SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After almost two weeks of side sessions and live batting practices, Royals pitchers are ready to show what they can do in an actual game.Right-hander Jesse Hahn particularly is raring to go, hoping to impress his new teammates. Hahn will take the mound Saturday at 2:05 p.m.
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- After almost two weeks of side sessions and live batting practices, Royals pitchers are ready to show what they can do in an actual game.
Right-hander Jesse Hahn particularly is raring to go, hoping to impress his new teammates. Hahn will take the mound Saturday at 2:05 p.m. CT against the Dodgers in the Royals' Cactus League opener at Surprise Stadium.
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Hahn was acquired from Oakland on Jan. 29 in the Brandon Moss/Ryan Buchter deal.
"I'm super excited," Hahn said. "Just being on the bump for the first time with these guys and having some competition with other teams will be good. First time for all of us, so it should be fun."
Hahn reports he is completely healthy this spring after a strained oblique derailed his 2017 season with the A's (3-6, 5.30 ERA).
"I'm strong, very healthy," Hahn said. "I had that strained right oblique around the All-Star break and missed about a month and a half. Those things just don't get better unless you totally rest them. I tried to pitch through it. I made two three starts, but it got worse and worse."
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The Royals view Hahn as a starter first, but also a potential bullpen addition. He is out of Minor League options.
"I can do anything they want me to," Hahn said. "Whatever it takes to compete. My goal is to start. That's what I want to do. But if they feel I could be a big part of the bullpen, that's cool, too."
Left-hander Tim Hill will be one of the more interesting pitchers to watch in the competition for a bullpen spot this spring. He throws sidearmed, which could give the bullpen a unique look.
Hill said throwing that way came natural to him when he was young.
"When I was really young, coaches told me I could throw harder if I threw over the top," Hill said. "They even set up a clothesline next to me [about waist-high] to make me throw over the top. But I would hit it every time. My dad finally said, 'Leave him alone. He is getting guys out.'"
Hill, 28, was added to the 40-man roster last fall.
"It was a great feeling," he said. "Happy for me and my family. I knew the Rule 5 Draft was coming, but I wasn't expecting it."
The Royals will open their Cactus League schedule on Saturday against the Dodgers at Surprise Stadium at 2:05 p.m. CT with Hahn on the mound. Manager Ned Yost wouldn't reveal his whole lineup for Saturday's opener, but he did say Alex Gordon would play center field, Salvador Perez would be the designated hitter and Hunter Dozier likely would play first base.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.