Yost plans to ease Royals vets back into action

Flynn impresses in brief return to mound after injury-marred 2015 season

Yost plans to ease Royals vets back into action

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals will open their Cactus League schedule at 2 p.m CT Wednesday against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium with right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the team's No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, taking the mound.

Zimmer likely will throw about 30 pitches, manager Ned Yost said.

Several of the regulars will be in the starting lineup, including first baseman Eric Hosmer, third baseman Mike Moustakas, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, left fielder Alex Gordon and right fielder Jarrod Dyson.

"We'll ease the veterans in a little slowly," Yost said. "We've got plenty of time to get them their work."

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Christian Colon, in a battle with Omar Infante for the starting second-base job, will get the start Wednesday. Infante is a little behind this spring after having surgery in November to shave off a bone spur in his right elbow. Infante likely will miss the first week of games defensively, but he could occasionally be the designated hitter.

Shortstop Alcides Escobar probably won't play until Friday. Escobar missed most of the first week of camp because he returned home to Venezuela after a death in his family.

Designated hitter Kendrys Morales, out for a couple days because of the flu, likely will play Friday as well.

Flynn is back

Left-hander Brian Flynn, who missed virtually all of 2015 because of a torn lat muscle, was impressive as he returned to the mound for Monday's intrasquad game: He struck out the side in his only inning.

"That felt really good," Flynn said. "It was only an intrasquad game, but just to be back out there throwing again in a game situation felt great. I felt like I was pretty sharp."

Send him, Jirsch

One of the stars of that intrasquad game was outfielder Paulo Orlando, who doubled and tripled in his only two at bats.

Third-base coach Mike Jirschele took some ribbing for not sending Orlando on the triple for a chance at an inside-the-park home run.

"I was having flashbacks to Omar," Jirschele joked.

That was in reference to last season, when Jirschele sent Infante around third for a potential inside-the-park home run in Boston with the Royals trailing. Infante was thrown out on a perfect one-hop throw by Jackie Bradley Jr. in deep left-center. The Royals came back to win the game anyway.

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.