On six separate occasions Monday morning, Alex Gordon stood in a batter’s box against Royals minor-league pitchers. He smashed a few line drives in this session of live batting practice, but for Gordon, in assessing his first competitive at-bats since offseason wrist surgery, the most important test involved a moment of hesitation.
“I had a check swing, which we were kind of worried how it was going to respond to that,” Gordon said after completing an additional round of batting practice with the big-league club. “It was fine. Held up nicely. No pain. That’s the best part, I came away from it with no discomfort, no backsteps .”
Gordon completed the last step on his journey to opening day. He is expected to play in minor-league intrasquad games on Tuesday and Wednesday, manager Ned Yost said over the weekend. From there, the club will decide whether Gordon is ready to make his Cactus League debut.
Yost estimated Gordon would receive 20 to 25 at-bats before taking part in big-league action. Gordon on Monday stood in against three pitchers for two times each. He could remain in the box after hitting a ball into play.
“I’m a guy that it usually takes me awhile to get my timing down every spring training,” Gordon said. “So I’m all about just seeing pitches and getting some at-bats in.”
Gordon hit a pair of sharp liners off former Cuban prospect Noel Arguelles. He showed warning-track power against Mark Peterson. He managed only a pair of pop-ups against Andrew Brockett.
“It felt good,” Gordon said. “Obviously, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the speed of the pitcher coming off the mound. I wasn’t really concerned with the results. I just wanted to track pitches and swing the bat, too.
“Just trying to feel comfortable up there. After the first three or five (pitches), I started feeling a little bit better getting the speed of it. Overall, felt pretty good.”