KANSAS CITY -- Jarrod Dyson, whose primary asset is his great speed, naturally takes special care of his feet. Which is why this winter he's been having treatment on his left foot.
"I was limping a little bit at the end of the year, and I'm still trying to get that right," Dyson said. "There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a little sore."
The Royals' super-fleet outfielder has 84 stolen bases in 233 career games and, even if not in the starting lineup, he gives manager Ned Yost an important late-inning weapon as a pinch-runner. So anything that might slow him down is important.
"We've got it under control, I just continue to get treatment on it," Dyson said. "It's just staying on top of it in case it flares back up. I had an MRI and it didn't show anything."
It's not related to the right-ankle sprain that came on May 17 at Anaheim when he tried to scale the center-field wall in pursuit of a home run. That kept him out for 34 games. The left-foot ailment came later.
"I had it for two months and it didn't stop me from running," he said.
Dyson admitted, after running out a hit for first base, that he'd sometimes take a long time to return to the bag.
"Or you might see me bend down and grab my left foot," he said. "I like to do that at times, too, to fool the defense: 'Ah, you're hurt, you might not go the next pitch.' Then, boom, he gone!' "
Wait a minute. Perhaps this is all just a ruse to lull the opposition to sleep. Naw, Dyson says the left-foot ailment is real if somewhat mysterious.
"I don't think it's turf toe. I don't know what it is," he said. "All I know is it ain't gonna stop me."
Meantime he's going into Spring Training gunning for a regular job, maybe putting the heat on center-field incumbent Lorenzo Cain.
"Hey, I gotta eat, too," Dyson said good-naturedly.
He and Cain will be rivals but still buddies.
"What's so good about that is me and him can still be friends and talk to each other and help each other with our game," Dyson said. "It's nothing personal if I start more than him or it he starts more than me, I don't care as long as we win. That's all that matters because we're all there on one mission -- and that's to win a championship."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.