Notes: Hudson joins Royals camp

Notes: Hudson joins Royals camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Luke Hudson was added to the Royals' camp roster and eight players were subtracted on Monday.

Hudson, a right-hander, was signed as a Minor League free agent after being released by the Cincinnati Reds.

He'll be a non-roster player and general manager Allard Baird said he'd likely be a starting pitcher for Triple-A Omaha.

Hudson, 28, was 6-9 last season in 19 games (16 starts) for the Reds. His ERA was 6.38 and he gave up 14 home runs in 84 2/3 innings.

In the first cuts of the spring, second baseman Donnie Murphy and pitcher Brian Bass were optioned to Omaha and shortstop Angel Sanchez and pitcher Juan Cedeno were optioned to Double-A Wichita.

Reassigned to the Minor League camp were first baseman Chris Richard, catcher Adam Donachie and pitchers Luis Cota and Ryan Baerlocher.

Baird said Murphy and Sanchez likely would be the middle infield for Wichita. Cota and Donachie were expected to play for Class A High Desert.

Baerlocher and Richard were headed for Omaha.

Hudson was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round in 1998. In the organization, he became acquainted with the Royals' current pitching coach, Bob McClure. His Major League record is 10-11 with a 4.92 ERA.

"I had him in A ball and his fastball was 90 to 95 mph and he had a very good curveball," McClure recalled.

Hudson reported Monday and threw on the side.

Sweeney upbeat: Mike Sweeney, despite the prospect of missing another nine days with a bone bruise on his ankle, was in a happy mood on Monday.

Sweeney, who is wearing a boot off the field, shed the protective device to take batting practice.

"I'm doing better. I should be back on [March] 22nd," he said. "I've got to test it to see if I can. Running is the only thing that bothers me."

It hasn't hurt his sense of humor, however.

"If I was to play right now, I'd be great at stretching a double into a single," he said.

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Grudzielanek scratched: Second baseman Mark Grudzielanek was removed from the lineup Monday because of back tightness.

Wilson Valdez started in his place and had two hits, including a bunt single.

Wood work: Right-hander Mike Wood had a good effort as he bids to win the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation.

He went five shutout innings in Monday's 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers with four strikeouts and pitched around four hits and two walks. Those were the first two walks in his 12 innings this spring.

"I don't want to walk two guys -- that was one of my goals and that was shattered, but I guess two is OK," Wood said.

Wood is battling against Denny Bautista, Jeremy Affeldt and J.P. Howell for the final two rotation spots behind Scott Elarton, Runelvys Hernandez and Joe Mays. Mark Redman (knee surgery) and Zack Greinke (personal matters) are out.

"There's not a whole lot of separation between them, to be honest," manager Buddy Bell said of the four finalists.

Elarton, the Opening Day starter, threw in a Minor League game on Monday. He went five innings and gave up one runs on five hits and a walk.

On deck: The Royals are home to the Angels at 2:05 p.m. CT on Tuesday. In a matchup of right-handers, the Royals will send Hernandez against Hector Carrasco.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.