October Confidential: Royals

Rival players offer inside look at facing the AL champions

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 AL champions.

James Shields
"His best pitch is his changeup. He'll throw that at any time in any count. You know he's going to battle. He's not going to give in or groove one over the plate to you. You have to worry about his cutter, his curveball and his changeup, basically. You just have to get him over the plate and get the ball. If you get that curveball or changeup down, you're going to have a tough time."
-- AL Central infielder

Jason Vargas
"He's another guy who is not going to give in. He has a good changeup. He'll kind of lull you to sleep nibbling. And then he'll throw you a cutter in to get you off the changeup. For me, I pick a side of the plate. If he has his cutter working, you just have to stay out over the plate and get the changeup up."
-- AL Central infielder

  Date     Recaps Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 21     SF 7, KC 1 video
Gm 2 Oct. 22     KC 7, SF 2 video
Gm 3 Oct. 24     KC 3, SF 2 video
Gm 4 Oct. 25     SF 11, KC 4 video
Gm 5 Oct. 26     SF 5, KC 0 video
Gm 6 Oct. 28     KC 10, SF 0 video
Gm 7 Oct. 29     SF 3, KC 2 video

Danny Duffy
"He has a great fastball and a great curveball. Another guy with a changeup. I think they like those over there. He's a guy you have to make throw strikes. He likes the fastball up and then will backdoor the curveball. So you have to get a fastball over the plate and be aggressive with that. His other stuff is pretty good."
-- AL Central infielder

Greg Holland
"A lot of guys don't pick up his slider but I see it pretty well. You just have to lay off the slider. If he beats you with it and throws three strikes with it, you just tip your cap. So you try to get a heater. If he throws one over, you gotta jump on that. Because you're not going to make a living hitting his slider or his splitter."
-- AL Central infielder

Kelvin Herrera
"You have to get him out over the plate and be aggressive with the fastball. Or a changeup up. He's a guy that throws hard but he has that changeup, too. So I just look for his fastball."
-- AL Central infielder

Wade Davis
"His main pitch is his cutter right now. He has a good curveball. He'll ride his four-seamer up. So you have to lay off that pitch. You have to look for that cutter early middle-in and you can hit that. But again, you have to make throw strikes."
-- AL Central infielder

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Billy Butler
"He's a patient hitter. I stay in on him. He likes to hit the ball the other way and shoot the ball. He's a gap-to-gap guy. He's not going to beat you with homers, I don't think. He doesn't swing and miss much off me. I think the times I've gotten him I've either jammed him inside with a fastball or to flare a slider."
-- AL Central pitcher 2

Eric Hosmer
"He's beaten me when I've gone away. He has a long swing, but it's quick. So if you throw a slider, it's got to be down and in front of home plate. He can chase that. You can tie him up early and late inside. He's a guy who maybe you go fastball in and then go slider down in the dirt and hope he swings and it falls off. And then maybe elevate a fastball up and in."
-- AL Central pitcher 2

Alex Gordon
"If you can get him looking for a breaking ball, you can get a fastball by him. I've done that a few times. He can hit a hanging breaking ball well, and he did off me this year. But he's a guy you can go in and then expand away late. Try to get him to look for a slider and then go with a fastball. If you can get him looking for something, you can get him with another one. And I think people know that."
-- AL Central pitcher 2