09/27/11 12:20 AM ET
Rookies hit streets during annual hazing
By Dick Kaegel and Adam Holt / MLB.com
The Royals had their annual rookie hazing -- including first-base coach Doug Sisson who is in his first season on the big league staff -- wearing embarrassing costumes.
"It was fun, man," rookie third baseman Mike Moustakas said. "It was another chance for us to all hang out and have some good laughs. Let all the older guys make fun of us, it's just a good time. They had fun with us -- I had a great time doing it."
Reliever Everett Teaford was dressed as Wonder Woman and found a new dislike for women's footwear.
"My feet were killing me. I had these like high heel boot [things]. I don't know how women wear high heels with those pointed toes," he said. "My feet were killing me, so I took them off and walked the last four blocks ... without any shoes on."
Between their time on the streets of Chicago and Minneapolis, the group received plenty of stares, and stalled some motorists who stopped to record video.
"Once they dropped us off in downtown Minnesota, oh yeah, all the people were laughing and looking at us," Teaford said. "There were a couple buses that went by and I even caught a woman pointing at me, going, 'That's a man.'"
Asked who had the worst -- or best, depending on your view of it -- costume, Teaford consulted with veteran Bruce Chen, who was thoughtful in his assessment. The two offered reliever Greg Holland's Teletubby outfit, then agreed that Sisson, who was a police officer from the Comedy Central show Reno 911!, was the best dressed of the bunch.
"That was pretty good," Teaford said. "If he had a real mustache, I would probably accept him as authority."
Melky hustles to reach 200-hit plateau
MINNEAPOLIS -- Melky Cabrera made it - 200 hits in a season for the first time in his career, becoming the sixth Royals player in history to reach that mark. And he had one to spare.
Cabrera got the milestone hit in the first inning of Monday night's 7-3 win, when he bounced a ball off home plate that was fielded by charging Twins shortstop Trevor Plouffe. Cabrera beat the throw to first base and was clapping his hands and beaming.
"I was very excited. I was very pleased with the job I did, and I was very happy that I reached that goal," Cabrera said. "It was kind of like a hustle play, but I'll take it."
Later in the inning, he scored the Royals' first run but he wasn't finished.
Manager Ned Yost wanted Cabrera to exceed his goal of 200, so when Cabrera got another hit to Plouffe up the middle in the sixth inning for 201, Mitch Maier was sent in as a pinch-runner. That hit, also against Twins starter Kevin Slowey, launched the Royals' four-run inning that carried them to a series-opening victory.
"It was nice for him to go out and get that thing started," Yost said. "Two infield hits for him, but he's really had a great year."
Cabrera was just the fifth Major Leaguer to reach the 200 level this year.
"It doesn't happen many times each year," Royals hitting coach Kevin Seitzer said. "You think of how many hitters reach it and it's impressive."
As a member of the Royals' 200-hit club, Seitzer knows how difficult it can be. The elite Kansas City group that Cabrera joins consists of Johnny Damon, 214 hits, and Mike Sweeney, 206 in 2000; Seitzer, 207 in 1987; Willie Wilson, 230 in '80; and George Brett, 212 in '79 and 215 in '76.
Seitzer had a first-hand view of Cabrera's accomplishment.
"A great year, phenomenal," Seitzer said. "A most consistent hitter all season. He's just been diligent, disciplined. His work ethic every day has been the same. Just a great year."
Cabrera's highest hit total previously was 149 in 2007 for the New York Yankees. He had just 117 hits last year for the Atlanta Braves.
"I feel pretty good," he said through translator Brayan Pena. "As I've said before, I feel very grateful for the Kansas City Royals organization for giving me the opportunity to play here every day, and I want to thank all my teammates because they really supported me and pushed me to this level. I never thought this offseason that I would have the season that I had, but I worked hard and tried to do my best to improve my game."
As he's done with left fielder Alex Gordon and right fielder Jeff Francoeur, Yost is shutting down Cabrera. He'll likely play Maier in left field, Jarrod Dyson in center and Lorenzo Cain in right in the final two games of the season.
If so, Cabrera will finish with a .305 average, best of his career by 25 points.
"I was hoping he'd get it done today, so Mitch could at least play 2 1/2 games," Yost said.
Starling begins instructional work in Arizona
MINNEAPOLIS -- Outfielder Bubba Starling, the Royals' No. 1 Draft choice this year, is beginning to get his first game action in the Arizona instructional league.
Starling is expected to play two or three times a week in the league, which opened on Monday and runs through Oct. 21. Don't expect news reports on his batting average; no statistics are kept.
"We keep track of at-bats and innings pitched and that's all we really track," said J.J. Picollo, assistant general manager-scouting and player development.
Teams involved in the league don't want to emphasize statistics from games that are primarily teaching tools, and that are sometimes modified to create certain in-game situations.
Starling has been at the Royals' camp in Surprise, Ariz., since shortly after he signed for a $7.5 million bonus on Aug. 15. He was to begin play on Monday against the Cincinnati Reds entry.
"I watched him work out last week and he looked good," Picollo said. "He swung the bat well and was doing just basic workouts. So, today is the first time he's going against real pitching."
Picollo said he believes the 18-year-old Starling, listed at 6-foot-4, has grown to about 6-6. He's a right-handed power hitter from Gardner, Kan., in the Kansas City area.
Coleman latest Royal bitten by flu bug
MINNEAPOLIS -- Reliever Louis Coleman is the latest Royals player to be knocked out of action by the flu.
Coleman was ill and not available for Monday night's game against the Twins.
He's the third player to be stricken in the last week. Designated hitter Billy Butler missed one game last Tuesday against Detroit and left fielder Alex Gordon was ill during the weekend at Chicago.
Butler returned to the lineup but Gordon, though recovered, was shut down along with right fielder Jeff Francoeur to give callups Jarrod Dyson and Lorenzo Cain some playing time.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam Holt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.