Apparently, it has been a little cold in Surprise, Arizona as the KC Royals officially start spring training. There has been frost on the grass and car windshields, something Royals fans are used to, but maybe not the players (like Kelvin Herrera, who is from the Dominican Republic). I hope it warms up for when I get there in March.
Despite the cold, there has been some good news. Lefty Danny Duffy threw 18 fastballs off the mound on Tuesday for the first time since having Tommy John surgery. He is expected to have another session on Friday. Duffy told Kansas City Star reporter Bob Dutton that he felt great.
Lefty Bruce Chen, who is competing for the fifth starter’s spot and a spot on the Opening Day roster, has decided to not play for Team China in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. He was expected to leave for exhibition games in Japan on February 24th, but official approval of his participation (his grandparents immigrated from China to Panama) is still pending. Chen said that he cannot provide any more documentation and has decided to stay in Arizona and fight for a roster spot with the Royals.
Oh and the new spring training hats look pretty cool (even Luis Mendoza thinks so). I cannot wait to see them in person.
Now the not so good news.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar will not report to Surprise in time for full workouts on Friday. He got married recently and wants to bring his new wife with him, but she needs a visa. It is Carnival time in Venezuela and the visa office is not open. So until the visa is taken care of, Escobar will stay in Venezuela. The plan is for him to arrive Friday night if all goes well (fingers crossed).