ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Noel Arguelles, signed last winter to a five-year deal worth nearly $7 million, is battling shoulder problems at the Royals' camp in Surprise, Ariz.
"He did have a setback the other day," said assistant general manager J.J. Picollo. "He's not throwing right and we're evaluating the situation closely. ... We've got to make a decision on what our next step is."
That next step, of course, conceivably could involve surgery, although the Royals would like to avoid that.
"We haven't gotten to that point yet, but that's what we're trying to figure out," Picollo said.
Arguelles has not been put in game situations since he signed. Originally the club decided to rest him for an extended period because he'd been throwing steadily for several months in preparation for signing a pro contract. The Royals reached an agreement with Arguelles in early December, but the deal wasn't finalized until Jan. 5.
Arguelles, 20, made his mark in his native Cuba and defected while at a tournament in Canada in July 2008.
Betemit enjoying opportunity with Royals
ANAHEIM -- Wilson Betemit is getting his chance to play as the Royals' everyday third baseman and he's savoring it. But he's also realistic. He knows Mike Moustakas, the organization's premier hitting hope, is being prepped at Triple-A Omaha.
"I know the situation," he said. "They have a big prospect down there, Moustakas, and everybody knows they're waiting for him here. Hopefully he can stay healthy and come here and do his job. And, hopefully, I'm here next year, too."
Betemit, 28, took a .336 average into Wednesday's series finale against the Angels. After Alberto Callaspo was traded to the Angels, Betemit has hit .306 (19-for-62) as the regular third baseman.
Coming to Spring Training as a non-roster player, Betemit went to Triple-A Omaha and played 29 games before being called up on May 25.
"I worked hard down there and waited for the call," Betemit said. "And I got the call and I'm here and doing everything I can."
Betemit, originally a shortstop who was signed at age 15, reached the Majors with the Braves at 19. He's never been an everyday player but has become a valued utilityman.
After playing shortstop and third base for the Braves and learning the outfield with the Dodgers, Betemit was traded to the Yankees in 2007 and manager Joe Torre decided he wanted him to try a new position.
"When I went to the Yankees, Joe Torre talked to me and said, 'Do you play first base?' I said, 'No.' And he told me, 'If you played shortstop, you can play anywhere.' So I said, 'OK, I'll do it,'" Betemit said.
For now, though, he's a regular third baseman.
"I go out now to play every day, and we'll see next year what's going to happen," he said.
Royals hopeful of signing two more picks
ANAHEIM -- The Royals have just two of their top 12 picks from the First-Year Player Draft unsigned but they expect to sign both players by the deadline on Monday night.
Center fielder Brett Eibner from the University of Arkansas was the Royals' second-round choice, the 54th pick in the nation overall.
"I believe we're going to get a deal done. We've made progress through the summer," said J.J. Picollo, assistant general manager of scouting and player development.
Although the 6-foot-4, 210-pound Eibner also pitched in college, the Royals value the right-hander as a fine-fielding outfielder and a hitter with power. In his junior season, Eibner hit .337 (69-for-205) with 16 doubles, 21 home runs and 69 RBIs.
The other pending top pick is right-handed pitcher Jason Adam, the Royals' fifth-round selection and No. 149 overall. From Blue Valley Northwest High School in Overland Park, Kan., Adam had a 2.16 ERA as a senior with 79 strikeouts and just seven walks in 41 2/3 innings.
Adam has committed to the University of Missouri, but Picollo expects him to sign.
"We're just ironing out some details," Picollo said.
Pena to make more starts at catcher
ANAHEIM -- Brayan Pena was in the Royals' lineup at catcher on Wednesday for the second time in the past seven games, giving Jason Kendall a breather in the series finale against the Angels, and manager Ned Yost said that trend will continue for the rest of the season.
Pena has started just nine games behind the plate, Kendall taking the other 105, and Yost wants to get more of a look at his backup catcher.
"My plan is to play Brayan 10 of the 11 day games and another four or five games so we get a better look. I want to give him at least 15 games," Yost said.
The Royals have 48 games remaining.
Fields slated to begin rehab assignment
ANAHEIM -- Third baseman Josh Fields, who has been recovering from labral surgery on his right hip, is scheduled to start an injury rehabilitation assignment with Surprise in the Rookie Arizona League on Thursday.
"His rehab ends around the first of September, so we'll see where he's at," Royals manager Ned Yost said.
That opens the possibility that Fields, if his rehab progresses well, could join the Royals as a September callup.
Fields, a right-handed batter who hit 23 homers for Chicago in 2007, was obtained from the White Sox last winter with second baseman Chris Getz in exchange for third baseman Mark Teahen. Fields was hurt during Spring Training.
Bullington could draw another start Sunday
ANAHEIM -- Officially, the Royals' starter on Sunday against the Yankees is to be determined. But manager Ned Yost admitted on Wednesday that he's leaning toward Bryan Bullington.
Bullington, filling in for Brian Bannister, pitched well enough in Tuesday night's 3-1 loss to the Angels to merit consideration for another start.
"The odds are, if I was going to say right now today, Bullington would make the start," Yost said. "To push Banny right now with all the work that he's doing ... if he could miss one more start, it's not going to hurt him. The whole goal is to get Banny's mechanics right so he has a strong September."
New father Blanco to rejoin KC on Thursday
ANAHEIM -- The word from center fielder Gregor Blanco is that his wife delivered a baby boy on Wednesday morning in Atlanta and all is well.
Blanco missed the last two games of the Angels series to fly home for the birth. He's expected to rejoin the Royals for Thursday night's game against the Yankees in 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.