Young Mondesi shows promise at camp

Still in his teens, MLB's No. 40 prospect comes from talented family

Young Mondesi shows promise at camp

SURPRISE, Ariz -- It was Photo Day at Royals camp Friday morning, the time of spring when players suit up in their game uniforms, hold up a sheet of white paper with their name written in black permanent marker across the front and smile for the camera.

They pose with bats and gloves. They autograph dozens of baseballs.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon in good shape, hoping for long season in Majors

After big league debut last year, infielder suited for several positions with Royals

Colon in good shape, hoping for long season in Majors

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It didn't take long for Royals infielder Christian Colon to realize that in order for him to become a better all-around baseball player, he'd have to become a much better racquetball player.

"I learned to move around a little bit, and it helped with that," Colon said. "I worked out all winter, twice a day. It was an all-day thing, and it wasn't the easiest, especially in California, with all the traffic to and from, but my family was very supportive."

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Caribbean Series prepares Pena for upcoming season

After Royals went to World Series last year, backup catcher inspired to work hard

Caribbean Series prepares Pena for upcoming season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- From the World Series in October to the Caribbean Series earlier in February, it's been a memorable few months for Royals backup catcher Francisco Pena.

He would not have it any other way.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon on track to be ready by Opening Day

Gordon on track to be ready by Opening Day

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Alex Gordon's rehab is going as scheduled, and the Royals' left fielder remains on track to be ready for Opening Day.

Gordon, who had surgery on his right wrist in December, hit off a batting tee Thursday and Friday.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals staying hungry for World Series title

Royals staying hungry for World Series title

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- How devoted are the Royals to getting back to the World Series?

They won't even eat cheeseburgers.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Battle Royal: Relievers vying for roster spots

Yost looking at several candidates, including Collins, Finnegan

Battle Royal: Relievers vying for roster spots

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There really is only one basic roster battle going on in Royals camp, and that's in the bullpen.

There are two, possibly three, spots up for grabs behind Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, Luke Hochevar, and Jason Frasor, depending on if the club carries seven or eight relievers.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Infante finally feeling healthy in Royals camp

Infante finally feeling healthy in Royals camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After two days of throwing and hitting, Royals second baseman Omar Infante says his right shoulder and elbow feel fine.

"Everything's good," Infante said on Thursday. "I'm trying to take it a little slow, but right now it all feels fine."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Finnegan among 10 Royals signed to 2015 deals

Finnegan among 10 Royals signed to 2015 deals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals agreed to terms on 2015 contracts for left-handers Brandon Finnegan, Brian Flynn and John Lamb, right-handers Aaron Brooks and Michael Mariot, catcher Erik Kratz, infielders Cheslor Cuthbert and Ryan Jackson and outfielders Lane Adams and Jorge Bonifacio.

The Royals still have eight unsigned players, including likely Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura, as well as Rule 5 Draft right-hander Jandel Gustave, catcher Francisco Pena, infielders Orlando Calixte and Christian Colon, and outfielders Reymond Fuentes, Terrance Gore and Paulo Orlando.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Election to Royals Hall special for Sweeney and his dad

Former All-Star slugger set club record with 144 RBIs in 2000

Election to Royals Hall special for Sweeney and his dad

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Being elected into the Royals Hall of Fame on Wednesday was at least a small bit of light in what has been a dark two months for Mike Sweeney.

Sweeney learned on New Year's Eve that his father, Mike, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Medlen confident in Royals' rehab plan

Right-hander coming off second Tommy John surgery in four years

Medlen confident in Royals' rehab plan

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Kris Medlen literally does not know when he will actually have his first bullpen session since his Tommy John surgery last year.

The Royals know -- they have his whole rehab schedule mapped out.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

'Bachelor' Juan Pablo visits Royals camp

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'Bachelor' Juan Pablo visits Royals camp

Former star of ABC's "The Bachelor" Juan Pablo Galavis, known to most as, simply, Juan Pablo, is something of an honorary Major Leaguer. He's thrown out a (not great) first pitch before a Marlins game:

And he's good friends with several current players, even serving as a representative of the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame. Seriously.

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Cuthbert adjusting to playing second base

Nicaraguan prospect expected to start season at Triple-A

Cuthbert adjusting to playing second base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cheslor Cuthbert, a Nicaraguan who was signed in 2009 as a 16-year-old for $1.35 million, continues to climb his way through the Royals' system.

Cuthbert, now 22, was promoted to Triple-A Omaha toward the end of last season. In 25 games there he hit .264/.330/.385, and Omaha is where he'll start this season.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon swings for first time since surgery without issue

Outfielder reports no discomfort in right wrist the day after playing long toss

Gordon swings for first time since surgery without issue

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After playing long toss on Monday -- Alex Gordon's first attempt at throwing since surgery on his right wrist in December -- the Royals outfielder says he awoke Tuesday morning with no discomfort.

"The wrist felt fine," Gordon said before Tuesday's workout. "But throwing is the easy part. It's hitting that we'll have to see about."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moose vows to bunt more to beat defensive shift

Royals third baseman looking to boost batting average in 2015

Moose vows to bunt more to beat defensive shift

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas remembers the feeling he got when he first came up to bat in last year's season opener at Detroit and saw the Tigers' infield suddenly launch into a shift.

"Oh, God," Moustakas said, shaking his head. "I was really confused. I mean, they didn't shift me all spring."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Durable Escobar plans on playing every game

After starting 162 contests last season, Royals' shortstop looks to keep going

Durable Escobar plans on playing every game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar arrived in camp on Tuesday, ready to do what he always does -- play nonstop until the season is over.

