Tommy Hottovy to get one-day recall under 26th-player provisionBy BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Left-handed reliever Tommy Hottovy will rejoin the Royals for Saturdays day/night double-header against the Minnesota Twins under the new 26th player provision in baseballs labor agreement.
The extra player is permitted only for day/night double-headers, which are defined as those occasions when the stadium is cleared between two games occurring on the same day to permit separate admissions to be charged.
Todays doubleheader stemmed from an April 28 rainout on the Royals previous trip to Target Field. The rule does not apply if the doubleheader is scheduled on the day immediately after the rainout.
Hottovy, 30, worked one scoreless inning Thursday in Class AAA Omahas 12-1 loss to New Orleans, which lowered his ERA to 1.63 for 272/3 innings over 21 appearances. He allowed two runs in 51/3 innings over five big-league appearances earlier this year.
The provision, which is new this year, is limited to one player. A team cant recall one player for the first game and another player for the second game. But the player can participate in both games.
It gives you some protection, manager Ned Yost said. Thats a lot of innings to eat up, a lot of innings to play and a lot of innings to pitch.
Generally, it would be a pitcher, I imagine. I dont know what most clubs have done, but a pitcher makes more sense to me than a position player.
The 26th player provision is, essentially, a free one-day move for any club. While the player must be on a clubs 40-man roster, he isnt subjected to the usual transaction rules for recalls and options.
For example, a player normally cant be recalled from the minors for 10 days following an optional assignment unless replacing a player placed on the disabled list.
That doesnt apply in the 26th-man provision, which is why the Royals can recall Hottovy just eight days after he was optioned to Omaha.
Also, a players 10-day clock doesnt reset upon being returned to the minors after his one-day promotion. That means Hottovy could be recalled as soon as Monday, i.e., once his 10 days are up.
Its likely to be a moot point in Hottovys case. Yost said current plans call for Hottovy to return to Omaha after todays double-header.
Second baseman Chris Getz begins rehab assignment Saturday at Omaha in his recovery from a strained muscle in his lower left leg suffered June 17 while chasing after a ground ball in the first inning at St. Louis.
That injury occurred just five days after Getz returned from a 21-day absence because of a bruised left rib cage. He is eligible to return from his current stay on the disabled list as soon as Tuesday.
• Center fielder Lorenzo Cain is one for seven in two games since his move to Omaha from Class AA Northwest Arkansas to continue his recovery from a torn left hip flexor. He hasnt played in the big leagues since suffering a strained left groin April 10 at Oakland. The torn hip flexor occurred while Cain was on a rehab assignment in April for his groin injury.
Catcher Manny Piña is two for three with four walks through three games of his rehab assignment at Rookie Surprise. He is recovering from torn cartilage in his right knee, which occurred Feb. 22 in spring training.
On the board
Outfielder Bubba Starling collected his first professional hit with a single to center in the first inning Friday night for short-season Burlington (N.C.) at Johnson City. He finished one for four with a walk in a 6-0 victory.
Starling, 19, went zero for five with three strikeouts and a walk Thursday in his first pro game. He was the Royals first-round pick in 2011 and received a club-record $7.5 million signing bonus.
The Royals are up to 30 signings from their 40 draft picks after reaching agreement with Arkansas first baseman Sam Bates, their 28th-round pick. Bates was assigned to short-season Idaho Falls.
The signing deadline is July 13.
Right-hander Kyle Smith capped a big first week in his professional career when cited by Baseball America in its weekly Prospect Hot Sheet, which seeks to identify which of the games top prospects are excelling.
Smith, 19, made his pro debut June 19 by yielding one run and three hits over five innings in short-season Idaho Falls 11-4 victory over Orem. He also struck out 11 while walking one.
Promoted to Class A Kane County, Smith pitched six hitless innings last Sunday but settled for a no-decision in a 4-3 victory at Clinton. He struck out six and walked one.
His efforts resulted in his selection as the pitcher of the week in both the Pioneer League and the Midwest League. Now, he has also has a Hot Sheet citation.
Scouts considered Smith to be an advanced high school pitcher when the Royals drafted him in the fourth round (in 2011), and nothing hes done in the early going changes that assessment, Baseball America reported.
Wil Myers hit his 26th homer, a three-run shot, in Omahas 8-3 victory over New Orleans. Myers also had a single in four at-bats and is batting .306 in 42 games for the Storm Chasers.
Myers 26 homers are split evenly between Omaha and Class AA Northwest Arkansas, where he batted .343 in 35 games prior to his promotion.
Veteran lefty Doug Davis pitched six scoreless innings in Omahas victory. He is 4-1 with a 2.51 ERA in eight games, including four starts, and has yielded just one run in 18 innings over his last three starts.
It was 43 years ago Saturday June 30, 1969 that Lou Piniella hit the first walk-off homer in Royals history. It came with two outs in the ninth inning against California left-hander Rudy May for a 2-1 victory at Municipal Stadium.
• The Royals matched a season high by winning their fourth straight game.
• Yuniesky Betancourt had two hits including an RBI double in the fifth. He has 15 RBIs in his last 10 games and 22 over 19 games in June.
• Alex Gordon went two for five and scored the games first run. He is batting .361 (26 for 72) with 17 runs in his last 17 games.
• Luis Mendoza retired the last 13 batters in order.