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Royals prepping for Tigers' new speed game

DETROIT -- The word around Detroit is that the 2014 Tigers are switching to speed and athleticism as opposed to the old power and mayhem in their offense.

"That's fine," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "I'm ready for any team to run on us. We've got one of the best throwing catchers in baseball [Salvador Perez] and all of our pitchers do a great job of slide-stepping and controlling the running game."

The Tigers stole all of 35 bases last year, last in the American League, while the Royals had a league-high 153.

"They didn't have to steal a lot of bases last year because they had some pretty efficient run-producers," Yost said.

The Royals skipper, of course, keeps track of the offseason movements of his rivals.

"Was I glad they got rid of Prince Fielder? Yeah, I was glad about that, but their pitching is very good," Yost said. "They lost a good one in [pitcher Bruce] Rondon, a pretty solid guy, like we lost a good one in Hoch."

Both Rondon and Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar are on the disabled list.

And the Tigers lost a crucial player when shortstop Jose Iglesias went on the DL with stress fractures of the legs.

"Yeah, you look at that and you say, 'That kid's a pretty slick shortstop.' And then you think to yourself: OK, what would that mean to us -- if we lost [Alcides] Escobar it'd be a huge blow," Yost said. "As a team that competes against them, you don't want to see anybody get hurt, but it helps us a little bit."

The Tigers also added Joe Nathan to be the closer, a shaky spot for them in recent years.

"He's a guy with great experience and that counts for a lot," Yost said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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