05/18/12 9:41 PM ET
Grace lauds Wood for being ideal teammate
By Vinnie Duber / MLB.com
"He was a great teammate. He cared. He was very professional," Grace said. "The only thing with Woody -- you wish: 'What might have been had that incredibly gifted right arm not gotten hurt so much?' He was one of my favorite teammates. I had a lot of them, but Kerry was a guy that I hung out with a lot, spent a lot of time with. I attended his wedding in Hawaii. He's a guy that will always be special to me."
Kerry Wood calls it a career
Wood pitched in his final game on Friday against the White Sox at Wrigley Field, striking out the only batter he faced in the eighth inning. The strikeout of Dayan Viciedo was a fitting way to end a career highlighted by so many K's, including the game in which he struck out 20 Astros in his rookie season of 1998. Grace played first base during that memorable game.
"It's the best performance I ever played behind," Grace said. "I never played behind a no-hitter or a perfect game. The final score of that game was 2-0. It was the biggest 2-0 blowout in the history of baseball. You just knew there was no way the Houston Astros were going to score a run. That wasn't a [bad] lineup he did that to, too. It was [Craig] Biggio, [Jeff] Bagwell, Derek Bell, Moises Alou -- those really good Astros teams that could rake. It wasn't a bad lineup at all. It was a really good lineup full of All-Stars. That was what stood out. Poor [Houston starter] Shane Reynolds gave up two runs and never had a chance."
Grace was happy that it wasn't yet another injury or the lack of a job that ended Wood's career.
"I'm glad he got to do it his way," Grace said. "A lot of players don't get to end their career on their terms. Kerry did. He got to end his career the way he wanted to end it and for that he's very fortunate."
Bloomquist enjoys return trip to Kansas City
KANSAS CITY -- The rare Interleague stop at Kauffman Stadium is also a return trip for D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist.
Bloomquist played for the Royals for two seasons in 2009 and '10, hitting .265 with 33 stolen bases.
"It's a great place, Kansas City. I had a lot of fun here," Bloomquist said. "The whole organization is first-class people. They're great people, great stadium. When the fans come out, it's a fun place to play. I enjoy it. ... I really enjoyed my time here."
Bloomquist left town right before the Royals started their youth movement. But he said he heard that the infusion of young talent was coming back when he played.
"That was obviously talked about quite a bit when I was there -- about the young guys that were coming, that were developing and coming up," Bloomquist said. "They're obviously very talented. It sometimes takes a little while to figure out the big leagues. It's not easy. They're very talented, and they have a very good young core. They're a dangerous team, and they're only going to get better. It's a learning process, and assuming they go about it the right way and continue to develop and learn, they'll have the core there for a strong organization for a very long time."
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson also had a brief stint in Kansas City. He played 132 games for the Royals during the 1991 season -- hitting just .236 with an on-base percentage of .341 and 16 home runs.
Hudson set for rehab stint, Drew on hold
KANSAS CITY -- Minor League rehab assignments are on the horizon for a pair of key D-backs.
Starter Daniel Hudson will pitch on Monday for Triple-A Reno, according to Arizona manager Kirk Gibson. Hudson has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 21 with a right shoulder impingement.
Shortstop Stephen Drew might not be as close to returning. Gibson said that Drew felt some soreness following an extended spring training game on Thursday.
"[Drew] was going to fly out Saturday," Gibson said. "I think that's being contemplated whether that's the right thing to do right now."
Drew is still working his way back from a fractured right ankle he sustained last July.
Pitcher Trevor Bauer -- the top-rated D-backs prospect and the eighth-ranked prospect in all of baseball by MLB.com -- made his first start for Triple-A Reno on Friday against Oklahoma City.
This weekend's series marks the second straight year that the D-backs play at Kansas City. Last season, the D-backs swept a three-game series with the Royals at Kauffman Stadium.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.