Madson shows he still has plenty to offer Royals

After years of struggling with injuries, right-hander has productive camp

Madson shows he still has plenty to offer Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When Ryan Madson came into camp this spring with the Royals, he wanted to prove to himself he's healthy enough to pitch again in the Major Leagues. That mission has been accomplished.

"It has been a challenge," said the veteran right-hander who has been with Kansas City this spring as a non-roster invitee with a chance to make the big league team. "I've been away from it for so long. It took a lot of determination and hard work and just the grind. The time off put a lot of rust on."

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals rebound with five-run seventh to down D-backs

Orlando, Infante each have three hits in win; Duffy fans seven

Royals rebound with five-run seventh to down D-backs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- A five-run seventh was capped by RBI doubles from Paulo Orlando and Moises Sierra as the Royals completed a comeback win, 10-5, over the D-backs Saturday at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Two-run homers by Paul Goldschmidt and A.J. Pollock helped give the D-backs a two-run lead entering the seventh, but Robbie Ray struggled in relief, allowing five runs in two innings.

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Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Rios feels sky-high about 2015 Royals

After down season, veteran outfielder is rejuvenated in Kansas City

Rios feels sky-high about 2015 Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In the company of one of the liveliest bands of players in baseball, Alex Rios is reinvigorated. The American League champion Royals are taking the graceful, athletic right fielder back to his youth following a dark, injury-derailed season in Texas.

"I'm 34 years old," Rios said, "and I feel like a 20-year-old kid."

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals won't skip No. 5 Guthrie despite early off-day

Regular season rotation taking shape

Royals won't skip No. 5 Guthrie despite early off-day

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Though the Royals will have an off-day during the first week of the regular season, manager Ned Yost said he will not skip right-hander and No. 5 starter Jeremy Guthrie in the rotation.

Last year, Yost, for the most part, kept his No. 1 starter, James Shields, on a strict schedule of throwing every fifth day.

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

Yost: Cain sacrifices power for all-around game

Manager believes last year's breakout center fielder could hit 15-20 homers

Yost: Cain sacrifices power for all-around game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Last season unquestionably was a breakthrough season for Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who hit .301 and was named the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player.

But the Royals still don't know what Cain's ceiling is, especially in terms of his power.

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

Gore suffers broken jaw in Minor League game

Speedy outfielder hit by a pitch Friday

Gore suffers broken jaw in Minor League game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Terrance Gore, the Royals' speedster outfielder who became a baserunning weapon for the Royals last September and October, suffered a fractured jaw when he was hit by a pitch in a Minor League game Friday, according to manager Ned Yost.

Yost said he just learned about the injury on Saturday morning and did not have further details.

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

Ventura dazzles with his Opening Day form

Ventura dazzles with his Opening Day form

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals ace Yordano Ventura figured out he had a no-hitter going on Friday night somewhere around the fifth inning.

That's when he had a message for catcher Salvador Perez.

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

Ventura paces Royals with 7 hitless frames

Ventura paces Royals with 7 hitless frames

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura appeared sharp and ready for the season to begin, throwing seven no-hit innings in a 5-1 win over the Mariners on Friday night at Surprise Stadium.

Ventura walked two and struck out four before exiting in favor of Jason Frasor, who gave up the first hit to the Mariners, a one-out RBI single by Tyler Smith in the eighth.

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Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rios not concerned over aggravated right thumb injury

Yost being cautious with outfielder, who may not play until Sunday

Rios not concerned over aggravated right thumb injury

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right fielder Alex Rios' injured right thumb is not a major concern to him.

Rios aggravated the thumb injury -- the same injury that set him back last season and stripped him of his power (four homers in 2014) -- during his final at-bat Wednesday night.

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

Ventura to scale back pitches in spring finale

Ventura to scale back pitches in spring finale

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals Opening Day starter Yordano Ventura will have one more Spring Training start after Friday night.

Manager Ned Yost said Ventura, who was scheduled to throw 90-95 pitches against the Mariners on Friday, will be backed down to about 60-65 pitches on Wednesday against the Dodgers in the final Cactus League game in Arizona.

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

Orlando looking to edge Sierra for roster spot

Orlando looking to edge Sierra for roster spot

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the seemingly two roster spots left open this spring for the Royals is a battle between Moises Sierra and Paulo Orlando for the fifth outfielder spot.

