Notes: Costa trying to find swing

Royals notes: Costa trying to find swing

KANSAS CITY -- Shane Costa is unlimbering nicely from his layoff with a hamstring injury.

Costa is batting .307 as the fill-in for injured center fielder David DeJesus. Since coming off the disabled list, he's 4-for-15.

"I'm trying to find it back at the plate and I'm just getting in a battle mode," Costa said. "It's been getting better at-bat by at-bat."

Costa missed 17 games when he followed DeJesus onto the DL with a similar strain to the left hamstring. But Costa emerged quicker, while DeJesus remained at the Surprise, Ariz., camp. DeJesus has missed 29 games.

"I can only imagine how it is to be out that long," Costa said. "He's got to be miserable."

Costa, 24, was an unexpected choice to win the fourth outfield position in Spring Training. In 2005, he spent part of the season with the Royals and batted .235, getting shipped back to the Minors after an 0-for-17 slump.

His recent long layoff had some effect.

"I'm getting back into it, my body is getting back into it playing every day," he said. "My body is a little sore."

A left-handed batter, Costa was out of the starting lineup on Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers tough lefty Kenny Rogers.

No sweet dreams: Add sleep next to wins in the department of things that have been hard to come by for manager Buddy Bell.

"I get about -- like probably everybody else in a Royals uniform -- probably three or four hours a night," Bell said on Tuesday. "It's all right. To be expected."

Bell told reporters that despite the club's recent woes, a random, drastic overhaul should not be expected.

"I can't say we haven't talked about it," he said. "There probably will be something here in the next week to 10 days. We've just got to make sure that when we do make a change, it's for a reason, not just to change things."

General manager Allard Baird discussed the players-only meeting the Royals held before Monday's game. It came largely as a result of right-hander Scott Elarton's comments following Sunday's game in which he questioned whether some of his teammates cared.

Though he hasn't yet read the exact words, Baird said he was concerned about what he has heard about the Elarton interview.

"Scott Elarton is a guy who has been a team leader from Day 1," Baird said. "It bothers him because he cares so much."

Sweeney's spirits: The way Mike Sweeney was walking around the clubhouse -- smiling, joking and conversing as he went -- it would have been difficult to tell that he was beginning his fourth week on the disabled list with a bulging disk in his upper back.

Sweeney said that he had received a cortisone shot for the injury recently. The plans for a second shot were put off because of a setback. His timetable for return remains uncertain.

"We're going to evaluate it in the next couple days and see where we're at," Sweeney said.

Bell said that he recognized the cheerfulness of the Royals captain and designated hitter.

"He says he's feeling good, but Mike feels good every day, regardless if he can walk or not," Bell said. "We just want to be careful. Mike doesn't want to play 70 or 75 percent. We want to get him well where he can have fun playing again."

Huber to the outfield?: Rookie Justin Huber, a first baseman who appeared in five games with the Royals earlier this month, started in left field for Triple-A Omaha on Monday night.

"He had played there before," Bell said. "It just gives him a little bit more versatility. He likes the idea. It gives him the chance to play different positions. He still is going to play first base for the most part."

Bell noted that Huber had taken some fly balls in the outfield during Kansas City's three-game series in Baltimore May 12-14. He added that there shouldn't be much stock put into the move.

"He would have to play out there a lot more [for me] to get a feel for him to come up and even play on an interim basis," Bell said. "He's an athletic kid. It's not like he's somebody who can't run or doesn't have any instincts."

Robinson cleared: Outfielder Kerry Robinson cleared waivers on Tuesday and will be assigned to Triple-A Omaha. Robinson was designated for assignment on May 19. He batted .274 in 16 games with the Royals this season.

Farm fodder: Two errors by second baseman Ruben Gotay led to five unearned runs against Triple-A Omaha starter Kyle Snyder in a 7-5 loss to Fresno on Monday night. Third baseman Mark Teahen had three hits and upped his average to .340.

Catcher Matt Tupman is hitting .343 for Double-A Wichita. ... First baseman Mike Stodolka has six homers and a team-best .328 average for Class A High Desert. ... Mario Lisson, Jeremy Jirschele and Brady Everett each had three hits in Class A Burlington's 12-5 win over Wisconsin.

Up next: The Royals will start left-hander Mark Redman (0-4, 6.88 ERA) against Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman (4-3, 4.66 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. CT on Wednesday at Kauffman Stadium.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for Kevin Druley, an associate reporter for, contributed to this article. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.