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.

MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Binford has necessary tools to become a force

Once Royals prospect refines his pitches, he'll be asset on the mound

Binford has necessary tools to become a force

My first look at Royals right-hander Christian Binford was in the 2014 Futures Game in Minneapolis. Binford threw eight pitches for the U.S. team, striking out one in one inning. It was impressive.

The 6-foot-6, 220-pounder posted another strong outing when I saw him earlier this month in a Spring Training game. Binford was a non-roster invitee at the Royals' Major League camp, and his command and control were superb once again, though he has since been reassigned to the Minor League camp.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Finnegan among nine players Royals send to Minors

Lefty, drafted in 2014, was key member of last season's postseason bullpen

Finnegan among nine players Royals send to Minors

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals made a round of nine roster cuts after Sunday's 4-2 victory over a Giants split-squad at Surprise Stadium, and the biggest name was left-hander Brandon Finnegan, who was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Finnegan, the club's No. 4 prospect, per MLB.com, made seven relief appearances for the Royals last September and recorded a 1.29 ERA. Even more significantly, he was on the 25-man roster throughout the postseason and again made seven more appearances, two each in the American League Division Series, AL Championship Series and the Kansas City's World Series loss to San Francisco in addition to the AL Wild Card Game.

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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.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Royals eyeing crowning October achievement

Reigning AL champs feel they can make successful WS title run

Royals eyeing crowning October achievement

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Kansas City Royals, after ending a postseason drought in a huge way, do not plan on being one-and-done in October.

The Royals, who had not been in the playoffs since 1985, may have entered the 2014 postseason as a Wild Card, but they went 8-0 as they charged through three levels to win the American League pennant. They had the misfortune to run into the Giants and Madison Bumgarner in the World Series -- losing in seven games. Nobody has beaten the Giants in a postseason series in the last three even-numbered years.

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

Duffy builds toward season in KC's win over Giants

Rios ups Cactus League average to .306 with double, single in victory

Duffy builds toward season in KC's win over Giants

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When last seen by Royals fans, Nori Aoki was playing right field for the Kansas City club in last October's seven-game loss to the Giants in the World Series. Aoki went 1-for-14 in the Series.

He returned to Surprise Stadium on Sunday and played left field for a Giants split-squad and went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, the two hits coming against former teammate and left-hander Danny Duffy. Duffy allowed only four other Giants hits and two runs through 5 2/3 innings as the Royals won, 4-2.

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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.

Hochevar may begin in Minors; Infante plays field

Hochevar may begin in Minors; Infante plays field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar could start the season on the disabled list and ultimately continue his rehab from Tommy John surgery in the Minor Leagues, manager Ned Yost said on Sunday morning.

In addition, Omar Infante made his spring debut in the field on Sunday and went 1-for-4 with a double in a Minor League game adjacent to Surprise Stadium. Infante has been limited to DH duties because of a sore right elbow.

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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.

Gordon's spring debut goes according to plan

Outfielder goes 0-for-3, but right wrist passes test

Gordon's spring debut goes according to plan

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Alex Gordon's first real day at the office came with no surprises attached. It's just what Gordon and the Royals wanted.

Gordon, who has been recovering from offseason surgery on his right wrist, made his first appearance in a Cactus League game this year, and while he didn't contribute much as far as the numbers were concerned in the Royals' 6-4 loss to the White Sox at Camelback Ranch, the important accomplishments were noted.

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

Yost targets giving Perez more days off

Catcher could see more playing time at DH

Yost targets giving Perez more days off

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost has been thinking about giving Salvador Perez more days off from catching since December and probably earlier.

But Yost mentioned it on the first day of the Winter Meetings, and he mentioned it again Saturday at Spring Training.

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

Coleman's lights-out performance speaks to Royals' bullpen depth

Coleman's lights-out performance speaks to Royals' bullpen depth

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost and the rest of the observers from the dugout in Peoria on Friday night seemed to be as blown away by the two-inning, five-strikeout relief performance of Louis Coleman as the Padres hitters Coleman struck out (Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Derek Norris, Yonder Alonso and Jedd Gyorko).

"We were like, 'Is it the lights? What is it?'" Yost said Saturday. "To face the meat of that order, that's a pretty good order right there."

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

Ventura, Herrera get work in behind the scenes

Ventura, Herrera get work in behind the scenes

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Two of the Royals' most important pitchers got their work done behind the scenes Saturday, but both took solid steps toward the opening of the regular season.

Starter Yordano Ventura and reliever Kelvin Herrera pitched against Minor Leaguers on a back field at the club's spring complex in Surprise and did what the team expected with no setbacks.

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

Eibner, Kratz go deep, but Royals lose on walk-off homer

Royals power not enough in Gordon's spring debut

Eibner, Kratz go deep, but Royals lose on walk-off homer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Courtney Hawkins slugged a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the White Sox a 6-4 walk-off victory over the Royals on Saturday at Camelback Ranch.

Joe Blanton and Brad Penny started for the Royals and White Sox, respectively. But it was the return of Alex Gordon to the starting lineup that held up as the biggest news of the day.

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Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young builds innings, expectations for role with Royals

Veteran aims to follow up 12-win comeback season

Young builds innings, expectations for role with Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Chris Young is building up his pitch count and the expectations for how he can help the Royals in 2015.

The veteran 6-foot-10 right-hander solidified his likely gig as the long relief/spot starter role on Friday night, pitching three innings against the Padres and giving up one run on two hits and a balk while striking out three. Most important, he got up to 48 pitches and should hit the mid-60s in his next outing next week as he builds toward what looks like his spot to lose in the bullpen.

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

Madson pleasant surprise for Royals after 'flyer'

Veteran hasn't pitched in Majors since 2011

Madson pleasant surprise for Royals after 'flyer'

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost was asked to name the biggest pleasant surprise from camp so far this year. He said there weren't any and that the big league team was progressing just as he expected it to.

Then he reconsidered for a second.

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

Young adds to solid spring, Hosmer fuels offense in win

Royals reliever Coleman strikes out five over two scoreless innings

Young adds to solid spring, Hosmer fuels offense in win

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer had a two-run double as part of a three-run fifth inning Friday as the Royals topped the Padres, 6-1, at the Peoria Sports Complex.

The Royals' outburst came against Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush, who followed starting pitcher Ian Kennedy, who had his best performance of Cactus League play. Kennedy allowed one unearned run over four innings, getting seven ground ball outs for the Padres (8-9).

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Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.