Royals recall Robinson from OmahaBy RUSTIN DODD
The Kansas City Star
After five-plus seasons and 620 minor-league games, first baseman Clint Robinson may finally get his opportunity this weekend at Pittsburgh.
Robinson was recalled from Class AAA Omaha on Thursday, a move sparked by Royals manager Ned Yosts desire to have an extra left-handed bat off the bench while the Royals play interleague play in a National League park. To make room for Robinson on the 25-man roster, the Royals optioned left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo to Omaha.
Ned wanted to get a left-handed bat for the interleague series in Pittsburgh, general manager Dayton Moore said. And well evaluate what we do from there. With our injuries, were just going day to day with everything. Were trying to piece it together every single day.
Of course, the chance may not last long. The Royals, who have generally carried an extra reliever to bolster a shaky starting rotation, will return to Kansas City on Tuesday after another off-day on Monday
Robinson, a former 25th-round pick from Troy in 2007, finally gets the call after mashing in the minor leagues for the last three seasons. He batted .335 with 29 homers for Class AA Northwest Arkansas in 2010. He followed that up by hitting .326 with 23 homers and 35 doubles for Class AAA Omaha last season.
We gotta start hitting a little bit here, Moore conceded. Our team, I think weve won six of our last 10, and its primarily because of our pitching.
The Royals will debut a new-look defensive alignment tonight when they open a three-game interleague series in Pittsburgh. The Royals will lose the designated hitter, so Billy Butler is expected to start at first base while Eric Hosmer moves to right field. In addition, right fielder Jeff Francoeur will make his first start in center field since 2006.
The defensive moves, Yost said, stem from wanting to keep Butlers bat in the lineup.
(Hosmer) gives us options, and thats a good thing to have, Yost said. Because we went into (interleague) last year and had Billy sitting on the bench. And the way Billys swinging the bat this year, we cant afford to do that.
The real challenge could fall on Hosmer, who said he hasnt played regularly in the outfield since the summer after his senior year of high school. He also played in the outfield on two occasions in spring training in preparation for this scenario.
When youre a lefty in Little League and a pretty big kid, theres not many positions you can play, Hosmer said. So Ive been stuck at first base for a while. So it will be fun for me to get out there.
The Royals are still waiting to see if right-hander Felipe Paulino will require a trip to the disabled list after leaving Wednesdays game with a right-groin strain. The Royals will know more in two days, but Moore would prefer to keep Paulino off the disabled list unless its clear hes going to miss at least three starts.
Hes a pretty quick healer, Moore said, But well see.
Salvador Perez went two for four on Thursday in his first game at Omaha as he continues his comeback from a torn knee ligament suffered during spring training. Perez, who served as the Storm Chasers designated hitter, was joined in the lineup by second baseman Chris Getz and starter Everett Teaford as Omaha beat Round Rock and starting pitcher Roy Oswalt 7-2 in Omaha.
The key hit came from center fielder Wil Myers, who hit a grand slam off Oswalt in the third inning. It was Myers eighth homer for Omaha and 21st overall.
Getz went one for two with a walk before exiting for Irving Falu, while Teaford allowed one earned run in two innings. Right-hander Jake Odorizzi picked up the win in relief. He allowed one run and five hits in 62/3 innings while striking out 10.