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Second base for K.C. is up for grabs

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — The Kansas City Royals don’t have that many open spots for a team coming off a 90-loss season.

For the second straight March, Johnny Giavotella and Chris Getz are competing for the second base job. The Royals went 21-22 when Giavotella started at second base last season and 30-25 when Getz was the starter. Of course, it was Yuniesky Betancourt who earned the opening-day nod at second so anything could happen this time around.

“I’m prepared as I can be,” Giavotella said. “I worked very hard this offseason. I look to prove it and show it on the field.”

Giavotella, a 2008 second-round pick, is a career .308 hitter in 534 minor-league games. However, Giavotella has a .242 average in 99 big-league games.

“I have confidence that I can hit,” he said. “The pitching is definitely that much better in the big leagues. It’s a big adjustment from a batting standpoint. I think everybody goes through an adjustment period. Once they get their feet under them and settle down, they start to show their talent.”

After 359 at-bats in the majors, Giavotella believes his feet are under him. Giavotella had arthroscopic surgery on his right hip after the 2011 season.

“I got a full-season to relax and workout for a good amount of time,” Giavotella said. “It was definitely more beneficial than having to rehab the entire offseason.”

Getz went on the disabled list three times last season; a broken thumb on Aug. 17 required season-ending surgery. While Getz is considered better defensively than Giavotella, he has only 31 extra-base hits in 793 at-bats with the Royals. Getz’s last home run was July 29, 2009, while with the Chicago White Sox. He has the longest active homer-less drought in the majors at 918 at-bats.

Notes: Royals RHP Wade Davis is suffering shoulder soreness and has been scratched from start today against San Francisco. ... The Cleveland Indians-Royals split-squad game was rained out Friday with Kansas City leading 3-2 with two out in the top of the third.

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