Notes: De La Rosa has a rough day
No surgery needed for Hudson; outfield platoon in the works
MESA, Ariz. -- Manager Buddy Bell was anything but pleased with how Jorge De La Rosa threw on Tuesday against the Cubs in a 13-10, 10-inning loss.De La Rosa wasn't happy with the way he pitched, either. He summed up his start in one word: "Bad." De La Rosa gave up six runs on five hits, including a two-run homer to Aramis Ramirez, with three walks in 1 2/3 innings. He retired just five of the 13 batters he faced and had a wild pitch. "He has to throw more strikes than he did today," Bell said. "One thing about De La Rosa is you know he is going to compete. But today I thought he got frustrated, which he cannot afford to do in a regular-season game. He knows that. We're not going to put up with that, either. "This guy competes better than anybody we've got on our club maybe, but today his focus was not there for some reason or another. I don't know what it was. He's got to figure out a way to focus and keep his concentration. Whatever he needs to do, he needs to figure it out. Today was not a good day for him." De La Rosa is penciled in as the No. 4 starter in the rotation, but Bell acknowledged command has always been an issue for the hard-throwing left-hander, who turns 26 on April 5. De La Rosa has an 8.74 ERA in four Spring Training starts. He has surrendered five home runs in 11 1/3 innings. Emil Brown, Mike Sweeney and Alex Gordon all homered for the Royals in the loss. "It is not a great place to play," Bell said. "We did some good things and we did some not-so-good things. No surgery: Luke Hudson, who has thrown only 6 2/3 innings in Spring Training because of a sore right shoulder, will not need surgery, but likely won't be pitching in the Majors until late April. Dr. Timothy Kremchek, who operated on Hudson's shoulder in 2003, examined Hudson on Monday. "I talked to Dr Kremchek this morning," Bell said. "It was good news. He said there is not structural damage, just a little tendinitis. He is going to put him on a stretching program and see what happens. I think the best-case scenario is he's back April 17 to get his pitch count up." Hudson would likely have to make at least two Minor League rehab starts to get his pitch count to around 90 before he rejoins the Royals rotation, which could be late April with no setbacks. Platoon possible: Bell said Brown and Ross Gload, who bats left-handed, would be in some sort of platoon in left field, while Reggie Sanders, who was the Opening Day cleanup hitter last year, would be a reserve. "I don't know if it will be a strict platoon," Bell said. "We want both Brown and Gload in the lineup as much as possible. How that works out, I don't know. You can look at it as a platoon. But we need both to play more. Ross can play first and give [Ryan] Shealy a day off. Brownie can play left against a right-hander." Bell said Sanders could DH, as well as be a reserve outfielder. Bell also reiterated his plans to alternate catchers Jason LaRue and John Buck. "There's been no clear separation between the two," Bell said. "I think both performed as well as we needed them to. It made it tough for us to pick one. I still don't know how we're going to do it. I'm happy with both of them." With 39 players still in camp, Bell said final cuts, outside of the outfielders, would be made on Wednesday.
Pitcher obtained: The Royals acquired right-hander Ben Hendrickson from the Brewers in exchange for catcher Maxim St. Pierre in a Minor League trade. Hendrickson will join the Triple-A Omaha roster. Hendrickson, 26, went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in five Spring Training appearances for the Brewers. He has a 1-10 record with a 7.41 ERA in 14 games, 12 of them starts, with Milwaukee. He went 9-8 with a 3.36 ERA in 23 starts last season with Triple-A Nashville. St. Pierre, 26, signed with the Royals as a Minor League free agent on Jan. 24. He was a non-roster invitee, but had only one at-bat. Briefly: Mark Grudzielanek will likely play in his first Major League game on Wednesday after playing in two Minor League games, his first action since March 5 knee surgery. ... Right-hander Scott Elarton, who had surgery last August, is scheduled to throw an inning on Wednesday in a Minor League game. ... Bell said he does not anticipate left-handed reliever John Bale will be back before late April because of a strained lat muscle in his back. ... Tony Pena Jr. collected his first two hits for the Royals. ... David Riske struck out the side in the seventh. ... Jason Standridge did not allow a hit in 2 1/3 innings. On deck: Gil Meche will start against the Padres on Wednesday in his final tune-up before Opening Day. David Wells is the San Diego probable for a 3:05 p.m. CT start at Surprise Stadium.
Alan Eskew is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.