SURPRISE, Ariz. — James Shields knows how to make an entrance.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
When Shields checked in Saturday at the Royals’ complex, two days ahead of schedule, he also ponied up for the cost of sandwiches to feed his new teammates.
The club can’t provide meals until official workouts begin.
The Royals’ unofficial conditioning session was well under way when Shields arrived in late morning — and was virtually finished by the time he made his way out to the practice mounds behind the Frank White Field.
Salvy Perez remained behind to handle Shields, who threw 28 pitches from the mound after the two warmed up by playing catch on flat ground. Manager Ned Yost, pitching coach Dave Eiland and others remained behind to observe.
As for how it went … Shields stepped down from the mound two pitches early.
“I’m going to quit on that one,” he said. “I’m not going to get any better than that.”
It didn’t rain Saturday, as had been forecast, but it was chilly. Temperatures for the morning workout never climbed into the 50s.
A quick count, after Shields’ arrival, showed just five of the camp roster’s 34 pitchers yet to check in: Jeremy Guthrie, J.C. Gutierrez, Luis Mendoza, Atahualpa Severino, Luis Mendoza and Dan Wheeler.
Manny Piña is the only catcher missing among the seven on the camp roster.
None of the players are late. Pitchers and catchers don’t even have to check in, which can be done with a phone call, until Monday. All are expected to be in uniform for Tuesday’s first official workout.
To reach Bob Dutton, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him at twitter.com/Royals_Report