3/20/2014 8:07 P.M. ET
Wait a second: Moustakas tries new position
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Moustakas is not only hitting .450 this spring, he demonstrated his versatility on Thursday at a new position, second base.
Moustakas had never played second base in a game, not even in high school, but he went six innings there in a 3-2 loss to the Angels.
"I've never really played on that side of the field, actually," he said before the game. "I've always played short and third, so the angle of the ball coming off the bat is going to be a little bit different and turning double plays will definitely be different. I think I'll be all right, I did play short, so I think I have a little background around the bag at second."
There was no chance to turn a double play, just three routine ground balls that Moustakas handled easily.
"Just trying to get comfortable in case of an emergency or something happens where I need to go over there," he said.
Moustakas, of course, is the regular third baseman. Danny Valencia, also a third baseman and the team's probable backup infielder, has been used at second base as well.
"It just gives us an option," manager Ned Yost said. "We just want to look at it. Valencia's been OK over there, too."
Valencia was taken out of Thursday's game after being hit on the left wrist by a pitch. X-rays were negative, and he's considered day to day.
Yost likes to have his players capable of switching positions in case of an emergency. Although he hasn't done it since high school, Moustakas ranks as the emergency catcher.
"Exactly. I'm becoming a nice utility guy right now," he said. "But hopefully I'll never have to go behind the plate because it's a lot harder than playing third or second."
Yost likes what he sees from pitchers vs. Angels
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals had just four hits in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the Angels, but manager Ned Yost said he was pleased with his pitchers.
Starter Bruce Chen gave up all three runs in his 5 1/3 innings on homers by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
"The pitch that Trout hit was a really good pitch, a changeup kind of down and in, and I don't know how he hit it that far to center field, but he did," Yost said. "So you kind of give him credit, but Bruce threw the ball extremely well."
Wade Davis retired both batters he faced, Danny Duffy had a perfect inning, Kelvin Herrera gave up a double in his one inning, and closer Greg Holland worked a one-two-three ninth. None of the pitchers issued a walk.
"So the pitching was really good, outside of the two homers," Yost said.
• Shortstop Alcides Escobar played in a Minor League game on Thursday and is expected to start in one of the split-squad games on Friday.
Escobar has played in only three of the Royals' 21 Cactus League games because of a sore throwing shoulder and an early absence when his wife gave birth to their first child.
• Second baseman Omar Infante is still out with a sore right elbow but is expected to resume swinging and throwing on Friday. He's played in only eight games.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.