The pitchers and catchers of the Royals do not report to spring training until Thursday, but there are plenty of familiar faces already in town. Luke Hochevar rolled in on his bicycle this afternoon. Salvador Perez lumbered out of the clubhouse just after 8 a.m. — an early day off for a player the club intends to rest more in 2015.
The most promising sight this morning, though, was the right wrist of outfielder Alex Gordon. No longer was he wearing a cast to protect the surgically-repaired joint. He sported the brace a few weeks ago at the team’s FanFest in Kansas City.
Gordon has insisted he will be ready for Opening Day. Team officials have expressed the same belief. But Gordon will be working on a delay this spring, and indicated he could miss up to a week of Cactus League games.
Gordon turned 31 last week. He led the Royals with 19 home runs and a .783 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 2014, but his production flattened out in September. He hit .190 with only five extra-base hits in the season’s final month, after a torrid August with a .941 OPS and nine homers.
The wrist injury first surfaced in July. Gordon sat out the All-Star Game to let the inflammation in his joint dissipate. He dealt with complications for the rest of the season, which manifested as a continual clicking sensation in his wrist. He aggravated the situation during his winter workouts, and underwent a wrist extensor retinaculum repair.