MIN@KC: Teaford pitches 5 1/3 innings of great relief

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Everett Teaford is embarking on his ninth season in the Royals' organization and, as usual, he faces a big challenge to make the Major League roster.

Teaford was a frequent contributor in 2011 and '12, pitching in a total of 44 games. But last year? Just one game with the Royals as he spent virtually the entire season with Omaha as the Storm Chasers won the Triple-A championship.

There was another professional setback this winter when the Royals designated Teaford for assignment. As expected, after he cleared waivers, the Royals re-signed him to a Minor League contract.

"They made it clear that they wanted me back and it was a process a lot of people go through, and they make it back to the big leagues, so I don't think it's the end of the world," he said.

Teaford, 29, in his 45 big league games has a 3-5 record and a 4.25 ERA.

"I think I've obviously proven I can pitch at the Triple-A level and at the Major League level as well, and I can start and I can relieve," he said. "So, I feel I provide a pretty decent safely net that's not on the roster."

Although he's started 119 games in the Minors, he's seldom mentioned as a candidate for the open fifth spot in the Kansas City rotation.

"I'm kind of like the independent candidate in an election. I'm going to get the one or two percent -- maybe," Teaford said. "Maybe I'll just have to come up with a crazy policy that'll get some votes."

Donald powers up in Royals' intrasquad game

Yost on Perez working out at first base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Jason Donald hasn't hit many home runs in his career, but he went deep with a game-winner on Tuesday in a Royals intrasquad game.

Donald, a non-roster infielder, belted a three-run homer off Sugar Ray Marimon to give the Royals' home team a 4-3 victory in a six-inning scrimmage at George Brett Field. Donald hit just two homers last year in the 78 games he played for the Reds' Triple-A club at Louisville.

The drive over the left-field fence was especially meaningful to Donald because he was bothered all last season by a torn labrum in his left arm.

"I think I initially did it during Spring Training and about three weeks into the Triple-A season it just got to the point where I couldn't lift my left arm over my head," he said.

"It's nice just to be able to put a clean swing on a ball, regardless if it's a home run or a base hit or a hard out."

Donald, selected in the third round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft by the Phillies, was traded to the Indians the next year in the deal that sent pitcher Cliff Lee to Philly. Donald reached the Majors in three different seasons for the Tribe, batting .257 in 170 games.

"In my days with Cleveland, we played Kansas City a lot and I'm really familiar with the players here," Donald said. "I had an idea of how they did things and I heard nothing but great things about this organization so it seemed like a really good fit to sign here."

Donald's homer was the third of the game. Outfielder Melky Mesa led off the visitors' fifth inning with a home run off right-hander Michael Mariot and, after Pedro Ciriaco singled, catcher Juan Graterol followed with a two-run blast.

In two intrasquad games, the Royals hit five home runs -- Paulo Orlando and Carlos Peguero connected on Monday -- and all were by players who are long shots to make the club.

Starting catcher Salvador Perez had two hits on Tuesday and played three innings at first base, making a nice play on Mike Moustakas' sharp grounder down the line.

"He played all winter [in Venezuela] at first base, took ground balls there all last year, and played there the last game of the year so it's an option for us," manager Ned Yost said. "He's very sure-handed, very athletic, he can handle that over there."

No intrasquad game is planned for Wednesday and the Royals will have a relatively light day before beginning the Cactus League season on Thursday against the Rangers.

Yost likes collision rule's protection for Salvy

Outlook: Perez could blossom into perennial All-Star

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After going over experimental Rule 7.13 with bench coach Don Wakamatsu, Royals manager Ned Yost didn't see much that's been changed. He did, however, believe it favors catchers.

"The biggest change is you can't barrel into a catcher, but everything else is basically the same," Yost said.

That suits Yost, who wants to protect the health of his Gold Glove and All-Star catcher, Salvador Perez.

Yost brushed past the wording that says a catcher cannot block the plate unless he has possession of the ball.

"That's always been the rule, there's no change in that. You can't block the plate without possession of the ball," he said. "Some guys get away with it and throw their leg out. [Mike] Scioscia used to be really good at it, but they'd bang him with an obstruction from time to time, too. That's always been the rule, there's no change there.

"You can't barrel into a catcher. That's the only change. That's really it. Nothing else really changes except you can't barrel into a catcher."

Yost, who used to catch for the Brewers, recalled a smashing blow he received from the Yankees' Bobby Murcer.

"It used to be more vicious. When I was catching, you knew that you were going to get your clock cleaned. So when you had time, I always took the opposite thought on the runner: I am going to inflict as much pain and damage on you and I'm fully equipped to protect myself. It kind of worked both ways back then. Now, they've kind of taken it away from the baserunner."

But that night, Murcer barreled into Yost before he could catch the ball. The New York Post, he said, recorded the moment in a three-photo sequence.

"That little sucker hit me as hard as I've ever been hit. And I've been hit by big guys -- Lance Parrish, Don Baylor -- but nobody hit me harder than Bobby Murcer hit me that night," he said.

Under the new rule, of course, Murcer would be called out.