06/23/07 7:37 PM ET
Notes: DeJesus finally getting healthy
Center fielder's sleeping pattern appeared to affect play
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
For a while this season, DeJesus, the Royals' center fielder, was getting 13 or 14 hours of sleep a day.
"Every day I was just sleeping until I came to the field, and I never used to do that," he said.
It apparently was the aftermath of a stomach virus that kept DeJesus off the field for 11 days in Spring Training. He felt groggy and sluggish and his average suffered.
"Getting sick in Spring Training kind of stalled me," DeJesus said. "I know I was going great the first month, but once I got over that 120 at-bats, that's when I felt my strength and my energy level go down."
He hit well in April and was at .325 on May 2.
"Thank God it was kind of cold out. I think the cold kind of helped me, because you're not using a lot of energy and you're not sweating a lot," he said.
"So once it started heating up, I started feeling the effects of it. I just started feeling tired all the time with no appetite and things like that. So, when it started getting hot, I just started dragging."
Sure enough, on May 3 he reached the 118 at-bat mark and his average began a descent to .256 on June 6.
Now he's coming out of it. Strength and conditioning coordinator Ty Hill told him to stop sleeping so much. DeJesus started lifting more weights to build strength. He's feeling much stronger and more awake.
Good thing. After all, a 96-mph fastball can be a nightmare if you're snoozing at the plate.
But look at this: From June 8 through Friday night, DeJesus was batting .327 (18-for-55) and he swiped his first three bases. He scored 14 runs and the club had a winning record, 7-6.
"Now I'm starting to feel better," DeJesus said.
Perhaps his average might climb again to .300 territory.
"That sounds good to me," he said
A fit? The aborted trade of Oakland outfielder Milton Bradley to the Royals brought up this point: On a team that's deep in outfielders, where would Bradley fit?
"We would have figured something out," manager Buddy Bell said.
The intent was to infuse some pop into the Royals' offense, an area of deep concern for Bell.
The deal, which had the Royals sending Double-A Wichita reliever Leo Nunez to the A's, fell through when Royals general manager Dayton Moore called Bradley to welcome him aboard. Bradley told Moore of an oblique injury he suffered in his last game for the A's and that ended that.
No. 2 signs: Right-handed pitcher Samuel Runion, the Royals' second-round pick in the First-Year Player Draft, signed a contract. Runion is from A.C. Reynolds High School in North Carolina. He was the 66th player taken overall.
Royals rundown: Matt Wright worked seven shutout innings and gave up three hits in Triple-A Omaha's 4-0 win Friday at New Orleans. Ryan Braun struck out four in 1 2/3 innings for his fifth save. ... Mike Stodolka (.270) was 2-for-2 and drove in Double-A Wichita's only run in a 10-1 loss at Arkansas. ... Daniel Cortes, Justin Barnes and Gilbert De La Vara combined for Class A Wilmington's two-hit, 5-1 victory over Frederick. ... A day after Mario Santiago pitched four hitless innings in a suspended game for Class A Burlington, Iowa, Chris Hayes and Jim Wladyka completed a 6-0 win over Cedar Rapids. ... Rookie Advanced Idaho Falls got home runs from O.D. Gonzalez and Clint Robinson in a 4-1 win over Orem. ... Wilson Tucker had three hits, raising his average to .438, as Rookie Burlington, N.C., stopped Greeneville, 3-0. ... Rookie Arizona lost its opener, 9-6, to the Rangers but David Wood had three hits and two RBIs.
Coming up: The Royals wrap up their Milwaukee visit at 1:05 p.m. CT on Sunday. Left-hander Odalis Perez (4-7, 6.06 ERA) will start for the Royals against Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 4.26 ERA).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.