Royals still expect Infante to play on Opening Day
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Omar Infante has signed a four-year contract to play second base for the Royals. The question is, though, will he play in his first Opening Day with them?
He's been out with a sore right elbow since last Monday, has had a cortisone shot and has played just eight games in Arizona. He missed time with a sore right shoulder earlier.
"I think Omar is going to be ready," manager Ned Yost said on Saturday. "If he has another hiccup, he won't be. But if everything is going to plan, he'll be ready Opening Day."
If Infante won't be ready for the March 31 opener at Detroit, the Royals will have to improvise.
The current assumption is that Danny Valencia would be the only backup infielder. He's a third baseman who has never played second base in pro ball but has been working at that position in this Spring Training.
Still in camp, though, are second baseman Johnny Giavotella and middle infielders Pedro Ciriaco and Jason Donald, who are primarily shortstops but have played second in the Majors.
Meanwhile, shortstop Alcides Escobar was in the lineup for the second straight day and showed no signs of the shoulder problems that plagued him earlier. He made two strong throws, including one from deep in the hole near third base.
He also belted three hits and drove in three runs. Added to the double he had on Friday, Escobar has four straight hits, including three doubles.
"He looks fine, he looks good -- really good with the bat and the glove today," Yost said.