SURPRISE, Ariz. - Royals spring training would not feel complete without Chris Getz battling to hold off Johnny Giavotella for the starting second base job.
"It's cool,” Getz said. “You just kind of have fun with it. Johnny and I are good friends. We both know what we can do. We both help out the team in different ways."
Getz has won the job each year in large part because of his defensive play.
"My game, the most important thing is doubles and triples, creating havoc and playing good defense and being a good situational guy,” Getz said. “There's definitely a lot of value in that."
Yet, Getz has never cemented his spot because of a lack of pop. He tried a more upright batting stance last season that seemed to work. He was having a career year when a broken thumb put him on the shelf.
"I was squaring up more balls, hitting more line drives ... I felt I was on the right track," he said.
Giavotella has shown plenty of pop in the minor leagues. Yet, the 25-year-old has only mustered a .242 average over his two Major League campaigns.
"I don't think I've done as well as I'd like to have done in my past two stints in the big leagues,” Giavotella said. “There's always an adjustment curve."
The Royals also have concerns about his defensive abilities.
"I definitely feel that I'm capable of playing every day second base in the big leagues," he said.
Until Giavotella can prove he can match his minor league numbers in the Majors, this appears to be Getz's job to lose. For now, Ned Yost is going to watch it play out in spring training.
"At the end of spring, we'll decide which piece fits best for our club," Yost said.
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