SURPRISE, Ariz. — James Shields emerged from his session of live batting practice unscathed, which is all the Royals can ask for this early in spring training.
By ANDY MCCULLOUGH
The Kansas City Star
“It went good,” Shields said. “First time on the bump facing hitters, you just get back to knowing your body and things like that. There’s always going to be things you need to fix in spring training. Hopefully by the end I’ll get it down.”
Shields was the most prominent pitcher on the mound on Tuesday. Fellow veterans Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas also took part.
Manager Ned Yost has been pleased with the efficiency of camp thus far. The workouts have encouraged him. There have been no major injuries to worry about, he said. His focus is narrow, without much interest in being wowed by younger players at this time of year.
“I’ve done this a long time,” Yost said. “And I’ve seen a lot of guys that will knock your eyes out in B.P., and then not do anything once the games start. So I purposely just try to make sure that they’re doing what they’re supposed to do, staying healthy. And I’ll start evaluating once the games start.”
The Royals play their Cactus League opener against Texas on Feb. 27. The team has a pair of inter-squad games scheduled for the two days prior.
Shortstop Alcides Escobar was expected to arrive in town on Tuesday night, a day ahead of the full-squad report date. Escobar is the last major contributor who has yet to reach camp.
Yost does not expect any players to be delayed by either visa or travel problems.
After a workout on Tuesday, catcher Salvador Perez walked stiff-legged toward his locker. A sizable ice pack was strapped to his right knee. Perez insisted he was fine.
“Nothing,” Perez said when asked what happened. “I’m just taking care of my knee.”
He tore his the meniscus in his left knee during spring training in 2012. He missed the first 67 games of the season.
Guthrie upped the environmental consciousness of the team’s clubhouse during the late morning. After facing live hitters for the first time this spring, Guthrie rolled a sizable blue recycling container into the middle of the room. Working with a clubhouse attendant, Guthrie fashioned a cardboard sign instructing the players to only place their plastic bottles in the bin.
“We’re now recycling,” Guthrie said. “It’s official.”