Notes From The Royals First Day Of Camp

Your leadoff man? - Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

While you were in your cubicle, working for THE MAN, magical things happened in Arizona, in a little town called Surprise.

Screw you, old man winter. Baseball is here.

Some quick notes from Surprise.

-- Danny Duffy is set to throw off the mound for the first time since his Tommy John surgery. Trainers say he's on target for a July return.

"Everything is good," Duffy said. "I've got no soreness. I feel better than I have since high school."

In the same dispatch, Dutton notes that Felipe Paulino is about two weeks away from taking the same step. He's currently building strength by throwing 120 feet.

-- I have never heard of this Bob Fescoe dude, but apparently he's in Surprise. And he tweets.

Yost also said today he felt good everytime Hochevar took the mound last year

-- If you haven't been paying attention, Dutton has been fielding Twitter questions and answering them on the Star website. As the man himself notes, he's not offering opinion, rather knowledge. It's invaluable.

In his missive from Sunday, he notes that Alex Gordon will likely return to the leadoff spot, only if Eric Hosmer can get himself back on track.

So much hinges on Hosmer building on his 2011 campaign. If the Royals are going to show any kind of offensive improvement, it has to start from his bat. He's ground zero. And if Dutton is correct in his assumption, Hosmer is the domino as well.

-- And finally, if attempted poetry is your thing, Dick Kaegel gives it a shot in his first dispatch reporting that the pitchers and catchers are all here.

At mid-morning on Sunday, about 30 pitchers sauntered past plantings of blue and white geraniums outside the clubhouse, their spikes crunching through the gravel. They made their way onto lush grass for some warm-up sprints. By now, the temperature was up to 50, and amiable conversation filled the warming air.

Ahhh... Spring.

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