Notes: Mondesi improving from sore foot

March 3rd, 2021

MESA, Ariz. -- The Royals are taking precautions with early in the Spring Training game schedule because he was hit by a pitch on his foot before coming to camp, manager Mike Matheny said Tuesday.

The shortstop wasn’t in the lineup in the Royals’ 3-2 loss (seven innings) to the Cubs on Tuesday at Sloan Park, making it the third straight game he hasn’t played. But Mondesi has been taking part in live batting practice and defensive drills at the Royals complex in Surprise.

Matheny said he’s hoping to have Mondesi in the lineup later this week after a few more running drills. The Royals want to make sure he’s running at full speed before putting him in a game.

“He got hit by a live pitch in the foot before he came here, when he was training at home,” Matheny said. “It was just sore, and obviously speed’s a big part of his game. ... We’ll just go day by day to make sure that he’s not starting off just trying to make up ground. But things are moving in a very good direction.”

This early in spring, teams typically won’t push their players in game action -- especially if there’s a lingering soreness -- to make sure they’re ready for Opening Day. Matheny has been impressed with Mondesi’s swing so far in camp, noting how it looks like where he left off last season. Mondesi went on a tear in September, hitting .356/.408/.667 across 100 plate appearances, with six home runs and 20 RBIs.

“I’ll tell you, so far, if we can keep him on time, right now it’s like where he left off,” Matheny said. “He’s seeing the ball and putting good passes on live pitching, against good pitching.”

Lynch brushes off shaky debut

Royals No. 3 prospect Daniel Lynch had a solid initial inning in his spring debut on Tuesday, allowing a hard-hit single to open the third but then striking out Ian Happ swinging on an offspeed pitch and getting a ground ball double play to end the inning. But Lynch’s command fell off in his second inning and he was pulled with two outs and a high pitch count after three walks and three runs allowed.

The left-hander was able to put the outing behind him quickly -- a testament to his different mindset this spring than in last year’s camp.

“I think I know what I need to do a little bit more,” Lynch said. “I wouldn’t say the approach is different -- I’m always going to try to go out there and throw the ball well. I definitely have a better outlook on it, as far as not freaking out when things don’t go the right way. It’s all good. But I’m going to go in next week and try to be better. And that’s all you can really do.

“I wouldn’t say my approach is different, I guess maybe I’m a little bit more mature in the way that I see things.”

Hall of Fame voting begins

The Royals announced their team Hall of Fame ballot on Tuesday, with five first-time eligible players and two that return after receiving at least 10 percent of the vote in 2019.

First baseman/designated hitter Billy Butler, outfielders Carlos Beltran and Johnny Damon, and pitchers Kyle Davies, Jeremy Guthrie, Luke Hochevar and Yordano Ventura are on the ballot in 2021. Voting began Tuesday and will run through March 10 at

To select this year’s class, fans are joined by other voters, including all living members of the Royals Hall of Fame and select members of the Royals Front Office Leadership Group, the Kansas City Chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Kansas City electronic media representatives and Royals associates with at least 15 years of service. The online fan ballot accounts for three overall votes with each of the top three vote-getters receiving all three fans' votes.

Any candidate receiving 75 percent of the vote will be elected. Candidates must receive a minimum of 10 percent of the ballots cast to remain eligible for inclusion on the ballot for the next year. Eligible names remain on the ballot for five voting cycles.

Worth noting

• The Royals nearly got no-hit by the Cubs on Tuesday, but infielder Clay Dungan broke up the spring no-no with a single to left field in the seventh and final inning and was able to advance to third on a fielding error. Then center fielder Edward Olivares launched a pitch from Cubs reliever Jake Jewell over the left-field wall to put the Royals on the scoreboard.

• Lefty Danny Duffy -- who will make his spring debut -- and right-hander Ervin Santana are scheduled to pitch Thursday against the Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. As of Tuesday, Matheny said it was slated to be a nine-inning game.

• The Royals are going national when Friday’s game against the Dodgers is televised on ESPN. Right-hander Brad Keller and lefty Kris Bubic are scheduled to pitch in the nine-inning game.