ANAHEIM -- Although manager Ned Yost maintained throughout Spring Training that he wouldn't name a replacement for disabled closer Joakim Soria, on Thursday he did pick Jonathan Broxton for that role, at least initially.
Broxton, a two-time All-Star when he was the Dodgers' closer, got the nod over Greg Holland by virtue of his experience.
"If we got a save situation in the eighth inning, then Holland's coming in and we're going to turn it over to Broxton [in the ninth]," Yost said.
But Yost will not lean on Broxton, who is coming off elbow surgery, on a daily basis at this point.
"If we get into two or three save situations in a row, Broxton will get two of three and Holland will get one. I'm not going to pound Broxton out there two and three and four days in a row," Yost said.
"The roles will define themselves, but that's how we're starting it. We're starting with Broxton closing it out, Holland in the eighth and then we'll have [Jose] Mijares, [Aaron] Crow, [Tim] Collins and [Kelvin] Herrera [as the] guys from the third inning on to the seventh inning. By that, I mean I've told them I want them focused in on the game from the third inning on. Because if we get in trouble in the third or fourth inning, I'm going to bring one of those guys in to stop the bleeding and then put [Everett] Teaford in the game to get us to our backend guys."
In short, if trouble strikes a starter early in the game, Yost's plan is to counterattack with his best available reliever to put out the fire, then go to his long man, Teaford, to start the next inning.
"I want to stop it, I want to keep us in the game," Yost said. "Too many times, I've put the long guy in and the game gets out of hand. I want to put one of my best relievers in the game right there to stop it, even though it's in the third inning. Then, bring in Teaford and he, hopefully, can get us through two or three to get us back to our guys where we can battle back and get into the game. So it doesn't get away from us real early."
Betancourt gets call at second in opener
ANAHEIM -- Yuniesky Betancourt will get the nod over Chris Getz as the Royals' starting second baseman for Friday night's opener against the Angels. Reason?
"Offensive numbers against this club," Yost said at Thursday's workout. "They're both quality defenders. Yuni's got good matchup numbers against all three starters. Getzy's numbers are a little bit better against [Ervin] Santana, and we'll make a decision on Sunday which one plays."
Betancourt is 12-for-42 (.286) against Opening Night starter Jered Weaver, compared to Getz's 1-for-5 (.200.). Against Game 2 starter Dan Haren, Betancourt is 10-for-24 (.417), while Getz is 0-for-5.
Getz does hold a big advantage vs. Santana: hitting 9-for-21 (.429), compared to Betancourt's 14-for-51 (.275).
Against the current Angels pitching staff as a whole, Getz has batted .304 to Betancourt's .287.
Betancourt is apparently recovered from a slight right ankle sprain suffered when he caught his spikes and fell while taking a swing in a recent game, although he kept playing.
"It stiffened up that night. He tweaked it again a little bit getting out of the shower," Yost said "That's why we took the precaution of not playing him the last two days. I'm 90 percent sure he's going to be fine, and we'll see after the workout [on Thursday]."
Betancourt was fine and he'll be in there.
Moustakas set to play in home territory
ANAHEIM -- This is home territory for Mike Moustakas, who is from nearby Northridge, and it's where he made his Major League debut last June 10. Now, he's back for his first Major League Opening Day.
"This is home, we're about an hour down the road. My first big league game, first Major League appearance was here, it's pretty cool," Moustakas said. "First Opening Day is going to be here, and I think I'm in the exact same locker, too. It brings back some awesome memories of that first day."
He got his first hit in the sixth inning of that game, a single to right field off the Angels' Ervin Santana. The next night, he got his first home run in the fourth inning against Joel Pineiro.
"I got the first one out of the way quick, and it took a little while to get the next couple," he said.
In fact, Moustakas didn't hit his second home run until Sept. 13. But he got four that month and finished the season with five.
As he did in his first big league series, he'll have his own rooting section.
"Good amount, lot of family and friends. I've been getting requests for tickets already, so I'm trying to make everybody happy. We've got to pay for the tickets, so 40 tickets starts adding up a little bit," he said, laughing.
Whatever it costs, it's worth it to him.
"This is real special," Moustakas said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.