Butler to play first base in Royals' exhibition opener

By: AP
By: AP

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SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) -- Billy Butler will be at first base and left-hander John Bale will be the starting pitcher tomorrow when the Kansas City Royals open their Cactus League schedule.

Butler didn't play first base until last season and was mainly the designated hitter as a rookie. Butler is competing with Ryan Shealy and Ross Gload for the starting first base job.

Bale made 26 relief appearances last season with Kansas City.

The Royals have two openings in the starting rotation and will experiment with Bale as a starter in spring training.

Manager Trey Hillman says second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and outfielder Jose Guillen aren't likely to play until March 8th or 9th.

RHP Brett Tomko and LHP Jorge De La Rosa are scheduled to start in an intrasquad game on Thursday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
APNP-02-26-08 2026CST

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