Royals still in talking stages near Deadline
Santana rumors have cooled since club's recent surge to .500 mark
MINNEAPOLIS -- It appeared to be all quiet on the Royals' front as the clock ticked toward the non-waiver Trade Deadline at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday.
"It can develop fast, but nothing really going on right now," manager Ned Yost said before Tuesday's series opener against the Twins. "Talking, but not much action."
There was no pulling of his starting pitcher, Ervin Santana, from Tuesday night's start against the Twins as had happened elsewhere with two other trade candidates. The White Sox scratched Jake Peavy from his start at Cleveland and the Astros did the same with Bud Norris at Baltimore.
Speculation about dealing Santana has simmered and cooled since the Royals came out of the All-Star break with an 8-2 surge that, going into the Minnesota series, left them at the .500 mark and just five games out in the American League Wild Card race.
The Royals have had just one winning season, 2003, in the previous 18 years so the latest hot streak has roused interest anew in Kansas City.
Pitching is the focal point of most teams so Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar supposedly have sparked some interest. As of Sunday, Chen was 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA and had made three impressive starts since coming out of the bullpen; Hochevar had a string of 14 consecutive scoreless innings going and a 1.80 ERA in his first year of relief.
The Royals presumably are looking for a second baseman with offensive impact and the Angels' Howie Kendrick (.298, 11 homers, 43 RBIs) reportedly is available. The Angels want Major League-ready, cost-controllable pitching.
Kendrick is signed for two more years at $9.35 million for 2014 and $9.5 million for 2015. He also currently has a no-trade provision that excludes 12 clubs. Could one be the Royals?
Cain, Getz get extra day to rest leg injuries
MINNEAPOLIS -- Royals manager Ned Yost decided to buy some more time with the leg injuries of second baseman Chris Getz and center fielder Lorenzo Cain, keeping them out of the starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Twins.
Getz has a sore left knee, result of twisting it trying to field a ground ball in the outfield grass by the Tigers' Prince Fielder on July 20 and then getting banged by the White Sox's sliding Adam Dunn at second base a week later on Saturday.
"He slipped in the outfield, then he got crushed by Adam Dunn breaking up the double play," Yost said.
Getz started four games between the two incidents.
"It was a rough, rough week for the left knee," Getz said. "It's feeling better now. Obviously having the day off yesterday helped get a lot of the inflammation out so we're kind of day to day, but we've progressed so far."
Dunn got him in the ninth inning of Saturday's 1-0 victory at Chicago.
"He pretty much put me in the outfield," Getz said. "It happens. It's part of the job turning a double play."
Cain banged up his left groin, also in Saturday's game, crashing into the center-field wall at Chicago as he caught a deep drive. Cain had a similar injury early in 2012 at Oakland, keeping him out for a long period, so the Royals are being cautious.
"He feels absolutely nothin' doing nothin', which is good," Yost said. "Now, I want to get him out and have him run around a little bit. We've got the benefit of an extra day which we can give him with [Jarrod] Dyson and [David] Lough. If he feels nothing, he can pinch-hit later in the game, go in and play defense or whatever, and be back in there tomorrow."
Dyson played center field and Lough was in right field. Miguel Tejada took Getz's spot at second base.
Royals reap overtime rewards with homers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Working overtime has paid off big for the Royals this year. When they beat the White Sox in 12 innings on Sunday, their extra-inning record improved to 7-1.
Home runs played a significant role in three of those victories. Alex Gordon's two-run homer provided the 4-2 victory on Sunday at Chicago. And it was Gordon whose grand slam provided the last four runs in the 10th inning of an 8-3 win on April 25 at Detroit.
Lorenzo Cain's two-out, two-run homer in the ninth inning on June 12 against the Tigers sent the game into extra innings and the Royals won in the 10th, 3-2, at Kansas City.
Gordon's blast on Sunday came as he was battling a 4-for-36 skid and, after the game, he was asked if that blow could be a slump-buster.
"Who cares? We won the game," Gordon said. "One hit is fine with me as long as we won the game."
Fletcher goes yard in Storm Chasers debut
MINNEAPOLIS -- Left fielder Brian Fletcher hit a home run in his first game with Triple-A Omaha after being promoted from Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Fletcher's blast came in his second at-bat in the Storm Chasers' 4-2 loss to Nashville. He was coming off a .481 week that included four home runs and 10 RBIs for the Naturals, earning Texas League Player of the Week honors.
Right-hander Aaron Brooks' four-hit shutout of Arkansas won the Texas League Pitcher of the Week award. Other awards went to Class A Lexington right-hander Christian Binford, South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week, and Rookie Burlington first baseman Sam Bates, Appalachian League Player of the Week.
Gregg set to serve as hitting coach in AFL
MINNEAPOLIS -- Tommy Gregg, hitting coach for the Royals' Triple-A club at Omaha, will be the hitting coach for the Peoria Javelinas in the Arizona Fall League.
The Royals will stock the Peoria team along with the Astros, Phillies, Padres and Mariners. The season will begin on Oct. 8 and conclude with a championship game on Nov. 16 at Scottsdale Stadium. The annual Fall Stars game will be played on Nov. 2 at Surprise Stadium.
Gregg is in his fifth season as Storm Chasers coach and joined the Kansas City organization in 2007. He previously coached in the St. Louis and Atlanta farm systems.
An outfielder and first baseman, Gregg played in the Major Leagues with the Pirates, Braves, Reds and Marlins. He was a member of the Braves' National League pennant-winning teams in 1991-92.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.