03/31/11 8:44 PM ET
Kendrick coming into own at critical time
By Cash Kruth / MLB.com
Royals skipper Ned Yost said Thursday he will place no special restrictions on his starters, but will watch their pitch counts during the season's early weeks. Yost said he'll basically hold his starters to around 100 pitches. "The first couple starts, I start really paying attention at the 90-pitch mark," Yost said. "I don't push 'em to 125 the first time out. It'll be basically around the 100-pitch mark and then the third, fourth start they'll be ready to go 110, 115." Likewise, don't expect Yost to give any special treatment to the Royals' four bullpen rookies: Jeremy Jeffress, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow and Nate Adcock. "I don't baby any of them. We'll throw 'em in when we need 'em," Yost said. "I treat 'em like anybody else. I don't treat 'em like a rookie." Mike Sweeney, who retired as a Royal on March 25 after signing a one-day contract with the club, threw out Thursday's ceremonial first pitch. Scioscia: Morales almost ready to run Morales continues recovering from last season's broken leg and spent Opening Day taking batting practice and ground balls with the rest of the team. The biggest step -- running at top speed -- could come soon, Scioscia said. "Hopefully -- definitely -- he'll be running on this road trip," Scioscia said. "We'll be able to see where he is. The progression of running 100 percent is still a variable right now. Once he runs 100 percent, he'll play in games the next day." Morales likely will need 10 Minor League games before returning to the Majors. Despite going 0-for-4 on Thursday, rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo said prior to the game he felt his swing is in a good place for the start of the season. "The timing's there," Trumbo said. "That's the most important thing for me. I've been hitting some balls hard to right and right-center, which tells me it is where I want it to be."
Reliever Scott Downs, recovering from a fractured bone in his left big toe, is throwing off the mound and waiting to be cleared for fielding practice.Worth noting
Royals second baseman Chris Getz was the only member of Thursday's starting lineup to start the same position he played when the Royals opened 2010. (Billy Butler, who started Thursday at designated hitter, was the first baseman a year ago.) ... Scioscia now is 7-1 on Opening Day since losing his first four openers. ... With Thursday's win, the Angels improved to 3-1 all-time against the Royals on Opening Day. Thursday's game was the first time the two squared off on the season's first day since 1975, and it also marked the first Opening Day the Angels spent in Kansas City.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.