Duffy accomplishes much in spring debut

Lefty starter able to work on slide step, changeup Tuesday

Duffy accomplishes much in spring debut

PHOENIX -- Royals left-hander Danny Duffy never likes to come out of a game. Not even a Spring Training game.

That's the competitor in him.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

KC's O'Brien crushes third HR of spring

KC's O'Brien crushes third HR of spring

PHOENIX -- Danny Duffy surrendered a run in each of his first two spring innings, but the Royals slugged their way back to beat the Brewers, 6-3, on Tuesday at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Royals catcher Brayan Pena doubled home two runs in the fourth inning to tie the game, and Ryan O'Hearn homered in the sixth off Brewers right-hander Hiram Burgos for a 3-2 lead. The Royals extended their lead with three more runs against Burgos in the eighth, when Peter O'Brien's two-run homer cleared the 30-foot batter's eye in center field -- O'Brien's third homer this spring.

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Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Slimmer Salvy vows to keep weight off

All-Star catcher feels great after losing 25 pounds in offseason

Slimmer Salvy vows to keep weight off

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Of all the Royals who showed up in camp in top shape, none perhaps is more noticeable than All-Star and Gold Glove catcher Salvador Perez.

Perez bought a home in Miami over the offseason, in part to be close to teammate Eric Hosmer so the two could train together.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Starling still trying to make good on potential

2011 first-round pick struggled in 2016 after promising '15

Starling still trying to make good on potential

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- No one will say it out loud, not even Bubba Starling himself, but the clock is ticking on the former first-round pick.

Starling, 24, is no longer a kid, no longer a bright-eyed prospect so talented out of high school that the Royals made him the fifth overall pick in the 2011 Draft.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals club 3 homers early; Salvy plates 4

Royals club 3 homers early; Salvy plates 4

PEORIA, Ariz. -- An early start time didn't slow the Royals, as catcher Salvador Perez led an offensive onslaught against several of the Mariners' new pitching acquisitions in a 14-3 runaway on Monday at Peoria Stadium that was called after seven innings.

With rain in the afternoon forecast, the contest was moved up one hour, but that didn't help Mariners pitchers as the Royals ripped three homers and scored 11 runs in the first three innings.

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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Joe Posnanski

Difficult personnel decisions await Moore

Core stars Hosmer, Moustakas, Cain, Escobar on verge of free agency

Difficult personnel decisions await Moore

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Eric Hosmer fist-bumps anyone and everyone he sees at Royals camp these days. I barely know the guy and am a conscientious non-fist-bumper, but I've already fist-bumped Hosmer twice today. He's irresistible that way.

People around the country may argue Hosmer's value as a ballplayer. He's a three-time Gold Glove winner who rates poorly in advanced defensive metrics. Hosmer is an All-Star seemingly in line for a huge contract, even though his offensive numbers do not exactly inspire awe. He has never slugged close to .500, never approached 30 homers in a season, never walked more than 61 times in a season.

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MLB.com columnist Joe Posnanski is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, an Emmy Award-winning writer and has been awarded National Sportswriter of the Year. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor relishes scoreless spring appearance

Royals lefty looking to land bullpen spot for '17 season

Minor relishes scoreless spring appearance

PEORIA, Ariz. -- As far as most Spring Training games go, this one actually held some significance for left-hander Mike Minor.

Minor worked two scoreless innings in the Royals' 14-3 rain-shortened victory over the Mariners on Monday.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon making strong impression this spring

Colon making strong impression this spring

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Not long after Royals second baseman Christian Colon doubled in his first Spring Training at-bat on Sunday, he was greeted in the dugout by his offseason workout partner, Alex Gordon.

"See, all that hard work is already paying off," Gordon told him. "What did it take you last year to get your first hit? Twenty-two at-bats?"

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yost weighing options for second-base job

Yost weighing options for second-base job

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For the first time since camp opened a couple of weeks ago, Royals manager Ned Yost suggested he may not have a full-time second baseman when the regular season starts.

The second-base job could remain fluid in April.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmer focused on mechanics, not results

Zimmer focused on mechanics, not results

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- You could say that right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the Royals' first-round pick in the 2012 Draft, wasn't all that wrapped up in his results on Sunday after his first spring start.

Zimmer wobbled a bit through 1 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and three runs, two earned, in the Royals' 6-4 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dozier, Vallot deliver with bats vs. Rangers

Dozier, Vallot deliver with bats vs. Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ryan Rua, who is trying to win a job in left field, hit a two-run home run off of Royals starter Kyle Zimmer to help lift the Rangers to a 6-4 victory on Sunday at Surprise Stadium.

Mike Moustakas played his first game for the Royals since ACL surgery on his right knee last May. Moustakas, who will alternate between DH and third base this spring, walked and went 0-for-2.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

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

Salvy ready for challenge by Dyson on bases

Salvy ready for challenge by Dyson on bases

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It will be just one of many Spring Training games for the Mariners and the Royals on Monday (at 2:10 p.m. CT on Gameday Audio) in Peoria, Ariz.

But this one could present a little spice: It will be the first time former Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson will face his former team.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Powerful O'Brien looking to stick with Royals

Powerful O'Brien looking to stick with Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There are two things that will raise eyebrows if you're around Peter O'Brien on a baseball field.

