4/30/2014 1:50 A.M. ET
Gibbons prefers bats don't rely on homers
By Robert Falkoff / Special to MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- It's not only how you play, but where you play that makes a difference in various statistical categories. The Blue Jays started their series against the Royals with a 30-10 differential in home runs, but manager John Gibbons said that huge gap speaks mainly to the difference in home ballparks.
"[Kauffman Stadium] is a tough park to hit home runs in, I don't care who you are," Gibbons said.
While it's easier to hit homers at Rogers Centre, Gibbons doesn't want his club to become too reliant on the long ball to generate offense. New hitting coach Kevin Seitzer stresses hitting the ball up the middle or going the other way and Gibbons said that's an approach that can benefit the Blue Jays over the long haul.
"When you get into games against the better pitchers, you need other ways to beat those guys," Gibbons said. "They aren't going to give up a lot of home runs. There are times to take the little simple base hit up the middle or go the other way to beat the good ones."
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion went deep in Tuesday's 10-7 loss to the Royals. Bautista hit a solo shot in the first off starter Jason Vargas, while Encarnacion scored Bautista with a two-run blast in the ninth off reliever Louis Coleman.
Melky sets club record for March/April hits
KANSAS CITY -- With his fifth-inning triple on Tuesday, Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera set a franchise record for most hits in March/April with 40.
Cabrera had been tied with Shannon Stewart and Shea Hillenbrand, who each had 39 March/April hits in 2001 and '05, respectively. Cabrera's RBI triple off Royals left-hander Jason Vargas was an opposite-field drive over the head of right fielder Nori Aoki. Cabrera added another hit in the seventh to give him 41, but the Royals rallied for a 10-7 victory in the series opener.
Blue Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer worked with Cabrera in Kansas City in 2011 when Cabrera logged 201 hits.
"It's the same swing that Melky had back then," Seitzer said. "He really understands how to be successful as a hitter."
Cabrera has had at least one hit in 25 of the 26 games the Blue Jays have played this season.
Getz reunites with Royals in Blue Jays debut
KANSAS CITY -- The irony wasn't lost on second baseman Chris Getz when he received the news that his first stop with the Blue Jays would be at Kauffman Stadium.
From 2010-2013, Getz was in the Royals' organization before signing with Toronto in January. After a strong start at Triple-A Buffalo, he got the promotion to the Blue Jays and was in the lineup batting ninth on Tuesday in the series opener against his former team. To make room for Getz, the Blue Jays optioned infielder Ryan Goins to Buffalo. Right-hander Mickey Storey was released to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
"It's cool to come back here," Getz said. "You see former teammates and people who work at the park that you get to know over the years. There are a lot of good people here and I sort of feel at home."
Getz was hitting .309 with six stolen bases through 18 games with the Bisons. He's coming off a season when the Royals went through a variety of second basemen, making it difficult to get in a groove at the plate. A lifetime .251 hitter, Getz plummeted to .220 for Kansas City last year.
Getz said he had a comfort level in signing with the Blue Jays over the winter because he had worked with Toronto manager John Gibbons and hitting coach Kevin Seitzer in Kansas City.
"I knew it was going to be tough to make it [to the Major League club] coming out of Spring Training," said Getz, who signed a Minor League contract. "But I knew that if I went down and performed the way I'm capable, I would have a good chance to be selected."
Being reunited with Seitzer is a confidence booster for Getz, who is regarded as a steady defensive player and a guy who has shown a penchant for stealing bases.
"Kevin knows me very well," Getz said. "Last year, he wasn't there [in Kansas City] and I was kind of searching. I felt that in order to give myself a chance to succeed, it would be best to go with someone who knows my swing. He knows what I look like if I'm going well and what the adjustments are if I'm not going well."
Gibbons said the Blue Jays still have a lot of faith in Goins' long-term future.
"We need more production with the bat over there," Gibbons said. "We're looking out for his best interests, too. We want to get him going [in Buffalo]."
Getz made an impression on Gibbons when Gibbons was the bench coach in Kansas City from 2009-2011.
"Getz is a heads-up player," Gibbons said. "He can steal bags and he'll battle you at the plate. He's just a winner, one of those kind of guys."
Getz finished 0-for-3 in Toronto's 10-7 loss. He was denied a hit when the umpires overturned a "safe" call at first in the second inning following a Royals' replay challenge.
Seitzer right at home as Blue Jays face KC
KANSAS CITY -- Blue Jays hitting coach Kevin Seitzer has the luxury of enjoying a homecoming this week during a three-game series against the Royals.
Seitzer, a former Royals player and hitting coach from 2009-12, is a Kansas City resident who can sleep in his own bed before the Blue Jays fly on to Pittsburgh late Thursday night.
Seitzer arrived home on Sunday night and was able to spend the off-day on Monday catching up with friends and family.
"I got to see the kids, the grandkids and other family," Seitzer said. "It was really good."
Seitzer owns and operates Mac-N-Seitz baseball and softball training facility in Kansas City along with ex-teammate Mike Macfarlane. Although his tenure as Royals hitting coach ended in 2012, Seitzer said he has no ill feelings toward the Kansas City organization.
"It's part of the game," Seitzer said. "Those guys in that [Kansas City] clubhouse were like my kids when I worked with them for four years. I went over, said hello and gave them a hug. No hard feelings. I've been in the game a long time. I got let go twice as a player and twice as a coach. It's part of the business. You try to learn from it, get better and move on."
Robert Falkoff is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.