SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jeff Bianchi, one of the Royals' top prospects at shortstop, is back after missing the entire 2010 season because of reconstructive elbow surgery.
Bianchi, 24, underwent surgery 11 months ago on March 19. He was able to resume some throwing and hitting about five months later.
"I got to a point now where I'm feeling great," he said. "It's been a long process with the throwing program."
Bianchi came to 2010 Spring Training after having a big season with Class A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He batted a combined .308, which was the third-best mark in the Royals' Minor League system. The previous year he won the Frank White Defensive Player of the Year Award with Wilmington. But before that camp ended, he underwent surgery.
"It was tough missing the season," he said. "I don't wish that on anyone. As a baseball player, you want to be out there playing and competing and helping your team win, and I didn't get to do any of that last year. So baseball-wise, it was tough."
But he believes his recovery is virtually complete and he'll be able to play Cactus League games. Mike Aviles, who went through similar Tommy John surgery in 2009, has been sharing his recovery experiences.
"He's been great, he's helped me out a lot," Bianchi said.
Bianchi, a second-round Draft choice in 2005, plans to break camp with a full-season Minor League club.
Rain won't stop Royals from workout
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Everyone has arrived in camp, and the Royals' first full-squad workout is scheduled for Saturday afternoon. But there is rain in the Phoenix-area forecast.
"Nothing stops us," manager Ned Yost declared.
Yost noted that the Royals have plenty of covered batting cages in which batters and pitchers can practice if the wet stuff comes.
"We'll just go in the cage and throw BP in the cage," Yost said Friday. "These guys have all been here working early, and our unofficial workouts have been going really, really well. They've been getting a ton of ground balls, been getting a ton of batting practice, been doing their baserunning -- everything they need to do. So if it rains tomorrow, we just won't get on the field."
All 25 infielders and 10 outfielders have arrived in the Surprise camp. The last to check in was non-roster infielder Joaquin Arias.
Friday was the official reporting date, but most of the players have been at work unofficially for several days.
If the rain comes, Yost won't send his players out to slip and slide on the grass and dirt.
"We won't take any chances on getting anybody hurt," he said.
Kendall throwing free and easy
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Catcher Jason Kendall, cleared for limited activities, is throwing well.
"Very impressive," manager Ned Yost reported. "Much better than I'd thought he'd look. He threw two sessions of 20 pitches, so he ended up with 40 throws at probably 65 feet. He looked very free, very easy."
Kendall also took some swings off a batting tee in the cages.
He's recuperating from shoulder surgery last September.
Catcher Lucas May, who's competing with Brayan Pena and Manny Pina to replace Kendall early in the season, returned to the workouts Friday after a battle with the flu.
"He had a 101-degree fever yesterday, and I told him to stay home. I don't want that thing circulating through here if we can avoid it," Yost said.
May caught batting practice, hit and did defensive drills.
Noel Arguelles, the Cuban left-hander signed by the Royals last year for nearly $7 million, was under scrutiny on Friday as he threw a bullpen session. Arguelles missed the entire 2010 season with a left shoulder injury, undergoing surgery last August. "He's coming along great -- really, really good," manager Ned Yost said. "His whole demeanor is totally different than it was last spring. I don't know if he was battling through it (sore shoulder), but he feels good and he's on his way." ... Five players have signed one-year contracts for 2011 -- pitchers Jesse Chavez and Nate Adcock, outfielders David Lough and Derrick Robinson and first baseman Clint Robinson. ... Minor League options usually play a part in decisions about which players make the final 25-man roster. This year, just 10 players on the Royals' 40-man roster are out of options -- Wilson Betemit, Gregor Blanco, Melky Cabrera, Bruce Chen, Kyle Davies, Luke Hochevar, Mitch Maier, Lucas May, Brayan Pena and Robinson Tejeda. Once a player's options are exhausted, he cannot be sent to the Minors again without clearing waivers. In addition, players with five years of big league experience cannot be shipped out without their consent.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.