03/04/12 6:54 PM EST
Cain keeps on running after spring debut
Royals center fielder using speed to his advantage
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
When he left the Royals' 6-1 victory over the Rangers after five innings on Sunday, he went to a practice field and did some more running.
"I ran a few sprints," he said. "I ran a lot in the game, too, but hey, you've got to keep your legs in shape."
Although Cain is generally expected to step into the Royals' center-field job this year, he's taking nothing for granted.
That's why he felt so good after going 2-for-2 in the win. He singled in his first at-bat and raced to a double in his next chance. When Alex Gordon dumped a single into left field, Cain judged it shrewdly and scored from second to launch a four-run inning.
"I've got to use my legs as much as possible," Cain said. "So I take advantage of any opportunity I can. If they give me a shot, I'm going to take advantage of it."
Cain also used his speed to his advantage in two intrasquad games last week, beating out an infield roller that sparked a big inning and making a spectacular catch.
"My legs are a big part of my game," Cain said. "So any chance I get to use 'em, I'm going to do it as much as possible. Sooner or later I'm going to try to get on base and start stealing a little bit. So we'll see what happens with that."
So far the presumed successor to the traded Melky Cabrera is making a good impression.
"I've got to keep going," he said. "It's the first game and it's a long spring."
Chen eyes first start of Cactus League
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Bruce Chen, the Royals' top winner in the past two seasons, gets his Cactus League season under way with a start against the Rangers on Monday afternoon.
"My arm feels good. That one inning in the intrasquad game (made) my arm a little sore the day after. That's good because it means that I was putting a lot of effort in my arm," Chen said.
"It's coming out good, my arm's getting stronger and I'm at a very good pace to be ready for the start of the season."
Chen, Mike Montgomery and Chris Dwyer, all left-handers, are scheduled to pitch two innings each. Next in line are Louis Coleman, Tim Collins, Blake Wood, Jeremy Jeffress and Aaron Crow.
Sanchez to make Royals debut vs. Cubs
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Jonathan Sanchez will make his Royals debut on Wednesday and he should feel right at home. He'll be facing an old National League foe, the Chicago Cubs, in a 2:05 p.m. CT game at Surprise Stadium.
Sanchez, because his season was interrupted last year by biceps tendinitis and then ended by an ankle sprain, was eased into Spring Training work. Obtained from San Francisco for center fielder Melky Cabrera, he's expected to be one of the Royals' top three starters, along with Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar.
He'll be followed to the mound on Wednesday by lefty Everett Teaford.
The starters in Tuesday's split-squad games will be Hochevar against the San Diego Padres at Surprise and left-hander Will Smith against the Cleveland Indians at Goodyear.
Gordon inducted into Surprise Hall of Fame
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals left fielder Alex Gordon, winner of an American League Gold Glove last season, was inducted into the Surprise Recreation Campus Hall of Fame before the first game of the 10th season at the complex.
The other three inductees came from the Rangers.
Michael Young, the only player on either Major League team to train for 10 years at Surprise, was named the "Player of the Decade."
Adrian Beltre was inducted after winning Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards, and the 2011 Rangers team was inducted for winning a second straight AL pennant.
Royals president Dan Glass and Rangers president Nolan Ryan joined local dignitaries in marking the 10th anniversary of the facility, which has drawn 1.5 million fans so far, according to Mark Coronado, director of community and recreation service.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.