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Royals camp notebook: Major roster cuts will wait until Friday

SURPRISE, Ariz. | Look for the Royals to start thinning their big-league camp roster, which currently lists 58 players, after Friday’s split-squad double-header against the Brewers and Rangers.

“We’ve still got to get through that split squad,” manager Trey Hillman said. “After that, yeah, I’m considering the possibility of maybe making some moves.”

The return of players participating in the World Baseball Classic will also determine what moves are made.

The Royals have six players from the camp roster participating in the 16-nation tournament. Through Monday, only infielder Mark Teahen was certain to return by the end of the week.

Friday’s split-squad games are the only double-header on the club’s 36-game spring schedule. The Royals play the Milwaukee in Maryvale, and will serve as the home team against Texas at Surprise Stadium. Both games start at 3:05 p.m. Central time.

“Everything depends on how we get through those split-squad games,” Hillman said. “After that, we’ll take a look at everybody’s health and their reps and at-bats.”

Slow day

Not much happening Tuesday in camp beyond the second day of full-quad workouts for the organization’s minor-league personnel. Tuesday was a mandatory day off in big-league camp. All players were told to stay away and get a day of rest.

Hillman said the two remaining open dates in the club’s Cactus League schedule — March 19 and March 25 — will also be treated as stay-away breaks for all players.

Looking ahead

Gil Meche makes his third spring start Wednesday when the Royals play the Seattle Mariners at 3:05 p.m. Central time at Surprise Stadium. Meche is ticketed for three innings against his former team.

Left-hander Erik Bedard is scheduled to start for the Mariners.

A sore lower back slowed Meche earlier in camp and delayed his spring debut until March 1, when he worked a 37-pitch first inning against the Angels. He struck out five in two innings last Friday in a “B” game against the Rangers.

Plans call for reliever Juan Cruz to make his spring debut Wednesday against the Mariners. Cruz didn’t arrive in camp until Feb. 28, when he signed a two-year deal as a free agent. Classic cuts

Tracking the Royals participating Monday in the World Baseball Classic:

Closer Joakim Soria pitched a one-two-three ninth inning with two strikeouts in Mexico’s 14-3 victory over South Africa. Soria threw seven strikes in 11 pitches. Pretty familiar stuff.

Shortstop Mike Aviles went one for three with a walk and a run scored as Puerto Rico advanced to the next round with a 3-1 victory over the Netherlands.

Third baseman Mark Teahen had two walks in four plate appearances in Canada’s 6-2 loss to Italy. The loss eliminates Canada and means Teahen should soon be returning to the Royals’ camp.

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