Notes: Minor a leader; Heasley; Gallagher

March 23rd, 2021

As far as the Royals are concerned, the box score reveals only part of ’s contributions.

On Monday afternoon at Surprise Stadium, the veteran left-hander was charged with three runs on five hits in five innings in the Royals' 9-9 tie with the Padres. He walked one batter and struck out four.

"Minor was good, efficient," Royals manager Mike Matheny said. "He mixed everything in really well, and I just like how the ball is coming out for him. He's ready to go."

What the numbers don’t show is Minor's overall value to the club, especially when it comes to the 33-year-old’s leadership qualities.

“Mike’s quiet, but he goes about his business. And then the inherent part is his time and experience gives him a voice,” Matheny said. “When you are around the game that long, there are a lot of things that you’ve learned that younger players watch. So that’s leadership. It’s just a different style.”

Minor didn’t have his best command Monday, but he was effective enough. He gave up a pair of home runs to Tommy Pham but showed a decent slider and changeup, along with good velocity.

In his previous start, March 17 against the A’s, Minor allowed six runs (four earned) on seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.

“We’re going to need him to lead by taking the ball, going out and competing,” Matheny said. “And just like the rest of our players, and if our best players are committed to helping others out, it makes all of us better.

“That’s part of the requirement we’re putting on Mike Minor from the day that we began conversations with him.”

Back-field action
The Royals had another “B” game on Monday, playing the Rangers on Texas’ side of the complex in Surprise. After reliever struck out two in a scoreless inning, right-hander pitched three hitless innings. The Royals’ No. 13 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, Heasley flashed his 12-6 curveball and slider, as well as an effective changeup. Heasley walked two and struck out two, including Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo.

Eric Skoglund and Gabe Speier also pitched in the 5 1/2-inning game. Top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. played shortstop and went 0-for-2, but he had a hard-hit line drive that came straight at the second baseman for a lineout.

Gallagher embraces role
After signed a contract extension that will keep him in Kansas City through at least 2025, backup catcher had nothing but good things to say about Perez, who figures to catch almost every game for the Royals this season.

“He’s our captain,” Gallagher said. “He’s our best player. It’s always awesome playing with a guy like him, seeing a contract like that, being able to take care of himself and his family. It’s well deserved.

“The amount of respect I have for that guy is through the roof. He wants to play every day, catch every game. … He loves to play the game. He’s catching out there all the time and still has that big smile on his face. Guys feed off the energy -- and just that emotion he plays the game with, it rubs off on the other guys, and it’s awesome to have a guy like that on our squad.”

Gallagher, 28, has embraced the backup role and said his goal for 2021 is to be ready when the Royals call on him, whether it’s starting a game to give Perez a day off or coming in to pinch-hit in the later innings. Gallagher posted a .283/.356/.434 slash line across 60 plate appearances (25 games) last year. He has worked this Spring Training on his setup behind the plate to improve his catch-and-throw time while not detracting from his blocking skills.

“Just trying to work on mastering the low pitch, get strikes and my blocking,” Gallagher said. “Just working on a base where I can block and throw in one comfortable position. …

“Having a guy like Salvy who’s probably going to catch five to six days a week, I’m probably not going to get in the time to get consistent. My goals are to always be ready when my name is called upon. Do the little things. I just want to give us a chance to win, whatever that is. Whenever my name is called upon, just be ready and show up and get the job done.”

Around the horn
played right field for the first time this spring, allowing to play third base. Alberto has gotten looks all around the infield this spring and will be able to slot where the Royals need him come Opening Day.

• The Royals announced that single-game tickets for the month of April will go on sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. CT. More information can be found at