SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For the first time, fans will get a vote for the Royals Hall of Fame. They can vote from now through noon on Friday, March 18, at www.royals.com/hof.
The voting process has been revised and, beginning in 2011, will take place every other year. In the voting, fans will join living Royals Hall of Famers, selected Kansas City baseball writers, the Royals board of directors and team officials.
The online balloting by fans will be accorded a total of four votes in the final count -- two for their first-place choice and one each for their second-place and third-place choices. To be elected, a player must receive 75 percent of the votes cast by the entire panel.
In alternate years, a Veterans Committee will consider non-playing personnel and players no longer eligible for the regular phase of the vote.
This year's 18 eligible players are pitchers Kevin Appier, Brian Anderson, Al Fitzmorris, Jason Grimsley, Darrell May, Scott Service and Kris Wilson; catchers Mike Macfarlane, Brent Mayne, Darrell Porter and John Wathan; second baseman Jose Offerman; third basemen Joe Randa and Kevin Seitzer; shortstop U.L. Washington and outfielders Al Cowens, Bo Jackson and Michael Tucker.
To be eligible for the first time, players must have been with the Royals for three seasons and had a minimum of 1,500 plate appearances or 150 innings pitched. They have to be retired as a player for at least three years.
Gordon homers in first intrasquad game
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left fielder Alex Gordon is ready for full-go action after belting a home run in the Royals' intrasquad game, which ended in a 4-4 tie on Friday.
Gordon was held out of Thursday's first intrasquad game because he was recovering from cramps in the groin area, suffered in a baserunning drill.
"Ned told me to take it easy on the running so I told him it was a good day," Gordon said, referring to manager Ned Yost. "I hit a home run and struck out three times, so I didn't do much running."
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Gordon connected in the fourth inning with a drive over the left-field fence against right-hander Jesse Chavez. The homer came after Mike Moustakas singled.
Operating as the DH, the only running that Gordon had to do was jogging around the bases on the homer. Obviously it really wasn't part of his plan to strike out in his other three at-bats; give credit for that to pitchers Joakim Soria, Will Smith and John Lamb.
"We just didn't want to do anything stupid this early, so we waited until today with game-like situations and it feels good now," Gordon said.
Gordon doesn't want to take any unnecessary risks in Spring Training, not after suffering a broken finger that sabotaged his season last year.
After the game, Gordon said he was ready for unrestricted play in the Cactus League, which begins on Sunday for the Royals.
Soria, Tejeda have contrasting afternoons
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was a case of contrasts for Royals closer Joakim Soria and set-up man Robinson Tejeda in Friday's intrasquad game.
Soria breezed through his inning of work by retiring all three hitters. Alex Gordon took a third strike, Brett Carroll popped out to shortstop and Salvador Perez rolled out to short.
"It looks like he could start the season right now," manager Ned Yost said.
Tejeda followed Soria to the mound and, on his first pitch, gave up a home run to left field to veteran third baseman Pedro Feliz. The next batter, catcher Manny Pina, also pounded a homer to left field.
After the back-to-back blasts, Tejeda got an out but walked Jarrod Dyson. That set up one of the defensive highlights of the afternoon.
Dyson, a burner, challenged the strong throwing arm of catcher Perez. And Perez won, nailing him with a perfect throw to second baseman Joaquin Arias.
Yost has been talking about Perez's quick throwing arm all spring.
"It's impressive, but what's really good for the Kansas City Royals is that it wasn't a spectacular throw. That's about what he does," Yost said.
Yost noted that Perez regularly gets off his throws, glove to glove, in about 1.8 seconds, a lightning fast speed.
"His bottom half and upper half work very well together -- he's very short [in his motion], very compact, he's very accurate and has a very solid throwing arm. You add all that up and the quickness and the accuracy and he's going to throw out a ton of guys," Yost said.
Perez is likely to start the season in the Minors, probably at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.
Barrera leaves intrasquad game with injury
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It was a good two days of work for the Royals' pitching staff -- until right-hander Henry Barrera took the mound for the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday.
After a pitch to the first batter he faced, Chris Getz, Barrera grabbed his right arm in obvious pain and walked off the mound.
He suffered a flexor strain and was to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury. In 2009 he had reconstructive surgery on that elbow -- Tommy John surgery -- and missed most of the season.
Barrera returned last season to pitch in six games for Class A Wilmington, then worked in 16 games for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where he was 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA.
He was the last pitcher scheduled to work in Friday's game, which ended with his injury in a 4-4 tie.
Over two afternoons of intrasquad play, 31 of the 33 pitchers in camp have taken the mound. Only rehabbing Zach Miner and Noel Arguelles did not pitch.
"That's the idea," manager Ned Yost said. "You try to get everybody an inning under their belt in the intrasquad games. That way it's not a pressure situation and you get over there in the [Cactus League] games, and it's something for them to work off of."
Luke Hochevar started for the Blue team on Friday and retired two of the four batters he faced, giving up singles to Melky Cabrera and Billy Butler. Jeff Francis started for the White team and got two outs before giving up two runs on a walk and successive singles by Eric Hosmer, Jeff Francoeur and Mitch Maier. The inning was waved off at that point.
Joakim Soria, Kaneko Texeira, Blake Wood, Greg Holland, Gaby Hernandez and Will Smith posted 1-2-3 innings.
Cabrera was the only batter with two hits, including a single and an RBI double. The two teams combined for 15 hits, including homers by Alex Gordon, Pedro Feliz and Manny Pina. That totaled six homers in the two days of intrasquad play.
"It's Arizona, but they're taking good cuts at the ball," Yost said. "We had some good at-bats, the defense was very, very good today, our baserunning is already starting to improve. We had some good, aggressive, smart baserunning."
Six players have come to terms on one-year contracts for 2011 -- pitchers Sean O'Sullivan, Greg Holland and Jeremy Jeffress; outfielders Mitch Maier and Gregor Blanco, and second baseman Chris Getz. . . Radio station 610 Sports in Kansas City will carry all 162 of the Royals' regular-season games this season. Last year a sister station, 980 News Radio, carried Sunday's games because 610 had a commitment to NASCAR coverage. The broadcast team remains the same. Denny Matthews and Bob Davis will share play-by-play duties. Ryan Lefebvre will join the radio team for non-televised games, Steve Stewart will be the pregame host and Don Free is the producer-engineer. The radio broadcast schedule will begin with Sunday's Cactus League opener against the Texas Rangers at 2:05 p.m. CT. . . Four Royals games will be on television during Spring Training: Wednesday, March 2, 8 p.m. CT, at Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB Network, tape-delayed); Thursday, March 3, 8 p.m. CT, at L.A. Angels (MLB Network, tape-delayed); Friday, March 25, 8 p.m. CT, vs. San Francisco Giants (FOX Sports Kansas City) and Monday, March 28, 3 p.m. CT, vs. Milwaukee Brewers (FOX Sports Kansas City).
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.