3/24/2014 8:40 P.M. ET
Royals set rotation into season's first week
By Dick Kaegel / MLB.com
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals have their starting pitchers lined up for the rest of Spring Training and beyond.
Bruce Chen will start against the Mariners on Tuesday night, and James Shields will have his final tuneup for Opening Day on Wednesday against the Padres.
The Royals will move to Milwaukee for Thursday's open date. Jason Vargas will start against the Brewers on Friday night at Miller Park, and Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie will split the assignment on Saturday.
The season will begin on Monday at Detroit with Shields pitching against Justin Verlander. After an off-day on April 1, Vargas and Ventura are the probable pitchers for the next two games at Comerica Park. Guthrie will pitch the home opener April 4 against the White Sox, and Chen will go the next day.
When the club leaves for Milwaukee after Wednesday's game in Arizona, Chen will stay behind in Surprise and work in Minor League games.
Bueno is likely part of bullpen after Rauch reassigned
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Francisley Bueno might be the seventh pitcher in the Royals' bullpen.
The way was cleared on Monday when Bueno's rival for the spot, right-hander Jon Rauch, was reassigned to the Minor League camp.
The Royals made two other moves prior to Monday's game against the Rockies. Outfielder/infielder Jimmy Paredes was optioned to Triple-A Omaha, and catcher Adam Moore was reassigned to the Minors. That leaves 30 active players in camp.
Bueno has a 2.25 ERA in seven Cactus League games. In eight innings, he's struck out six and walked two.
"He's still very much in the running, but until our roster's set, it's not set," manager Ned Yost said.
The Royals' roster does not have to be made official until Sunday night for Opening Day at Detroit next Monday. In the meantime, there is always the possibility of injury or trades or waiver claims before the final 25 players are set.
Rauch, considered to be the tallest player in Major League history (6-foot-11), didn't pitch the second half of the 2013 season after being released by the Marlins. An 11-year veteran, Rauch has pitched for seven teams, mostly in relief. In 556 Major League games, he has a 43-40 record, 62 saves and a 3.90 ERA.
"He came in and competed well for our club," Yost said. "We just didn't have a spot for him."
In six Cactus League games, Rauch gave up nine hits and six earned runs with four strikeouts and no walks in six innings.
Bueno has pitched in parts of the last two seasons for Kansas City, with a 2-1 record and a 1.05 ERA in 25 games.
"He's done a very nice job. He fits everything we want," Yost said. "He's a strike thrower, he's got good stuff, he's fearless on the mound."
The addition of Bueno would give the Royals two left-handers in the bullpen. But neither Bueno nor Tim Collins is classified as a specialist against left-handed hitters.
Moore hit just .167 (3-for-18) in camp, but he is considered to be a good defensive catcher.
"He did a nice job for us," Yost said
The departure of Moore leaves the Royals with three catchers: regular Salvador Perez, plus Brett Hayes and non-roster candidate Ramon Hernandez. Hayes figures to be the backup. Hernandez was kept from catching until late in camp by a sore knee.
"You go down to the last minute because something can happen," Yost said. "[Hernandez] is still a Major League catcher, he can still swing the bat, he can play first base. He's a guy that a Major League club can use."
Paredes was claimed off waivers from the Orioles on Feb. 17. In addition to the outfield, he's played third base and second base in the Majors. In 18 Cactus League games, he hit .167 (5-for-30).
"I liked him. It was a good move for us, a good pickup," Yost said. "An athletic kid that can play multiple positions and a switch-hitter with plenty of room to grow."
Guthrie satisfied with prep work in Surprise
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals right-hander Jeremy Guthrie finished the Arizona phase of his preparation for the season and feels good about it.
"I feel like I've gotten the arm strength up and that I've been able to execute some pitches, so hopefully I'll be able to do more of those consistently and start off the season well," Guthrie said.
In Monday's 8-2 loss to the Rockies, Guthrie threw 93 pitches in five innings and gave up four runs with six hits and one walk. He'll split the last Spring Training game at Milwaukee on Saturday with Yordano Ventura and will make significantly fewer pitches.
"They're going to pull us back, so probably in the 60 range," Guthrie said.
Guthrie's first start of the regular season will be the Royals' home opener on April 4 against the White Sox.
"It's always a treat to be able to go out there where the excitement is real high, and to play in front of a full stadium will be great," he said.
The bullpen had an unimpressive outing for the second straight day. Tim Collins gave up two hits and a run, while Kelvin Herrera surrendered a home run.
"The bullpen's not been real sharp here the last week and a lot of that has to do with the bullpen [being] a real adrenaline-driven position, and we're in the last week of Spring Training and they're ready to go," manager Ned Yost said. "They haven't been near as sharp, but hopefully they're getting all their bad innings out of the way in Spring Training and will be ready to go when the season starts."
Infante reports no elbow issues after workout
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals second baseman Omar Infante, trying to be ready for Opening Day, undertook a full workout on Monday and had no issues with his troublesome right elbow.
That was the report from head athletic trainer Nick Kenney after Infante took hitting, throwing and fielding practice at the training complex. His elbow has been sore because of a bone spur.
Infante hasn't played in a week and manager Ned Yost plans to get him into a Minor League game on Tuesday. Infante is to play five innings and get five at-bats.
Depending on how Infante responds, an option is to leave him in Arizona when camp breaks on Wednesday to allow him to get at-bats in Minor League games. The Royals have Spring Training games on Friday and Saturday at Milwaukee. But nothing has been decided.
Infante has played just eight games in the Cactus League. Shortstop Alcides Escobar has returned from a sore shoulder, but the two still have not played together in a game.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.