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Notes: Sweeney to be held back early

Notes: Sweeney to be held back early

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mike Sweeney will not be in the Royals' lineup Thursday for their Spring Training opener against the Angels, but it won't be because of a bad back that has bothered him in past seasons.

Manager Buddy Bell met with Sweeney on Tuesday and outlined a restrictive Spring Training schedule for the Royals designated hitter. Bell said Sweeney probably would not make his debut until Monday or Tuesday.

"I'm just going to be careful with him," Bell said. "He doesn't necessarily like it. He doesn't like the plan, but I didn't expect him to. But I think he respects it. We'll limit his at-bats, so come April 2, he's ready to go and he has no problems. I think it is really important that he gets through this spring without any mishaps.

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Why be so restrictive?

"Because we want to limit his work load, and to do that we have to pretty much tell Mike what he needs to do because Mike thinks more is better and that's not the case," Bell said. "We're trying to do it a little bit different than it has been done in the past."

Bell also said Sweeney would not make any lengthy trips. "He'll never go to Tucson," he said.

Sweeney was limited to 60 games last season and went on the disabled list May 3 with a bulging disk in his upper back. He missed 88 games, not returning until Aug. 8. Sweeney, a career .302 hitter, has not played in more than 126 games in a season since 2001.

Peralta returns: Right-hander Joel Peralta, who was hospitalized for two days last week with possible food poisoning, was back in camp Tuesday.

Peralta said his temperature reached 105.9 degrees and he threw up twice.

"At one point, when I got to the hospital, I didn't know where I was," Peralta said. "There's a little bit I can't remember. It was very scary. I never felt that way before. I've never had that kind of experience. I hope it doesn't happen again."

Peralta said hospital tests were inconclusive on what the illness was, but he thinks it might have been something he ate.

Peralta has clearance to ride a stationary bike and play catch. If all goes well, he hopes to throw off the mound before the end of the week.

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"He lost eight or nine pounds, so he's got to get his energy back," Bell said.

Medical report: Outfielder Mitch Maier said he pinched a tendon nerve in his right wrist while swinging in the cages. "It is not a big deal," Maier said. "It is inflamed. I just taped it and iced it. I took some swings afterwards. I don't expect to miss any time." ... Bell said infielder Angel Sanchez was held out of a fundamental drill because of a stiff arm. "It wouldn't have been a good drill for him," Bell said. ... Right-hander Zack Day, who had rotator cuff surgery last June, threw off the mound again.

Tryout camp: Eighty-eight players showed up for the Royals' open tryout camp at their Surprise complex.

"It is like taking a picture," director of player development J.J. Picollo said. "You get a still shot of what they can do and evaluate their tools. Tools play into Major League guys. You look for guys that can really run or guys that have got a great arm. You look for those measurable things you can get here, see where they fit and where they profile."

One of the pitchers was Wayne Lungrem, who pitched for Australia in the World Baseball Classic last year and is a friend of Royals outfielder-first baseman Justin Huber. Infielder Jose German, a cousin of Royals utility player Esteban German, also was in the tryout camp.

Infielder Anthony Seratelli, who went to Seton Hall and hit .286 and stole 28 bases with the Windy City Thunderbolts last season in the independent Frontier League, was the only player the Royals signed from the tryout. It was quite a day for Seratelli, who was celebrating his 24th birthday.

Stadium drill: The Royals concluded their practice on the Surprise Stadium field with a "27-out" drill.

"It is a situational drill," Bell said. "It is the best drill I know of out there that incorporates everything fundamentally that you do. It is upbeat, game-speed-type drill. Players don't like it, but that is a good thing."

Bell said the drill can last "for 20 minutes or three hours," depending on how long it takes to record 27 outs. "In Detroit, we did it for three hours, and [the players] were not real happy with that," Bell said. "You do it right, and you get out of here quick."

The Royals needed about 35 minutes to complete the drill.

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

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