KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are playing better baseball of late, and one factor contributing to the recent success is the improved leadoff hitting of Jarrod Dyson.
Although he started the season in the Minor Leagues, Dyson has started in center field in every game since April 29. Since then, he's hit .311 with a .394 on-base percentage. He's also walked eight times, stolen four bases and scored 15 runs.
The team's record since then? 10-6.
"I've been going out and just trying to keep the ball out of the air," Dyson said. "When I'm in the box, I just try to see as many pitches as possible, get good pitches to hit. And I always try to tell myself, 'Make sure to get a quality at-bat. Don't just go up there and throw at-bats away.'"
It's been a change in approach that Royals manager Ned Yost said has contributed to Dyson's success.
"He's never been this sort of hitter before, but he's made an adjustment," Yost said. "When he left Spring Training, we told him what he needed to do, and he's bought into it. His adjustments are the difference between him being in Triple-A and the big leagues right now. Having a lot of success at the big league level, he's starting to understand what his tools are and use them to the best of his ability. He's doing a great job of it."
Dyson's labor yielded fruit on Tuesday, when he scored three runs in the Royals' 7-4 win over the Rangers. The leadoff man was quick to give credit to his teammates.
"I've been scoring because of them," Dyson said. "They put the ball in play. I can't just do it by myself. Getting on base is really huge. They're doing a great job of getting me in, hopefully we can keep that going."
Myers, Odorizzi move up to Triple-A
KANSAS CITY -- Two of the Royals' Top 20 prospects are quickly moving through the system.
The Royals announced Wednesday that pitcher Jake Odorizzi and outfielder Wil Myers were promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas to Triple-A Omaha. Before the season, Myers and Odorizzi were ranked the Royals' Nos. 2 and 4 top prospects, respectively.
Odorizzi, 22, posted a 4-2 record and a 3.32 ERA in seven starts with the Naturals this season. He came to the Royals as a part of the trade that sent pitcher Zack Greinke to the Brewers prior to last season. Omaha will be the third team in two seasons in the Royals system for Odorizzi. Over that time, Odorizzi has totaled a 14-9 record and a 3.65 ERA and 204 strikeouts.
"He's ready for the next challenge," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "He's ready to face more advanced hitters. It's important for us to get him going.
"When we came into the season, we wanted to script it out so at least by June, hopefully, he'd be in Triple-A and give him three solid months at the Triple-A level. We can evaluate where he fits into our plans in 2013."
Myers, 21, departs the Texas League as perhaps its best offensive player this season. His .343 batting average, .731 slugging percentage and 1.146 OPS all led the league.
Myers hit 13 home runs in 35 games with the Naturals, already five ahead of his total from last season. The Royals drafted Myers as a catcher in the third round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft. Since then, he has moved to the outfield, and he also played some third base with Northwest Arkansas this season.
In four seasons in the Royals' system, Myers has hit .302, with a .401 on-base percentage. He's also hit 40 home runs and racked up 180 RBIs.
"He spent a full year in Double-A and he's proven that he's done well at that level," said Scott Sharp, the Royals' director of Minor League operations. "We just felt like his bat was ready to be tested and it would be good for him to be in a Triple-A lineup, where he has some guys in front of him and some guys behind him.
"He had gone into the second or third time through the league lineup. He was starting to repeat teams. They were just going to pitch him a lot differently and really not give him enough to hit. We just felt like it'd be better for his development, and he proved that he should be at a higher level."
Sharp said he wasn't at all surprised in the uptick in Myers' power numbers.
"Last year was such an odd year for him," Sharp said. "Second full season, he's in Double-A. He gets injured. He never gets traction. So whatever he did last year, you just kind of chalk up for being poor circumstances.
"He has tremendous power. For as much hype as that league gets for being an offensive league, the ballparks are pretty neutral. He just has tremendous power. If he gets pitches that he can drive, he can hit any ball out of any spot in the ballpark."
According to Sharp, the promotion for both players had as much to do as the schedule as it did with baseball. With Omaha returning from a trip to the West Coast and having a scheduled off day, he said the timing was perfect for the players to get settled in their new city.
Rotation unsettled heading into weekend
KANSAS CITY -- If you take a look at the probable pitchers for the Royals next few games, you might wonder who this "TBA" fellow is, and why he's pitching twice during this weekend's series with the Diamondbacks.
The Royals have yet to officially announce which pitchers will be making the starts on Friday and Sunday, but before Wednesday's game against the Orioles, manager Ned Yost shed some light on the subject.
"We've kind of been going day to day with our pitching," Yost said. "If everything holds to form, we'll probably go [Luis] Mendoza on Friday and give [Vin Mazzaro] another shot on Sunday. We'll see how it works out."
It doesn't sound like Yost has that etched in stone, but Mendoza and Mazzaro will be the favorites to take those spots in the rotation, which were vacated by Jonathan Sanchez and Danny Duffy, both currently on the disabled list.
Mendoza started the season in the rotation, but he moved to the bullpen upon the return of Felipe Paulino to the team. Mendoza's last outing came on Sunday against the White Sox, when he relieved the injured Duffy, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball and picking up the win.
Mazzaro has appeared in two games since being called up from Triple-A Omaha, including a start Tuesday against the Rangers. He allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings, earning the win.
Yost did say that there is one Royals pitcher who won't be starting a game anytime soon: Aaron Crow. Crow was considered for a spot in the rotation in Spring Training, but he has pitched the entirety of this season as a reliever, performing well as the team's setup man. Yost said there are plenty of pitchers in Triple-A that the team can go to if needed.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.