07/19/12 12:20 AM ET
Smith latest addition in Royals' rotation shuffle
Hochevar, Mendoza pushed back one day for starts in Minnesota series
By Vinnie Duber / MLB.com
The latest will be left-hander Will Smith, who was summoned from Triple-A Omaha to start the series finale with the Mariners on Thursday. A corresponding roster move will be made on Thursday.
Kansas City opted to push back the starts of Luke Hochevar, who will pitch in the series opener with Minnesota on Friday, and Luis Mendoza, now slated to pitch Saturday against the Twins. Lefty Everett Teaford will make his scheduled turn on Sunday.
Smith started three games for the Royals in late May and early June, going 1-2 with a 9.00 ERA. In the three starts, he logged a total of 14 innings and allowed six home runs. But Smith is looking forward to a second chance.
"I learned a lot [at Omaha]," Smith said. "This time was a little bit easier. You walk into the clubhouse, you've played with these guys before, not just in Spring Training. It's good to see everybody. You feel better about walking into the clubhouse now. Now you know what you have to do to win when you go out there."
Royals manager Ned Yost is seeking better performances from Smith, more in line with his second start against Cleveland this season, when Smith went six innings and allowed just two runs to earn his first big league win.
"He gave us a really good start against Cleveland. Started off rough in the first inning and then really settled in from that point. We're hoping he can keep his pitches down," Yost said. "The last couple of days, where we've gotten in trouble with [Seattle] has been on pitches up. At the big league level, you've got to command the ball down and on both corners of the plate. We're hoping that's what he'll be able to do, for the most part."
Kansas City's first two games with Seattle were marred by brief outings by starters Jonathan Sanchez and Ryan Verdugo. Neither is still on the roster.
"We have really struggled here the last couple of days, and we will continue until we get one or two or three good starts out of our starting rotation," Yost said. "We are poised for that to happen. We've got our three best starters with Bruce, Hoch, Mendoza coming up here in the next three out of four days to solidify this thing and put an end to it and stop it, and get our 'pen back on track. They're the veterans of the staff, if you will, and they need to take charge, step up and give us some good starts."
If all goes as scheduled, when Teaford -- who has twice pitched in relief since the All-Star break -- finally makes a start on Sunday, he'll be the seventh different Royals pitcher to start a game in seven days.
Yost plans to drop Hosmer down in lineup
KANSAS CITY -- Following another rough night at the plate, manager Ned Yost said he's going to drop struggling first baseman Eric Hosmer down in the Royals' lineup.
Hosmer is hitting just .222 on the season following an 0-for-5 effort in Wednesday's 8-7 win over the Mariners. He's just 2-for-22 on the current 10-game homestand.
"I think probably we'll move him down in the lineup a little bit and just try to take some pressure off him," Yost said after Wednesday's game. "We're trying to develop him in that [No. 3] spot, but we've got to get him going first, so we'll probably look to move him down in the lineup [Thursday] and kind of let him get settled in again, and go from there."
Hosmer has been batting third since July 2. His average at that time was .237 and he's batted just .160 since moving into the three-hole.
Hosmer came up in a big spot in the eighth on Wednesday. With the game tied at 7 and runners on first and third, he grounded into a forceout to end the the inning.
The Royals prevailed an inning later on Billy Butler's walk-off homer.
Royals earn first pick in new Draft Lottery
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals were big winners in Major League Baseball's first Competitive Balance Lottery, earning the first pick immediately following the first round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.
Results of the lottery, which was agreed upon as part of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, were announced Wednesday afternoon. The lottery was designed to give small-market and small-revenue teams additional Draft picks.
The 10 teams with the lowest revenues and the 10 teams in the smallest markets were eligible for the lottery, with odds of victory based on last season's winning percentage.
The Royals won the first pick in competitive balance Round A, which immediately follows the first round. Selecting after Kansas City in Round A will be the Pirates, D-backs, Orioles, Reds and Marlins. The Padres, Indians, Rockies, A's, Brewers and Tigers will select in competitive balance Round B, which immediately follows the second round.
Gordon receives special achievement award
KANSAS CITY -- The Kansas City Sports Commission has named Royals outfielder Alex Gordon as the recipient of its 2012 Special Achievement Award for Professional Athletes.
The commission honored Gordon for his career year in 2011. The award was designed to help encourage professional sports teams to promote teamwork, sportsmanship and education.
Local cable channel Metro Sports is producing a television special highlighting the award winners which will air on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT. Gordon has recorded a video to be used in the special.
Saturday's game between the Royals and Twins will be Salute to the Negro Leagues day at Kauffman Stadium. The teams will don throwback uniforms honoring the Kansas City Monarchs and the St. Paul Colored Gophers. The first 20,000 fans in attendance will receive a Buck O'Neil bobblehead doll.
The Royals surpassed the one-million attendance mark Wednesday night with a crowd of 17,312 to see them take on the Mariners. Through 43 home games, the Royals have drawn 1,003,911 fans to Kauffman Stadium.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.