SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Catcher Salvador Perez could miss nearly 2 1/2 weeks of Spring Training if his Venezuela team advances to the championship round of the World Baseball Classic. But the Royals' young catcher says he's not concerned.
He's scheduled to leave for Venezuela's camp in Jupiter, Fla., on March 3. There are three games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, March 7-10 against the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Spain. The last day of the championship round is March 19.
"I could be gone two weeks if we advance, if not I could be back in a week," Perez said.
Anticipating his absence, Perez has accelerated the process of getting to know the pitching tendencies of newcomers James Shields, Wade Davis and Ervin Santana. Will his absence cause a problem?
"Nah, we've got a lot of time before I leave," he said. "And when I come back, we'll have 14 or 15 more games. We'll have plenty of time."
Now that left-hander Bruce Chen has dropped his plan to play for China, the Royals have five other players in their Major League camp committed to the World Baseball Classic: pitcher Kelvin Herrera and shortstop Miguel Tejada, Dominican Republic; pitcher Tim Collins, USA; pitcher Luis Mendoza, Mexico, and second baseman Irving Falu, Puerto Rico.
Escobar, Tejada arrive to complete spring roster
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- It's a full house of 62 players now at the Royals' training camp. Alcides Escobar and Miguel Tejada arrived on Saturday and filled their side-by-side lockers with gear.
Escobar, the starting shortstop, missed Friday's first full-squad workout due to a delay in obtaining a visa for his new bride, Francys. The necessary office did not reopen until Friday due to Carnival time in Venezuela.
"The office was closed because of the festivities," Escobar said. "But I'm so happy to be here."
Tejada became ill after returning to his Fort Lauderdale, Fla., home from playing for the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Series. He also missed Friday's workout, but he arrived feeling healthy.
"I feel my body's very fresh. I work hard and I feel like my body's 20 years old," said the 38-year-old Tejada.
Tejada will compete for a backup role. He was out of the Major Leagues in 2012, interrupting a 15-year career. After 36 games for Baltimore's Triple-A Norfolk affiliate, he asked for his release, but returned to action this winter with Aguilas in the Dominican League.
"Great reports," manager Ned Yost said. "Swung the bat real well, bat speed was there, played adequately at all the infield positions. Great makeup, great clubhouse presence, had great winter ball."
After multiple injuries, Colon drawing attention
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Infielder Christian Colon considers himself fortunate that he escaped a serious eye injury in an on-field mishap last season.
Colon was hit just under the right eye by his own foul ball last August in his fifth game after being promoted to Triple-A Omaha.
"It was a fastball in, a sinker and I just committed to the pitch a little early. I swung and foul-tipped it into my right cheek. It wasn't my eye," Colon said. "I was very lucky. It hit me right underneath my eye. They just put a little titanium plate in there and that's it."
That ended Colon's season, but there was no permanent damage and he resumed playing this winter in Puerto Rico. He hit .301 in 39 games for Leones de Ponce.
It was a tough summer for Colon. While with Double-A Northwest Arkansas last June, he suffered a broken toe in a play at the plate and missed five weeks.
"I was trying to score a run and the catcher was in the middle of the plate. He saw I was coming, so he kind of moved out the way and tagged me and I just went flying and stepped wrong on my second toe," Colon said. "It was one of those years."
Colon, the Royals' No. 10 prospect, is in his first Major League training camp after being drafted as a shortstop in the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. With shortstop Alcides Escobar signed for the long term, the Royals are looking at Colon as a second baseman.
"I like shortstop, but when I went to Puerto Rico, I played second base the whole time and it was fun. I felt like I did well, for the most part," he said.
Despite his injury-shortened season, Colon is drawing attention.
"He's really starting to push the Major League door open a little bit for himself," manager Ned Yost said. "When he was playing, he did quite well."
Single-game tickets going quickly
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Single-game tickets for the regular season went on sale on Saturday and the home opener on April 8 against the Twins was sold out within an hour.
However, enough Opening Day tickets were held back to supply future purchasers of season-ticket packages for 21, 40 games or the entire home schedule.
About 300 people were lined up at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Saturday morning and tickets for the other 80 home games were reportedly selling briskly.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.