Royals players support MLB's action on PEDs
Shields feels suspensions signal program is working to catch violators
KANSAS CITY -- Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hadn't been paying much attention to the announcements on Monday involving suspensions that were handed down to 13 players by Major League Baseball. He went about his normal routine and said that's the best thing they can do.
"I think everyone is excited that it's finally official and we can move on from it," Hosmer said. "Baseball's a great game and fans just want to go out and watch baseball, and we just want to go out and just play baseball. Hopefully, we can just put all this stuff behind us and just go play the game."
MLB on Monday suspended 13 players as a result of the league's Biogenesis investigation. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez received the stiffest penalty -- a 211-game ban without pay through the end of the 2014 regular season. Rodriguez, 38, has appealed the suspension, which is to begin Thursday. His case will be heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Rodriguez's discipline, MLB said in its written announcement, is based on his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone, over the course of multiple years. Rodriguez's discipline under the basic agreement is for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to "obstruct and frustrate" the investigation.
RULES FOR SUSPENDED PLAYERS
|What they can't do:|
|Cannot receive pay|
|Cannot participate in Arizona Fall League|
|Cannot participate in Postseason games|
|Cannot be elected or selected to the All-Star Game (if player is suspended during the offseason, Spring Training, or championship season prior to the All-Star Game)|
|What they can do:|
|Can participate in Spring Training and extended spring training|
|Can participate in affiliated Winter League games|
|Can work out with the club|
|Can participate in batting practice before the gates open before a game|
|Can consent to an assignment to a Minor League affiliate for a period of time prescribed under Section 7.H.2 of the Joint Drug Program|
The other players who were handed 50-game suspensions include Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, Mariners catcher Jesus Montero, Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo and recently demoted Mets utilityman Jordany Valdespin. Minor Leaguers Fernando Martinez, Jordan Norberto, Fautino de los Santos, Cesar Puello and Sergio Escalona were also suspended.
"You like to see the commissioner's office and everyone cleaning the game up, but you never like to see anyone get suspended," designated hitter Billy Butler said. "Just like anybody else, I've played baseball my whole life and thought it was the best thing ever since I can remember playing it and I still think that to this day. When you hear stuff like this mentioned it takes a little bit away from baseball, but you realize there's a lot of people and players in baseball that do it the right way."
For veterans like Butler and pitcher James Shields, the latest suspensions are a positive sign that the system is effective.
"I'm just glad that it's over with and they're getting the situation handled," Shields said. "MLB is doing a great job with what they're doing. As a player it makes you feel good that the drug prevention program is working. We've got to clean up baseball."
Salvy still resting, scheduled for more tests
KANSAS CITY -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez, on the seven-day disabled list with a low-grade concussion, spent most of Monday resting at home, but was to undergo tests later at Kauffman Stadium.
"They'll check his impact tests and see if he's making progress. Once the headache's gone and he's not symptomatic anymore, then they'll start allowing him to do some light exercises," manager Ned Yost said.
Perez was struck in the mask in Saturday night's 12-inning, 4-3 win over the Mets in at Citi Field, latest in a series of blows he's taken in the chin and jaw recently.
"It's just a freak deal," Yost said. "That mask actually has more padding than any other mask you can get. It makes it more shock-absorbent. He just got hit in the wrong place."
Perez sustained a cut chin on July 24 against the Orioles.
"Nick [Kenney, head trainer] said it hit so hard it split the skin. It wasn't the mask," Yost said. "It's like a boxer getting punched in the jaw and that's where he got it, right in the jaw."
Two days later, Perez took another shot at Chicago.
"I'm hoping it's going to be seven days, but Corey Koskie played for me in Milwaukee and dove for a ball, it didn't look like much and it ended his career," Yost said. "So, I've learned to treat these things very, very carefully."
Right fielder David Lough, who left Sunday's game at New York with a tight right quadriceps, was out of Monday night's lineup against the Twins and will probably sit on Tuesday night as well.
"He's not playing today and there's a lefty [Justin Albers] going tomorrow so I'm probably not going to play him because I've got [Justin] Maxwell now," Yost said.
Second baseman Chris Getz, on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee sprain, was scheduled to join Triple-A Omaha at Salt Lake City and play Monday and Tuesday. He's eligible to come off the DL next Monday.
Davis dealing with death of his step brother
KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Wade Davis' step brother, Dustin Huguley, 25, has passed away, the Royals confirmed on Monday.
Davis left the team on Saturday night in New York and went to Florida.
"We're letting him deal with this right now," manager Ned Yost said. "He and his brother were very close in age, they grew up together and literally they were best friends as well as step-brothers. This has been very tough on him."
The Royals observed a moment of silence in memory of Huguley prior to Monday night's game at Kauffman Stadium.
Davis was scheduled to pitch for the Royals against the Twins on Wednesday night. He is currently on the family emergency list, replaced on the roster by pitcher Will Smith.
Hosmer, Holland earn Royals honors for July
KANSAS CITY -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was named the Majestic Royals Player of the Month and Greg Holland was tabbed as the club's Pitcher of the Month for July.
Hosmer led the team in hits, runs, doubles, RBIs and slugging percentage, and was tied for the team lead in home runs. He batted .324 and led all Major League first basemen with 34 hits. He recorded 13 multi-hit games and logged his third career multi-homer game on July 24 against Baltimore. It is Hosmer's second consecutive Player of the Month honor.
Holland appeared in the All-Star Game and converted all 11 of his save opportunities in July on the way to his third straight Pitcher of the Month award. He had a 0.82 ERA and led the Majors in saves while being tied for eighth among American League relievers with 15 strikeouts.
Broussard, Stumpf earn KC Minors awards
KANSAS CITY -- Ben Broussard of Triple-A Omaha and Daniel Stumpf of Class A Lexington took home Royals Minor League Offensive Player and Pitcher of the Week honors, respectively, for the week ending Aug. 4.
Broussard, a first baseman for Omaha, finished the week batting .464 (13-for-28) with three doubles, a homer, five RBIs and seven runs in seven games. He's batting .299 through 27 games with the Storm Chasers.
Stumpf pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with five strikeouts in a win against the Rome Braves. The lefty is 9-7 with a 2.86 ERA through 20 starts for the Legends.
Royals continue to increase FOX TV ratings
KANSAS CITY -- Entering Monday, the Royals had won 11 of their last 12 games and they're shattering television ratings in the process. Sunday's win against the New York Mets broke the FOX Sports Kansas City record -- averaging a 9.7 household rating in the Kansas City market according to The Nielsen Co.
The game peaked at a 12.2 rating (114,000 households) and 24 share. It was the most-watched TV program of the weekend in Kansas City. The Boulevard Royals Live postgame show also set a new record earning a 6.3 rating.
"I want our fans excited about what we're doing, but I think it is exciting," manager Ned Yost said. "If you look at the TV ratings, you'll see that the interest is way up on what we're doing. It's just important to play winning baseball all of the time. And I know we haven't done it in a long time and we just want to continue it, that's all."
Royals telecasts are averaging a 6.1 rating, up 54 percent since last season.
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.