KC, the DH and Volquez news
Greetings from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City — one of the few ballparks from the 1960s and 70s that was built right (actually opened in 1973). During my American League days, this was one of my preferred places to visit. The sightlines are great, the field always looks good and of course, there are the fountains. When the weather is pleasant, it’s a nice way to watch baseball.
“It was big but it was pretty,” said Reds manager Dusty Baker, who last visited here in 1986.
The Reds last played here in 1999, and a power outage during the series opener forced a doubleheader.
The ‘K’ as it’s known, underwent a major $220 million renovation that was finished before this season. Although the grassy knolls in the outfield are gone — it looks fantastic. The video scoreboard is massive and they have the LED scoreboard in the fences also. The only complaint is they moved the press box a few floors up but it’s really nice.
“This field is way ahead of its time,” said Jonny Gomes, who played here often as a member of the Rays. “They just did that stuff in the outfield and guys think this park is brand new. A lot of guys that come here for the first time don’t realize it’s old.”
Gomes is the Reds’ first designated hitter of the season in Friday’s game and Baker said he would DH again Saturday.
“There’s nothing better than having a good day at the yard DHing,” said Gomes. “You work about three minutes and 30 seconds in the whole thing. On the flip side, you go crazy. There’s nothing worse than a bad day at the yard DHing when you’re just sitting on all your at-bats. It goes both ways and evens itself out.”
Gomes had 229 games logged as a DH over his previous six seasons. He batted .219 (174-for-794) as a DH but hit 33 of his 66 career home runs and drove in 108 runs in that spot.
Willy Taveras, in a career high 0-for-24 slump, was back in the leadoff spot again. Baker said it was because Taveras had experience playing the Royals in past years during Interleague play. However, Taveras was 0-for-4 in his previous meeting against KC starter Luke Hochevar.
RHP Edinson Volquez (elbow tendintis) threw for the first time on Thursday back in Cincinnati since he went back on the DL on June 1. Volquez long tossed, throwing 25 balls at a distance of 60 feet. Volquez, who saw medical director Dr. Tim Kremchek on Wednesday, was scheduled to throw again on Friday.
“He’ll probably take a couple of days and when we get back, we’ll see where we are as far as getting him on a mound,” pitching coach Dick Pole said. “We’ll see how he feels when we get back. He said he’s had no problem with his elbow, his forearm – nothing. He felt fine.”
3B Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist chip fracture) was slated to take batting practice on Friday. It was to be his first hitting since having a setback with soreness last weekend.
Hello, Bad Boy:
As expected, there was a Steve Stewart sighting here. Stewart, the Reds’ former radio voice, now does Royals games. Stewart is going to join Marty Brennaman in the booth for the second inning tonight. No doubt, Marty will light up his old partner a few times for
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