Hosmer among All-Classic Team standouts

Along with Hosmer, pair selected unanimously to field of 12 honorees

Hosmer among All-Classic Team standouts

Following a thrilling World Baseball Classic that culminated in the United States winning its first title thanks to Wednesday's 8-0 win over Puerto Rico, World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) announced the All-World Baseball Classic Team.

From the champions, tournament Most Valuable Player Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays (2.35 ERA, six-plus scoreless innings in final), Eric Hosmer of the Royals (unanimous choice) and Christian Yelich of the Marlins were selected. Stroman, as WBC 2017 MVP, joined Japan's Daisuke Matsuzaka (2006 and '09) and the Dominican Republic's Robinson Cano (2013) as MVPs in Classic history.

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

Karns K's 9 in 6 scoreless; Moose, Cuthbert homer

Karns K's 9 in 6 scoreless; Moose, Cuthbert homer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Cheslor Cuthbert hit a two-run double as well as his first spring home run, and Mike Moustakas hit his fourth as the Royals beat the Padres, 6-2, on Wednesday at Surprise Stadium.

Royals right-hander Nathan Karns, in his first start since winning the No. 5 spot in the rotation, was dominant. Karns went six innings and gave up four hits, no runs and no walks while striking out nine. He threw 72 pitches, 54 for strikes.

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

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

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

Versatile Cuthbert delivers at plate, at first base

Versatile Cuthbert delivers at plate, at first base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals infielder Cheslor Cuthbert had a special day Wednesday, perhaps his best day of the spring.

Cuthbert hit his first home run of the Cactus League season, doubled in two runs and made the defensive gem of the month in the Royals' 6-2 win over the Padres.

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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.

Struggling Soler adds Minors games to prep work

Struggling Soler adds Minors games to prep work

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If Royals outfielder Jorge Soler doesn't find his timing at the plate soon, it won't be for lack of effort.

When Soler hasn't been playing in Cactus League games lately, he has been getting at-bats in games in the Royals' Minor League 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.

5th starter runner-up Wood has no hard feelings

5th starter runner-up Wood has no hard feelings

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the main reasons left-hander Travis Wood signed with the Royals this offseason was the promise of getting a chance to compete for a starting job.

The Royals fulfilled their end of the deal by giving Wood that chance this spring. But Wood came up short in the battle for the final rotation spot, as manager Ned Yost named Nathan Karns his No. 5 starter 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.

O'Brien belts 7th HR, Soler connects for 1st

O'Brien belts 7th HR, Soler connects for 1st

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray turned in another impressive outing in a 4-2 win over the Royals on Tuesday in front of 10,131 fans at Salt River Fields.

Ray allowed a pair of runs over five innings while striking out six and walking one. Both of the runs came on homers.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

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.

Vargas continues to build for regular season

Vargas continues to build for regular season

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As Royals' camp draws closer to the end, left-hander Jason Vargas looks more and more like the pitcher he was in 2014 and '15 before he underwent Tommy John surgery.

Vargas continued to build his pitch count up on Tuesday, throwing 72 pitches and tossing a strong 4 1/3 innings in a 4-2 loss to the D-backs at Salt River Fields.

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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.

Strahm shakes off rough outing against Reds

Strahm shakes off rough outing against Reds

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For five straight outings this spring, Royals left-hander Matt Strahm looked just like he did during his sensational rookie debut last season -- virtually unhittable.

Strahm had given up two hits and no runs in 8 1/3 innings, walked none and struck out nine.

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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.

Esky likely back in Royals' lineup on Friday

Esky likely back in Royals' lineup on Friday

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar was back in Royals camp on Tuesday morning, happy to be with his teammates again.

Manager Ned Yost said Escobar likely won't play until Friday.

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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

Fred Zinkie

Tale of the fantasy tape: Royals vs. Tigers

Which American League Central rival has superior fantasy assets?

Tale of the fantasy tape: Royals vs. Tigers

Though the Indians ran away with the American League Central last season, the Royals and the Tigers should both serve as formidable challengers to the Tribe this year.

But which club has the best chance of ending Cleveland's reign atop the division? By using fantasy value to assess the key players on the Detroit and Kansas City rosters for 2017, we can get a head start on determining the answer to that question.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect O'Hearn, Hammel stand out vs. Reds

Prospect O'Hearn, Hammel stand out vs. Reds

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Tim Adleman, in the battle for a Reds rotation spot, hit a go-ahead two-run double in the eighth inning as the Reds rallied for a 10-6 victory over the Royals on Monday.