The edge would appear to belong to Orlando, who has options. Sierra is not on the 40-man roster.

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

Guthrie dominates in pitching duel with Mariners

Royals starter goes 5 2/3 shutout innings in matchup with ace Hernandez

Guthrie dominates in pitching duel with Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners ace Felix Hernandez threw six strong innings while allowing just two hits and one run Thursday, but Royals veteran right-hander Jeremy Guthrie was even better with 5 2/3 scoreless frames in a 3-0 Cactus League pitchers' duel, won by Kansas City, at Peoria Stadium.

Guthrie, making just his second Cactus League start after missing one turn with a stomach virus, didn't allow a baserunner until Nelson Cruz singled leading off the fifth. Seattle's only other hit off Guthrie was a single by Shawn O'Malley in the sixth.

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Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals send well wishes to recovering superfan

Faseler, shot during home invasion, thanks supporters on Twitter

Royals send well wishes to recovering superfan

Jimmy Faseler, the Royals superfan who was shot recently in a home invasion, thanked fans and friends on Twitter for their support as he recovers in a Kansas City area hospital.

Faseler then tweeted, "I probably won't be posting too much for now. I don't have a lot of strength and need to conserve my energy for learning to walk again."

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

Rios sidelined for a few days by right thumb injury

Club taking cautious approach after outfielder was bothered by similar issue in '14

Rios sidelined for a few days by right thumb injury

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right fielder Alex Rios will miss at least the next two games because of a jammed right thumb -- the same injury that saddled him for much of the 2014 season.

Manager Ned Yost said Rios injured the thumb on his last at-bat Wednesday night against the White Sox.

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

Duffy's ascendance a symbol of homegrown success

With Ventura as ace, Royals' top two starters products of farm system

Duffy's ascendance a symbol of homegrown success

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Overshadowed a bit by the news of Yordano Ventura being named the Royals' Opening Day starter was the fact that another young pitcher has been elevated to the No. 2 spot in the rotation -- left-hander Danny Duffy.

With Ventura and Duffy at the top of the rotation, it represents a changing of the guard for the organization.

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

Royals lose Gustave to Padres on waivers

Royals lose Gustave to Padres on waivers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals' Rule 5 experiment, right-hander Jandel Gustave, has ended with the San Diego Padres claiming him off outright waivers.

The Royals were intrigued by Gustave's arm -- he was clocked in the upper 90s mph this spring -- but the Royals' decision last week to go with a seven-man bullpen instead of eight likely sealed his fate.

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

Fight for Royals' bullpen spot going down to wire

Flynn, Coleman leading candidates for likely one relief opening

Fight for Royals' bullpen spot going down to wire

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With a week to go before the Royals leave Arizona, the battle rages on for what likely is one remaining bullpen spot.

The Royals' locks for the bullpen continue to be Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Jason Frasor, Chris Young and, most likely, Franklin Morales.

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

Ventura to make first Opening Day start

Young right-hander earned start with brilliant postseason performance

Ventura to make first Opening Day start

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The two worst-kept secrets in Royals camp all spring -- who would be the Opening Day starter and what the rotation would be -- were officially revealed by manager Ned Yost on Wednesday.

Right-hander Yordano Ventura will start on Opening Day on April 6 against Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox.

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

Vargas, Royals shut down by young White Sox arms

Left-hander charged with one run over 6 innings

Vargas, Royals shut down by young White Sox arms

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon gave the Kansas City Royals an early glimpse of his talents on Wednesday night. His division rivals to-be can't have liked what they saw.

Rodon, Chicago's top prospect and the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, allowed just four singles and struck out nine Royals over four innings, as the White Sox knocked off their American League Central foes, 6-0, at Surprise Stadium.

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

Former Royals catcher Buck announces retirement

Played for seven teams in 11 seasons, was AL All-Star in 2010

Former Royals catcher Buck announces retirement

Veteran catcher John Buck, who was in Spring Training camp with the Braves, announced his retirement Thursday in order to spend more time with his family.

The 34-year-old played for seven teams in 11 Major League seasons from 2004-14. He appeared in 1,090 games and collected 844 hits.

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

Young extends pitch count in Minor League game

Right-hander throws four innings, 64 pitches

Young extends pitch count in Minor League game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Chris Young continued the process of being stretched out so he can assume his regular-season role as a long reliever in the Royals bullpen.

