DETROIT -- Pitcher Tommy Hottovy already has had a big day, his first Major League appearance in a Kansas City uniform, and another big day is ahead. On Thursday, he'll be in Kauffman Stadium wearing Royals blue for the first time.
This is significant because he was born in Kansas City and always imagined himself playing for the hometown team at Kauffman Stadium where he saw so many games as a youngster.
"I can't tell you how many times I was supposed to be sick on Opening Day. I just happened to be at Kauffman," he said, chuckling. "But that's just what we did. We loved going to games. We just had a blast growing up there, and that's why it's pretty special to get an opportunity to play there."
Hottovy, 30, finally reached the Majors last summer with the Red Sox and pitched in eight games, so being called up by the Royals wasn't quite so much of a whirlwind for him and he's able to enjoy the experience more.
"It's more, 'OK, I'm here and I belong here and this is where I want to be,'" he said.
Growing up in KC meant a lot of backyard baseball with his brother, Tim.
"Pitcher-wise, I loved [Bret] Saberhagen, obviously, and [Jeff] Montgomery. But [Dan] Quisenberry was one of my favorites, too, and now that I kind of throw sidearm, it's fun to look back," Hottovy said, remembering Quiz's famous side-winding delivery.
"And the way we'd do it is we'd go through the lineups. My brother would hit and he'd be George Brett, he'd be Steve Balboni, then he'd be Frank White. And I'd throw one pitch like Montgomery or one pitch like [Kevin] Appier or one pitch like Quisenberry. That's just what we did, and then we'd switch. We loved it."
Hottovy made his Royals debut last Wednesday night at Cleveland and was so amped up that he hit Casey Kotchman with his first pitch. Then he gave up an RBI single and got a strikeout. In his second outing on Friday night at Minnesota, he worked two innings and gave up one run.
There will be a big turnout of family and friends for the Yankees series at Kauffman Stadium, including Hottovy's wife, Andrea, and infant son, Cameron, in anticipation of Hottovy getting into a game.
"That first night will be the first night that my wife will be at a big league game I've pitched in," Hottovy said. "Every one that I made last year, she was 35 weeks pregnant and couldn't fly."
Also planning to be on hand are parents Tom and Linda, brother Tim and sisters Nicole and Holly.
"Aunts, uncles, cousins and everybody else that you can think of are going to be there, too," Hottovy said. "It's going to be a neat experience."
Frenchy, Hosmer need to show patience
DETROIT -- Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur came into the Detroit series hitting just .229, but manager Ned Yost sees signs of him coming around.
"At times he tries to get it done too quick. Frenchy's hitting .400 when he's ahead in the count and he's hitting .140 when he's behind in the count," Yost said. "And he's just a tad bit impatient now, swinging at a bunch of first pitches, putting him behind in the count or making outs. If he sees a few more pitches, it's going to tighten up his discipline at the plate and he's going to start raking. ... He's a good two-strike hitter."
First baseman Eric Hosmer, hitting only .188, is also showing some impatience despite some otherwise good production numbers, i.e., five home runs and 13 RBIs.
"He's going to be fine. I mean, he's on pace to hit 35 homers and 95 RBIs, and he hasn't even got it going," Yost said.
Paulino to report to Royals on Wednesday
DETROIT -- Pitcher Felipe Paulino, after a successful rehabilitation outing on Monday for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, will report to the Royals on Wednesday and throw a side session.
"Paulino threw real well today," manager Ned Yost said. "Six and a third, he went to a three-ball count just twice, so he was commanding the ball. Ninety pitches, four hits, no runs."
Paulino got credit for the Naturals' 12-2 victory over Arkansas as he continued his comeback from a right forearm strain that has keep him on the disabled list since Spring Training.
Reliever Greg Holland, on the disabled list with a left rib injury, threw a side session on Wednesday in Kansas City and was reported to be making progress.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.