08/01/09 8:00 PM ET
Surging Bannister flattered by attention
Kansas City (40-63) at Tampa Bay (57-47), 12:38 p.m. CT
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
All the while, the clock was ticking down on the non-waiver Trade Deadline and Bannister reportedly was being pursued by the Brewers, Marlins, Yankees and who knows who else. What if Bannister had been traded? What would FOX Sports Kansas City do with all that tape on Bannister?
"I didn't think about that," Bannister said with a smile.
Not to worry. The Bannister tape on the physics of pitching will be shown at noon CT on Sunday prior to Bannister's start against the Tampa Bay Rays. He's still here.
In a way, the Trade Deadline attention was flattering for Bannister.
"As a professional, you try to be the best player you can be. As much as you enjoy the routine that comes with being in one organization for a long time, it's definitely a compliment if your name's thrown out there. Because you strive every day to give your team value, to play above the contract it's paying you," he said.
"So I really didn't know what to think of my name being out there because I have the routine here and I love the guys here -- they're my family -- and you just don't know what to expect. It's kind of a pressure cooker every year for a lot of guys."
Apparently the Royals never got close to a deal on Bannister or anyone else Friday. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin made one last call to counterpart Dayton Moore on Thursday and was told the Royals weren't motivated to move Bannister.
"At 28, a pitcher is just coming into his own," Melvin said. "I think it shows you the value of pitchers. He has a 3.60 ERA. If you're going to trade a pitcher who's 28 years old with a 3.60 ERA, you had better get overwhelmed."
Bannister, being an astute follower of the game, was very tuned into the rumors and heard other things from a lot of sources.
"You always hear stuff that's not in the mainstream media through your agent, through other people in the baseball world," he said. "I've spent my whole life in this game, so there's a lot of friends and a lot of connections and a lot of information gets passed around. Whether it's all true or not, nobody ever knows. It's part of the fun of the whole process."
Bannister first was part of the Royals as the young son of left-hander Floyd Bannister, who pitched for the club in 1988-89. They both wore No. 19.
"Above all, the name that's on the front of your jersey is most important and that's where your loyalty lies," Brian Bannister said. "And you go out there every day and try to be the best that you can and represent the organization with class and give the fans the most important product to watch -- that's the most important thing.
"This has been family for three years now, and this is the second time I've been here. I was here as a little kid walking around the locker room, so it's home. If someday baseball takes me somewhere else, I'll continue to work hard. But for now, I'm striving to make it to the postseason with the Royals."Pitching matchup
KC: RHP Brian Bannister (6-7, 3.80 ERA)
Bannister put together another good outing his last time out, but for the fourth straight start, he didn't get a victory. He went six innings and gave up three runs to the Orioles but left trailing, 3-2, in a game the Royals finally won in 11 innings. Bannister threw 100 pitches, 58 for strikes and as he transforms from a fly-ball pitcher, he got 12 of 18 outs on ground balls with two strikeouts. In his last 10 starts, his ERA is just 2.89 but the Royals won just three of the 10 games. That span began just after he was spanked for eight runs at Tampa Bay in a 9-0 loss. Since then, he had a no-decision against the Rays in Kansas City. TB: RHP James Shields (6-7, 3.87 ERA)
Shields has never had good numbers against the Yankees, and Monday's start was no different. Though he hung in after falling into a 3-0 hole in the second inning, Shields didn't have the command or sharpness characteristic of most of his starts this season. He lasted 5 1/3 innings and gave up nine hits and five runs to take the loss -- his second poor outing in three performances since the All-Star break. It was just the fourth time this season he did not pitch into the seventh inning. He remains Tampa Bay's most consistent starter, but with 146 1/3 innings logged already this season, there may be cause for concern of fatigue brewing. Crown points
Center fielder Josh Anderson remained absent Saturday pending the arrival of a son. He was staying with his wife Heather. Anderson was acquired on Thursday from Detroit. ... Pitcher Kyle Farnsworth, who aggravated his groin injury during a rehab assignment, played catch on Saturday and was to throw in the bullpen on Sunday or Monday. Royals trainers are reassessing his condition. ... Gil Meche is scheduled to pitch for Class A Wilmington on Sunday, testing his balky back. He'll share attention at Wilmington with a salute to wrestling's Sgt. Slaughter. ... Doug Waechter pitched two more shutout innings in his rehab with Triple-A Omaha and earned the 5-4 victory over Iowa. That's nine straight scoreless innings. Kyle Davies was the starter and gave up four runs on 10 hits in seven innings. Two runs were earned, making his season ERA 2.14. Tickets
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Monday: Royals (Zack Greinke, 10-6, 2.08) at Rays (Scott Kazmir, 5-6, 6.22), 11:08 a.m. CT
Tuesday: Mariners (Ryan Rowland-Smith, 1-1, 3.12) at Royals (Luke Hochevar, 6-4, 5.28), 7:10 p.m. CT
Wednesday: Mariners (TBD) at Royals (Sidney Ponson, 1-7, 7.36), 7:10 p.m. CT
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.