No ill effects for Hochevar after 1st BP session

Yost pleased with right-hander's performance, says progression is 'normal'

No ill effects for Hochevar after 1st BP session

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first thing Royals skipper Ned Yost did when he got to the clubhouse Wednesday morning was find out how right-hander Luke Hochevar was feeling.

Hochevar, recovering from Tommy John surgery last March, had thrown his first batting-practice session of the spring on Tuesday.

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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.

5 things you may not know about Royals' Duffy

5 things you may not know about Royals' Duffy

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Danny Duffy is without question one of the more colorful Royals.

Duffy is the man, of course, who came up with the song "We Ready," which became the Royals' postgame anthem from September through the playoffs (spoiler alert: it will not be the Royals' anthem 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.

Yost says not to read too much into early lineups

Yost says not to read too much into early lineups

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jarrod Dyson was in the lineup card in left field in the Royals' Cactus League opener, filling in for Alex Gordon, who is still rehabbing his right wrist.

Manager Ned Yost also plopped Dyson second in the batting order, leading to obvious speculation that when Gordon is healthy enough to play in games, Gordon might be the Royals' No. 2 hitter 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.

Finnegan among spring decisions for Royals

Finnegan among spring decisions for Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Spring Training games are finally on deck, and Royals manager Ned Yost can soon begin the process of determining the 25-man roster that he will break camp with later this month.

The Royals open the Cactus League schedule against the Rangers on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium.

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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 isn't likely to see many spring shifts

Moose isn't likely to see many spring shifts

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the big questions this spring is how much progress third baseman Mike Moustakas will make in trying to combat the shift, which hampered his season in 2014.

But Moustakas' work likely will be restricted to times that he is in the batting cage -- the Royals do not anticipate other teams will go into the shift in Spring Training against him for fear of giving Moustakas too much practice against it.

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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 excited over tweak in his mechanics

Madson excited over tweak in his mechanics

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Ryan Madson isn't too concerned about his minor setback -- he felt some stiffness in his lower back over the weekend that prevented him from throwing on Monday.

In fact, Madson is pretty excited about the new mechanics that pitching coach Dave Eiland has taught him this spring -- Madson is less upright in his delivery and is doing more "drop and drive" toward the plate, which is a Royals' staple.

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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 prospect Dozier aiming to bounce back

Last season's struggles may be valuable learning experience

Royals prospect Dozier aiming to bounce back

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hitting a baseball has never been an issue for third baseman Hunter Dozier, the Royals' top pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft.

Through Little League, high school, and college, where Dozier had a ridiculous 1.237 OPS his senior year at Stephen F. Austin State, he punished opposing pitchers.

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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 sign remainder of pre-arbitration players

Royals sign remainder of pre-arbitration players

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals on Tuesday morning signed eight players -- all pre-arbitration players, including right-hander Yordano Ventura -- to one-year deals.

All players in Royals camp are signed for this season. Here are the figures:

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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' feeling is they have winning chemistry

Royals' feeling is they have winning chemistry

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- This collection of Royals always has been a pretty loose group. If it's not catcher Salvador Perez needling center fielder Lorenzo Cain on Instagram, it's outfielder Jarrod Dyson poking fun at incoming rookies in camp.

It's that type of playful camaraderie that manager Ned Yost appreciates.

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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.

Gustave could stick on Royals' 25-man roster

Gustave could stick on Royals' 25-man roster

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Jandel Gustave, a Rule 5 Draft pick, intrigued the Royals' scouting department enough with his 101-mph fastball that the club considers it a real possibility that it could carry him on the 25-man roster all season.

But Gustave certainly struggled in his first showing on Sunday in an intrasquad game, giving up a walk on four pitches, and then later, allowing four straight solid hits.

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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.

Rain washes out Royals' intrasquad contest

Rain washes out Royals' intrasquad contest

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Heavy rains washed out the Royals' intrasquad game on Monday, and manager Ned Yost said the club doesn't plan on making it up on Tuesday.

"Hopefully the conditions will be better Tuesday and we can have our normal routine then," Yost said.

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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 impressed with Infante's perseverance

Second baseman battled various injuries last season

Royals impressed with Infante's perseverance

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals second baseman Omar Infante had one of the most demanding physical seasons of his career in 2014.

Infante battled through shoulder issues, elbow issues and back issues. He was nailed in the face by a pitch. His right arm throbbed throughout September and the postseason.

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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.

Hochevar straight forward on throwing curveballs

Hochevar straight forward on throwing curveballs

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Luke Hochevar remembers the exact pitch that he blew out his elbow on last Spring Training -- a curveball.

"I remember throwing it and I felt a pop and burn," Hochevar said on Sunday. "I didn't think a whole lot about it at the time because I'd been battling tightness and soreness since 2010 really. Then, I threw a cutter to get the final out of that inning and got back to the bench, and I started to wonder what was going 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Gordon emerges as standout of impressive '05 Draft class

Royals star more consistent than peers Braun, Zimmerman and Tulo

Gordon emerges as standout of impressive '05 Draft class

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In the midst of a discussion of the importance of the coming season for Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin paused, and smiled.

"The game is a challenge," he said. "A few years ago, there were questions about Alex Gordon, and the buzz was about Braun, [Troy] Tulowitzki and [Ryan] Zimmerman. Now? They've all had their problems the last couple years and you'd say Gordon has become the most consistent."

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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.

Blanton brushing off shaky intrasquad outing

Blanton brushing off shaky intrasquad outing

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Joe Blanton hasn't pitched in the Major Leagues since 2013, and he hasn't faced a hitter since last April, when he pitched in two games for Oakland's top affiliate before retiring from baseball.

Blanton's road back got off to a bumpy start in the Royals' first intrasquad game of the spring. He gave up four straight hits, including a booming double by Eric Hosmer off the center-field screen. After striking out Erik Kratz, Blanton served up a screaming two-run double to left to Ryan Roberts before pitching coach Dave Eiland said that was enough and called the inning.

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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.

Yost offers thoughts on Finnegan in 'pen

Yost offers thoughts on Finnegan in 'pen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- There is a perception by some observers that keeping rookie left-hander Brandon Finnegan on the 25-man roster and in the Royals' bullpen would be "wasting" him because he was a first-round Draft pick chosen to be an eventual starter.

Manager Ned Yost doesn't see it that way at all.

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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.

Gore hopes to be running with Royals again in postseason

Speedy outfielder plans on improving bat in Minors before coming up

Gore hopes to be running with Royals again in postseason

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If there's one guy you'd think can't wait for September and October to come around, it's Royals outfielder Terrance Gore.

Gore was the Royals' secret weapon last season after September callups and in the postseason.

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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.

Flynn surprised to be issued Shields' old number

Flynn surprised to be issued Shields' old number

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Brian Flynn didn't ask for uniform No. 33.

"I was surprised when they gave it to me," Flynn said, adding that he knew right away that it was James Shields' old number.

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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.

Yost trusts players to take care of themselves off the field

With news of Sale's accident, Royals skipper not worried about own team

Yost trusts players to take care of themselves off the field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- News that White Sox left-hander Chris Sale -- likely the Opening Day starter against the Royals on April 6 if healthy -- suffered an avulsion fracture on the lateral side of his right foot naturally was of interest to Royals manager Ned Yost.

Sale is expected to be out at least three weeks and is questionable for the opener.

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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.

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.