KANSAS CITY -- Count Tigers manager Jim Leyland among those who think the Royals' losing ways are merely temporary.
After Tuesday's 3-1 win over the Royals -- which sent the Royals to their sixth straight defeat -- Leyland expressed great admiration for the young Kansas City club, adding that he thought the team would have no trouble bouncing back from their current losing streak.
"There's no doubt in my mind," Leyland said. "You're not going to see Hosmer stay [slumping] like that. He's going to be fantastic. He's one of the best young players in baseball. You know he's going to get going. Butler kills us. He gets hits against us all the time.
"I really like their team, and I mean that. I know we won a couple games, but I really like their team. They're going to be good. They're very athletic. They can do some stuff with their legs, they got power. They're good. They'll get rolling. They're tooth and nail with us every time we play them."
The Detroit skipper said he didn't want to be around when the Royals do get things together.
"I just want to play [Wednesday] and get out of here."
Hochevar's start pushed back to Friday
KANSAS CITY -- No spot start will be required.
After being hit in the ankle with a line drive last Friday, Luke Hochevar's status for his next start was in question. But after a few days of working his way back to health, Hochevar won't miss a start after all.
Still, the rotation order will be jumbled up a bit.
Royals manager Ned Yost told reporters before Tuesday's game that Jonathan Sanchez will start Wednesday against Detroit in the spot that was originally slated for Hochevar. Hochevar will get an extra day and pitch Friday against Toronto.
"We feel that by Friday, Hoch will be 100 percent, or close to it," Yost said.
Sanchez will be pitching on short rest after his last outing against Cleveland, where he gave up five runs on six hits, four walks and a hit batsman. He left that start in the third inning, throwing 70 pitches in 2 2/3 innings.
Yost said Tuesday that while Sanchez might not be as rested as usual, it could mean he'll be sharper with his pitches.
"A lot of times if you bring a guy back early it helps tighten his command up," Yost said. "We had a couple of different options. We could pitch Hoch on Wednesday or we could totally have him miss a start. Or bump Sanchez up to Wednesday, hopefully tighten his command up and give Hoch an extra day and a half before he has to start again. That allows us to keep our long man [Everett] Teaford intact."
Royals picking fifth in First-Year Player Draft
KANSAS CITY -- The Royals are a team that has built through the draft.
They'll have a chance to add to their stockpile of young talent on June 4, when the annual First-Year Player Draft kicks off. The draft order was announced Tuesday, and the Royals hold the fifth pick in the first round.
The Royals have already reaped rewards of high draft picks. Current players Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer were all selected with top five picks. Last year, the Royals selected Bubba Starling with the fifth overall pick. They'll have another crack at landing a future big-leaguer come June.
Royals pitcher Felipe Paulino threw Monday in extended Spring Training, said manager Ned Yost. Yost said he "threw good" in two innings of work. Paulino is coming back from a right forearm strain and is recovering in Arizona, working to get his pitch count up.
With a two-hit night in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Tigers, Billy Butler moved into a tie with Ichiro Suzuki for the third-most career hits off Justin Verlander. Butler and Suzuki have picked up 16 career hits against the defending AL MVP and Cy Young winner. Only AL Central catchers Joe Mauer (20) and A.J. Pierzynski (19) have more.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.