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Healthy Royals finish spring poised for opener

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Royals manager Ned Yost said his players were basically ready for Opening Day two weeks ago, and he had a succinct answer following Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers when asked how he'd assess this year's edition of Spring Training.

"Long," Yost said, noting that the World Baseball Classic added nearly a week to a time of year that always seems to move slowly for players and coaches, anyway. "Everybody's dying to get the season going. The end of Spring Training … this is not a whole lot of fun. You're just dying to get somewhere and start playing for real, where it counts."

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ARLINGTON -- Royals manager Ned Yost said his players were basically ready for Opening Day two weeks ago, and he had a succinct answer following Saturday's 5-3 loss to the Rangers when asked how he'd assess this year's edition of Spring Training.

"Long," Yost said, noting that the World Baseball Classic added nearly a week to a time of year that always seems to move slowly for players and coaches, anyway. "Everybody's dying to get the season going. The end of Spring Training … this is not a whole lot of fun. You're just dying to get somewhere and start playing for real, where it counts."

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Most important, in their 17-15 Cactus League campaign, the Royals sustained no major injuries at key positions and will have the lineup and rotation they want when the season starts in Minneapolis on Monday.

"Everything went the way I wanted to because you want to go into Spring Training having nobody get hurt and having guys ready for Opening Day," Yost said. "We've done that. We're in good shape."

Video: KC@TEX: Butera puts Royals on the board with a homer

There were few surprises for Yost this spring except for 21-year-old second baseman Raul Mondesi, who batted .333 with three homers and four stolen bases in 54 at-bats. Last season, as a rookie, Mondesi hit just .185 with two homers in 135 at-bats.

"I saw a totally different player than what we saw this time last year -- more confident, [with] a better understanding on how to be successful," Yost said.

Video: KC@TEX: Mondesi makes a great catch at second base

The Royals will announce their Opening Day 25-man roster just before Sunday's deadline. The only remaining position battles are for the last spot on the bench, between Christian Colon and Whit Merrifield, and the last spot in the bullpen, which could go to Peter Moylan if he is added to the 40-man roster.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kansas City Royals