KANSAS CITY -- Mike Moustakas, seen as the Royals' third baseman of the future, was named Texas League Player of the Year for 2010 on Monday.
Moustakas' manager at Northwest Arkansas, Brian Poldberg, was named Manager of the Year in an announcement by Texas League president Tom Kayser.
Moustakas was with the Naturals from April 22 through July 17 and led the Texas League in the three Triple Crown categories with a .347 average, 21 home runs and 76 RBIs when he was promoted to Omaha.
"He was phenomenal," Poldberg said from Tulsa. "He missed the first 16 games of the season and by midseason he was leading the league in all the categories. And I think he's got 108 RBIs between Omaha and here despite missing that many games. So he's having a spectacular year and I'm glad to see him continue to do well."
With eight games left, Poldberg had the first-place Naturals at 80 victories overall. They won the first-half division title and were leading the second half by three games.
Poldberg has managed the Naturals to a 42-20 record at Arvest Park at Springdale, Ark., near the home of Royals owner David Glass who attends many games.
"It's kind of nice because he gets to see what's coming up and there are a lot of positives here," Poldberg said.
Meche to join the Royals' bullpen
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals' first September callup has been announced -- a pitcher named Gil Meche.
"His next outing will be here," manager Ned Yost said on Monday. "He'll throw a side session today and we'll probably activate him on the first [of September]."
Meche, retooling himself as a reliever, has been tuning up with Triple-A Omaha and is expected to join the Royals' bullpen on Wednesday, the first day that Major League rosters can be expanded beyond 25 players.
The rest of the callups haven't been announced although Yost expects to discuss it on Tuesday with general manager Dayton Moore.
"We seriously have not discussed it yet," Yost said.
Starting pitchers Luke Hochevar and Brian Bannister, though, probably will be activated in the next week or so after each throws another rehab start for Omaha. Upon their return to the Majors, Yost has them penciled in to share a start on or about Sept. 8.
"We'll do that twice and then we'll split 'em up," Yost said.
Hochevar will pitch for Omaha on Thursday against Round Rock. His first outing of two innings on Saturday went well.
"At this point, I don't feel like my elbow is an issue any more. It's just a matter of getting back to pitching and getting back to being comfortable on the mound," he said. "It felt good to finally get out there again and start competing. That's what I enjoy, that what I live for -- competing. That makes me happy."
Wood successful in return for Royals
KANSAS CITY -- Royals reliever Blake Wood returned on Sunday for the first time in 10 days and couldn't have been better -- he struck out all three Cleveland batters he faced.
"I was glad to be back, I felt like I was out for a month," said Wood, who'd been stopped by back spasms. "They were gone for a couple days and they threw me in there and the results were good."
He got his three strikeouts on just 11 pitches.
"I haven't done that in a while," he said. "Just fastballs and sliders. All three K's were all on sliders. Pretty much the same pitch sequence. Fastballs till I got two strikes, then the slider."
With Wood in place and Robinson Tejeda returning from a biceps strain, the set-up pitchers for closer Joakim Soria are back in business. Manager Ned Yost said that Wood is ready to pitch on back-to-back days. Tejeda didn't pitch on Sunday after being activated.
"I want to put [Tejeda] in a similar role as before and I don't think I'm going to have the opportunity to ease him back in," Yost said. "It's just not going to happen. So in the seventh or eighth inning of these close games, [I'll] just get him back in there."
As it turned out, Yost used Tejeda in the ninth inning of Monday night's 3-0 loss to Texas. He gave up one hit and a sacrifice fly in two-thirds of an inning. The unearned run was charged against starter Kyle Davies.
Yost downplays significance of 500th win
KANSAS CITY -- Ned Yost notched the 500th victory of his managerial career in Sunday's 6-2 win at Cleveland but he attaches no special significance to the milestone.
"No, not really," Yost said. "If you can get to a thousand, that would be nice and that's when I'll start looking at it. I think it puts it all into context that I got 500 losses two years ago. Five hundred wins is nice but it's not anything to make a big deal about it."
The victory over the Indians put Yost at 500-554 including a 43-52 mark with the Royals and 457-502 in six years with the Milwaukee Brewers.
He sees progress with the Royals.
"We're setting the foundation for what we expect to be a nice championship run," he said. "I don't want to take time doing it - I wish I could snap my fingers, but it's not that easy. It takes time and you have to get the right players in place, the right system in place, the right style of play in place and those things take time."
First baseman Billy Butler is back in the Royals' lineup but his inflamed right hand still isn't fully healed. "No, and it's not going to be 100 percent," manager Ned Yost said. Nobody's 100 percent out there. It's the things that guys go through. It's better but it's not 100 percent." With two hits in Sunday's game at Cleveland, Butler extended his streak of series in which he's hit safely to 93 straight -- three series short of Willie Wilson's club record. ... Josh Yost, son of the Royals' manager, is on the disabled list for the motorcycle daredevil act that he was booked into at Macau, China. He suffered a cracked heel when a practice jump went awry and was scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. "He'll be out six weeks to two months but he's staying there. They like what he's done," Yost said. ... Left-hander John Lamb, who threw 6 1/3 hitless innings for Northwest Arkansas at Springfield last Thursday, was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week. ... The Elias Sports Bureau noted that during Bruce Chen's two seasons with Kansas City, he's started three games in which the Royals needed a win to avoid a series sweep and he won all three times. The latest came Sunday at Cleveland; the previous times were Aug. 6, 2009, against Seattle and last June 10 at Minnesota.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.