Young threw four innings in a Minor League game on Wednesday, reaching 64 pitches. He also threw 10 more pitches in the bullpen afterward.

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

Jirscheles enjoy seeing each other from across the diamond

Royals third-base coach, White Sox Minor Leaguer look on from opposing dugouts

Jirscheles enjoy seeing each other from across the diamond

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike and Justin Jirschele have undoubtedly spent plenty of time together on the baseball diamond. On Wednesday night, they got to do so from opposing dugouts.

Before the White Sox 6-0 victory over Kansas City, Mike, the Royals' third-base coach, exchanged lineup cards with his son, an infielder in the White Sox system.

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AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Collins hopes to follow Hochevar's lead

Lefty to remain with Royals through rehab

Collins hopes to follow Hochevar's lead

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If all goes well, left-hander Tim Collins will do exactly what right-hander Luke Hochevar did last September -- be part of a dogpile in the infield when the Royals clinch a playoff spot.

"Hopefully, I'm healthy enough to do that," Collins said. "I'll make sure I'm on top of the pile just to be safe."

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

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

MLB Pipeline checks in from Royals camp

Development of young pitchers could have great impact on club's success

MLB Pipeline checks in from Royals camp

Every Spring Training, prospects get a chance to show what they can do as they prepare for the season ahead. Some are competing for jobs in big league camp, others are prepping for the season as they vie for spots at Minor League affiliates up and down a team's system. MLBPipeline.com will be visiting all 30 camps this spring. Today, we check in on the Kansas City Royals.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In the past two decades, the Royals have enjoyed just three winning seasons and signed and developed just three pitchers who could manage 10 victories in a single year for Kansas City. Those two developments aren't unrelated, though the future looks brighter in both regards for the defending American League champions.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com and writes a blog, Callis' Corner. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Brett's love for baseball didn't end with playing career

Drawn-out farewell wasn't for Royals legend, who remains close to the game

Brett's love for baseball didn't end with playing career

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Three years ago, Chipper Jones announced his plans to retire in advance, and he spent the season enjoying a sendoff from fans in Atlanta and other Major League cities. Two years ago, it was Mariano Rivera who enjoyed his farewell tour. And last year, it was Derek Jeter.

Hall of Famer George Brett knows he could have never done that. He still enjoys being a part of the game and welcomes the chance to put the uniform back on every spring to work with the Royals. But when Brett decided his career was over, it was over.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Breaking pitches elude Volquez in rough outing vs. Giants

Royals' No. 3 starter allows four runs in second inning

Breaking pitches elude Volquez in rough outing vs. Giants

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants batted around to score four second-inning runs during a rare offensive outburst Monday as they outlasted the Kansas City Royals, 8-3, in a rematch of last year's World Series.

San Francisco entered the game batting .231, next-to-last in the National League. But the reigning Series champions swung lively bats against Royals right-hander and No. 3 starter Edinson Volquez, who lost to the Giants in last year's Wild Card Game as a member of the Pirates.

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Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals favor extra bench player over reliever

Seven-man bullpen likely to start season; Yost prefers spare outfielder

Royals favor extra bench player over reliever

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With less than two weeks remaining before the Royals break camp, manager Ned Yost perhaps is starting to get a clearer picture of how his 25-man roster will look.

Yost hinted Monday morning that he's now likely leaning toward carrying a seven-man bullpen. The organization has pondered the notion of an eight-man bullpen for much of the 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.

Infante sees first Cactus League action at second

Royals infielder tallies two hits, but doesn't get chance to test elbow with throw

Infante sees first Cactus League action at second

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Omar Infante was in the Royals' lineup at second base Monday for the first time in Cactus League action this spring.

Infante, who has been bothered by a sore right elbow and received a cortisone shot two weeks ago, did not get a chance to field a grounder and make a throw, however, in the five innings he played.

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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.

Former starter Flynn flourishing as bullpen candidate

Royals impressed by work of tall southpaw this spring

Former starter Flynn flourishing as bullpen candidate

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In 98 professional outings, Royals left-hander Brian Flynn has been a reliever exactly once, and that came last year in a brief stint with the Marlins.

But Flynn is now trying to prove to the Royals that his greatest value to the team is out of the bullpen. Flynn is making a strong case, to say the least.

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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.