The Reds sent 13 men to the plate in an eight-run eighth inning, highlighted by Adleman's double, which erased a 4-2 deficit.

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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.

Karns named No. 5 starter; Young, Wood to bullpen

Offseason acquisition made 15 starts for Mariners in 2016

Karns named No. 5 starter; Young, Wood to bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first major decision of this Royals camp came down Monday, as manager Ned Yost named right-hander Nathan Karns as his No. 5 starter.

Karns, acquired in the offseason from the Mariners for Jarrod Dyson, had been battling with right-hander Chris Young and left-hander Travis Wood for the No. 5 spot.

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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.

Hammel sharp vs. Reds, ready for regular season

Righty starter fires 76 pitches (57 strikes) in effective outing

Hammel sharp vs. Reds, ready for regular season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jason Hammel will have at least one more start in the Cactus League before camp breaks.

But he declared himself ready for the regular season now after a strong outing Monday against the Reds. Hammel had a no-hitter for 4 1/3 innings and left after 5 1/3 innings; he gave up three hits and one run while striking out five in a 10-6 loss, throwing 76 pitches.

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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.

O'Hearn, Parnell among five reassigned by Royals

O'Hearn, Parnell among five reassigned by Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals cleared some space in their camp following Monday's game, reassigning right-hander Bobby Parnell, catcher Parker Morin, first baseman Ryan O'Hearn, infielder Garin Cecchini and right-hander Chris Withrow to their Minor League camp.

The Royals also released left-hander Jonathan Sanchez, who was trying to make a comeback after not having played in the Major Leagues since 2013.

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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.

Kennedy finds form against Cubs

Kennedy finds form against Cubs

MESA, Ariz. -- Ian Kennedy looked ready for the regular season on Sunday night.

The Royals right-hander struck out seven and held the Cubs to three hits over six innings in a 6-2 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 15,497 at Sloan Park. Addison Russell led off the Chicago eighth with a home run, his fifth this spring.

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Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Brien giving Royals something to think about

O'Brien giving Royals something to think about

MESA, Ariz. -- It's a bit of a long shot for Peter O'Brien to make the Royals' Opening Day roster in two weeks. But long shots have come to be O'Brien's specialty. His game-tying homer in the ninth inning against the Indians on Saturday was his Cactus League-leading sixth, sending the game to extra innings and an eventual 4-4 draw.

It was O'Brien's second pinch-hit home run of the spring -- his first came in the Cactus League opener in February -- and for a 26-year old trying to make his first Opening Day roster, the ability to come off the bench with that kind of pop is a selling point.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Duffy getting intense innings not offered in AZ

Duffy getting intense innings not offered in AZ

MESA, Ariz. -- Saturday's do-or-die start against the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic by Danny Duffy was a pressure-packed nail-biter -- a far cry from the Cactus League, when pitchers "get their work in" with few worries about results.

Duffy pitched four innings and allowed two runs (one earned), both in the first frame. He gave up six hits and a walk while striking out one in a game that saw Team USA trailing by two, then tied, then leading by two during Duffy's time on the hill before eventually going on to win, 6-3, and advance to the semifinals.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals release League from Minors contract

Club also trades first baseman Dulin to White Sox for PTBN or cash

Royals release League from Minors contract

MESA, Ariz. -- The Royals made two more roster moves on Sunday, following the options of six players to Triple-A Omaha on Friday.

Veteran right-handed reliever and former All-Star Brandon League was released from his Minor League contract, and Minor League first baseman Brandon Dulin was traded to the White Sox for either a player to be named or cash, according to team officials.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon showing versatility in pursuit of 2B job

KC infielder starting at multiple positions as he battles Merrifield, Mondesi

Colon showing versatility in pursuit of 2B job

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Christian Colon has been to a handful of training camps with the Royals, and he has parts of three seasons in the Majors under his belt. But as he tries to win a spot on his third straight Opening Day roster, it's been a uniquely competitive spring for the infielder.

"Every spring I try to do the best I can and help the team win," Colon said before Saturday's 4-4 tie with the Indians. "But this one's a little different just because of the no options and you've got to make the team. I just want to be part of this group, part of the 25, and help the Kansas City Royals get back to the postseason."

