By Alen Eskew | Associated Press
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Kansas City Royals don't have that many open spots for a team coming off a 90-loss season.
However, 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."
That battle was forced to wait one day, though, after Friday's matchup with the Cleveland Indians was cancelled because of rain.
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.