Royals slated for two intrasquad games
Warmups offer prep for Thursday's Cactus opener
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Let the intrasquad games begin.
The Royals, after seven days of full-squad workouts, will stage skirmishes among themselves on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Surprise Complex. The Cactus League schedule will open Thursday afternoon against the neighboring Texas Rangers.
The games actually will be roughly half-games, with each inning regulated by the number of pitches thrown.
"The pitches will be limited," manager Trey Hillman said. "It'll be a regular game with the exception of having to maybe roll an inning over because of the pitches. We'll shoot for 15 to 17 pitches a half and go from there."
Here are the planned lineups:
Team 1: Scott Podsednik, LF; Chris Getz, 2B; David DeJesus, RF; Josh Fields, 3B; Rick Ankiel, CF; Alberto Callaspo, 2B; Wilson Betemit, DH; Ernesto Mejia, 1B; Brayan Pena, C.
Team 2: Mitch Maier, LF; Jason Kendall, C; Billy Butler, 1B; Jose Guillen, RF; Alex Gordon, 3B; Scott Thorman, DH; Mike Aviles, 2B; Brian Anderson, CF; Yuniesky Betancourt, SS.
Guillen, although projected as the designated hitter, has been running well and will have a chance to prove he still belongs in right field. Aviles is playing second base instead of shortstop to take the stress off his surgically-repaired elbow.
The pitching shapes up like this: On Tuesday, Luke Hochevar, Aaron Crow, Adam Bostick and Edgar Osuna each will throw two innings and Danny Duffy and Francisco Rosario each will throw one inning. On Wednesday, the two-inning pitchers will be Brian Bannister, Dusty Hughes, Carlos Rosa, Bruce Chen and Nelson Payano, with Josh Rupe going one inning.
Tuesday's game will start between noon and 12:30 p.m. CT on practice field No. 1.
"The most encouraging thing for me going into the intrasquad games tomorrow is we got all the bunt plays in, all the defensive plays in [and] all the new guys are pretty much up to speed in our communication, exactly how we run our cuts and relays," Hillman said.
With sunshine returning to the rain-soaked complex Monday, the team ran through a 2 1/2-hour workout with no injuries.
Meanwhile, pitcher Henry Barrera's injured hamstring and elbow were improved and he played catch. The sore backs of pitcher Victor Marte and catcher Vance Wilson were much better and they returned to work.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.