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Royals' coaches using protective screens

After Giants' coach suffers injury, added guards brought in
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- Less than a week after the horrific accident in which Giants coach Jose Alguacil was struck in the face with a foul ball while sitting on a folding chair outside the dugout, a protective and portable fence was put up in front of the coaches for both teams during an exhibition game between the Royals and Team Venezuela on Wednesday.

And that protective fence might be here to stay for Spring Training games.

SURPIRSE, Ariz. -- Less than a week after the horrific accident in which Giants coach Jose Alguacil was struck in the face with a foul ball while sitting on a folding chair outside the dugout, a protective and portable fence was put up in front of the coaches for both teams during an exhibition game between the Royals and Team Venezuela on Wednesday.

And that protective fence might be here to stay for Spring Training games.

Last Saturday, Alguacil was struck in the face by a check-swing foul, and was then airlifted to a trauma unit in Phoenix. He underwent surgery to repair a broken nose, while also suffering a deep laceration on the left side of the face and fractures of the eye sockets.

Alguacil is expected to be out at least two more weeks.

Meanwhile, while the Spring Training tradition of coaches sitting outside the dugout will continue, protective screens could be in order from now on, though no mandate came down from Major League Baseball. Both teams used the screens Friday night at Surprise Stadium for the A's-Royals game.

"[Team Venezuela] asked for it," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They asked to have a screen and I said, 'Hey, throw one out for us, too.'"

Are the screens here for good?

"I don't know," Yost said. "The rest of my coaches are pretty scared."

Yost indicated he is somewhat indifferent about the screens. He doesn't necessarily want one.

"Not really," said Yost, who also said he has never been close to being hit by a foul ball. "Been sitting out there for 14 or 15 years."

Yost said the Giants coaches' chairs were positioned differently during the game Alguacil was hit.

"The problem was that the chairs were more extended that day," Yost said. "I noticed right from the get-go. ... Sometimes they put the chairs out, and they put that time clock on the other side. Well, we don't use the time clock, so I shift our chairs in front of the time clock, closer to the dugout. But theirs were extended more toward the backstop.

"It's nobody's fault. Just a bad angle."

Yost said sitting outside the dugout is not only tradition, it's somewhat of a necessity during the spring.

"You do it because you've got 60 guys in Spring Training, and the bench is so filled up, you don't have a place to stand," Yost said. "You don't have a problem during the regular season. But now, it's like a football team in the dugout."

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

Kansas City Royals