Results tagged ‘ Trey Hillman ’
“We win tonight we win the series, we split the season with Boston and we hold our heads high. That is a playoff bound team over there that we have competed hard with for the entire season, and we held our own against them. Fourth place is much better then fifth place, we are looking for bright spots this late in the season, and they are becoming not too difficult to find. It is always a plus to play good baseball against teams bound for the playoffs, and more importantly to play good baseball against teams made up of solid baseball players. This baseball we are playing is a catapult into the off season and the coming 2010 season,” said Manager Trey Hillman.
Coming along Callaspo
Hillman says he is very impressed with his second baseman, Alberto Callaspo’s ability to improve and progress at his position this late in the year. “The last couple of months he has really come around in the field, he is working extremely hard and it is starting to pay off. With regards to the double play, he is becoming very efficient at both the front end and back end of the double play. Alberto is relaxing and becoming more comfortable at second base, giving him the time to make the routine and unconventional plays. The agility program we have set up for our players is helping out tremendously, and it will continue to improve our player’s abilities leading into the off season and beyond.”
Meet Mr. Lerew
The mystery surrounding Thursday’s starter against the Boston Red Sox is officially over. Say hello to #54 Anthony Lerew, previously the ace of the Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Lerew, 26, has pitched sparingly in three previous seasons with the Atlanta Braves compiling a 0-2 record with an 8.31 ERA. He was signed by the Royals in Spring Training and collected a 10-6 record while pitching for Northwest Arkansas and then went 2-0 in the playoffs for the Naturals. What can we expect from Mr. Lerew? Manager Trey Hillman says he hears good things about Anthony. “I’ll be honest, I have not even seen him pitch to a live batter, nor have I seen him even throw a bullpen session, but I hear good things about him. He is a big, strong kid who has good command and solid stuff. Anthony has experience in the big leagues which is important. It will be interesting, and as you see him for the first time, I will be doing the same.”
LHP Dusty Hughes-Feeling better, will be missing Thursday’s scheduled start but plans on a bullpen session. If and when he returns, look for him to return to the bullpen.
RHP Juan Cruz-Off the DL should be available as soon as tomorrow for the final game of the series against the Boston Red Sox.
LHP John Bale-Has been throwing batting practice, multiple bullpen sessions are in order leading him to eventually throw to live batting. Hillman and the club continue to be very cautious with this lefty reliever, so there is not a guarantee he will pitch again this season.
RHP Kyle Farnsworth-Continues to be suffering from a sore lower shoulder (back), team is hoping to use his services before the end of the season, but again the cautious approach is being taken with Kyle.
LHP Bruce Chen-Done for the season and put on 60 day DL with torn left oblique muscle.
Sir Zack Greinke
With Royals pitcher Zack Greinke getting the nod tonight against the Boston Red Sox, how concerned or cautious is manager Trey Hillman going to be with his ace so soon after being struck by a line-drive off the bat of Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera? “There are a few more factors involved now with Zack, we might be a little tentative with him, but it ultimately comes down to trusting that Zack will let us know how he feels. He has never given me a reason to doubt him, be it his ability or the seriousness of his health. Zack knows his body so we don’t have to pull teeth to get an honest answer out of that kid. He does not waver, his mentality does not change, and you always know what you are going to get from him both mentally and physically,” exclaimed Hillman.
The Same Yet So Different
The end of the season is shaping up to look eerily similar to that of the 2008 season. Hillman agrees, but says to a certain extent there are some differences. “In both years we were trying to leave a good taste in our mouths going into the offseason. We have stayed consistent, worked hard, and not quit in both years. However, this season has been much more challenging bringing on more difficult situations and more strenuous circumstances. The injuries that have plagued us make this year’s final push much more different then last year’s. The result hopefully will be the same, good baseball, hard work, and a consistent effort every night, but you never know, you just play as hard as you can.”
