SURPRISE, Ariz. — The gang is all here.
By ANDY McCULLOUGH
The Kansas City Star
Wednesday marks the Royals’ full-squad reporting date. Shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Melky Mesa both appeared in the clubhouse this morning. So everyone has arrived, save for outfielder Jimmy Paredes, who the team claimed off waivers from Baltimore earlier this week.
The first official workout is Thursday morning. Manager Ned Yost plans to give a brief address to the group, but indicated most of the meeting will be devoted to instructions and introductions.
Escobar arrived late to camp in 2013 because of visa issues. He had just gotten married, and experienced a problem with his wife’s paperwork. He skipped winter ball this offseason, but still sounded energized about this coming season.
“It was a lot of fun (last year),” Escobar said. “The team played over .500. This year, much better.”
A reporter asked if 90 victories was possible.
“One hundred,” Escobar said. “One hundred wins. I don’t want 90. One hundred. I want to go up. This is a good team.”
Some morning ephemera: Yost ranked his best players at putting on a hit-and-run:
2. Omar Infante
3. Nori Aoki
4. Billy Butler
Yes, you read that last name correctly. Plate coverage is critical when executing a hit-and-run, and Butler possesses that skill.
Before the heads of sabermetrically inclined folks explode, listen to Yost’s philosophy on the maneuver for this season.
“If we’re rolling like I’m hoping we’re going to roll,” Yost said, “I don’t think we’re going to have to use it too much.”