Escobar played in all 162 games last season, played in all 15 postseason games, went to Japan for the All-Star Series right after that, and then played three weeks of winter ball.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morales gets jump on spring in Royals camp

Morales gets jump on spring in Royals camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, whom the Royals signed in the offseason to replace Billy Butler, arrived in camp on Tuesday, eager to get his timing down.

Morales missed Spring Training last year and he didn't sign with Minnesota until June. Morales never got on track, hitting just .218 with eight homers in 2014.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guthrie wants more taste of big games

Guthrie wants more taste of big games

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie looks back at the wild and eventful 2014 season, he recalls one regular-season game in particular that was virtually pushed aside in people's minds because of the terrific October run the team went on.

That game was on Sept. 26 in Chicago, the night the Royals clinched their first playoff berth since 1985 with a 3-1 win over the White Sox in which Guthrie tossed seven shutout innings.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Starling sharpening offensive, mental parts of game

Royals' 1st-round pick in 2011 Draft worked with Brett over offseason

Starling sharpening offensive, mental parts of game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals haven't given up on outfielder Bubba Starling, the fifth overall pick of the 2011 Draft.

"He's an athletic guy who could play in the big leagues right now defensively," Royals vice president/assistant general manager J.J. Picollo said. "Obviously there are some hurdles yet for him at the plate."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Jeremy Guthrie parodies MJ's retirement presser

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Jeremy Guthrie parodies MJ's retirement presser

Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie has announced that he's retiring from collecting sneakers. In a press conference parodying Michael Jordan's first retirement from basketball (the one where he announced he'd play professional baseball), Guthrie donned his Sunday best and held a press conference to, um, hang 'em up, so to speak.

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Jirschele: Holding Gordon was 'no-brainer'

Jirschele: Holding Gordon was 'no-brainer'

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals third-base coach Mike Jirschele went virtually the whole offseason without being asked about Game 7 and his decision to hold Alex Gordon at third base wih two outs in the ninth inning of the eventual 3-2 loss.

But in just one week of Spring Training, the question has come up repeatedly from both local and national reporters.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Volquez aiming to help bolster Royals' rotation

Right-hander is looking to stay within himself coming off stellar 2014

Volquez aiming to help bolster Royals' rotation

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Edinson Volquez was signed by the Royals essentially to replace James Shields.

But Volquez doesn't want to put that kind of pressure on himself.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals looking to design postgame celebrations

Royals looking to design postgame celebrations

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the legacies of James Shields that the Royals may or may not continue is his famous postgame celebrations.

Shields insisted that the team celebrate each victory with crazy loud music, a fog machine, an occasional disco ball, the famous neon deer butt and so on.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Madson, Royals pleased with throwing session

Madson, Royals pleased with throwing session

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Ryan Madson hadn't faced a hitter since 2011, the year he recorded 32 saves with a 2.37 ERA with the Phillies.

So, yes, Madson was both nervous and excited on Sunday as he threw a bullpen session to Royals Minor League hitters -- all under the watchful eye of manager Ned Yost.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

With premium on 'pen, KC corps could be even better

Royals supplemented dominant back-end trio with potential middle-relief standouts

With premium on 'pen, KC corps could be even better

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Dave Eiland admits it might come across as cocky or egotistical, but how can he keep from singing the praises of his 'pen?

"The whole world saw how we did it," the Royals' pitching coach said here Saturday. "It was on display for the world to see."

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rule 5 pick Gustave lights up radar gun, delivers intrigue

Royals considering eight-man 'pen to protect prospect

Rule 5 pick Gustave lights up radar gun, delivers intrigue

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As Minor League catcher Zane Evans pulled in one of right-hander Jandel Gustave's 100-mph heaters, a loud crack from the ball hitting the catcher's mitt could be heard all across the diamond.

"Nice!" Evans shouted in encouragement of Gustave's pitch location. "Right there, man."

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins trying to build on last season's positive finish

Left-hander struggled in 2014, but closed strong

Collins trying to build on last season's positive finish

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There were a lot of reasons to just forget about 2014 for Royals left-hander Tim Collins.

There was his shaky start to the season, there was a disheartening demotion to Triple-A in June, there was a nagging injury to his hip and so on.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pivotal camp at hand for Royals' Coleman

Out of options, right-hander battling for 'pen spot

Pivotal camp at hand for Royals' Coleman

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- This could be one of those life-changing Spring Trainings for Royals right-hander Louis Coleman.

Clearly on the bubble to make the club's bullpen, Coleman, 28, is out of options, meaning if he doesn't make the team, he cannot be sent to Triple-A, thus making him a candidate to be designated for assignment.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Finnegan's role up for debate at start of camp

Young lefty will stretch out for rotation, may switch back to bullpen

Finnegan's role up for debate at start of camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The great debate this spring in Royals camp will be what to do with rookie left-hander Brandon Finnegan.

Finnegan, ranked No. 75 among MLB.com's Top 100 Prospects, surprised many observers last season when, just months after being drafted in the first round out of TCU, he was called up in September and pressed into fairly high-leverage situations. He responded brilliantly, posting a 1.29 ERA that month.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer: Two-year deal a no-brainer

First baseman eligible for arbitration again in '16

Hosmer: Two-year deal a no-brainer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was minutes away on Wednesday from heading to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix and then on to Florida for a scheduled arbitration hearing on Thursday.

Then Hosmer's phone rang. It was his agent, Scott Boras, to let him know the Royals had offered to settle with a two-year deal worth $13.9 million.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.