8/22/2013 12:55 A.M. ET
Maxwell learning all about Kauffman's quirks
Outfielder working on how to play defense in his new home stadium
By Dick Kaegel and Kathleen Gier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Justin Maxwell has been with the Royals since July 31, but he's still getting used to the quirks of the Kauffman Stadium outfield through extra work with first-base and outfield coach Rusty Kuntz.
"There's a lot of room, so you don't have to worry about the wall or anything," Maxwell said. "The only thing in right field is that the ball kind of rides the wall if there's a ball down the line, but I'm out there early with Rusty every day trying to figure it out."
Kuntz has helped him on the road too when Maxwell visits a new stadium like he did in Detroit at the Tigers' spacious Comerica Park.
"I'd never played there, so he brought me out there early and we got to work down the line and sure enough, in the game, a ball just like we'd practiced happened so I was prepared," Maxwell said. "He definitely knows what he's doing and I'm thankful for all the knowledge that I'm getting."
Going into Wednesday night's game against the White Sox, Maxwell was batting .389 through 15 games with the Royals with three doubles, one triple, three home runs and seven RBIs. He's made the majority of his starts in right field.
Royals enjoy their camping trip to Arrowhead
KANSAS CITY -- A group of Royals players ventured across the parking lot at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday to visit the Kansas City Chiefs during their training camp at Arrowhead Stadium.
"It was pretty awesome for our first time going over there to watch the guys practice, watching the big boys out there," center fielder Jarrod Dyson said. "It was a really intense practice, without hitting, but they were going from drill to drill with no break."
According to Royals vice president of communications and broadcasting Mike Swanson, Dyson, Eric Hosmer, James Shields, David Lough, Mike Moustakas, Billy Butler, Aaron Crow, Louis Coleman, Greg Holland and clubhouse attendant Jake Vanoeveren made the trip. They brought a jersey to give Chiefs coach Andy Reid and the Chiefs sent back a helmet for Royals manager Ned Yost.
For Dyson, the visit brought back a memory from his high school football days where he was tackled by current Chiefs defensive lineman Jerrell Powe, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 331 pounds.
"He was pretty fast, he played nose guard and was 300 and something pounds, and ran a 4.8," Dyson said. "He made a play on me and I was pretty shocked he made the play. I went back and saw it on film, he ran straight through our center to get to me. He's pretty athletic if you ask me."
Dyson said he's hoping to create a more lasting connection with the Royals' neighbors in the Truman Sports Complex.
"We tell them all the time, 'If you want to come over, let us know,'" Dyson said. "Andy Reid did a great job of letting us go over there and review practice with them and see how things ran over there."
Royals seeking some offensive assistance
KANSAS CITY -- After a 19-5 start following the All-Star break, the Royals have dropped seven of their last nine games and the offense is stalling. Kansas City has scored just 18 runs in nine games and batted .224 (68-for-304) as a group.
"Offensively, we haven't had a year that I think we anticipated having," manager Ned Yost said. "We felt that this was a really good offensive team, a doubles team that was athletic, that could run, that could create scoring opportunities for us. But we just, for some reason all year long, never hit a stride that we anticipated hitting out of Spring Training."
The Royals have scored three runs or fewer in eight of their previous nine games with two shutouts in that span.
"Our club is not a club that is going to pound you into oblivion offensively. We're not going to win games, 9-1," Yost said. "If we're going to score runs, it's got to be team oriented. We've got to get guys on, get guys over and get guys in. we don't have one guy that's capable of carrying us for an extended period of time.
"You've got to almost fall back and appreciate the fact that you've got nine guys that are going to make this happen and everybody has a role. We've got guy that really need to focus just on getting on base and then we've got guys that are run producers, and they're focus has got to be driving those guys in."
The Royals are also struggling with runners in scoring position, where they are batting .118 (9-for-76) in the last nine games and just 2-for-21 in the last three.
"They don't have to be real pretty, but they've got to be prettier than they are now," Yost said. "I don't mind winning games 3-2, 2-1 as long we're winning games. When we're losing games 2-0, 2-1, we've got to find something."
Duffy struggles as Omaha drops Triple-A tilt
KANSAS CITY -- Left-hander Danny Duffy had a rough outing on Wednesday night for Triple-A Omaha, but avoided the loss as the Storm Chasers dropped a 6-5 decision to New Orleans.
Duffy gave up back-to-back singles and one walk in the top of the sixth inning to load the bases before Francisley Bueno took over. All three runs scored and Duffy finished with four runs (two earned) on seven hits, three walks and eight strikeouts in five innings. He threw 98 pitches -- 64 for strikes.
Duffy, who has made two Major League starts this season for the Royals, is 3-0 with a 4.08 ERA in 12 games and 10 starts for Omaha.
Chen, Davis switch rotation spots for Nats
KANSAS CITY -- Royals manager Ned Yost altered his projected pitching rotation, flipping the assignments for left-hander Bruce Chen and right-hander Wade Davis.
Chen will start Friday night's series opener against Washington instead of Davis, who will start Saturday night's game. That positions Chen behind right-hander James Shields in the five-man rotation.
"I just want a lefty behind Shields. Now's the time to do it," Yost said, declining further explanation.
Johnson claimed off waivers by Braves
KANSAS CITY -- Former Royals infielder Elliot Johnson on Wednesday was claimed off unconditional release waivers by the Atlanta Braves.
Johnson, who was acquired in the offseason trade that brought Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City from Tampa Bay, was designated for assignment last Thursday to make room for outfielder Emilio Bonifacio, who was acquired in a trade with Toronto. Johnson played in 79 games for the Royals and batted .179 with two home runs.
Johnson is set to join the Braves on Thursday in St. Louis.
"I know he's a good player," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I know we had a chance to get him off waivers. He's a guy that gives us some depth in the infield -- a guy that can steal you a base, switch-hitter."
Johnson gives the Braves another infielder after Tyler Pastornicky, who was supposed to be Atlanta's second baseman while Dan Uggula is on the disabled list, sustained a season-ending knee injury last Wendesday.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Kathleen Gier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.