03/26/2013 1:23 AM ET
KC options Lough, cuts Nady and Sherrill
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Outfielder David Lough is the Royals' leading hitter in Spring Training, but his next at-bats will come for Triple-A Omaha.
Lough, who hit .455 in the Cactus League, was optioned to Omaha after Monday night's game.
The Royals also released left-handed reliever George Sherrill and outfielder Xavier Nady, both of whom were in camp on a Minor League contract.
The moves dropped the camp roster to 33 active players, not including pitchers Felipe Paulino and Danny Duffy, who are recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Lough finished camp with 20 hits in 44 at-bats with six doubles, a triple and five RBIs. Last season, Lough hit .275 in 130 games for Omaha and finished the season with Kansas City, hitting .237 over 20 games.
"I tried to make some adjustment and I feel that just getting some time [in the Majors] last year gave me a lot of confidence going into this year," Lough said. "That's the great thing about it. I'm excited where the team's going and excited about where my career's going. I feel like I'm getting better every day as a player and I won't stop working hard. We'll go down to Omaha and do our thing down there and hopefully I can get back up here with the team and help 'em win games."
Lough's departure leaves Jarrod Dyson as the team's only backup outfielder.
"[Lough] had a great camp," manager Ned Yost said. "But we want him playing every day and we're going to take four outfielders. Couple that with his progression over the beginning of last year to where we are now, he's getting very close. He had a phenomenal camp, he really did a nice job. You can see him getting close to being a solid big league player."
Dyson is one of the Majors' fastest outfielders and can play all three positions.
"Dyson is a huge weapon," Yost said. "There's something to being fast, but Dyson is more than fast -- he's fearless. And that combination is very, very dangerous for the opposition."
Sherrill, 35, is coming back from May 4 Tommy John surgery. He made just two relief appearances for Seattle before undergoing the elbow surgery. He had not appeared in any Spring Training games.
Nady, 34, a right-handed hitter with 11 years in the big leagues, had been hampered by plantar fasciitis during camp. He got into just 13 games and batted .346 (9-for-26) with six RBIs.
Davis feeling good despite sluggish final inning
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals starting pitcher Wade Davis got a bit tired in his fifth and last inning of work during Monday night's 8-2 win over the Dodgers, but his right shoulder remained sound.
"I just peeled off a little bit at the end," Davis said. "It took me almost every pitch to the last one to find it again. That long delay from them boys hittin' so much kind of threw me off a little bit."
Davis had to sit through the Royals' four-run fourth inning.
"He started to fatigue a little bit," manager Ned Yost said. "He went to little periods in the game where he was up, up, up and that's more getting into your workload a little bit. He got to 78, 79 pitches and that was good enough for us."
Davis had missed time in camp due to slight shoulder soreness but says he's feeling just fine now. Scheduled to start the season's fourth game on April 5 at Philadelphia, he'll make one more start in Arizona after the Royals break camp on Friday.
"I'll have another start on the Minor League side the day after they leave," Davis said. "But I felt pretty good. We executed some pretty good pitches. The fastball was so-so but it'll be there."
Yost liked Davis' outing but was even more impressed with two of his relievers, J.C. Gutierrez and Luke Hochevar.
"I thought the eye-poppers tonight were Gutierrez and Hoch -- double-eye-popping with Hoch," Yost said. "I knew that once he got into that role and got comfortable that he would excel."
Hochevar, moving from the rotation to a relief role, worked the ninth inning with a groundout and two strikeouts.
"He's got his fastball up to 97 mph, he's got a phenomenal breaking ball that he's throwing for strikes and he's super on the attack and that's great news for the Kansas City Royals," Yost said.
Hochevar said he's feeling very comfortable in his new role.
"The transition hasn't been forced. I haven't gone down there and sat and said, 'I just need to do this and this and this,' " Hochevar said. "It just kind of happens. You get that shot of adrenaline and you know you're going to face them one time and so you don't have to worry about facing them multiple times or established a pitch. So you just go out there and give 'em your best stuff."
Gutierrez had two baserunners, one who reached base on a strikeout and wild pitch, but pitched out of the jam with a groundout and two strikeouts. He's battling to win the final bullpen opening.
Perez OK after foul tip off catcher's helmet
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals catcher Salvador Perez took a foul ball off his helmet in the ninth inning of Monday night's 8-2 win over the Dodgers, but seemed to be OK and stayed in the game.
"He took it pretty square but, Salvy, you couldn't drag him out from there," pitcher Luke Hochevar, who was on the mound at the time, said. "But he seemed all right. He wouldn't tell you if it hurt anyway, but he's a tough guy."
The ball struck by a Dodgers batter ricocheted high off Perez's head and into foul territory, where Hochevar raced over and caught the ball which, at that point, was a dead ball.
"I've never really seen that where a catcher dropped his head and got hit on the top of the head by a foul ball," manager Ned Yost said. "But I guess you see something new every day."
Yost, a former catcher, said it'd never happened to him.
"I never wore a helmet," Yost said. "If it happened to me, I'd be laid out somewhere."
Sore Hosmer returns to Royals' lineup
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Eric Hosmer was back in the Royals' lineup on Monday night against the Dodgers after taking several at-bats to test his tender right quad.
Hosmer played against Royals Minor League pitchers on Sunday in a controlled scrimmage at the training complex.
"I got around 10 at-bats. We got to face Jason Adam, a prospect, and he's nasty. I got some good looks off him. He's really, really good," Hosmer said. "And then I faced Nate Adcock for about four at-bats and his ball was moving well, so it was a productive day to get those at-bats in."
Adam is a product of the Kansas City area who was drafted in 2010's fifth round and was with Class A Wilmington last year. Adcock, now with Triple-A Omaha, was Hosmer's Royals teammate the last two years.
Hosmer strained his quad slightly during the World Baseball Classic but continued to play. On Sunday, he batted but did not play in the field.
"Basically what we wanted to do was be sure we got a full day of treatment in, so it was good to get those at-bats in nice and quick and then get a full treatment on it," he said. "I'm feeling good. I can start playing every day and start getting ready for Opening Day."
"He's getting better," manager Ned Yost said. "It's still there, but he can play through it. And I want him experiencing a night game."
Duffy, Paulino staying in Arizona to rehab
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Danny Duffy and right-hander Felipe Paulino will continue their recoveries from Tommy John surgery at the Surprise training complex after the Royals leave on Friday.
"I'm chilling here until June. I think I'll be here exclusively," Duffy said. "It's tough to be away from the guys, but it's the right thing to do. Stick around and get in what I have to get in as efficiently as I can."
Duffy and Paulino said that their recoveries are on schedule.
"Everything is good. I'm throwing very well," Paulino said.
They hope to be back pitching by midseason. Duffy had his surgery on June 13 and Paulino on July 3.
"We'll be here together, so that's another positive thing," Duffy said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.