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Actor Caviezel 'plays part' at Royals camp

Kennedy battles through command issues against Cubs
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals had yet another celebrity arrive in camp.

After the legendary Bo Jackson and comedic actor Rob Riggle spent some time in camp earlier this month, actor Jim Caviezel showed up to take some batting practice on Wednesday with the Royals and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before their game against the Cubs at Surprise Stadium.

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals had yet another celebrity arrive in camp.

After the legendary Bo Jackson and comedic actor Rob Riggle spent some time in camp earlier this month, actor Jim Caviezel showed up to take some batting practice on Wednesday with the Royals and throw out the ceremonial first pitch before their game against the Cubs at Surprise Stadium.

View Full Game Coverage

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Caviezel even made himself extremely useful as a stand-in (sort of) for bench coach Dale Sveum on staff photo day. Sveum was absent because of a doctor's appointment.

"[Caviezel] put on Dale's uniform and did a good job filling in," manager Ned Yost said. "We'll just photoshop Dale's head for his later on."

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After Wednesday's 7-6 win, several Royals players were expected to attend a private screening of Caviezel's latest film, Paul, Apostle of Christ, at a local move theater later in the evening.

Caviezel, who is good friends with Royals Hall of Famer Mike Sweeney, also starred in The Passion of the Christ, The Thin Red Line, Frequency and Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius.

Kennedy's command issues
Royals starter Ian Kennedy made his third start of the spring and the results were good: four innings, two hits, one run, two walks, three strikeouts.

Video: CHC@KC: Kennedy discusses start against the Cubs

"But that's probably the worst command I've had this spring," Kennedy said, smiling. "I was trying to correct things out there. I kept pulling my slider, pulling my pitches ... but I'll take the results."

Clark arrives in camp
Executive director of the MLB Players Association Tony Clark made his annual spring visit with Royals players on Wednesday morning to discuss the issues facing the union in light of a rough offseason for free agents.

While the union's position is that too many teams are more interested in acquiring Draft picks for the future rather than fielding a competitive team now -- thus leading to a cold free-agent market this winter -- Clark did acknowledge that some teams must rebuild.

"In any given offseason, you will see two or three teams rebuild," Clark said. "We just haven't seen what we've seen this offseason where we've seen many more ... we understand teams are going to cycle. But what we are seeing is a little different."

Camp battles
Rule 5 right-hander Brad Keller, who has a good shot at making the 25-man roster, pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one. His fastball sat at 94-96 mph.

Right-hander Josh Staumont, ranked as the club's No. 13 prospect by MLB Pipeline, wowed everyone with a scoreless ninth as his fastball sat at 97-100 mph. He even hit 102 mph.

Injury updates
Outfielder Paulo Orlando remains out for a few more days because of a Grade 1 hamstring strain that occurred while lunging for a line drive on Saturday.

Infielder Adalberto Mondesi continues on his no-throw program because of right shoulder impingement. He has served as the DH the past two days and may start throwing on Friday.

Up next
Watch live on MLB.TV as right-hander Jason Hammel makes his third spring start at 3:05 p.m. CT on Thursday when the Royals face the Dodgers in Glendale, Ariz.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Kansas City Royals, Jason Hammel, Ian Kennedy, Adalberto Mondesi, Paulo Orlando, Josh Staumont