Giavotella gets chance with Getz injured

Giavotella gets chance with Getz injured

KANSAS CITY -- Although it isn't under the best of circumstances, Johnny Giavotella is back with the Royals.

Giavotella rejoined the team ahead of Saturday's game against the White Sox after Chris Getz fractured his left thumb on Friday. Getz underwent surgery on Saturday and will miss the remainder of the season.

"I feel terrible for Getz. I hate to come up at the expense of his health," Giavotella said. "But at the same time, I'm happy I'm getting the opportunity. I'm going to make the most of it and help the team win."

Giavotella will take over duties at second base; manager Ned Yost said he'll play five or six days a week.

This is Giavotella's second stint with the big league club this season. He played in 21 games, making 15 starts, in May and June. He hit just .217 in that stretch, with three extra-base hits and six RBIs.

But after he returned to Triple-A Omaha on June 12, he flourished. This season with the Storm Chasers, he's batted .323 with a .404 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and 71 RBIs in 89 games, and he was named Omaha's Player of the Month for July.

"I think I was doing everything I could in Triple-A to get back up here," he said. "I'm glad [I was sent down]. I think just playing the game that I've always played, just [having] confidence in my ability, things will take care of themselves."

In 67 Major League games between this season and last, Giavotella has hit just .239, but he's had pretty consistent Minor League success, including batting averages over .320 in each of the last three seasons.

"I don't care how good you can hit. It's very seldom you come up and show your true potential in a short burst," Yost said. "You're facing the best pitchers in the world, you've never faced them before, you don't know the action on their pitches, you don't know everything. It's a process."

Both Giavotella and Yost said there's room for growth on defense, but both also said that there have been improvements.

"I think every player has room to improve in their game. I think mine's definitely over on defense and just becoming more smooth around second base, having more confidence on the defensive side," Giavotella said.

"I'm anxious to see Johnny now after [having] three-fourths of the year under his belt playing every day at Triple-A," Yost said. "At times, Johnny's hands were stiff. I saw softer hands in the spring. I saw him have the ability to turn two better in the spring. And he has been making pretty good adjustments from the last time we've seen him. I'm anxious to see him again. He's going to get an extended look at second base. We all know Johnny can hit."