04/30/11 1:48 AM ET
Despite skid, no radical roster changes expected
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
"The philosophy is not going to change," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said on Friday. "The player has to perform, they have to have ability and there has to be opportunity. And right now, the sample size of performance isn't what it needs to be to have a comfort level in promoting players to the Major Leagues. There's a huge difference between Triple-A and the Major Leagues."
Omaha first baseman Eric Hosmer was at .408 (31-for-76) with 12 RBIs, designated hitter Clint Robinson at .347 (25-for-72) with six homers and 14 RBIs, and second baseman Johnny Giavotella at .315 (23-for-73) and 13 RBIs. Third baseman Mike Moustakas, after a slow start, was heating up and hit two homers on Thursday night. With the effort, he upped his average to .237 (18-for-76).
That's too few at-bats on which to make a solid judgment, in Moore's view.
"After a guy gets a couple hundred at-bats, you start believing the sample," Moore said.
"We're very confident in the Major League players that we have. We've already massaged the bullpen a little bit, and we're encouraged by the performance of some of our Minor League players, but, at the same time, we need to be sure," Moore said.
Among pitchers, left-hander Danny Duffy has been impressive with a 0.90 ERA in four starts, and 24 strikeouts in 20 innings. Fellow starting lefties Everett Teaford (2.65 ERA) and Mike Montgomery (3.00), and lefty reliever Blaine Hardy (1.13) have also looked good. Of those pitchers, only Teaford is on the 40-man roster, and that's another factor -- such a player can be brought up without first clearing roster space.
Righty relievers Greg Holland and Jesse Chavez also have good numbers, and they're already on the 40-man roster, giving them an edge if bullpen help is needed.
Moore has said he expects Moustakas to surface with the Major League club at some point this season.
"We'll see what happens," Moore said. "Mike Aviles has been playing great, Wilson Betemit has been playing great [at third base], so there's got to be opportunity for him, too."
Aviles did well in a Triple-A stay in the second half of last season, putting him ahead developmentally of Hosmer, Robinson and Giavotella, who are in their first Triple-A seasons.
Gordon returns to left field after stint at first
KANSAS CITY -- Alex Gordon was back in left field on Friday night against the Twins after two games at first base. During his sojourn on the infield, Gordon went hitless and saw his 19-game streak end.
"Maybe there's a connection, I don't see one," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Guys do a pretty good job of separating their offense from their defense, so I don't think it matters where you play a guy that determines the outcome of his offense."
Yost reverted to a more usual lineup after using Gordon at first, Jarrod Dyson in center field and Mike Aviles at second in the last two games at Cleveland. Kila Ka'aihue was back at first, Chris Getz at second and Melky Cabrera restored to center after a switch to left.
It's not that, after two losses with the revised lineup, Yost threw up his hands and said, "No mas!" He'll be changing the lineup again. His advice: Don't chisel any of his lineups in stone.
"That ain't the way it works," he said. "But I'm trying to use Dyson two or three times a week now until we get Kila going. I'm mixing and matching between Aviles, Getz and [Wilson] Betemit. I've got two spots for three players there, and I'm going to keep all three of those guys playing."
Dyson's blazing speed makes him a good fit in center field, as well as the leadoff spot in the batting order.
"I like Dyson in center," Yost said, then recalled a play from Thursday night's game in Cleveland. "The ball was hit and Melky's running hard [in left field], and I'm thinking, 'He's not going to get it,' and boom, Dyson's there. He can scoot."
Dyson, to keep getting lineup shots, needs to get some hits -- and walks.
"He's got to be a guy that benefits from his walks. He's got to be an on-base guy. With his speed, the ability to bunt, take his walks, beat out infield hits, I look more at on-base percentage. If he could get up to .380 or .400 on-base ... but he doesn't take a lot of walks," Yost said.
Tejeda to test shoulder in batting practice
KANSAS CITY - Reliever Robinson Tejeda, out as he tries to regain strength in his right shoulder, will throw batting practice on Saturday afternoon.
This will be his first BP session since going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation on April 13. He's shown improvement in sideline throwing recently.
No date has been set for catcher Jason Kendall to begin a rehabilitation assignment in the Minor Leagues. He's recovering from right shoulder surgery.
Luke Hughes' home run for the Twins in the fifth inning on Friday night was the first given up by a Royals pitcher after 80 consecutive innings at Kauffman Stadium without one. The Royals had surrendered 17 blasts, though, on their 0-6 road trip.
Hughes' homer was just the second of his career. His first blast came on April 28, 2010, at Detroit in his first Major League at-bat.
Right fielder Jeff Francoeur's hitting streak ended at 17 games, as he went 0-for-3 in the 4-3 win over the Twins. Francoeur hit .348 (23-for-66) with seven doubles, a triple, four homers, 15 RBIs and 13 runs during the streak.
Twins right fielder Jason Kubel threw out Francoeur at the plate in the fourth inning as he tried to score on Brayan Pena's single. Francoeur reached base when he was hit by a pitch.
The crowd at Kauffman Stadium, 31,407, on Friday night was the largest since Opening Day's sellout. Club officials said there were 7,000 walkup customers on the 73-degree evening that featured postgame fireworks.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.