SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Reliever Blake Wood is out of the Royals' pitching picture for about six weeks.
Wood, nursing a bone bruise in the back of his right elbow, said on Thursday it's estimated that it'll take six weeks before he's ready to pitch again. The elbow had been bothering him before he was taken out of last Saturday night's game against the Padres.
"It got bad enough to where it got scary," Wood said. "I'm just thankful it's nothing bad considering what's happened to everybody else."
So far this spring the Royals have lost catchers Salvador Perez and Manny Pina to knee surgery and closer Joakim Soria to elbow ligament damage.
Chen recognizes struggles in loss to White Sox
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Bruce Chen, always a straight shooter with reporters, took aim at himself after giving up 10 runs in Thursday's 16-4 split-squad loss to the White Sox.
"I'm not going to lie to you, I'm not pitching well," he said.
Chen was pounded for 10 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings as he gave up 10 hits, including three home runs. Adam Dunn hit two of them, including a grand slam, for six RBIs and A.J. Pierzynski followed Dunn's second with a solo shot.
This was the team that Chen dominated last season with a 3-1 record and 1.89 ERA in five starts.
"Obviously I'm not as sharp as I am during the season and it only comes with pitching more. I'm right there," Chen said.
With two more outings left, the Royals are looking for better results from the veteran left-hander, who figures to be one of their top three starters. In four Cactus League games, he has a 15.00 ERA.
"I don't know what to say -- my arm feels great, I don't feel any pain," he said. "I feel like my pitches are right there but I'm getting hit so obviously I'm doing something wrong so I have to go out there and make better pitches."
In the Royals' other split-squad game, left-hander Danny Duffy gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 7-4 loss to the Angels, but he was undaunted after his outing at Tempe.
"There were a couple of pitches I left over the plate, but for the most part I felt I threw the ball very well. I threw a lot of strikes. Just one walk," Duffy said. "The location of a lot of my pitches was very good on a majority of them. I drifted on a couple. But next time I'm going to try and do the exact same thing and hope for a different result."
Manager Ned Yost, though, was at Glendale watching Chen.
"He's just not sharp right now. And sometimes it takes veteran pitchers every start in Spring Training before they get it nailed down. But Bruce is going to be fine," Yost said. "All in all he's making progress. He's not there yet by any stretch of the imagination but when the time counts, he will be there."
Yost remains patient with second basemen
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ned Yost isn't in a hurry to pick a second baseman among Johnny Giavotella, Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt.
"I don't want to float any preconceived ideas," the Royals' manager said before Thursday's split-squad games. "The next 10 days are going to be really important. There's nothing to really talk about right now. Nobody's really played themselves out of it. And all of 'em are still getting' after it and doing relatively good. Getzy's doing real well, Yuni's doing fine and, yeah, Johnny's struggling a little bit offensively but we know Johnny can hit and he's just two or three days away from hitting .400 especially with [a low number] of at-bats."
Giavotella is hitting just .220 (9-for-41) although offense is considered his strong suit. Getz, a defensive standout, has a .333 (8-for-24) mark. Betancourt, signed as a backup infielder, is at .256 (10-for-39) with four doubles and a homer.
Soria continues to weigh treatment options
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Closer Joakim Soria is continuing to consider his available options for treatment of his ailing right elbow.
Royals manager Ned Yost met with Soria on Thursday morning prior to leaving for a game against the White Sox.
"He's still thinking it through. Just saw him, just talked to him. He's going to go meet with the trainers and talk it over with Nick [Kenney, head athletic trainer]," Yost said. "You know, the thing that he doesn't want to do is rush to a judgment. He wants to get all the options and think it through real, real smartly and make a decision."
Soria is facing the possibility of a second Tommy John surgery because of damage to the ulnar collateral ligament in the elbow of his pitching arm. He also had the surgery in 2003.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.