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Jacobs projects as choice for KC's emergency catcher

SURPRISE, Ariz. | First baseman Mike Jacobs is likely to see limited duty behind the plate later this month in pre-game workouts in anticipation of serving this season as the Royals’ emergency No. 3 catcher.

“Accent definitely on emergency,” Jacobs said.

Infielder Esteban German and outfielder Mitch Maier filled that role last season, but German was designated for assignment last Saturday, while Maier projects as a long shot to make the club’s 25-man roster.

Jacobs, 28, was a high school catcher when picked by the Mets in the 38th round of the 1999 new-player draft but hasn’t played the position since 2005 in the minors.

“We’re going to look at it very sparingly and probably not in game time,” manager Trey Hillman said. “As we get a little further into camp, we’ll get him some gear or he can borrow some.

“In no way, shape or form do I want him thinking that we’re thinking about making a position change.”

German in limbo

The Royal have through Sunday to see if they can trade German before they must place him on waivers, which gives any team the opportunity to select him if willing to assume his $1.2 million contract.

German was designated for assignment last Saturday to clear space on the 40-man roster when the Royals signed reliever Juan Cruz. Clubs have 10 days to trade, release or request waivers on players designated for assignment.

On the mend

Right-handed reliever Doug Waechter said he’s nearly fully recovered from the minor blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand. The problem caused him to miss a scheduled appearance Tuesday against the Indians.

Hillman said the club will be “passive rather than aggressive” in returning Waechter to a full work schedule.

Single-game sales

Single-game ticket sales for all home games begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. They can be purchased online at www.royals.com, by phone at 800-576-9257 (800-6ROYALS), at Hy-Vee stores in the Kansas City area and at the Kauffman Stadium ticket windows.

There are a limited number of tickets remaining for the April 10 home opener against the New York Yankees. Those tickets are not available at Hy-Vee locations.

Welcome Home Luncheon The Royals’ annual Welcome Home Luncheon is set for April 13 at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center hotel. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with the program scheduled to start at noon.

Premium tables can be purchased for $700 and include nine seats with a 10th seat allocated to a player, staff member or former player. Regular tables of 10 sell for $500. Individual seats are $55.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.royals.com/welcomehome or by calling 816-504-4040.

Classic Cuts

Tracking the Royals in the World Baseball Classic’s pre-tournament exhibition games:

* Shortstop Mike Aviles went zero for four in Puerto Rico’s 2-1 victory over Tampa Bay.

* Outfielder José Guillen had a double in three at-bats in the Dominican Republic’s 6-1 loss to Baltimore. Catcher Miguel Olivo went zero for two.

* Mark Teahen had a single in his only at-bat after replacing ex-Royal Matt Stairs in right field in Canada’s 9-2 loss to Philadelphia.

* Reliever Joakim Soria didn’t pitch in Mexico’s 19-4 pummeling of Arizona.

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