Luis Mendoza won the fifth spot in the Royals starting rotation out of spring training, but it hasnt equated to many starts during the regular season.
By SAM McDOWELL
The Kansas City Star
Not yet anyway.
Mendoza will take the mound Wednesday for his first start since April 12 and only his third start of the season. James Shields, by comparison, started his sixth game Tuesday night.
Mendoza made a scoreless relief appearance in Detroit on April 24 his only trip to the mound in the past 19 days.
Ive seen good No. 5 starters get bumped and only pitch every 10 days or two weeks, but its about mind-set, Royals manager Ned Yost said. You keep yourself prepared by doing your side work in the bullpen and not thinking about not having pitched in two weeks or (using) that as an excuse.
Mendoza is 0-1 in his first two starts of the 2013 season. Rainouts have certainly played a factor in his lack of use this season.
Hes a guy that doesnt freak out too much and overanalyze the situation, Yost said. He just goes out, grabs the ball and does what he does. Its a good mind-set to have perfect mind-set for a No. 5 starter.
Johnson earns start against former team
James Shields wasnt the only Royals player starting against his former teammates Tuesday night. Royals utility infielder Elliot Johnson part of the package the Rays sent to Kansas City in the Shields trade started at second base and batted ninth.
Like Shields, Johnson attempted to downplay any extra emotions about playing against the Rays, who offered him a chance to make his major-league debut in 2008.
We just want to win, just like every other night, Johnson said. I guess you want to stick it to your former employer. I guess people would say that, but it's not like we left on bad terms, so theres none of that nonsense.
Still, Johnsons knowledge of his former teammates will be a useful tool during the three-game series. He was especially quick to recall the repertoire of the Rays staff.
If my teammates want to know, Im more than happy to help them out, Johnson said. Plenty of the guys have asked me, because I remember things really, really well. Obviously with (the Rays), I know the pitchers really well, so a few of the guys have come to me.
Six years ago Wednesday May 1, 2007 Billy Butler made his major-league debut with the Royals. He started in left field and batted seventh.
He finished the game 2 for 4 with a pair of singles one of which came in his first career at-bat.
Trust me, I remember May 1 every day, Butler said. I've come a long way since then. I was two for four. I got a hit off Bartolo Colon and one off Scot Shields.
School Day at The K rescheduled for June 12
A pregame weather demonstration scheduled prior to Thursdays series finale with the Rays has been moved to June 12 because of, well, the weather.
Cold temperatures and rain are in the forecast for Thursdays 1:10 p.m. game. School Day at The K is an educational program led by WDAF-TV meteorologist Mike Thompson that focuses on weather and science.
The Royals are scheduled to face the Tigers at 1:10 p.m. on June 12, which is a Wednesday.
A high-pressured pitch
The way Harry Wischnewski figured it, he was representing an entire country when he walked to the mound, toed the rubber and threw out the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday night.
A member of the Swiss national team, Wischnewski fired a strike to Josh Crouse, whom he plays club baseball with in Switzerland.
There was a lot of pressure, Wischnewski said. "Baseball is a very small sport in Switzerland. We're not known for it. I have to represent the country well.
Wischnewski and Crouse became Royals fans after coming across Judging the Royals, Lee Judges blog on KansasCity.com. In the blog, Royals players often guide Judge through in-depth explanations of the game.
Wischnewski said the Swiss national team uses the videos as productive instruction.
Our coach, Chris Byrnes, has been summarizing the reports and forwarding them to us, Wischnewski said. A few of us core members of the team really follow it closely.