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yost has rough sketch of Opening Day lineup

WBC '17, injuries keeping KC manager from using all his regulars

Yost has rough sketch of Opening Day lineup

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Among the challenges of this Spring Training for Ned Yost has been pulling his team together with several key players still playing in the World Baseball Classic. First baseman Eric Hosmer and staff ace Danny Duffy are fighting for advancement with Team USA, while shortstop Alcides Escobar's Team Venezuela is hoping for an improbable series alignment of outcomes that could see them advance through a tiebreaker.

Couple that with starting catcher Salvador Perez being down for about a week with inflammation in his left knee, and Yost has yet to see anything like an Opening Day lineup on the field. But with just over two weeks before the regular season, he's barely started thinking about it.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

O'Brien hits 6th HR as Royals tie up Tribe

O'Brien hits 6th HR as Royals tie up Tribe

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals pinch-hitter Peter O'Brien drove a ninth-inning solo home run -- his Cactus League-leading sixth -- into the right-field bullpen to force extras with the Indians in a 4-4 tie in 10 innings Saturday.

The Royals and Indians opened the game with six low-scoring innings. The Royals got a pair of runs with some small ball, while the Tribe went deep with a pair of solo shots from Richie Shaffer and Todd Hankins.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colon, Gordon, O'Hearn shine in slugfest

Colon, Gordon, O'Hearn shine in slugfest

PHOENIX -- Ryan Braun and Manny Pina both hit their first spring home runs for the Brewers, and Christian Colon went deep for the Royals as the teams combined for eight runs in the first inning and a half Friday at Maryvale Baseball Park, where the Royals emerged 8-5 victors.

Alex Gordon had a pair of run-scoring hits for the Royals, including a single in Kansas City's go-ahead fourth inning, while the aptly named Ryan O'Hearn and Peter O'Brien combined for three hits, three runs scored and three RBIs on St. Patrick's Day.

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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.

Karns on target with changeup

Karns on target with changeup

PHOENIX -- The temperature was nearly 60 degrees warmer in Phoenix than in Minnesota, where the Royals open their season in two and a half weeks, but Nathan Karns was already starting to feel like he was pitching in a regular-season game Friday as the Royals beat the Brewers 8-5.

"I try to approach every start out there as a regular-season game, but sometimes early in camp you have objectives you want to achieve," Karns said. "Today I was able to put that aside and just go out there and straight out compete. Even if I'm getting a long inning, I want to go out there and find whatever's inside of me to pull through, and fight through the tough times. In the third inning, when we had the double play with second and third, no outs -- to get out of that inning with no runs scored with the defense's help, it was just a great feeling today."

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Prospect Dozier among 6 optioned to Minors

Prospect Dozier among 6 optioned to Minors

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals reassigned six players to Minor League camp on Friday, moments after manager Ned Yost hailed that core of players as the next wave of big league talent.

Infielders Hunter Dozier (No. 2 prospect) and Ramon Torres, outfielders Jorge Bonifacio (No. 12) and Bubba Starling, catcher Cam Gallagher (No. 30) and right-handed pitcher Andrew Edwards (No. 23) were all optioned to Triple-A Omaha.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Staumont, Gordon shine for Royals

Staumont, Gordon shine for Royals

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Alex Gordon led the way from the top of the lineup as the Royals pounced on the Padres early in their Cactus League meeting at Peoria Stadium on Thursday afternoon, racking up an eight-run second inning en route to a 13-3 victory.

Whit Merrifield's RBI triple highlighted the second-inning outburst, which included a pair of Padres errors. Gordon led off by reaching on an error and then scored in the first, had an RBI single in the second, and added a two-run home run in the fifth.

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John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Errors contribute to early exit for Vargas

Errors contribute to early exit for Vargas

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jason Vargas' outing didn't go exactly as manager Ned Yost penciled it in during Thursday's  9-2 loss, as an early exit for Vargas changed Yost's planned use of the bullpen and stretched the pitching staff thin on a split-squad day.

After pitching three scoreless innings Saturday against the Indians, Vargas allowed four runs (two earned) over just two innings against the Mariners. The lefty yielded three hits and a walk while miscues in the infield cut into his efficiency.

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Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.