Notes: Blanco limited by shoulder injury

Notes: Blanco limited by shoulder injury

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Switch-hitting Andres Blanco is taking ground balls, throwing and swinging left-handed in batting practice, but the Royals infielder has yet to take a swing right-handed and may not for awhile.

Blanco had surgery on his left shoulder on Sept. 29 to repair a posterior labrum tear, which he injured during a swing on Sept. 24 against the Tigers.

Blanco could start taking air swings right-handed this week, but is unsure when he will be permitted to swing right-handed in a game.

"I'm scared a little bit," Blanco said. "It is still in my mind a little bit. I've got to get it out of my mind and keep working. I'm not ready to swing right-handed. It is going to take time. I don't know how long. I think it is going to be all right."

Blanco hurt his shoulder in the ninth inning of an 11-4 loss to Detroit in the Royals' final home game of last season.

"It was in the beginning of my swing, not at the end, but before I even hit the ball," Blanco said. "I knew at that moment something was wrong."

Shealy checks in: First baseman Ryan Shealy, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last October, reported to camp on Monday.

"I had it cleaned up, it was real minor," Shealy said. "I was off the crutches in a day and running around a couple of weeks after that. It was just bothering me the whole last part of last year. It was something I could play with and it was fine.

"But then with getting the time off, I just figured it was a good time to just get it cleaned up. I'm ready to rock and roll now."

While the first full-squad workout is not until Thursday, most of the position players are already in camp for informal drills. Ross Gload, who was obtained in a Dec. 16 trade with the White Sox, was another position player who reported on Monday.

Duckworth healthy: Brandon Duckworth is throwing pain free after having arthroscopic surgery last August to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

"I've been doing everything and I've been feeling great," Duckworth said. "I haven't really had to back off of anything. This is the most I've thrown in consecutive days. That is what we were looking at to see how everything responded, and it has responded very well to the workload so far.

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"Everything is full go. You just want to be careful because you don't want to rush things and do too much because [I am] coming off the scope."

Duckworth started throwing in November and off the mound in January.

"Everything was very similar to what it would have been normally, but obviously we had some restrictions," he said. "We didn't want to do too much. Everything is A-OK.

Duckworth, who has 74 career starts in the Majors with the Royals, Astros and Phillies, is a candidate for the fifth slot in the rotation. He went 1-4 with a 4.85 ERA in eight starts last season and also made two relief appearances after being acquired on June 10 from the Pirates' organization.

Rain-shortened workout: With the threat of rain, which did arrive late in the morning at the Surprise complex, the Royals altered their schedule slightly on Monday.

"We just threw the pitchers early," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "We got everything else in. It didn't really affect us. The position players got what they needed. The only problem was the catchers didn't get a lot of drills in."

Bell said the pitchers are up to 35 pitches in bullpen sessions. Bell does not want his pitchers trying to throw as hard as they can early in camp.

"We try to do what we can in terms of trying to make them understand they are not going to make the club the way their bullpens go," Bell said. "We're just getting them to get their feet underneath them and get in shape.

"In terms of putting a club together, that won't happen until the middle of camp. We try to control it as much as we can. I think they understand what they need to do, and it is not that important what they do in their bullpens. Hopefully, they want to impress enough where it means something to them, but they have to understand it has to be controlled, that it is a long season and a long spring."

Alan Eskew is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.