Thursday was the first night of the Major League Baseball draft, and before the Royals selected shortstop Hunter Dozier with the No. 8 overall pick, several players recalled their own draft days.
Billy Butler, the 14th overall pick in 2004, worked out a pre-draft deal the day before.
“I was actually working out for the Yankees,” he said. “They had the 23rd pick and told me they were going to take me there. The Royals called and told me to get off the field of the Yankees’ workout — they wanted to draft me.”
Reliever and Topeka native Aaron Crow was a little more tense the day he was selected No. 12 overall in 2009.
“Leading up to the whole day, I had a lot of nervous energy and couldn’t sit still,” he said. “I was at my parents’ house in Topeka when the draft started, it felt like every pick took like 20 minutes.
“Finally when the Royals picked me, I couldn’t have been happier at that point. I celebrated with my family, but leading up to it was nerve-wracking.”
Dyson starts rehab assignment in Omaha
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson, who is recovering from a high ankle sprain he suffered May 16 in Anaheim, started his minor-league rehab assignment on Thursday with Class AAA Omaha. He went zero for three in Omaha's 2-1 win.
In his first outing since returning from Omaha on Tuesday, reliever Kelvin Herrera had a 1-2-3 eighth inning with one strikeout on Wednesday night against the Twins.
“Every reliever wants to go 1-2-3, and it felt good to finish with a strikeout on that high heater,” Herrera said. “It’s an important outing, that first one back after you’ve been struggling.
“I felt great. I was throwing the ball so much better (Wednesday). I was throwing the ball down, so I induced some ground balls.”
Ventura makes Omaha debut
Royals prospect Yordano Ventura, who was just promoted on Monday, was making his Class AAA debut in a Thursday night start as the Storm Chasers faced Oklahoma City in Omaha. Ventura allowed only one run on one hit in five innings, but he walked four and struck out six. He didn’t get a decision.
Ventura, 22, was 3-2 for Class AA Northwest Arkansas with a 2.34 ERA. He had racked up 74 strikeouts in 572/3 innings.
The Royals claimed injured third baseman/outfielder Edinson Rincon on unconditional release waivers from the Padres Thursday and optioned him to Class AA Northwest Arkansas. They also designated right-hander Nate Adcock for assignment. Adcock had been struggling at Class AAA Omaha. In 10 games, he had a 7.09 ERA and was 3-4.
They placed Rincon on the seven-day disabled list as he continues his recovery from April 3 surgery on his left knee. They also released outfielder Carlo Testa from the Northwest Arkansas roster.
Billy Butler picked up his 13th multi-hit game of the season after a two-for-four night with a double and an RBI.
Alex Gordon, who was one for four with a double, has hit safely in 41 of 57 games this season.
Lorenzo Cain's last home run before Thursday night was on April 20 at Boston.