Fillmyer 'in rhythm' in Cactus League debut

Right-hander works two innings vs. Cubs; Schwindel getting look at catcher

March 7th, 2019

MESA, Ariz. -- Right-hander , still a candidate for the Royals' rotation or bullpen, got his first taste of the Cactus League in 2019 on Wednesday, and the results were just fine.

Fillmyer worked two innings and gave up two hits and one run against the Cubs, but induced four ground balls, which is his game. The Royals lost to the Cubs, 4-1.

"Being your first outing, you take what you can out of it," Fillmyer said. "My body felt good, it was in rhythm. From the bullpen to the mound, the adjustment was good, kept the ball down. I was in the zone with all my pitches. The ball felt good coming out of my hand. I was able to locate."

Naturally, Fillmyer loved getting the ground balls.

"Absolutely," he said. "I kept the ball down and tried to get guys to roll over. That's what I do. Lot of ground balls today. Two balls that hurt me [a double and a single] but that happens."

Fillmyer has been working bullpen sessions and simulated games this spring, and while Wednesday marked his first spring game, he said he is right on schedule to be stretched out in time for the regular season.

"The body will be ready," he said. "We still have plenty of time."

Frank the Tank at catcher?

Yost said on Tuesday night that with the season-ending surgery for , the Royals have given first baseman a look at catcher again. Schwindel, who was drafted out of St. John’s as a catcher, has caught 69 games in the Minors, the last coming in 2015.

Yost said he will work Schwindel into a game soon.

"It’s like riding a bike," Schwindel said. "It’s all coming back to me. I love it."

Storen better

Right-handed reliever , who hasn’t pitched since 2017 after Tommy John surgery, seemed more relaxed in his second outing this spring, though he got nicked for a run in one inning of work on a walk and two hits against the Cubs.

But Storen, who struggled with his command his first time out, was around the plate much more this time.

Storen got the final two outs on sliders that induced a pop-up and a flyout.

"Those felt good," Storen said. "You still take a step each time out and just try to keep improving."

Up next

The Royals return to Surprise Stadium on Thursday to face the Angels at 2:05 p.m. CT. Right-hander , possibly the Opening Day starter, will pitch, as will right-hander , left-hander , and right-handers and Chris Ellis.