Outlook: Dyson carries light bat with stellar speed

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Left-handed reliever Tim Collins, singled out for praise by Royals manager Ned Yost after his first outing last Saturday, gave up four runs in Monday's 9-7 loss to the White Sox.

Collins retired the first two batters he faced, then was tagged for four hits, although an error also was in the mix.

"What he's working on down here is getting that feel-and-touch down on that breaking ball without overthrowing it and still getting a good live break on it. And he ended up throwing two lazy curveballs and it ended up hurting him," Yost said. "But now is the time to get the feel for that pitch, because when he has it, it's a devastating curveball with a lot of depth and a lot of action to it. When he overthrows it is when it loses action and he bounces it and it's all over the place."

On the offensive side, Jarrod Dyson had two run-scoring singles and now has been on base six times -- three hits, three walks -- in eight trips to the plate.

"Dyson had a great game today. Two big hits against two tough left-handers. You can just see the progress that he's making every time he gets out there," Yost said.

Outfield prospect Jorge Bonifacio delivered a go-ahead single in the sixth inning and belted a two-run homer in the eighth.

"He's a player that we've liked ever since he's come into this organization and it's fun to watch him continue to grow and develop and we think he's going to be a good player," Yost said.

Guthrie authors two-inning outing in spring debut

Jeremy Guthrie on the Royals 2014 outlook

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Never say that Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie isn't the helpful type.

In a little playful give-and-take with reporters after Guthrie gave up three runs in his start against the White Sox on Monday, he was asked how he'd write the story about his two-inning outing.

"Just write about it. You don't need quotes," Guthrie said. "Just say Jeremy looked like he threw all of his pitches, located a couple early, they got a couple of base knocks, looked like he hung a changeup to a hitter that put a good swing on it and hit a three-run homer.

"Came back in the second inning and was able to work more efficiently, looked like he was healthy, threw X-amount on the gun. He looks like even at 35 years old he still might have a chance to break 90 miles per hour and a glass pane window. That's more or less what I would write."

The hanging changeup on a 2-1 pitch was hit for a three run homer by Andy Wilkins following two singles. The White Sox went down in order in Guthrie's second inning.

Oh, while he was at it, could Guthrie write a headline?

"I could do a headline: 'Guthrie eases back into Spring Training shape,'" he said.

Infante could be back soon to pair with Escobar

Outlook: Infante an undervalued multi-area producer

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The time might be approaching for new Royals second baseman Omar Infante to have his first in-game pairing with shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Infante, after playing the first Cactus League game, has been out with a stiff throwing shoulder. He could be back in the lineup on Tuesday or Wednesday.

"We'll see how he does today," manager Ned Yost said on Monday. "He'll go out and make some throws."

Escobar hasn't been in a game yet. He went to Miami where over the weekend his wife Francys gave birth to a boy named Massimiliano.

He is expected to return in the next day or so.

Lamb's velocity up as comeback continues

Yost is ready to start Spring Training and season

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Left-hander John Lamb, continuing his comeback from Tommy John surgery, impressed manager Ned Yost with his improved velocity on Sunday.

Lamb gave up two hits and one run in a 5-3 win over the Cubs in his first Cactus League outing.

"Last year he came back after the Tommy John and his arm speed was down a little bit, his velocity was down a little bit," Yost said. "He's back -- he was popping the ball at 90 to 92 miles an hour, great breaking ball, always had a great changeup. So he's back on track, which is really good to see. I'm excited for him."

Lamb, the Royals' fifth round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, spent most of last season with Class A Wilmington, but finished with Triple-A Omaha.

"It was a big outing for him to come out and pitch as well as he did," Yost said.

Butler seeing more action at first base

Outlook: Dip in power should be red flag

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Billy Butler, normally the designated hitter, started at first base on Monday against the White Sox, and he'll be seeing more duty there this month.

"We're going to start doing things a little different with Billy," manager Ned Yost said. "Billy's been working real hard at first and we want him to play some more first base down here. So probably, at least a couple times a week at least, start Billy at the DH, then lose the DH and put him at first. We've got enough guys to pinch-hit [for the pitchers] throughout the rest of the game, and that allows him to get more time at first base."

In Monday's 9-7 loss, Butler started a 3-6-3 double play, teaming with shortstop Jason Donald in the fourth inning.

"Billy made a couple of real nice plays at first base today, but the 3-6-3 was a great play," Yost said.

Yost is also figuring on getting Eric Hosmer some playing time in the outfield during Spring Training. That's primarily to prepare for the possibility of using Butler at first base and moving Hosmer to the outfield when the Royals lose the DH for Interleague games at National League cities.

"You have two of your most productive hitters in Hoz and Billy and you sure hate to have one of those guys out of the lineup," Yost said. "I did last year in those Interleague games. So at least you keep those options open."