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Archive for Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pitcher Meche to start season on DL

Hot-hitting (and now healthy) Aviles looks for bounceback year

April 4, 2010

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— The Kansas City Royals placed right-hander Gil Meche and infielders Alex Gordon and Josh Fields on the disabled list as expected Saturday, and assigned seven players to their minor league camp.

With the moves made after a 10-7 victory over Texas in their final spring training game, the Royals need to trim only one more player to get down to their opening-day 25-man roster for Monday’s season opener at home against Detroit.

Manager Trey Hillman said relievers John Parrish, Anthony Lerew and Dusty Hughes were in the mix for two spots. That decision will be made today.

Among the players reassigned to the minor leagues was infielder Wilson Betemit, who was in camp as non-roster invitee.

Infielder Mike Aviles, the team’s top rookie in 2008, made the opening day roster 10 months after having Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. He hit .471 this spring.

“I don’t even have a word to use,” Aviles said. “I’m excited, I’ve put in a lot of hard work, so maybe it’s paying off. ... I never put a date on (returning) just because I didn’t want to put myself in a predicament of having to get ready by this date. I just wanted to be ready to play. I just wanted to be healthy.”

The other players reassigned to the minor league camp were right-handers Brad Thompson and Matt Herges, left-hander Bruce Chen, catcher Edwin Bellorin, infielder Irvin Falu and outfielder Scott Thorman.

The DL moves with Meche (right shoulder stiffness) and Gordon (broken right thumb) are retroactive to March 26, making them eligible for reinstatement April 10. The move for Fields (right hip flexor) was retroactive to March 28 and he can return April 12.

Meche threw 69 pitches in 32⁄3 innings in a minor league game Thursday, and is scheduled to throw about 85 pitches Tuesday in another minor league game in Arizona. If he has no setbacks, the Royals could start the right-hander April 11 against Boston.

Gordon, the second overall pick in the 2005 draft, broke his right thumb March 6 during a headfirst slide into second base.

Fields, acquired in an offseason trade with the Chicago White Sox, has not played since March 27 because of a hip injury. He was hitless in 18 at-bats over his final five games, dropping his spring average to .157.

Switch-hitting infielder Alberto Callaspo will be on the opening-day roster though he hasn’t played since March 25 because of irritation in his right side that bothers him swinging left-handed. He isn’t expected to start Monday against Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander.

Luis Mendoza, the reliever acquired from Texas for cash on Friday, will be on the roster. He is out of options and would have to clear waivers if sent to the minors.

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