Collins takes another step toward return to 'pen
Left-hander throws 20-25 pitches in simulated game action Tuesday
CLEVELAND -- Left-hander Tim Collins is getting closer to returning to the Royals' bullpen.
Collins threw 20 to 25 pitches Tuesday under mock game conditions.
"I just went through my regular warmups, played catch and then got ready like I was going into a game and then they [hitters] stepped in," he said. "Today was 100 percent go. I threw all my pitches like I would in a game and felt really good."
The difference was that the hitters stood in the batter's box, but didn't take any swings.
"It's just now getting the hitters in there and start swinging," Collins said. "I'm ready to get going."
He's been on the disabled list for the full 15 days, but is not yet ready to come off.
"It was a flexor muscle strain," he said. "For me, it was just not being able to warm up as quick as I used to be able to; it took a lot longer to warm up. Then when I'd go into the game, it'd tighten up a little bit. It wouldn't stay warm."
He's expected to go on a Minor League rehabilitation assignment before returning to bullpen duty.
Left-hander Francisley Bueno, also on the DL, didn't throw as expected Tuesday because his bruised left pinky has been slow healing.
Collins and Bueno each pitched just twice for a total of one inning before being disabled.
Home run shortage not a concern for Yost
CLEVELAND - It's been a slow go for the Royals in the home-run department.
Even after Mike Moustakas went deep in Tuesday night's 8-2 victory over Cleveland, they ranked dead last among the 30 Major League teams in homers with seven. The Angels led the Majors with 31.
The Royals had three homers from Moustakas and one each from Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Omar Infante and Danny Valencia. That meant none from the usual 3-4-6 hitters, Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Salvador Perez.
"They'll hit 'em," manager Ned Yost said. "They'll catch on fire."
In addition to Moustakas' blast Tuesday night, Hosmer and Butler also made home-run bids.
"Home runs are nice. Hoz hit a ball off the wall and Billy hit a ball off the wall, but I think any of us would trade home runs for wins," Moustakas said. "We're playing great baseball as a team right now without home runs. When those start coming, I hope we continue to play the same way and we'll be in even better shape."
Yost recalls hitless season in high school
CLEVELAND -- Royals manager Ned Yost, doing a little reminiscing, recalled how slow his baseball career was to take off.
"I went a whole year in high school [Dublin, Calif.] without getting a hit, 0-for-36 my sophomore year," Yost said. "I didn't get a hit all year. The next year, I hit like .420 and the year after that, .350 or something like that and was all-conference. I didn't play varsity until I was a senior in high school."
Yost knew what made the difference for him.
"But I got real strong and grew up between my junior and senior years that summer. Kentucky Fried Chicken gave me all my strength," Yost said.
"I went to work for Kentucky Fried Chicken. I was a pot scrubber. I'd sit there and scrub pots all summer long and my arms got strong. And I came back and had a cannon for an arm. I never hit a home run until I was in college."
That college was Chabot Junior College in Hayward, Calif.
"I had no offers to play anywhere so I walked on at Chabot," he said. "The counselor asked me what I was going to do and I said I was going to be a Major League baseball player. She said, 'Do you know the odds of that?'"
Yost beat the odds and reached the Majors as a catcher for six years with the Brewers, Rangers and Expos.
"I always knew all along," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.