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Gordon looks for OF chemistry with Hamilton

February 19, 2019

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When Royals general manager Dayton Moore made the decision to sign speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton, Moore noted the obvious fall-off the team had defensively when it lost free agent Lorenzo Cain after the 2017 season.With Hamilton, the Royals once again will have a center fielder with

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When Royals general manager Dayton Moore made the decision to sign speedy center fielder Billy Hamilton, Moore noted the obvious fall-off the team had defensively when it lost free agent Lorenzo Cain after the 2017 season.
With Hamilton, the Royals once again will have a center fielder with elite range.
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And with Hamilton, it makes left fielder Alex Gordon's job a bit easier.
For one thing, Gordon won't be playing any more center field, even though he liked his occasional starts there last season.
"No, not anymore," Gordon said. "That's Billy's job now."
Secondly, Hamilton's range will allow Gordon, already a six-time American League Gold Glove Award winner, to shade perhaps closer to the line, cutting off even more baseballs hit that way.
That defensive positioning will be based on trust, which will come in time.
"I haven't played with Billy yet, but it might be like myself and LoCain," Gordon said. "Hopefully we can develop a chemistry like I did with LoCain. I know the balls I'm going to get and he knows the balls he's going to get. And that's what we had with LoCain. We knew each other that well. Hopefully we get there with Billy, too."
How long will it take?
"It'll take Spring Training to get that chemistry, but we should get there," Gordon said. "I'm looking forward to it."
Hahn's throwing program
Right-hander Jesse Hahn, who had UCL repair surgery (less invasive than Tommy John surgery) last summer, won't start a throwing program for another two weeks.
"I think when the team breaks camp," Hahn said, "that's when I'll really start my Spring Training. Right now, I'm just training and conditioning."
Hahn and the Royals hope he will be back to full strength by late May or June.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.