Outlook: Holland should maintain dominance in ninth

KANSAS CITY -- Closer Greg Holland and Luke Hochevar, also a bullpen inhabitant last year, are hunting buddies.

Holland said they bagged a deer this winter while bow-hunting in Kansas. For a while, they had an unusual practice area -- Kauffman Stadium.

"We used to shoot out on the field -- I don't know if I'm allowed to share that -- but we'd get there really early and shoot, but we haven't been doing that recently," Holland said.

"We had a big target that was shaped like a deer that we'd tote out there and set on the field and shoot at it. But that looks bad if you're out there at 11 o'clock shooting at a deer and you blow a save, so we kind of shut that down."

The legendary Bo Jackson used to do some bow-hunting practicing at the stadium, too -- but right inside the Royals' clubhouse. Jackson would set up a target down the hallway near the shower entrance and fire arrows while sitting in front of his locker.

There were no misfires from Bo and, if some teammates were jittery, no one ever seemed to object.

"Well, he could do whatever he wanted," Holland said.

That he could -- especially when he got out onto the playing field.

Teaford accepts Triple-A assignment, invited to camp

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

KANSAS CITY -- Left-handed pitcher Everett Teaford has cleared waivers and, as expected, has remained in the Royals' organization with an assignment to Triple-A Omaha. He's also been invited to Major League training camp.

Teaford, 29, was designated for assignment on Jan. 29 to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Carlos Peguero, who was obtained from the Mariners.

Last year, Teaford had a 4-6 record and 3.49 ERA for Omaha in 31 games, including 14 starts. He appeared in just one game for Kansas City but, in the last three seasons, he's pitched 45 games for the Royals with a 3-5 record and a 4.25 ERA.

Dyson taking care of most valuable assets

Outlook: Dyson carries light bat with stellar speed

KANSAS CITY -- Jarrod Dyson, whose primary asset is his great speed, naturally takes special care of his feet. Which is why this winter he's been having treatment on his left foot.

"I was limping a little bit at the end of the year, and I'm still trying to get that right," Dyson said. "There's nothing wrong with it, it's just a little sore."

The Royals' super-fleet outfielder has 84 stolen bases in 233 career games and, even if not in the starting lineup, he gives manager Ned Yost an important late-inning weapon as a pinch-runner. So anything that might slow him down is important.

"We've got it under control, I just continue to get treatment on it," Dyson said. "It's just staying on top of it in case it flares back up. I had an MRI and it didn't show anything."

It's not related to the right-ankle sprain that came on May 17 at Anaheim when he tried to scale the center-field wall in pursuit of a home run. That kept him out for 34 games. The left-foot ailment came later.

"I had it for two months and it didn't stop me from running," he said.

Dyson admitted, after running out a hit for first base, that he'd sometimes take a long time to return to the bag.

"Or you might see me bend down and grab my left foot," he said. "I like to do that at times, too, to fool the defense: 'Ah, you're hurt, you might not go the next pitch.' Then, boom, he gone!' "

Wait a minute. Perhaps this is all just a ruse to lull the opposition to sleep. Naw, Dyson says the left-foot ailment is real if somewhat mysterious.

"I don't think it's turf toe. I don't know what it is," he said. "All I know is it ain't gonna stop me."

Meantime he's going into Spring Training gunning for a regular job, maybe putting the heat on center-field incumbent Lorenzo Cain.

"Hey, I gotta eat, too," Dyson said good-naturedly.

He and Cain will be rivals but still buddies.

"What's so good about that is me and him can still be friends and talk to each other and help each other with our game," Dyson said. "It's nothing personal if I start more than him or it he starts more than me, I don't care as long as we win. That's all that matters because we're all there on one mission -- and that's to win a championship."

Hochevar, Davis eye final spot in rotation

Outlook: Davis excelled after moving to bullpen

KANSAS CITY -- Now that left-hander Bruce Chen has been virtually assured of starting the season as the Royals' No. 4 starter, there'll be a scramble for the fifth and last spot.

And make no mistake, despite their successes in the bullpen last season, Luke Hochevar and Wade Davis will be aiming for that opening in Spring Training.

Hochevar spent the entire 2013 season in relief and was especially effective, finishing his 58 appearances with a 1.92 ERA along with a 5-2 record, two saves and 82 strikeouts in 70 1/3 innings. He finished the season as the primary setup man for closer Greg Holland.

"We'll see what shakes out. I'll take the ball in whatever situation they want to me to take the ball to help this club win," Hochevar said. "I like the rotation, I do. I had a lot of fun in the bullpen last year. I'm happy as long as I've got the ball and am on the hill."

Davis made 24 starts last season but was shifted to the bullpen late and made seven relief appearances. In those 10 innings, he had a 0.90 ERA, won two games and held opponents to a .094 average. Davis also had a good year in relief for Tampa Bay in 2012.

"I'm definitely going in to start," he said as he looked toward the start of camp next week. "I hope I get the opportunity to pitch and help this team win a lot of ballgames. ... I'm ready, probably more so than I ever have been."

Davis said he's added some muscle and some weight in the offseason. He's also going to wear a new uniform number, changing from 22 to 17.

"It was my brother's number, so I wear it in honor of him," Davis said.

Davis' step-brother, Dustin Huguley, died unexpectedly in Florida last Aug. 3 at age 25.