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Omar Infante still a concern heading into season

03/24/2014 1:31 PM

03/24/2014 1:31 PM

Omar Infante received a cortisone injection on Tuesday to combat a bone spur in his right elbow, as the Royals middle infield remains a source of concern heading into the season.

Infante had recently recovered from a bout of shoulder inflammation. He believes his current condition is related to this initial injury. As the medicine takes hold in his arm, he does not plan to throw a baseball until Friday at the earliest.

"I’ll keep working, man," Infante said.

Manager Ned Yost continues to downplay the severity of the situation. His shortstop, Alcides Escobar, is recovering from his own case of shoulder inflammation, which also required a cortisone shot. Escobar threw up to 150 feet on Tuesday, and Yost plans to play him in a minor-league game on Thursday.

The Royals have a roster crunch on their hands. They still plan to bring five outfielders and corner infielder Danny Valencia, which means they would head into Opening Day without a qualified middle infielder on their roster (even as Valencia continues to attempt to learn second base). Both Yost and general manager Dayton Moore have batted aside the suggestion they bring only 11 pitchers.

Asked if he needed a backup middle infielder on his roster, Yost said "No. Not at this point."

***

Here is the lineup as Jeremy Guthrie faces the Reds tonight at Surprise Stadium:

1. Nori Aoki, CF.

2. Danny Valencia, 2B.

3. Eric Hosmer, 1B.

4. Billy Butler, DH.

5. Alex Gordon, LF.

6. Salvador Perez, C.

7. Mike Moustakas, 3B.

8. Lorenzo Cain, RF.

9. Pedro Ciriaco, SS

***

The Royals project Yordano Ventura to throw 180 to 200 innings this season, Yost said. Yost indicated Ventura would work without restrictions. Moore has said Ventura could handle a 200-inning workload in 2014.

***

Relievers Greg Holland and Wade Davis each pitched an inning in a minor-league game on Wednesday afternoon. They will appear in Thursday’s game as well, and Yost didn’t want them to pitch on day-night back-to-backs.

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