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Omar Infante back in Royals lineup if not in the field

03/09/2014 12:04 PM

03/10/2014 11:26 AM

Omar Infante has yet to return to the field for the Royals, but he is in the lineup for Sunday afternoon’s game. He will play designated hitter. Infante has not played the field since the Cactus League opener on Feb. 27 because of inflammation in right shoulder. Infante wants to play second base on Monday.

"That’s the hope," manager Ned Yost said. "We’ll see how he feels. He’s feeling better."

The team continues to downplay the severity of the injury, and Infante has completed throwing drills. But there is little reason to risk aggravating the condition this early in camp.

Here is the lineup as Bruce Chen faces the Rockies:

1. Alcides Escobar, SS.

2. Omar Infante, DH.

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B.

4. Justin Maxwell, CF.

5. Mike Moustakas, 3B.

6. Carlos Peguero, LF.

7. Lorenzo Cain, RF.

8. Brett Hayes, C.

9. Pedro Ciriaco, SS.

Chen will be followed by Danny Duffy. Each will be allocated 60 pitches. Duffy is competing with Yordano Ventura for the last spot in the rotation.

"It starts to get a little more evaluative," Yost said.

During the next turn through the rotation, Duffy will start the big-league game and Chen will pitch in the minor-league game.

• The roster should be trimmed pretty soon, Yost said. The team is running out of innings to spread around their pitching staff. The staff will meet to discuss paring down the roster on Sunday. "It’s looming," Yost said.

• Jeremy Guthrie completed his simulated game on Saturday without any trouble. He gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk in three innings. On Sunday morning, he discussed his designation as the team’s starter in their home opener.

"It’s a great honor to be able to pitch in front of what will be a huge crowd, and an excited crowd for our new season," Guthrie said. "I’m grateful that he gave me that opportunity."

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