Today is the KC Royals first official full workout, with all players invited to spring training in Surprise, Arizona in attendance.
Four players had yet to arrive on Thursday, all of which are Latinos. Alcides Escobar has been excused because of his wife’s visa issues. The other three are non-roster invitees: Miguel Tejada, Endy Chavez, and Luis Durango. Not sure if they are having visa issues or not.
- One is how first baseman Eric Hosmer talks about staying quieter at the plate, which he feels will help him rebound from his horrible second big league season (these are the same things that fired hitting coach Kevin Seitzer tried to accomplish last season). Everyone knows that it really doesn’t matter how much the rotation improves if Hos continues to struggle.
- The Royals have been stressing versatility in their bench roles this spring. The newest Royal, Elliot Johnson, brings them versatility and athleticism as he reports to Surprise for his first spring training with his new team. Johnson is also wearing #80, which was the number he wore as a high school football player. Hopefully he can receive a lower number when Opening Day rolls around.
- Danny Duffy threw 20 fastballs and once again felt great.
- Dutton also answers readers questions in his daily Q & A. Thursday’s was about second baseman Johnny Giavotella and uber-prospect Bubba Starling. Today, Dutton answers questions on everything ranging from Wade Davis‘ leash and who is the one player the Royals cannot afford to lose due to injury.
- The Royals opened a minor league mini-camp on Thursday for players who could be called up to big league camp once games begin next week. The following are those in attendance (interesting that there are no outfielders):
Pitchers: Buddy Baumann, Blaine Hardy, José Jimenez, Patrick Keating, Jon Keck, Anthony Ortega, Sam Runion and Robinson Yambati.
Catchers: Juan Graterol, Cameron Gallagher, Jin-Ho Shin, Chad Johnson and Parker Morin.
Infielders: Orlando Calixte, Cheslor Cuthbert, Matt Fields, Alex McClure, Whit Merrifield, Rey Navarro and Chad Tracy.
- In terms of the World Baseball Classic, lefty reliever Tim Collins is excited to be wearing the red, white, and blue of the USA. Catcher Salvador Perez said that his time with Venezuela will not affect his time with the Royals pitchers. He expects to be able to catch ten games before he leaves for Puerto Rico for the opening round of the WBC.
- The Royals have two billboards up as part of the “Come to Play” campaign. One is of James Shields in full release of a pitch on the east side of Interstate 35. The other is of Salvador Perez across the freeway and a couple of blocks away (west).
- Bob Davis, who had been a Royals radio broadcaster for 16 years, has decided to retire and walk away. 2012 was his last season. He will however, continue to call Kansas men’s basketball games.
MLB Network will air the Royals edition of “30 Clubs in 30 Days” on February 18th. The network will also air six spring training games, though only two are live. Here are the following dates and times:
March 17: 8 a.m. CST, reairing March 16th’s split squad game against the Chicago Cubs
March 19: Midnight CST, reairing March 18th’s game with the Texas Rangers
March 22: 3 p.m. CST LIVE broadcast against the LA Angels
March 24: 11 p.m. CST, reairing that day’s game against the Chicago White Sox
March 25: 7 p.m. CST LIVE against the LA Dodgers
March 28: 1 a.m. CST, reairing the March 27th split squad game against the Cubs.