First, O'Brien can hit a baseball about as far as anyone in the game. In fact, last Spring Training, when O'Brien was with the D-backs, he hit a home run with an exit velocity of 119.5 mph, making it the hardest home run hit since Statcast™ began tracking that data.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Perez shines in Cactus League opener

Perez shines in Cactus League opener

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It didn't take long for Royals catcher Salvador Perez to get in his spring groove.

Perez crushed a double and a homer, driving in a game-high four runs in the Royals' 7-5 victory over the Rangers in the Cactus League opener for both teams at Surprise Stadium.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvy, O'Brien go deep in spring debuts

Salvy, O'Brien go deep in spring debuts

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Peter O'Brien, acquired from the D-backs in the offseason, hit a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning to lift the Royals to a 7-5 victory over the Rangers on Saturday afternoon in the Cactus League opener for both teams.

O'Brien's home run came off of Anthony Bass, who is trying to win a job as a middle reliever. This marked the first of five games this spring between the teams that share the Surprise training facility. In his return to the Rangers, Mike Napoli produced an RBI single in the third.

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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

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

Royals honor Ventura at Cactus opener

Royals honor Ventura at Cactus opener

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Minutes before the start of the Royals' Cactus League opener against the Rangers, the memory of Yordano Ventura was honored at Surprise Stadium.

The stadium flags flew at half-staff, as players and coaches from both teams stood along the foul lines to pay tribute to Ventura, who died last month in a car accident in the Dominican Republic.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moose not limited by knee, anxious to play

Moose not limited by knee, anxious to play

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There is always a pivotal time after ACL surgery when the player finally realizes he can trust his knee again.

That moment for Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas arrived last September as he was taking some grounders before a game at Kauffman Stadium. The infield practice came roughly four months after his procedure, and Moustakas was simply breaking up the boredom of rehab.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

9 Oscar-nominated movies we wish were about baseball

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9 Oscar-nominated movies we wish were about baseball

It's always fun to speculate about which films will win Academy Awards, but today we're going to indulge in an entirely different set of speculations. What if we lived in an alternate universe where all of the nominated movies were baseball-themed? Sounds pretty great, right? Lucky for you, we've chosen some possible winners from that different and better reality.

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Classic gives Yost chance to watch prospects

Royals will have six veterans leaving camp for international play

Classic gives Yost chance to watch prospects

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost sees the bright side of sending players to the World Baseball Classic in the middle of Spring Training: He'll get to see some of his younger players longer.

The Royals have six players on their 40-man roster committed to the Classic: first baseman Eric Hosmer, catchers Salvador Perez and Drew Butera, shortstop Alcides Escobar, left-hander Danny Duffy and reliever Joakim Soria.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Herrera welcomes pressure as Royals' closer

Herrera welcomes pressure as Royals' closer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- New Royals closer Kelvin Herrera thought it'd be a good thing this offseason to check in with former closer Wade Davis, now with the Cubs, on what this full-time gig will be like.

As one might expect, Davis told Herrera he would do just fine.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hunter Dozier, the Royals' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, was drafted as a shortstop, converted to third base, and most recently has been working in right and left field.

Now comes a new position for Dozier to tackle: First base.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals taking it slow with Kennedy, Hammel

Royals taking it slow with Kennedy, Hammel

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Basically everyone either in the Royals' rotation or competing for a job is listed in the probables for the first six games of Spring Training.

That would be except right-handers Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel, who, of course, are locks for the rotation.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain sticks with original mitt on Glove Day

Center fielder keeps game glove protected

Cain sticks with original mitt on Glove Day

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain has a special relationship with his glove.

Cain has used the same glove -- a Wilson A2000 1799 -- for seven years.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmer feels healthy, hopes injury concerns are in past

Prospect fully rehabbed from August surgery

Zimmer feels healthy, hopes injury concerns are in past

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- These days, Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer is keeping expectations low.

Zimmer, the Royals' No. 9 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, arrived to Spring Training in 2016 with great optimism. His fastball was hitting 96 mph early in camp.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breaking down the Royals' Top 30 Prospects

KC's farm headlined by big league-ready Strahm, Dozier

Breaking down the Royals' Top 30 Prospects

Six years ago, the Royals had the best farm system in baseball. The biggest names were Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers, all of whom would contribute mightily -- Myers via trade -- to an American League pennant in 2014 and a World Series title in 2015. So too would a deep crop of then lesser-known talents that included Danny Duffy, Jarrod Dyson, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

That championship will resonate forever in Kansas City, but the team slipped to 81-81 last year and the current system lacks the reinforcements that will be needed after a likely free-agent exodus following the 2017 season. The Royals traded their best young arms (Brandon Finnegan, Sean Manaea, Cody Reed) to add Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist for the stretch drive in 2015, and they haven't drafted as well since they began picking lower in the first round and were hamstrung by bonus limitations.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore not worried about losing big-name stars

Moose, Hosmer, Cain and Escobar can be free agents following season

Moore not worried about losing big-name stars

PHOENIX -- Much has been made in the past year or so about the Royals' window of opportunity closing.

This is the last year the core of the Royals' 2015 World Series championship team is guaranteed to stay together. Kansas City has four potential big-name free-agents after the '17 season -- third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar.

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Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.