Royals left-hander Everett Teaford has spent the balance of the last two summers dancing the I-29 Shuffle.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
When a beleaguered bullpen was gassed or a spot start needed, Teaford would head south from Class AAA Omaha to join the big-league club only to find himself heading north again usually within a week or two.
I know directions very well and dont need MapQuest anymore, Teaford said. I know all the truck stops to get diesel on I-29. Hopefully, I wont have to do that anymore this year, but if it happens, it happens. At least, its on my shoulders now.
But those days Teaford has made the drive at least nine times, shuttling between the Royals and the minor leagues might be coming to an end.
With only three pitchers Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar and Luis Mendoza seemingly entrenched in the rotation at the moment, Teaford is in line for his most extensive big-league audition in the coming months.
Tentatively scheduled to start Sunday, Teaford, 28, has been used in every role imaginable. Hes been a left-handed specialist out of the bullpen, made seven spot starts and most recently settled into a role as the clubs long reliever a revolving door that also has included Mendoza, Vin Mazzaro, Nate Adcock and Louis Coleman.
Im 100 percent excited for this chance, said Teaford. Thats all you can ask for is an opportunity. Itll be on me, but thats the best thing about it. If I go out and perform, then Ill keep getting chances.
Perez says hes 100 percent
Royals fans seemed perplexed that catcher Salvy Perez continues to get penciled in at the bottom of the order, but it doesnt seem to bother the 22-year-old Venezuelan.
I dont care where I hit, Perez said. Wherever Ned puts me in the lineup, Im just going to play hard. Im comfortable where I am right now, and I just want to go hard every day.
Perez hit seventh against the Mariners in Tuesdays loss. He is batting .364 with five home runs in 66 at-bats since returning June 22 from the 60-day disabled list.
Veteran left-hander Doug Davis who is 92-108 in 306 big-league games during 13 seasons with the Rangers, Blue Jays, Brewers, Diamondbacks and Cubs endured another rough outing for Class AAA Omaha.
Davis allowed five runs on nine hits, including two home runs, in six innings in a 7-6 loss against the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Tuesday.
Davis, who wound up with the no decision, allowed six runs in five innings during his last outing.
He is 5-1 on the season.
However, his ERA has climbed from 2.54 to 3.96 with the last two starts.
• Tuesday: 15,769
• 2012 season (through 42 games): 987,569
• 2011 season (through 42 games): 785,328
• Ahead: 202,241
• 2012 average: 23,514
• 2011 average: 18,698
To reach Tod Palmer, send email to email@example.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/todpalmer.