-inning affair. Hillman said Kendall felt good this morning and that fans could expect to see the veteran catcher often in day games after night games.
The other question mark today was how Hillman’s lineup would look with the Royals’ hitters facing the first left-handed starting pitcher of the 2010 season in Dontrelle Willis. Hillman had entertained the idea of starting infielder Mike Aviles at second base in place of Chris Getz. However, Hillman penciled in Getz, saying he has shown excellent consistency in producing quality at bats early in the season. The final change affected by Willis’ start is the five and six slots in the batting order. Hillman said that the switch with outfielders Rick Ankiel and Jose Guillen will be commonplace when facing a left-handed starting pitcher.
Although the Royals are just one game into the 2010 season, manager Trey Hillman is already facing questions about wins and losses. When asked if he felt a sense of urgency coming into tonight’s game, Hillman replied, “There’s a sense of urgency for every game…a little more so having lost a game we should have won.”
Keeping this sense of urgency in mind, the Royals will sport a slightly different lineup for Wednesday night’s game–the main change being the replacement of Willie Bloomquist by Alberto Callaspo at third.
Despite Callaspo’s previous injury (sore right oblique), Hillman claims he is comfortable with Callaspo playing third or else he wouldn’t have made the decision to put him there. Hillman noted that Callaspo enters the game coming off three or four good days of practice. Fans will be happy to see the Venezuela native’s stick back in the lineup after he hit .300 in 2009, just shy of Billy Butler, who led the club at .301.
Royals faithful will also be pleased to hear that Hillman plans on having Gil Meche for Sunday’s game against the Red Sox, although that announcement has not been made official.
Fans who have attended Spring Training in Surprise know that opportunities are abound to watch games and practices. The Royals play several ‘B’ games against their complex counterparts, the Texas Rangers. These games are not held at the stadium – instead they are on one of the practice fields at the complex. The ‘B’ games and practices are free to attend and fans can usually stake claim to a location that is just off of the field.
Today’s ‘B’ game featured Luke Hochevar, who was pushed back after yesterday’s regular game against the Giants was postponed. Let’s take at a few of the things that happen at a ‘B’ game.
Scouts and baseball operations personnel are continuously tracking the progress of the players. On the left, Senior Advisor to the General Manager and 2008 Royals Hall of Fame inductee Art Stewart surveys the action. Rene Francisco, Kansas City’s Special Assistant to the General Manager/International Operations, is standing behind Stewart (to his right, our left).
The next photo shows General Manager Dayton Moore and Assistant General Manager-Scouting & Player Development J.J. Picollo. The pair are speaking with Jon Daniels (center), the General Manager of the Rangers.
When the team goes to another complex for a game, a ‘travel roster’ is assembled. For example, some of the pitchers are not going to throw in the regular game that day. They stay behind in Surprise and spend time on other training activities, including strength and conditioning. Here, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies are taking in Hochevar’s outing.
‘B’ games also require coaches to take on different roles. Trey Hillman served as the third base coach during today’s ‘B’ game. This picture shows the close proximity of the bleachers for a ‘B’ game.
Former third baseman Joe Randa is in camp working with players. Here he talks to John ‘Duke’ Wathan. On the right, Randa lends his advice to Mike Moustakas. Randa has mentored ‘Moose’ on multiple occasions since the Royals drafted Moustakas in 2007.
Now you know about some of the other happenings at Spring Training besides the game that is on the schedule at royals.com. We hope that you can make a trip to Spring Training in the near future!
The Royals are gearing up for the spring slate with a pair of intrasquad games. Tuesday’s highlights included David DeJesus going 3-for-3, Rick Ankiel hitting two home runs and Aaron Crow throwing two scoreless frames. Here are some photos:
Royals Hall of Fame closer Jeff Montgomery (48) and catcher Brayan Pena (28) will both celebrate on January 7. CBS news anchor Katie Couric will be 53 while actor Nicholas Cage turns 46. Charles Addams, a cartoonist who created “The Addams Family,” was born on January 7, 1912.
Shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt rounds out our birthdays for January. Yuni will be 28 on January 31. Three noted baseball Hall of Famers were born on January 31 and all have a Kansas City connection. Ernie Banks, a former Kansas City Monarch who later became “Mr. Cub,” turns 79. Nolan Ryan, the only visiting player to throw a no-hitter at Kauffman Stadium, will be 63. The late Jackie Robinson, also a former Monarch, was born on January 31, 1919.
We’ve come full circle since last February, when Alex Gordon headlined our birthdays. Look for future birthday updates on an individual basis via our Twitter page. ( @aroundthehornkc )
Editors note: Special thanks to our intern Brian, who has compiled the Trey Hillman interviews this season!
The “New” Yankee Stadium
Royals Manager Trey Hillman managed in the New York Yankees Minor League system for 12 seasons (1990-2001) compiling an 855-761 (.529) record, while collecting eight winning seasons and making the playoffs four times. So, it would be safe to say Hillman is probably pretty excited to make his first trip to the “New” Yankee Stadium. “I am really looking forward to our trip to New York. I have heard nothing but amazing things about the new stadium. Every opposing staff member I have come in contact with has said it has to be seen to fully appreciate it. It should be extremely fun to play there, the ball seems to be flying out of that stadium at a record pace. In all this, I of course want to take some games away from them while we are there,” Hillman stated.
Thank you fans!
The Royals fans have a real chance today against the Minnesota Twins to approach 1.8 million fans for 2009 season. 1.8 million would be the first time since 1993 (1,934,578), and whatever the final tally turns out to be, it will the largest attended season since 1993. Hillman says it is a testament to the fans and the designers of this amazing new stadium. “It means a lot getting that kind of support from the fans and the community. I think the design team who constructed and fabricated this beautiful stadium deserve much of the credit. I constantly hear from family, friends, and colleagues about how amazing the “New” Kauffman Stadium is and what a great job they did with what they had. Kansas City should be proud of where they get to watch baseball, it is a spectacular stadium. I have enjoyed managing in such a fantastic ballpark, and look forward to giving the fans a reason to come out to the park next season.”
Nice to meet you Mr. Greinke
The Minnesota Twins, it would seem, have hit the schedule lottery by not facing Royals ace Zack Greinke in 14 games so far this season. That all comes to an end tomorrow when Greinke will face Francisco Liriano and the Minnesota Twins at 1:10. Remember the game is not on TV, so you’re only chance to catch it is at Kauffman Stadium on person. Manager Trey Hillman was asked who has the advantage when a team has not faced a pitcher before, the opposing team or the pitcher in question. “I think clearly the pitcher has the distinct advantage in this case, you can watch all the video you want on someone and do your homework on them, but it’s not the same as facing them live. When a pitcher has not been seen by the opposing team, it takes a while for the batters to get their timing down and get comfortable in the box. It can take some guys an at-bat and others will never figure it out, plus we are talking about Zack, he is not the easiest pitcher to hit against.”
Royals pitcher John Bale has been progressing nicely from his sore right hamstring that has kept him out of the line-up for a couple of weeks now. So much so, that his earlier prognosis of possibly shutting it down for the rest of the season has been upgraded to probable beginning with Tuesday’s game against the New York Yankees. He will be evaluated this afternoon and if everything goes well, he will be traveling with the team on Sunday night to New York. “We are going to be very cautious with John, we just hope he doesn’t have to end the season on the DL,” said Hillman.