Cy Young Support
Manager Trey Hillman was asked about his stance on the possibility of his ace (Zack Greinke) receiving the Cy Young award in the American League this season. “I am a little prejudiced here, but I have not seen anyone this season pitch as well as Zack has. I by no means have seen every contender for the award pitch this season, but what Zack has done this year is incredible. Both mentally and physically, I think he has separated himself from every other pitcher in the league. As every start nears, I look forward to the opportunity he has to garner more acclaim and make more believers out of people. I hope his lack of run support does not diminish his chances of winning, this is an individual award, and he should not have to suffer because of our lack of run production.”
So what do you do when Tim Wakefield comes to town to face your team? “It isn’t easy man, when a knuckleball pitcher is on it is extremely difficult to manufacture runs. You do the best you can, taking an attack approach while simultaneously trying for a middle of the field approach. It’s tough because there has to be some sort of batting adjustment, meaning you will have to compromise your stance a little. Most players are unwilling or not comfortable with that so the advantage goes to the pitcher, he already has you off balance. When the ball is moving all over the place, fluttering, and sinking like a rock, you just hope for the best,” said Hillman.
Royals starter Gil Meche has inflammation in his right shoulder possibly leading him to have made his last appearance of the 2009 season. “We are going to continue to treat Gil as if he will pitch again this season, however it is quite possible he will not pitch again this year. I am going to monitor how his throwing and catching sessions go and we will see how his body responds to the activity. On a side note, Brian Bannister is going to New York to get a second opinion on his right shoulder, which is quite customary for injured athletes. There is absolutely no timetable for Bannister’s return,” manager Trey Hillman stated.
What Can I do!
A reporter asked a wonderful question this afternoon, is there anything Hillman can do to try and improve his ace’s (Zack Greinke) chances of attaining the Cy Young Award this season? “What a tremendous honor and accomplishment it would be for Zack, but this is still a team and I am not going to juggle my schedule to adhere to the possibilities of one individual. If there is something in my power with regards to a line-up, etc, I might do something like that, but I am not going to rearrange our priorities for the possibility of one player winning a post season award. No one is pulling for Zack more then me, I have a lot of pride and affection for him, but I don’t want to diminish anything we have done this season as a team or organization.
Royals pitcher Robinson Tejeda is looking to keep the momentum going tonight against the Detroit Tigers after his very impressive outing vs. Los Angeles last Friday night (5.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO). This will be his second start of the season, so Manager Trey Hillman says this start should be a little different. “I don’t anticipate a different outcome with his performance, it’s how his body responds to the pressure of starting two games in six days that should be interesting. We are going to monitor him like any other pitcher on this team, but will be watching closely to see how he recovers more so than with other starters. Again, we are not putting a pitch count on Robinson, but we will be watching to see how he is feeling as he gets closer to 80-85 pitches, if that so happens. This is the first time in quite a while he will be making consecutive starts, so it is important to see how his body rebounds and that he conveys to us how he is feeling at that time.
Royals reliever Juan Cruz has been on the Disabled List since August 6 with a right shoulder strain, but he might be back sooner then later according to Hillman. “He has had a couple of bullpen sessions that consisted of a heavy diet of nothing but fastballs. Juan has been throwing long toss without discomfort or pain in that shoulder which is encouraging. We are trying to increase the strength in that right shoulder so we can get him in the bullpen on back-to-back days, which is critical. I don’t know when he will be available, but once we see that shoulder can withstand continued pressure for consistent days in a row, then we’ll know he is ready, but until then, he’s just rehabbing at a pace our team is comfortable with.”
Not packing it in, no way!
Royals Manager Trey Hillman was asked about a few rumblings that his team was making a less then thrilling effort coming down the stretch. “Absolutely not, there is not one individual in that locker room giving up on the season. For one, I would not let that happen, and two that is not the kind of makeup of people we have on this team. We need to finish hard, no one is quitting including myself, and we will continue to fight until the last game is played. We play hard everyday, for ourselves, our families, and for the fans. That is the kind of baseball we play here in Kansas City, we play hard,” Hillman said.
Lenny D. and Alex G.
