Brett gets to know Grifol before Texas opener
Special assignment coach very familiar with several Royals, including Moore
ARLINGTON -- Interim hitting coach George Brett enjoyed a win on his first day on the job Thursday, as the Royals prevailed, 4-2, over the Cardinals in the I-70 Series finale.
While the Royals could only hope special assignment coach Pedro Grifol's first day on Friday against the Rangers ends with the same result, he's already impacted the club before the game.
Brett said he walked around Rangers Ballpark with Grifol for about 40 minutes so they could get to know each other. During their talk, Grifol brought up catcher Adam Moore, who he's known for six years during his tenures with the Mariners and Royals.
Moore was hitting .190 for Triple-A Omaha before being called up last Sunday. Grifol noticed Moore changed his stance since Spring Training, when he hit .320 in 25 at-bats. Moore said he got away from his Spring Training stance in Triple-A, and Grifol told him to stay in on his legs, stay down and drive the ball.
"Sure enough, he went back to that [in the cages] and I was really impressed with what I saw," Brett said regarding Moore, who started behind the plate on Friday.
Brett heard about Grifol from his nephew, Casey, who was Grifol's assistant with the Mariners. Brett said Casey loves Grifol.
"From what my nephew says, he loves to study film, which is something I have no concept in. I have no idea in and he's going to help me tremendously," Brett said.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Grifol is great at breaking down scouting reports. He spent 13 seasons with the Mariners and spent time with the Major League staff for the second half of the 2010 season.
"I'm going to assist this club and the people here in whatever they need me to do," Grifol said. "Right now, I'm coming in to assist George on the hitting side. I'm going to help wherever help is needed."
Grifol also managed Alcides Escobar and Lara Cardenales in the Venezuelan Winter League for two seasons. Escobar said Grifol is a good guy and he's happy to see him with Kansas City.
"He's helped a lot of guys in here," Escobar said. "He can bring his experience to this clubhouse, because he's been in the game for a long time."
Brett, Royals put in late hours against Cards
ARLINGTON -- Interim hitting coach George Brett remembered why he retired after the Royals' 4-2 win over the Cardinals on Thursday.
The team got to the hotel in Texas at 7 a.m. CT following two rain delays in St. Louis, the latter lasting just over 4 1/2 hours. The I-70 Series finale concluded at 3:14 a.m. on Friday.
The late evening took Brett back to his final season, when he brought his wife along for her first road trip to Seattle. Brett said the Royals got to Seattle at 4 a.m. local time following a road game.
"I wake her up and she says, 'What time is it?' I said, '4 o'clock in the morning," Brett said. "If this isn't a reason to retire, I don't know what is.
"My first day back, we get to the hotel at seven in the morning. I'm going, "What am I thinking? ... But it was a win, so I didn't mind."
Welcome back the majors, George.
As for the players, it was a late arrival to the clubhouse on Friday. Catcher Adam Moore was one of the first Royals to arrive. Moore said the team was hanging around in the Busch Stadium clubhouse the night before playing cards during the rain delay, waiting out for the window to play again.
"I'm the guy that usually sleeps in quite a bit," Moore said. "That flight was good to get some sleep on, plus when we got back here, I was still able to get enough sleep. You never expect to play a game at 3 a.m. after a five-hour rain delay."
Royals outfielder Jeff Francoeur said he got about six hours of sleep. The sun came up just as the team landed.
"I'm walking into my room and people are having breakfast, having meetings," Francoeur said. "I've played in a 21-inning game, some 18-inning games, some playoffs, but nothing like waiting four hours and 32 minutes. We started an hour late and it just felt so crazy. And once we got out there [when play resumed], the game took 12 minutes and it was done."
Royals expect Perez to return on Monday
ARLINGTON -- Royals manager Ned Yost said he expects catcher Salvador Perez to return on Monday. Perez went home to Valencia, Venezuela, following the death of his maternal grandmother.
Yost said he has not been in contact with Perez since he left on Saturday. Perez was placed on the bereavement list, and he can remain on the list for three to seven days. Perez will not be paid after the week is up.
"It's been really hard to get a hold of him, but Sal's got his priorities right taking care of his family," Yost said. "So when he gets back, he'll have everything under control."
The Royals called up Adam Moore from Triple-A Omaha in Perez's absence. Moore started behind the plate on Friday in the series opener against the Rangers. Moore was 0-for-4 in his previous three games since being called up.
Duffy completes second rehab at Double-A
ARLINGTON -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy logged 3 2/3 innings during his second rehab start for Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Friday.
Duffy allowed two runs on five hits against San Antonio. He recorded five strikeouts and allowed one walk.
""I feel great. I'm exhausted, but I'll continue to bounce back and maintain the way I'm supposed to," Duffy said. "Maybe next time out, I'll go deeper in the game."
In his first action last Monday, Duffy threw three shutout innings for Northwest Arkansas, giving up two hits and two walks with four strikeouts on 63 pitches.
"I think I could do better with putting people away," he said on Friday. "I got five guys on 0-2 today and four of them got hits. If I could get that curveball bouncing on 0-2 instead of throwing a fastball in the zone or a fastball up and in, that'd probably be ideal. You always need to have something to work on."
Duffy went 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in six starts for the Royals last season before he sustained a left elbow injury on May 13, 2012. The southpaw missed the rest of the season following Tommy John surgery on June 13.
• Jeff Francoeur broke a 59-inning home run drought for the Royals in the I-70 Series finale against the Cardinals. His ninth-inning homer tied the game at 2, as Kansas City scored three times in the ninth to pull out a 4-2 victory.
• The Royals' victory over the Cardinals marked the fewest hits in a Kansas City win since it logged four hits on June, 20, 2012, against the Astros. The Royals won, 2-1.
• With Thursday's win over the Cardinals, the Royals improved to 4-4 at Busch Stadium over the past three seasons and 16-16 all time. The Cardinals lead all-time in the Interleague series, 45-31.
• Brett on why he decided to become a hitting coach: "I was just a frustrated fan like everybody in Kansas City was. Everything I own, I owe to the Royals. My house, my cars, my clothes, my kids' sneakers. Everything I have in life, everywhere I've been in life, it's because of the Royals."
Master Tesfatsion is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.