After nearly a month in Omaha, second baseman Chris Getz was back in the Royals lineup and hitting ninth on Friday night. But there are no guarantees beyond that.
“He’s in there today,” Royals manager Ned Yost said matter-of-factly before the Royals faced Detroit at Kauffman Stadium in the first game after the All-Star break.
“Everybody needs to be in there every day. But in order to be in there every day, you’ve got to produce.”
Getz, who opened the season as the starting second baseman, was optioned to Class AAA Omaha on June 22 after hitting .214 in 47 games. He batted .313 (20-for-64) in 14 games at Omaha, including .362 (17 for 46) in his last 10 games. So up came Getz and down went Johnny Giavotella, who hit just .206 in 10 games as Getz’s replacement.
Getz attributed his success in Omaha to simply being an everyday player.
“That was it,” said Getz, 29. “Some adjustments had to be made, and it was difficult playing a day (and), sitting three. When you’re in a situation like that, which I deserved to be in when you don’t play that many days, it’s just a battle to get out there and be productive let alone when you’re trying to figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work.
“I went down there, I knew I was going to play every day, leading off, so certainly I would get a lot of at-bats. No matter what happened in a certain day, I knew I was going to be back in there the following day. I’m glad to be here, I’m going to continue my routine I was doing down there and come up here and help the team.”
That’s all Yost wants to see.
“We’re looking for offense,” Yost said. “We made that move with Johnny when he was swinging the bat well, and Getzie was struggling here. Johnny got three hits his first day, but not a lot of offense from that point on. We’re just trying to take advantage of the hot hand. One big hit in the lineup somewhere can make the difference in the game, and I want to have as many hot bats as we can.”
Herrera returns, too
Relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera also made some adjustments in Omaha and returned after his second stint with the Storm Chasers. Herrera struck out five of the last seven batters he faced in his last two appearances.
“I’m throwing more strikes more quality pitches,” said Herrera, who has allowed eight home runs in a 15-inning stretch with the Royals that led to his demotion. “When I was here (before), I was throwing high pitches There were some mechanical things. This is not a place where you can fix something.
“I think I’m ready now. I’ve got to get people out. That’s my job.”
Yost said Herrera incorporated his curve and change-up with his near 100-mph fastball at Omaha, something the club wanted him to do.
“He was having success down there,” Yost said. “It was time to bring him up.”
Welcome to GordoNation
The Royals have replaced the Frenchy Quarter — a promotion for Thursday games featuring former right fielder Jeff Francoeur — with GordoNation, a promotion featuring All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon on Wednesday nights in August and September.
For the five Wednesday games during the last two months of the season, fans can purchase a $30 ticket that includes a special edition GordoNation T-shirt; discounted tickets in lower level Field Box/Field Plaza (Sections 107-108 and 206-208) and be part of Gordon's special cheering section.
“It’s exciting to run out there and hear GordoNation,” said Gordon, who was unaware of the promotion when asked about it. “I try to concentrate as much as I can on the game, but I hear everything they say, and all the support they give me. So every once in a while I throw a ball or give them a wave.”
Gordon was still savoring his experience with teammates Greg Holland and Salvador Perez in the American League’s 3-0 victory in last Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. All three participated in the game, with Gordon flying out deep to center in his only at bat. He also made a nice catch on a line drive to left with Mariano Rivera pitching the eighth in his final All-Star appearance.
“Warning track power that’s why I’m a leadoff hitter,” Gordon joked. “All singles for me. But it was fun, a good experience.”
Gordon who was shaken up and suffered a deep bruise to his buttocks after crashing into the left-field wall on July 3 against Cleveland, said he’s “not completely healed. It feels a lot better than it was during the All-Star break. Even though I was in the All-Star game, I had a lot of time to rest it. (It hurts) mostly when I sit down or lay down. When I’m playing, it really doesn’t affect me too much.”
Hollywood in KC
Movie and television stars Jason Sudeikis, Rob Riggle and Paul Rudd, all of the Kansas City, made their annual appearance in a celebrity wiffle ball game at the Little K.
Earlier in the day, the three actors visited patients at Children’s Mercy Hospital and this weekend are hosting the Fourth annual Big Slick Celebrity Poker Tournament for the benefit of the hospital.
While Sudeikis, who played basketball at Shawnee Mission West, enjoys his annual trips to Kauffman Stadium, he’s an avid Kansas basketball fan.
“I’m real excited about Andrew Wiggins,” he said of the Jayhawks’ high-profile recruit. “I’ve spent a half hour of my life watching him dunk over high schoolers, so I’m excited to see if he can do that (at the college level).
“I usually get to a couple of games a year, when I’m home for Thanksgiving and Christmas and hopefully the Final Four, too.”