The Royals called up LHP Lenny DiNardo and 3B Alex Gordon from the Triple-A affiliate Omaha Royals. “DiNardo is going to start the last game of the series against Detroit (Thursday 9/10) and we are going to push Zack (Greinke) back a game and have him start the beginning of the Cleveland series. The reports are good on DiNardo, he has an excellent change-up and has developed what is said to be a pretty above average breaking ball. When he was in spring training he was not carrying a good breaking ball around with him, so we are excited to see what he can do. With regards to Alex, again reports are good, it has been said that he was solid both offensively and defensively while playing in Omaha. We wanted him to work on shortening his swing as well as getting better with his stride direction. It is going to take longer and it’s quite more difficult working with stride direction because it is tied into muscle memory and stuff of that nature. Shortening his swing will come with time. We are going to rest Alex tonight and see how he feels tomorrow after a long couple of days playing and traveling,” Hillman exclaimed.
Who is in and who is out?
For the time being, Royals starters Gil Meche and Brian Bannister will be sidelined with sore right shoulders. Both seem to be suffering from fatigue and tiredness, leaving their return to the starting rotation to be not far off, but undetermined at this point. Taking Meche’s spot tonight in the rotation against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be reliever Robinson Tejeda (RHP, 1-1, 4.07). Manager Trey Hillman thinks Tejeda should rise to the occasion tonight. “We’ll see what he can do, if he maintains his stuff, is effective in his delivery, and efficient with his pitch counts it should be a favorable night for us. There will be no pitch count for him tonight, we don’t want to put any more added pressure on him then there already is,” Hillman stated.
Hillman high on Moore
Hillman was asked about the vote of confidence he received from General Manager Dayton Moore these past couple of days with regards to him coming back as manager. “It’s nice to have a boss believe in you as a person, he believes in my track record and my ability to get these guys ready to play baseball. I came into this job knowing it would be challenging, I can’t control what other people do only what I can do for myself. I take full responsibility and accountability for everything that goes on in that locker room and will continue to do the very best I can. With Dayton signing a recent extension to his contract and my coming back next season, I look forward to the future of this organization. This community and organization deserve stability, and I hope I can contribute to making that a reality.”
Mitch Maier hit his first Major League home run last night and is batting .328 since the All-Star Break. Reporters asked whether Trey sees him gaining more power as he continues in the Majors. Trey explained that power is the last piece of the puzzle for Major League hitters and that Maier is just on the cusp of developing his pull swing. Maier has been coming in early to work off of a batting tee with Kevin Seitzer. Hillman believes that Maier has learned a lot this year and commended him on his hard work and improved hitting.
Improvement for Jacobs
Mike Jacobs is in the lineup today with a lefty on the mound. Jacobs had a pair of RBI singles on Tuesday night. Trey Hillman says that Jacobs is doing a better job of staying on the ball and recognizing pitches.
The Royals are at Seattle this weekend. It will be the first games in the Emerald City for Yuniesky Betancourt since he joined the Royals on July 10. Reporters were asking Trey Hillman for his assessment of Betancourt. Trey noted recent hot streaks for Betancourt, then mentioned Yuni lacks separation on his swing at the moment. Trey believes that Betancourt’s swing will improve as he is a teachable player that learns quickly. He described Yuni as a good self-evaluator who knows what he needs to do to improve. Trey likes what he’s seen defensively from Betancourt.
Rain or Shine
Zack Greinke has one win in his last nine starts, so you think he’d be pretty uptight and difficult to be around, right? According to manager Trey Hillman, his star pitcher is the exact same today as he was in April when he was attempting to rewrite the record books. “Zack is exactly the same person right now as he was early in the season, same temperament, demeanor, attitude, work ethic, character. Whether we are winning or losing, you know what you are going to get from Zack. He’s a professional who comes to win every time he takes the mound, no matter what his record indicates,” Hillman stated.
Anderson in Center
Royals outfielder and newcomer to the team Josh Anderson will take over in centerfield tonight. “We want to see him in center tonight, he’s been doing really well in practice and we think he is familiar enough now with the dimensions that it will translate onto the field. It’s the right time to see what Josh can do out there in centerfield,” Hillman said.