SURPRISE, Ariz. — It’s Photo Day today in Royals’ camp, which is just as it sounds.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
The players and staff get their official pictures taken, some of which will appear on scoreboards at Kauffman Stadium and around the league.
The Star’s own photo wizard, John Sleezer, is setting up some special shots — some of which are likely to appear in our preview coverage.
The whole process typically runs like clockwork, largely because it is organized by Mike Swanson, the Royals’ vice president for communications and broadcasting. He’s been through more of these than he probably wants to admit.
It’s cool here, which doesn’t help matters because the pictures are taken outside. The temperature is 39 as things get under way at 7 a.m. (Yes, we all know what you’re dealing with back home.)
After the photos, the Royals will stage what likely will be their shortest workout of the spring (other than their scheduled open dates). Manager Ned Yost said he expects everything to be done by 11 a.m.
The players are then heading off to a nearby golf course for a scramble tournament/team-building exercise organized by outfielder Jeff Francoeur.
The Royals’ 36-game Cactus League schedule begins Friday against Texas at Surprise Stadium. The game starts at 2:05 p.m. Central time and can be heard on KCSP (610 AM) in Kansas City.
Keep the questions coming on twitter to @Royals_Report. Here is today’s exchange:
• @KCCCK94: Does Duffy project to be a number 2 or #1? Same question for Ventura.
Assume you’re asking about their ceiling — what they could be. Some scouts say Danny Duffy has No. 2 potential. Others believe he’s more likely to slot as a No. 3 or No. 4 guy.
Yordano Ventura’s stock keeps climbing. Until recently, many scouts doubted his ability to make 30 starts a year and pegged him as a reliever (albeit a reliever with a high ceiling). That’s changing.
The Royals believe Ventura has the potential to front a rotation – and they’ll give him every opportunity to prove he can before considering a move to the bullpen.
• @HamiltonKent: what is the over/under on Duffy’s major league starts in 2013?
Projections call for Duffy to be available for regular duty by mid-July, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Royals let him work on sharpness for a while at Class AAA Omaha unless there is a pressing need in the rotation.
Let me be clear: The Royals haven’t said that and, likely, any such decision will depend on the condition of the club’s rotation when Duffy is declared fit.
The Bovada folks could probably provide a better line, but I’d guess 10.
• @ewood19: will Butler demand a trade?
• @J_Walker87: how has Sal Perez been responding to the astronomical expectations placed on him for this season?
Nothing seems to faze the guy, and I don’t think he minds the expectations. I also don’t believe he thinks much about them.
• @IKillGerbils: Which player smells the best? Is it Gordon? It’s Gordon isn’t it.
I’ll reduce it to geography (or is it geometry?). Anyway, Gordon’s locker is way to close to the bathroom, which seems a major handicap in attaining peak fragrancy.
Lorenzo Cain and Alcides Escobar, in contrast, seem to have their lockers positioned the farthest triangular point from the bathroom and the weight room. I’ll go with them.
• @JFW_KC: Who is shoveling your KC walkways while you’re in AZ?
Hoping Mother Nature takes care of that on her own before I return in April.
• @thayne_griffin: How many starts until Lamb hits AAA (assuming he’s sent to AA)?
That might be more of a function of what happens in Omaha and with the big-league club. I don’t sense the Royals feel a need to promote Lamb this year beyond Class AA Northwest Arkansas, which is where he seems likely to open the season.
That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. If he’s pitching well, and there’s an opening at Omaha, he could easily be in line. But I think the Royals are far more interested in Lamb getting 25-plus starts and pitching 150 innings than in where he does it.
• @pfunk270: what have john lamb’s and noel arguelle’s velocity looked like?
Billy Butler is reputed to have the ability to distinguish between 91 and 92 mph, but I sure don’t. There were no radar guns at the intrasquad games — at least none that I saw.
That said, both guys looked sharp. One difference is Lamb started Wednesday’s game, which means he worked to some guys likely to make the big-league club. Arguelles closed out Tuesday’s game against guys who are, at best, on the bubble.
Both guys bear watching in their first Cactus League games, when guns should be available. Lamb is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the Rangers; Arguelles on Monday against the Diamondbacks.
• @DennisDeitch: How is Tom Servo doing? RT @Royals_Report: #Royals intrasquad: Crow with 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout. Scoreless after two.
Need to ask Joel or Mike. Miss that show. Big fan.
• @EricBoston3: how does acquiring Johnson affect Tejada?
It probably cost him some playing time since both seem likely to make the club as utility guys. Keeping two seemed less certain until Johnson arrived at the start of camp as the player to be named later in the Dec. 9 trade with Tampa Bay.
• @HuskerInsanity: Who do you think will the first call up from the minors once the season is in full swing?
Barring injuries? I’d bet on a reliever who doesn’t break camp with the club. There’s likely to be a game or two when the Royals bleed their bullpen and are in need of a fresh arm.
To reach Bob Dutton, send email to email@example.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.