The Royals' Mike Moustakas and Johnny Giavotella answered fans' questions before their Wednesday morning workout at spring training.
Moustakas was up first:
Q: What are your goals for this year?
A: Same as always. To win a world championship and be the last team standing.
Q: You've always been known for your offense, but last year you were a beast defensively. What did you do to accomplish that?
A: It's funny...I hardly took any ground balls during the offseason. I rarely take ground balls, because when you come to spring training, you get so many ground balls. I just worked out a lot and worked on my footwork, my agility going left and right. Just learning how to actually play the position.
Q: Which opposing hitter makes you set up closest to home plate, and who forces you to set up deepest?
A: The guy that I'd say makes me set up closest would be Juan Pierre. He's an unbelievable athlete, real fast and a great bunter. If he drops one down, pretty good chance he's safe. He and Ichiro are up there. The guy I play farthest back is Bautista, especially when we're in Toronto, because of the turf. I play short left field with him.
Q: You said recently that you think the Royals will win the division. How are you so confident?
A: I mean, if you're not confident in what you're doing, then why are you doing it? There's no doubt in my mind that this team's good enough to contend for the division and even a World Series. That's why we play baseball. That's why we step on the field every day. Going out there every day with the confidence you have to win is step No. 1.
Q: What kind of message did Dayton Moore send with his big offseason moves?
A: We're not messing around anymore. With what Dayton did, he showed us that we're here to win this year and within the next couple of years. We're not building or waiting anymore. We went out and got two top-of-the-line guys and two other guys that are fantastic pitchers. We'll see where we're at at the end of the season. I think we're gonna be in good shape.
Q: How excited are you to have James Shields on the pitching staff?
A: We need a guy to come in there and eat up as many innings as he does and be a competitor the way he competes. It'll be good for us to hop on his back and ride his coat tails and see the way he operates and does things. We'll be right behind him following him. Winning is contagious, so once you get a couple of guys in here who are used to winning, it'll be fun. The attitude will start changing around the clubhouse. It has a lot already. We're a real confident team already, and the addition of those guys makes us a lot more confident.
Q: What challenges do you need to overcome to become a consistent hitter at the big-league level?
A: For me, I would say just having confidence in my own abilities, relaxing and having fun and not putting too much pressure on myself.
Q: What was your offseason routine?
A: The first month after the season I took off, relaxed and got to enjoy New Orleans. Then I started working out -- I work out four days a week. I do that for a few months. Once January rolls around, I start hitting and throwing on top of my workouts. Q: What's your favorite food at your parents' restaurant in New Orleans (Gio's)?
A: The pizza's probably my favorite. I always get a pizza of some sort, and then I usually get a dish like spaghetti and Italian sausage. I went this past offseason before I came here and had this spinach and eggplant lasagna. It was unbelievable. Think there was some shrimp in there, too. You really can't go wrong with anything there.
Q: Is there anything special you do when working on your defense?
A: I like to start off getting on my knees and working my hands. I have a coach hit me fungos when I'm on my knees. I just work on being soft and fluid and picking balls with one hand.
Q: How do you keep your confidence level up and not get discouraged?
A: It's staying consistent with your approach, never panicking or doing anything out of the ordinary. Trusting your abilities and having confidence that things will turn around and you'll be OK. You can't really tell yourself you're in a slump, you can't get discouraged. You just have to have confidence in your ability and know that things will turn around.
Q: What workout do you do for your forearms?
A: My forearms are strictly genetic. I don't do anything to make them bigger by any means. Everybody on my dad's side of the family has the same body type. Pretty short and stocky with big arms.