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Chill in the air for informal spring workout

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Chilly weather at the Royals' Spring Training complex continued on Monday as the team held an informal workout on the eve of its first official practice for pitchers and catchers.

A few sprinkles fell from the gray skies, and the threat of more rain chased the hitters into the batting cages for cover. The pitchers, though, threw in the outdoor bullpen, and Mother Nature didn't interrupt.

All 34 pitchers and seven catchers had checked in by Monday, reporting day, though most have been on the premises for days anyway.

Physical examinations will occupy most of Tuesday morning, and the first workout won't begin until 12:30 p.m. CT. The pitchers will work on long tossing, practice defensive fundamentals and bunting, and throw batting practice.

"There's always a high level of excitement for the first day of Spring Training. Everybody feels good, everybody's rarin' to go. So that's natural," manager Ned Yost said. "I think our excitement level is a little more elevated than it has been in the past, with the addition of the new pitchers that we've got. They can take a look at the roster that we've put together and see that it's going be a pretty good team."

Starting Wednesday, daily workouts at the Surprise complex will begin at 11 a.m. CT -- except for next Friday, when the infielders and outfielders officially join the action. Another round of physical exams will delay that day's start.

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