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Escobar returns to Royals after uncle's death

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar was back at Royals camp Saturday, returning from Venezuela after a death in his family.

Escobar had flown to the States earlier this week, then flew back to Venezuela after learning that his uncle, Faureceo Escobar, had died of a heart attack.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar was back at Royals camp Saturday, returning from Venezuela after a death in his family.

Escobar had flown to the States earlier this week, then flew back to Venezuela after learning that his uncle, Faureceo Escobar, had died of a heart attack.

"I was always really close to him," Escobar said of Faureceo, who was his mom's brother. "We were almost living in the same house.

Royals' Spring Training info | Schedule | Tickets

"I was with him the day before I left [for Spring Training]."

Escobar said he wasn't worried about missing the early part of camp.

"I'm ready to work and get to the season," he said. "I feel I'm the same guy and I will do the work.

"I was working at home and feeling really good."

For the first time in his career, Escobar didn't play any winter league ball.

"Yeah, the offseason just went too quick," he said. "This time I just rested and was with my family."

First time out
Several of the Royals' frontline pitchers got their first taste of pitching in live batting practice on Saturday, including right-hander Chris Young.

"It went well," Young said. "First time facing hitters. It's just all part of the process."

Ned having fun
Royals manager Ned Yost was asked by a reporter what it means to have Wade Davis as his closer.

"What does it mean?" Yost snapped, playfully. "What do you think it means? What kind of question is that?"

After a moment, though, Yost answered it.

"Well, when we bring Wade into the game in the ninth inning," Yost said, "we feel the game is over. That's what it means."

Fun fact
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy actually signs autographs right-handed.

Tweet from @FlannyMLB: Fun fact of the day. Danny Duffy signs autographs right-handed #Royals pic.twitter.com/cDVNUzpokF "Actually, all I do left-handed is throw," Duffy said. "I write right-handed, play golf right-handed."

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.

Kansas City Royals, Alcides Escobar