Notes: Shealy leaves sick bed, homers

Notes: Shealy leaves sick bed, homers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Ryan Shealy had been waiting a week for this date. He'd been in sick bay for most of that time, so Shealy knew he needed to get back on the field.

He did just that Wednesday.

Manager Trey Hillman started Shealy at first base against the Giants.

"I'm excited to get back out there and just play," he said.

Playing is something Shealy, 28, knows he needs to do these days. He'd missed the end of last season with a hamstring injury, so spending time in bed with the flu isn't the sort of thing that will help him win a roster spot.

"I think I'm in a good place now," he said. "The flu bug was something that was going around our clubhouse, and a few guys got it. You know, it was unfortunate, but I feel fine now; I'm back ready to play."

Shealy proved how ready in his first at-bat. He homered.

"He hit it pretty good," Hillman said. "He went with the pitch and got it on the good part of the bat. Hopefully, I can get him up and running after his sickness."

The stretch and the ...: Right-hander Hideo Nomo, who pitched three scoreless innings Wednesday, has put his funky windup in cold storage and is pitching full time from the stretch.

"I'm comfortable with it, because it has less stress on the elbow," Nomo said through an interpreter.

Nomo went to pitching from the stretch in hopes it would gave him better command of his pitches, Hillman said.

"At his age, he may be thinking that it's a lot more important where I locate the pitch than it is that I try to throw the ball 92 or 93 miles an hour," Hillman said. "He's not throwing the ball 92, 93 miles an hour anymore."

But what the 39-year-old Nomo is doing isn't uncommon among starting pitchers in Japan, where Hillman managed for five seasons.

"Personally, I think it's a smart decision," Hillman said.

Spring Training
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Spring Training info: coverage  |  Schedule  |  Ballpark  |  Tickets

Names the same: Doesn't having two men named "Ryan Braun" in the Major Leagues lead to, well, some confusion?

Yes, said Ryan Braun the Royals pitcher.

"I get sent to me his stuff," said the Royals' Ryan Braun of the other Ryan Braun, the Brewers outfielder/third baseman. "[Yesterday] I signed some autographs. Somebody handed me one of my cards and one of his, so I just signed 'em both. I'll let them figure it out on their own."

Braun said the mixed-up identification doesn't bother him, because none of it is unrelated to what he's done in baseball.

"So I don't mind it," he said. "If he was a bad person, I wouldn't wanna be confused with him. But he seems like a good guy."

Nice work: Gil Meche pitched well in his three-inning outing. He threw 31 pitches and gave up two hits and no runs.

"He felt good; he looked good," Hillman said. "His stuff is getting sharper."

Meche, the winning pitcher in the 3-1 win over the Giants, was so effective that had to go to the Royals bullpen to finish his day's work. He liked how his outing went.

"I got a lot of ground balls, which was good to see," Meche said. "I'd liked to get to that time where I could get to two strikes and put a guy away when I need to, but when nobody's on base, putting the ball in play isn't a bad thing either."

Did you know: Some records in baseball are just painful, but probably none is more painful than holding the top spot on the any team's list for being hit by a pitch. Catcher Mike Macfarlane holds that record for the Royals. In his 11 seasons in Kansas City, the light-hitting Macfarlane took a pitch for the team 78 times. His total is four more than Hal McRae's.

Odds 'n' ends: The Royals have scheduled three "B" games, and the first of those games is Friday against the Rangers. Hillman said he doesn't plan to make any roster decisions until after those three games (Sunday and March 13 are the other dates) are completed. ... David DeJesus has an .833 on-base percentage in the first week of Cactus League play. ... Infielder Alberto Callaspo got his first start in center field.

Up next: The Royals meet the Diamondbacks in Surprise, Ariz., on Thursday. Right-hander Zack Greinke will start, and he'll face Arizona right-hander Dan Haren. Hillman has also penciled in Joakim Soria, Leo Nunez and Yasuhiko Yabuta for duty.

Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.