PITTSBURGH -- Count Clint Robinson, getting his first taste of the Major Leagues after five-plus years in the Minors, as impressed.
Robinson was called up to join the Kansas City club from Triple-A Omaha where, among other things, getting up at 4 a.m. to catch commercial flights and staying in budget accommodations is routine. With the Royals, it's a charter flight to Pittsburgh, a first-class hotel downtown and an upscale clubhouse at picturesque PNC Park.
"That's why they call it the big leagues," Robinson said. "There's nothing minor about 'em."
In anticipation of his Major League debut, his wife Samantha, his dad Arney Robinson, mom and stepfather Tommy and Laurie Sanders, and brother Connor Robinson were in the stands for Friday night's game.
Robinson, a 6-foot-5 first baseman and designated hitter, was wearing uniform No. 25 and manager Ned Yost said he expected to keep him around for the coming Interleague series against Milwaukee, St. Louis and Houston.
The latter two series are on the road in National
League cities where pitchers hit and pinch-hitters are used more often.
Despite Robinson's impressive numbers in the Minors, his progress has been blocked because Eric Hosmer is established at first base and Billy Butler as the DH.
"He goes about it the right way," Yost said. "He doesn't complain, he keeps playing hard every day."
Yost called Robinson off the bench to pinch-hit for Humberto Quintero in the ninth inning on Friday night with the Royals trailing, 4-2, and Pirates closer Joel Hanrahan on the mound. His debut came as the Royals were down to their last out and 36,069 fans at PNC Park were thunderously chanting, "Let's go, Bucs!"
Robinson struck out swinging on three pitches.
"That's baseball," Robinson said. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere but right there. If you're going to be in this league, you've got to go through things like that and experience things like that. I relish those kinds of things. I wanted to be up at the plate at that time and I'm glad [Yost] gave me the opportunity. Hanrahan got the better of me that time and next time I'll try to get the better of him."