KANSAS CITY -- Although it isn't under the best of circumstances, Johnny Giavotella is back with the Royals.
Giavotella rejoined the team ahead of Saturday's game against the White Sox after Chris Getz fractured his left thumb on Friday. Getz underwent surgery on Saturday and will miss the remainder of the season.
"I feel terrible for Getz. I hate to come up at the expense of his health," Giavotella said. "But at the same time, I'm happy I'm getting the opportunity. I'm going to make the most of it and help the team win."
Giavotella will take over duties at second base; manager Ned Yost said he'll play five or six days a week.
This is Giavotella's second stint with the big league club this season. He played in 21 games, making 15 starts, in May and June. He hit just .217 in that stretch, with three extra-base hits and six RBIs.
But after he returned to Triple-A Omaha on June 12, he flourished. This season with the Storm Chasers, he's batted .323 with a .404 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and 71 RBIs in 89 games, and he was named Omaha's Player of the Month for July.
"I think I was doing everything I could in Triple-A to get back up here," he said. "I'm glad [I was sent down]. I think just playing the game that I've always played, just [having] confidence in my ability, things will take care of themselves."
In 67 Major League games between this season and last, Giavotella has hit just .239, but he's had pretty consistent Minor League success, including batting averages over .320 in each of the last three seasons.
"I don't care how good you can hit. It's very seldom you come up and show your true potential in a short burst," Yost said. "You're facing the best pitchers in the world, you've never faced them before, you don't know the action on their pitches, you don't know everything. It's a process."
Both Giavotella and Yost said there's room for growth on defense, but both also said that there have been improvements.
"I think every player has room to improve in their game. I think mine's definitely over on defense and just becoming more smooth around second base, having more confidence on the defensive side," Giavotella said.
"I'm anxious to see Johnny now after [having] three-fourths of the year under his belt playing every day at Triple-A," Yost said. "At times, Johnny's hands were stiff. I saw softer hands in the spring. I saw him have the ability to turn two better in the spring. And he has been making pretty good adjustments from the last time we've seen him. I'm anxious to see him again. He's going to get an extended look at second base. We all know Johnny can hit."
Holland channels his inner Broxton
KANSAS CITY -- Greg Holland is the Royals' closer. No matter what you saw on Friday, it was not Jonathan Broxton.
On Friday against the White Sox, Holland converted his fifth save in as many opportunities since taking over after Broxton was traded on July 31. But this save came in the style of the Royals' former ninth-inning man.
After recording two quick outs, Holland raised some heart rates and caused a few sweaty palms among those in attendance, just like his former teammate used to do, allowing back-to-back hits to A.J. Pierzynski and Alexei Ramirez before getting Dayan Viciedo to fly out to right to end it.
"That's one of those situations, when you're up two, you kind of take your chances getting ahead," Holland said. "And they're a pretty aggressive team in the middle of their lineup. I know they've been swinging, but you still take your chances."
Despite the anxiety caused at times by Broxton's style, teammates and coaches often praised him for having the ability to get out of those jams -- a feat he typically accomplished. It looks like Holland might have picked that up from Broxton. In fact, Holland has allowed at least one hit in each of his last three saves.
Was that something Broxton was able to teach Holland?
"I don't know if you can teach that," manager Ned Yost said. "I think that's kind of something you have or you don't have -- the ability to slow the game. And you can get better at it, but for a guy to teach you how to stay calm in those situations, I don't know if that's teachable. I think he learned a little bit of it through experience, but I think you either have that makeup trait or you don't."
Since becoming the Royals' closer, Holland has allowed just one run on eight hits in eight appearances, with nine strikeouts and an ERA of 1.00.
Surgery on Getz's thumb a success
KANSAS CITY -- The surgery on Chris Getz's fractured left thumb went well, according to manager Ned Yost.
Getz underwent surgery on Saturday at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Dr. Bruce Toby put two pins in the thumb, and the recovery is expected to take eight weeks.
Getz will miss the remainder of this season, but a full recovery is expected, and he should be ready for the 2013 season.
Getz sustained the fracture in the fifth inning of Friday's game against the White Sox when a pitch hit his thumb while he attempted to lay down a bunt.
Royals Charities hosting self-defense class for women
KANSAS CITY -- Royals Charities, 99.7 The Point and the Ali Kemp Educational Foundation will host a T.A.K.E. Defense self-defense class for women 12 and older at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Kauffman Stadium.
The class will provide safety awareness tips and train participants in self-defense techniques. Royals Charities hosted the first sessions in 2008, and more than 1,400 women participated in last year's classes.
The T.A.K.E. Defense program honors the legacy of Ali Kemp, a teenager murdered in 2002 in Johnson County, Kan. It aims to raise awareness and give women the skills needed to defend themselves against violent crimes.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.