Royals notes | For Gordon, success starts at topBy BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Left fielder Alex Gordon is willing to admit that well maybe he is a different player when he bats first in the Royals lineup after going six for 17 with a walk after returning to that role over the last four games.
I kind of do fit there, maybe, he said. Its a carry-over from last year, maybe. Wherever Im hitting, thats where hes going to put me. Maybe it is different for me.
Thats a lot of maybes.
Its a small sample size, of course, but Gordon served primarily as the clubs leadoff hitter last year when he resurrected his career with a breakout season that included career highs in nearly all offensive categories.
Gordie is swinging the bat better from the one hole, manager Ned Yost said. Thats why we put him back there. He just has a different approach in that spot. We wanted to get him settled.
He hit there for the majority of the year last year and did really well. He feels really comfortable there, and thats why we put him back to get him feeling comfortable and to get him going.
Remember the stir in spring training when first baseman Eric Hosmer played an inning in the outfield? Yost pulled that move with an eye toward interleague road games, which begin a week from Friday for the Royals in Pittsburgh.
Shifting Hosmer to the outfield would create a lineup spot at first base for Billy Butler since games played in National League cities dont include a designated hitter. A year ago, Butler started just two of nine interleague road games.
That was all envisioned if (Hosmer) was really killing the ball, Yost said, and Billy was killing the ball, and we needed both of their bats in the lineup.
Butlers bat is a must. He enters Fridays series opener against Oakland as the club leader in homers, RBIs, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. But Hosmer only now shows signs of emerging from an extended slump.
So are the Royals willing to accept a weakened defense from playing Hosmer in the outfield likely right field with Jeff Francoeur shifting to center if his run production doesnt perk up significantly over the next six games?
It could still happen, Yost said, but well cross that bridge when we get to it. I really havent thought about it much.
Lefty Everett Teaford is scheduled to throw live batting practice Friday as the next step in his recovery from a strained lower abdominal muscle diagnosed May 18 after running in the outfield at Kauffman Stadium.
Teaford said he felt great after a 35-pitch bullpen workout Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland. The next step after live batting practice, assuming no complications, would be a minor-league rehab assignment.
Im ready to go play somewhere, Teaford said.
Plans also call for second baseman Chris Getz to accelerate on-field activities this weekend in his recovery from a bruised left ribcage, which he aggravated May 21 on a slide at second base at Yankee Stadium.
Im moving around a lot better, said Getz, who initially had trouble breathing after the injury. I guess, in the next few days, theyll get a sense where Im at and, hopefully, go out on some rehab games.
Teaford is eligible to be activated Saturday, although he is likely to require at least a few minor-league rehab appearances. Getz isnt eligible to return until Wednesday.
The three-game weekend series against Oakland opens Friday with the annual Girls Night Out promotion at Kauffman Stadium. In conjunction with the event, the KC Chevy Dealers are giving away free sun hats to the first 10,000 women through the gates.
The Royals will salute their civic predecessors, the Kansas City As, at Saturdays game. Several former KC As will be recognized in a pregame ceremony, and the first 20,000 fans get a vintage 1960 As cap, courtesy of Taco Bell.
Its K-State Day at the K on Sunday. The first 750 Wildcat fans who bring their K-State Day discounted ticket to the K-State table located inside Hy-Vee Gate B will receive a limited edition purple-and-white Royals cap.
Right-hander Jason Adam, the former Blue Valley Northwest standout, is now 1-8 at Class A Wilmington despite a 3.71 ERA in his 11 starts. He gave up three earned runs in 62/3 innings Wednesday in a 5-3 loss at Carolina.
Adam, 20, has allowed fewer than three earned runs in seven of his 11 starts.
It was 26 years ago Friday June 1, 1986 that George Brett hit his 200th career homer and collected his 1,000th career RBI in a 5-3 victory over Texas at then-Royals Stadium.
Brett reached both milestones while leading off the eighth inning against reliever Mitch Williams. Brett finished his career in 1993 with 317 homers and 1,596 RBIs. Both totals are franchise records.