Aviles returns to Royals after Classic
Shortstop immediately back in lineup after enjoying tournament
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Mike Aviles returned to the Royals on Friday after a 19-day absence to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
"I'm definitely ready to get back on track and get back in a routine," Aviles said. "It's kind of tough to keep in a routine back there because the scheduling depended on whether you won or lost."
Royals manager Trey Hillman wasted no time getting Aviles back in the lineup. He batted third and played shortstop Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Before he left, Aviles played in just three Cactus League games, going 2-for-9. In the Classic, he was 4-for-21 (.190) with two RBIs.
Aviles played in five of Puerto Rico's six games and was awed by the experience.
"It was probably the best experience I've ever had as far as playing baseball -- competition-wise and everything. There's nothing I can compare to that so far," Aviles said.
Puerto Rico's first three games were at home in a sold-out stadium.
"You had the fans going crazy and cheering for you," Aviles said. "The atmosphere I couldn't imagine. It was unbelievable. It was so much fun, the best time of my life."
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.