KANSAS CITY -- Perhaps it's fitting that the position of Royals bullpen coach is being treated like an actual 'pen.
Steve Foster was named a special assistant to the general manager and Minor League pitching coordinator last week. Senior pitching advisor Bill Fischer came out of the bullpen to relieve Foster as Royals 'pen coach for three days before Larry Carter, the pitching coach at Double-A Northwest Arkansas, took over on Tuesday after the Naturals' season came to a close.
In his 11 seasons at Double-A, Carter has coached many of the current Royals pitchers, including Louis Coleman, Aaron Crow, Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, Greg Holland, Jeremy Jeffress, Will Smith and Everett Teaford.
"I've been around a bunch of these guys, most everybody in here anyway, for quite some time," Carter said. "I've seen them come through the Minor Leagues or have been a part of everything that these guys have gone through. So it's good to be up here and be around these guys. It's good to be back up here in the Major Leagues and get some experience just trying to help out anyway I can, really. No matter what that is or what [pitching coach] Dave [Eiland] needs or what [manager] Ned [Yost] needs or just really anybody. Just anything I can do to help these guys up here and win."
Adjusting to his new role won't be an issue, as he's been around many of the players before, as well as many of the coaches when he was at big league camp in the spring. He said, though, that he might just try to let the Royals' bullpen keep doing what it's been doing for much of this season.
"They're all so young, but they're all so confident. They're all so energetic, and they're all just great guys," Carter said. "It's good to be around them again and be a part of it. I just want to stay out of their way. Anything I can do to help, though, I'm here to help."
Channeling his inner reliever, Carter is just playing setup man. Doug Henry, the pitching coach at Triple-A Omaha, will take over sometime after the Storm Chasers' season concludes.
Giavotella wields power bat against Rangers
KANSAS CITY -- Listed at just 5-feet-8 and 181 pounds, Johnny Giavotella isn't your typical slugger.
But the Royals second baseman's sixth-inning home run to dead center field in Tuesday night's 6-3 win against Texas -- one that traveled 416 feet from home plate -- might make you think a little differently.
"I've always had decent power. I wouldn't say I have great power, but I'm right around eight, 10 home runs a year. That's kind of my range," Giavotella said. "I got a hold of one last night and put it out of the park."
Giavotella hit 10 home runs this season with Triple-A Omaha, and Tuesday's blast was his first of the year in the big leagues. The 11 combined long balls matched the career high he set last season, when he hit nine in the Minors and two with the Royals.
"It's definitely harder here to hit home runs, because the field's so much bigger than Triple-A. Guys are a lot better, they don't make many mistakes," Giavotella said. "So it's definitely more of a challenge to hit home runs here. Good to get my first one last night."
The 10 home runs with Omaha are the first time Giavotella's reached double digits with a single team in a single season. The second baseman said that 10 is certainly better than nine.
"If it's down to .299 and .300, you definitely want that .300. Nine home runs and 10 home runs, you definitely want double digits," Giavotella said. "It's something that you can't really focus on. You just kind of go out there and let the numbers take care of themselves."
Lough strains right hamstring in Royals' loss
KANSAS CITY -- Royals outfielder David Lough sustained a mild right hamstring strain while running to first base in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 7-6 loss to the Rangers.
With a runner at first and one out, Lough hit a ground ball to Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to shortstop Elvis Andrus to get an out at second. But Lough was able to beat the throw to first, preventing a double play.
After five pitches to Alcides Escobar, Lough was removed from the game and replaced with pinch-runner Jarrod Dyson, who scored from first on Escobar's single to center.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Lough would miss at least Thursday's series finale, getting a day off to recover.
Myers, Odorizzi lead Omaha in postseason win
KANSAS CITY -- The Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers won the first game of their postseason series with the Albuquerque Isotopes, 8-4, on Wednesday.
Outfielder Wil Myers, named the Minor League Player of the Year by both Baseball America and USA Today on Tuesday, went 2-for-2 with a three-run home run in the first inning to give the Chasers an early lead. Myers also doubled, walked twice and scored a pair of runs in the win.
Fellow top prospect Jake Odorizzi picked up the win, allowing three runs over seven innings. Mitch Maier and Anthony Seratelli also scored twice for Omaha.
The Storm Chasers need two more wins in the best-of-five series win against Albuquerque to earn a trip to the Pacific Coast League Championship series. Game 2 is at 7:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at Werner Park in Papillion, Neb.
Community group is restoring O'Neil's home
KANSAS CITY -- A community group in the Santa Fe neighborhood of Kansas City is in the process of restoring the home of baseball legend Buck O'Neil.
The Kansas City Star newspaper highlighted the efforts of the group, Friends of Community Preservation, which is attempting to raise funds to restore O'Neil's former house. The home needs approximately $100,000 in maintenance.
O'Neil's former church owns the property, and once the renovations are complete, it will be made available for community use, either as a education center, a tourism location, a meetings space or something else.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.