The Royals’ athletic trainers have been almost as lonely as the Maytag repairman. Not much business coming their way. “John Bale is having a little bit of stiffness in his upper back,” manager Trey Hillman told reporters on Monday. “He’s still doing almost all of the activities. No major concern there, he’s just having some soreness and some spasms going on.” Hillman said that was no urgency about Bale because he’s back in the bullpen and doesn’t need to get his arm stretched out as he did last year as a starter….Catcher Matt Tupman, recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, is restricted in his throwing so far.
Just in case you were wondering, there are 15 players on the Royals’ 40-man roster who are out of Minor League options: Bale, John Buck, Alberto Callaspo, Shane Costa, Esteban German, Ross Gload, Jimmy Gobble, Jose Guillen, Ron Mahay, Gil Meche, Brayan Pena, Tony Pena Jr., Ryan Shealy, Robinson Tejeda and Doug Waechter. The other 25 guys have options remaining.
First baseman Mike Jacobs has his salary arbitration hearing set for Wednesday in the Phoenix area. He’s asking for $3.8 million and the Royals have offered $2.75 million. Middle ground is $3.275 million. No indication if a settlement is near or if they’ll go before the arbitrators….There’s a splashy new adornment to the Royals’ batting cages at camp. Overhead are art images of the 16 players in the Royals Hall of Fame, in alphabetical order from Brett to Wilson….Hillman left camp early on Monday to do his civic duty and participate in a charity golf tournament….If you haven’t noticed, outfielder Coco Crisp will be wearing uniform No. 2 and infielder Willie Bloomquist will be wearing No. 8. They agreed to switch digits during last month’s Royals FanFest. Crisp was No. 10 previously with the Red Sox and Indians; Bloomquist wore No. 16 with the Mariners. The Royals’ No. 10 is, of course, retired in honor of Dick Howser. And Billy Butler is wearing No. 16.
— Dick Kaegel