Notes: Good, bad news on health front

Notes: Good, bad news on health front

PEORIA, Ariz. -- While Royals outfielder David DeJesus returned to center field and Mark Grudzielanek was back at second base, albeit in a Minor League game, on Monday, it may be awhile before Luke Hudson returns to the mound.

Manager Buddy Bell said Hudson went Monday to see Dr. Timothy Kremchek in Sarasota, Fla., to look at his ailing shoulder. Dr. Kremchek performed surgery on Hudson's shoulder in 2003, and he missed the season.

Hudson had received a cortisone shot in his throwing shoulder after experiencing soreness when he tried to play catch. He will open the season on the disabled list.

The Royals were hoping Hudson would be able to start April 8, the first time they needed a fifth starter, but Bell said that would not happen.

General manager Dayton Moore said Brandon Duckworth and Brian Bannister are competing for the fifth slot in the rotation until Hudson can return.

"If we decide Bannister is not going to be our fifth starter, we would not put him in the bullpen at this stage of his career," Moore said. "Ducky we would. Ducky would be a candidate for the 'pen."

Bell said the decision between Duckworth and Bannister could be held off "to the 11th hour."

Grudzielanek, who had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on March 5, played in a Minor League game against the Brewers. Grudzielanek played three innings in the field and had a double in four at-bats.

"More than likely he start Opening Day than not," said Bell, who watched Grudzielanek.

Said Moore, "Health-wise, he came back fine. He ran the bases, had a play in the field. I talked to him and he said he felt good."

Grudzielanek is scheduled to play in another Minor League game on Tuesday.

"If he comes out feeling good, we've got to get him in some Major League games," Moore said.

DeJesus went 1-for-3 with a walk and stolen base in six innings before being replaced by Joey Gathright. It was his first game since March 14 as he was sidelined by an abdominal virus, which he said caused swelling in his spleen and liver.

"It is good to get back in the lineup and getting ready to go," DeJesus said. "I feel much better. I've just got to get my legs under me. The five games we have left are going to help me out to be there for April 2."

Sanchez surgery: Shortstop prospect Angel Sanchez, who was limited to seven at-bats in Spring Training because of a right elbow injury, will undergo surgery. Dr. James Andrews examined Sanchez on Monday in Birmingham, Ala.

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"He is going to have some type of surgery, whether it is going to be [arthroscopic] or a Tommy John [elbow ligament replacement], we just don't know yet," Moore said. "There will definitely be some type of scope, and then [we'll] evaluate it from there."

Duckworth's outing: Duckworth said he was having one of those nights when he couldn't find his rhythm against the Padres. He allowed seven hits and walked two, but gave up two runs and struck out three in 3 1/3 innings.

"There are good things I can take out of it for the fact I was able to battle and get some big outs," Duckworth said. "It wasn't double, double, home run. I gave up singles and was behind in the count a lot. I was able to limit it station-to-station for the most part.

"The biggest thing I can take out of it is just the battle, the tenacity, not to give in, not to give up and keep us right there. That's big. I know the rest of my stuff is going to be there. Those are just the days when you're out of synch and can't get it going. That is what you have to do -- survival. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but at the same time I made some pitches when I really, really had to."

Duckworth also stroked a line-drive single in the fourth.

Bannister adjusts: Bannister, who gave up four home runs to the Athletics in his previous start, threw 70 pitches in five innings in a Minor League game Monday against the Brewers. He allowed two runs, one unearned, on five hits and one walk, while striking out seven.

"We were working on a couple of different things that we picked up from my last two outings as far as hiding the ball more to hitters," Bannister said.

Pitching coach Bob McClure moved Bannister from the first-base side of the rubber to the third-base side.

"I've always pitched from the first-base side because I've always thrown more strikes from that side," Bannister said. "Talking to Mac, he felt I'd be a better pitcher from the other side, especially on right-handed hitters. It would make them flinch a little especially on my breaking ball. That's what we worked on today.

"I had a lot of strikeouts, which was good. I was missing a lot more bats. I kept the ball down and hit my spots. My breaking ball was a lot sharper."

Roster moves: The Royals optioned first baseman Justin Huber and infielder Andres Blanco to Triple-A Omaha. The Royals have 39 players in camp, 14 over the limit.

The Royals also reacquired catcher Adam Donachie a Rule 5 pick, who hit .263 with one home run and four RBIs in 16 games with the Orioles. After clearing waivers, the Royals got Donachie back for $25,000, half the drafting price. He was assigned to Omaha.

Deal or no deal: Moore said he does not think there will be any more trades by his team in Spring Training.

"I don't anticipate anything right now," Moore said. "You just never know. It's been pretty quiet, really."

The Royals' only March trade was acquiring shortstop Tony Pena Jr. for Minor League right-hander Erik Cordier.

On deck: Jorge De La Rosa will start against the Cubs on Tuesday at Mesa at 3:05 p.m. CT. Rich Hill will be the Cubs starter.

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