Outlook: Average peripherals make Vargas AL-only pick

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Jason Vargas made it through three scoreless innings against the White Sox on Thursday despite giving up five hits.

"Definitely better than giving up five runs on one hit," Vargas said. "The idea is to go out there and keep them from scoring and do it as quickly as possible, so if that means getting a couple guys on and getting multiple outs at one time, I'm good with that, too."

There were no double plays in this outing, but catcher Salvador Perez helped by throwing out Alejandro De Aza trying to steal second base. And Vargas helped himself by picking off Micah Johnson at first base.

"In Spring Training, you kind of expect a lot of hits," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "The infield is hard and it's quick, but the thing that we like about, especially [Jeremy] Guthrie, [Bruce] Chen and Vargas, is they're guys that will give up hits but will also turn right around and throw a double-play ball. They don't get panicky in certain situations, and they know they're one pitch from getting out of it."

Vargas, in his first outing against the Padres, gave up one hit, and he's yet to issue a walk.

"He competes and he makes big pitches when he needs to, and we like that a lot about him," Yost said.

Infante to get a few more days before seeing action

Kaegel on the Royals' additions, defense in 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Plans to finally link second baseman Omar Infante and shortstop Alcides Escobar in a game have fallen through, at least temporarily.

Manager Ned Yost planned to team up the middle-infield combo for the first time in a five-inning "B" game against the Rangers on Friday morning. But Yost nixed that to give Infante's stiff shoulder more time to recover.

Instead, Infante won't play and Escobar will play his first Cactus League game against the Giants. His training was interrupted when he left for the birth of his son in Miami. Infante has been in just two games, but just one at second base.

"Omar had this issue before and it took him about two weeks to get through it in Spring Training. It's just one of those things where you come out and probably try to do a little too much too soon and it gets inflamed and you've got to back off. But you let it get out of there and you roll," Yost said.

"He's making progress. He's getting better and better every day. I'm watching him throw and I just don't know if he's ready to really cut one loose yet. So I think another two or three days he's going to be ready to cut one loose."

Yost hopes to get Infante at second base by Monday. Meantime, there's a chance he might be the designated hitter over the weekend.

"He's kind of a maintenance-free player," Yost said. "I think you give him seven good days and he's going to be ready to start the season. He's doing all his work, he's taking all the ground balls, taking all the batting practice."

But, after watching Infante and giving it some thought, Yost decided to delay things.

"I don't want to get him in a situation where there's a double hit with a runner on first and he's got to be the relay man and he's got to turn around and just fire one somewhere," Yost said. "So I want to get him a couple more days so he's more prepared to do that."

Gordon not satisfied with early hitting success

Dick Kaegel talks to Alex Gordon about 2014 season

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left fielder Alex Gordon might be hitting .467 after his first six Spring Training games, but he certainly doesn't feel ready to go. Not yet.

Not even after a 3-for-3 Thursday afternoon in a 6-6 tie with the White Sox.

"No, definitely not. Before today I wasn't feeling that great at the plate," he said. "Today, I was feeling a little better and that's a good step. I always feel like I'm a slow starter as far as getting my timing down in Spring Training and really feeling comfortable. Forget the numbers. If we had to start the season right now, I'm not ready."

Gordon's perfect day made him 7-for-15 with two doubles, two triples and five RBIs.

The baseball-sized abrasion on his right shin, result of a foul ball, caused him to miss Wednesday's game. But he shrugged that off, saying if it had been the regular season, he wouldn't have missed an inning.

Royals sign catcher Flores to Minor League deal

Jesus Flores spent 2013 at Triple-A with the Dodgers and Rays.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals have signed catcher Jesus Flores, who played in the Major Leagues with the Nationals, to a Minor League contract.

Flores, 29, played in five different seasons for Washington, batting .241 in a total 311 games. He spent last year in Triple-A ball, dividing time between the Dodgers and Rays organizations. In 74 games, he hit .174 with two homers and 25 RBIs.

The Royals' Minor League camp is running full speed with 124 active players -- 62 pitchers and 62 position players-- in uniform.

Intrasquad games will be played from Friday through Tuesday, and games against other organizations will begin on March 13.