Bannister throws to Minor Leaguers

Bannister throws to Minor Leaguers

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Brian Bannister, the Royals' No. 2 starter, got a break from Cactus League action on Wednesday and pitched against Minor Leaguers back at the camp in Surprise.

Pitching coach Bob McClure arrived for the Cactus League game against the Angels in Tempe, Ariz., a little bit later with mixed reviews.

"He looked very healthy, which is good," McClure said. "He looks a little rusty, [but] he's sharper, I think. He was up around 75 pitches and he actually wanted to pitch another [inning].

McClure said Bannister gave up a home run to Mike Stodolka, but other than that, held his own against the free-swinging Minor Leaguers.

Bannister struggled in his only two Cactus League games against the Texas Rangers and the Colorado Rockies, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) in 6 2/3 innings.

"In his next two times out, he'll get a little sharper. He kept the ball down better this time than last time. His offspeed stuff wasn't as sharp. His fastball and cutter located OK, but with his curveball and change, he didn't throw many for strikes," McClure said.

Bannister is expected to make his next start next Monday against the Oakland A's.

"His stuff is crisp, it's not lazy -- it's moving good," McClure said. "I think he's going a little too fast in his delivery. I don't want him slowing down too much because that's part of his deception. He works fast, his delivery is quick and I think that's why he doesn't get hit a lot."

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.