Notes: Reviews in for Davies' debut
Manager Bell, pitching coach McClure discuss righty's start
NEW YORK -- That's over. Kyle Davies has made his first start for the Royals, he's given up Alex Rodriguez's 500th home run, he's lasted just three innings.
Davies is the new starting pitcher that prompted the Royals to send closer Octavio Dotel to the Braves. The Yankees were rough on Davies (and almost everyone else) in Saturday's 16-8 romp.
"A lot of balls over the middle of the plate," Davies said. "They fouled off some good pitches, and when I came over the strike zone, they hit 'em. They didn't miss 'em.
"I felt I had good stuff. I've just got to work on my location, and that's what we're going to do. That's a pretty good lineup, but you still want to come out and pitch a whole lot better than I did."
Manager Buddy Bell had this take from the dugout:
"Davies has pretty good stuff," Bell said. "He threw a lot of pitches , but these guys will make you throw a lot of pitches. I like the way he competes. I'm anxious to see him again."
Bell will get that chance when Davies starts next Thursday against the Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
Davies throws a fastball at about 90 or 92 mph, along with a changeup, a top-to-bottom curveball and a slider. There's a problem, though. He's been erratic controlling that fastball, especially since he underwent groin surgery, and that led to his demotion from the Braves to Triple-A Richmond this season.
"Before I got sent down, I remember I pitched pretty good against Detroit, pitched bad against L.A., pitched really good against San Diego, then pitched bad against Cincinnati," Davies said.
"So it was always one good game and one bad game."
Enter Dr. Mac, aka pitching coach Bob McClure. His preliminary conclusion is to get Davies to finish his delivery by landing not on his heel, but on the ball of his foot. That's something he's also been working on with Gil Meche and Brian Bannister.
"It solves a lot of problems without doing a lot of mechanical stuff," McClure said.
The solution also involves a lot of muscle memory. It's something that McClure wants Davies to do in practice, but not think about during a game.
"You can't pitch when you think about it," McClure said.
He figures the change will become habit after repetition in winter workouts.
Teahen struggles: When Bell was talking to Mark Teahen during batting practice Sunday, it wasn't idle chit-chat. They were discussing whether Teahen should be in the lineup.
"We're 50-50 on him," Bell said before BP. "He's got a little back issue. I don't know whether that's what's bothering him or not."
Although Teahen had three hits in Saturday's 16-8 loss, he was just 4-for-18 on this trip entering the finale.
"His balance is off," Bell said. "His swing is in a couple pieces right now. It's not fluid."
Teahen stayed in the starting lineup Sunday against the Yankees.
Royals rundown: Ben Hendrickson (10-5) pitched a complete-game four-hitter as Triple-A Omaha won a second straight shutout over Las Vegas, 9-0, on Saturday. Left fielder Justin Huber homered for the fifth time in six games, and has 12 dingers this season. Second baseman Mike Aviles had four hits and his 14th homer. Rehabbing Ryan Shealy hit his fourth homer. ... First baseman Mike Stodolka (.304) had two hits, including a triple, in Double-A Wichita's 8-4 loss at Arkansas. ... Reliever Mario Santiago pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings in Class A Burlington, Iowa's 4-2 win over South Bend. ... Center fielder O.D. Gonzalez had a homer among his three hits in low Class A Idaho Falls' 6-2 win over Casper. In the second game, Dane Secott pitched two hitless innings and got credit for a 7-0 victory. ... Right fielder Wilson Tucker (.279) hit his seventh homer for Rookie Burlington, N.C., in an 8-4 loss to Elizabethton.
Coming up: The Royals are off on Monday. They open a three-game series against the Twins at 7:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. In a matchup of right-handers, Kansas City's Brian Bannister (7-6, 3.45 ERA) will go against Minnesota's Boof Bonser (5-7, 4.61).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.