October Confidential: Royals

Rival players offer inside look at facing the AL champs

October Confidential: Royals

How do you beat the Royals? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the repeat American League champions.

Yordano Ventura
"He's got an electric arm. The kid throws hard and you just have to try to rattle his cage quick. You don't want him settling in and getting on the same page with [catcher Salvador Perez], because then it becomes no fun for the hitter."
-- AL infielder

Edinson Volquez
"He's a guy who battles and doesn't really give in. He's got plus offspeed pitches. Every time you face him, you start to realize a little better how good every pitch is."
-- AL catcher

"He's improved every year that I've seen him in the Major Leagues as far as command and his ability to stay composed. He mixes in two plus offspeed pitches to go with his fastball. He's very effective."
-- AL Central infielder

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 27 KC 5, NYM 4 (14)
Gm 2 Oct. 28 KC 7, NYM 1
Gm 3 Oct. 30 NYM 9, KC 3
Gm 4 Oct. 31 KC 5, NYM 3
Gm 5 Nov. 1 KC 7, NYM 2 (12)

Johnny Cueto
"I'd actually compare him a lot to Volquez. They're both guys that have pretty good secondary pitches and are also able to get you out with their fastball. The only difference with Cueto is that he switches his motion every time he does his windup. He tricks a lot of people. He's got a different windup every time."
-- AL catcher

"I think he's a little tired, worn out, but he's a smart pitcher. He knows how to get guys out, whether he's striking guys out or not. He has a good game plan. Hopefully the playoffs will give him some energy and let him perform at the level you usually see him at."
-- AL Central infielder

Wade Davis
"Try to hit the first pitch he throws. You might have a slightly better shot, but not much. He's a really tough guy. He's got plus pitches. Pretty much everything he's got, he's going to come right at you. He doesn't mess around. He's going to come right at you with everything he's got."
-- AL catcher

Danny Duffy
"He's got a live fastball. He's going to come at you with everything he has from the first pitch when he gets out there. He's a competitor, so you've got to try to get to him quick. Don't let him settle in."
-- AL infielder

Kelvin Herrera
"Close your eyes and swing. No, I'm kidding. But be ready for that live fastball. You know it's coming in at close to 100 mph. You've just got to be ready for it and adjust to his offspeed."
-- AL infielder

Ryan Madson
"I don't know if he threw his sinker or two-seamer as much back in Philly as he does now, but it's been pretty effective for him. He's made some good adjustments. He's got his velocity back. He was kind of like straight fastball-changeup [before]. Now he's got a little cutter, he's got a two-seamer and a changeup."  
-- AL Central infielder

Eric Hosmer
"Really, he can change a game with one swing. I think he's probably one of their more complete hitters. He's a guy who can just drive the ball the other way for a single or a double, and then he can also, if you mess up or do something wrong, change the game with one swing."
-- AL catcher

Lorenzo Cain
"He's a guy who, even being a three-hole hitter this year -- I think he's got career highs in homers -- is still a guy that's going to change a game with his legs and cover a ton of ground in the outfield."
-- AL catcher

Mike Moustakas
"The big thing is he's used the whole field this year. He's really driven the ball to the gaps. He's always been a really good fastball hitter, but by staying to the bigger part of the field, he's been able to sit on offspeed pitches a lot better. At the beginning of the season, we were shifting him. The last series, we couldn't really shift on him."
-- AL Central catcher

Alex Gordon
"He's one of the best hitters in the league. He's a guy who can play small ball, and a guy who can drive the ball out of the ballpark. He's not your prototypical big power hitter, but he's also not your prototypical leadoff guy. He's kind of a blend of the two."
-- AL Central catcher

Salvador Perez
"He's a very aggressive hitter. If you make a mistake, he doesn't miss. We have our game plans against him, but with him, you can make a phenomenal pitch and he can still hurt you. He's got some real pull-side power and he hits offspeed pitches in the zone."
-- AL Central catcher

Kendrys Morales
"He's obviously a good RBI guy. Against us he had a lot of very key at-bats driving in runs. Driving in 100 runs with 20-some home runs, he's getting RBIs from more than just home runs. He's definitely a guy you don't want to face with runners in scoring position."
-- AL Central catcher

Ben Zobrist
"Huge acquisition for the Royals. I really think he's been a great addition to their lineup. Hitting in the two-hole, he's a guy who will have a quality at-bat every time he steps up there. He's going to move a guy over, he's going to drive a ball in the gap. He can hurt you with the long ball. But overall, he's that tough out. No matter how you pitch him, he's going to find a way to battle, find a way to put the bat on the ball."
-- AL Central catcher

"He definitely adjusts to patterns. He understands the way he's getting pitched. He understands the situation. Maybe there's a guy on second, nobody out, and he's gotta pull the ball if he's hitting left-handed or he's gotta go the other way hitting right-handed. His numbers might not always show the quality at-bats that he puts together."
-- AL Central infielder