08/30/12 1:00 AM ET
Royals make AFL, instructional assignments
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
Seven players were named to compete for the Surprise Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League: Pitchers Edwin Carl, Jon Keck and Justin Marks; infielders Alex McClure and Orlando Calixte; infielder-outfielder Whit Merrifield and outfielder Brian Fletcher.
Calixte will be on the "taxi squad," eligible to play only Wednesdays and Saturdays. Fletcher was designated the Royals' "priority player," meaning he's assured maximum playing time.
The Royals will add another pitcher to the roster before the AFL season begins on Oct. 9. The schedule concludes with the championship game on Nov. 17.
A list of 82 players for the Arizona instructional league at Surprise was announced, half of them pitchers.
Included were the Royals' top Draft pick of 2011, outfielder Bubba Starling, and their last three second-round picks, pitcher Sam Selman (2012), catcher Cameron Gallagher (2011) and outfielder Brett Eibner (2010).
Workouts will begin on Sept. 17. A 23-game schedule will run from Sept. 24 through Oct. 19.
Player development contracts with two Rookie classification teams, Idaho Falls and Burlington, N.C., were extended through 2014.
The Idaho Falls Chukars have been in the organization since 2004 and the Burlington Royals since '07.
Chen joins Royals' select southpaw club
KANSAS CITY -- By chalking up his 10th victory on Wednesday night, Bruce Chen became the first Royals left-hander to post double-digit win totals in three consecutive years since Charlie Leibrandt in 1984-88.
Other Royals lefties who won 10 or more in at least three consecutive seasons were Bud Black, 1983-85; Larry Gura, 1978-84, and Paul Splittorff (twice), 1976-80 and 1972-74.
The 1-0 victory over the Tigers was the Royals' third such win this season and the 54th 1-0 win in franchise history.
Chen's four strikeouts put him just six shy of 1,000 in his career.
Duffy, Paulino join Royals for team photo op
KANSAS CITY -- Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy, key members of the Royals' pitching rotation this season until they underwent Tommy John surgery, were on hand for the snapping of the team photograph on Wednesday.
Both are doing daily rehabilitation work in the mornings at Kauffman Stadium.
"I had a choice to rehab here or in Arizona, and they let me come here and be a part of it with the guys," Duffy said. "It's good to be around everybody again."
Duffy says he plans to start throwing in November and Paulino won't be far behind.
"I plan right now for Dec. 1," Paulino said. "I'm about two weeks behind Duffy. We're trying to be back in May and June. We want to help, we want to be part of this team."
Royals will leave Omaha off first roster adds
KANSAS CITY -- Major League clubs can expand their rosters beginning on Saturday, but the Royals aren't likely to make many moves with Triple-A Omaha headed into postseason play.
The Storm Chasers (81-57) have clinched a playoff spot and will start the postseason on Sept. 5-6 at home. They won the Pacific Coast League championship last season.
"We don't want to take away from their chances of winning," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Last year we got players out of Omaha for six games and I hope that happens again. I hope they can go deep into the playoffs and can win it all like they did last year. We'll add a player or two -- maybe -- in September early and then just wait for them to get done."
The Storm Chasers have two of the Royals' top prospects in outfielder Wil Myers and pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
"Those guys have worked hard all year long, and then to get to the end of the year and take their best players doesn't make any sense to me," Yost said. "And winning a championship is probably a greater experience than coming up here and playing in the big leagues."
Frenchy's major slump leads to night off
KANSAS CITY -- Right fielder Jeff Francoeur, mired in a deep slump, was given Wednesday night off by Royals manager Ned Yost.
Francoeur, hitless in his last 18 at-bats, was in a 3-for-35, .086, swoon in his last 10 games with no extra-base hits and just one RBI.
Yost concedes the veteran, down to .232 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs after a .285/20/87 line last year, is probably pressing.
"I think there's some urgency to try to catch up all in one week which never works," Yost said.
Just how long Francoeur might sit will depend on the performances of Jarrod Dyson in center and Lorenzo Cain, who's moved over to right.
Yost makes right move to avoid Prince's bat
KANSAS CITY -- Manager Ned Yost took an unusual step to avoid the Tigers' Prince Fielder in the ninth inning of Tuesday night's game. He purposely walked Fielder, putting the potential winning run on base with the Royals ahead, 9-8.
"You've got [Miguel] Cabrera, Fielder and [Delmon] Young right there and it's a deadly trio," Yost said.
Closer Greg Holland fanned Cabrera for the second out with a runner at third base, but the Royals walked Fielder.
"Prince is not only a phenomenal offensive performer, he's as clutch as they come. He lives for those situations, he's extremely productive in those situations and I just wasn't going to face him right there," said Yost, who managed Fielder at Milwaukee.
"I think that's the second time in my career that I've put the winning run on in the ninth inning, but I was going to take my chances with Young."
Good choice. After narrowly missing a three-run homer on a drive so close to the right-field pole that umpires used video replay to verify it was foul, Young flied out to end the game.
Yost applauds the use of replay to get home-run calls right and favors expanding the system into other areas.
"I'm all for it. I know the Commissioner's studying it and they're taking it step by step. I quite frankly would," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.