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February 18, 2010 4:25 PM

Countdown to Opening Day: 46 Buck hits

JohnBuckOmahaStretch.JPGPitchers and catchers have reported, but there's still a lot of time between now and Opening Day. I'll be counting down the days with a collection of random Royals-related numbers. Most of them mean nothing - this isn't supposed to be a groundbreaking series of research - but they'll hopefully make the days go faster until April 5.

46 days = 46 hits by John Buck in 2009

The Royals employed a carousel of catchers last season: Miguel "Swingandamiss" Olivo, the incredibly likable but defensively challenged Brayan Pena, and the Stormin' Mormon, John Buck. Not one of them played enough to qualify for the batting title, not that any of them would be serious contenders.

Buck got the least of the playing time. Part of that was his back injury, which sent him to Omaha* for a handful of games. Part of it was Miguel Olivo's position as The Official Catcher of Cy Young Award Winner Donald Zackary Greinke. And part of it was that Brayan Pena got something that resembled a chance to show Dayton Moore what he's got at the MLB level.

*the photo
in this post is of Buck stretching with his temporary teammates in Omaha on June 29.

All of that added up to 46 hits for Buck in 46 games behind the plate (and 13 at DH).

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