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Zimmer training for potential return to Royals

Former first-round pick undergoing aggressive program in Seattle
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the Royals' first-round Draft pick in 2012 and whose baseball dreams have been derailed because of injuries, is participating in a increasingly popular training program that the team hopes will resurrect his career.

Zimmer, who was designated for assignment and then re-signed earlier this season, is in Seattle at the Driveline Baseball training facility. Driveline Baseball orchestrates individual training programs for players centered around using weighted balls.

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KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the Royals' first-round Draft pick in 2012 and whose baseball dreams have been derailed because of injuries, is participating in a increasingly popular training program that the team hopes will resurrect his career.

Zimmer, who was designated for assignment and then re-signed earlier this season, is in Seattle at the Driveline Baseball training facility. Driveline Baseball orchestrates individual training programs for players centered around using weighted balls.

View Full Game Coverage

Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer credits Driveline Baseball with vastly increasing his velocity and command.

"It's becoming more and more popular," Royals assistant general manager J.J. Picollo told MLB.com. "It's pretty aggressive training. And we felt with what Kyle has gone through, this might fit the bill.

"We approached him about it and he was very excited."

Zimmer has been in the program for about four weeks, and Picollo said the programs can last anywhere from eight to 12 weeks.

The Royals don't expect to assign Zimmer, who is no longer on the 40-man roster, to any affiliate this season.

"Our goal is more with 2019 in mind," Picollo said. "Like I said, he has been very receptive to this and very excited."

Maurer back, Adam optioned
The Royals on Friday selected the contract of right-hander Brandon Maurer from Triple-A Omaha and optioned right-hander Jason Adam to Omaha.

Maurer opened the season with the Royals, but he was optioned to Omaha after posting a 12.46 ERA in five outings. He later was released, then he re-signed with the Royals.

Video: MIN@KC: Adam induces flyout, leaves bases loaded

Maurer did not allow a run in his last 11 appearances at Omaha. Adam had a 4.70 ERA in 14 outings for the Royals.

Father's Day at The K
This Sunday on Father's Day, Royals players will wear the symbolic blue on their uniforms along with blue wristbands. They also will wear specially-designed caps to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate cancer.

MLB will again donate all royalty payments from the sales of specialty caps and apparel to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer.

Sunday also marks the final day of the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation's "Home Run Challenge," which has given fans the chance to make monetary donations or pledges for every home run hit by their favorite MLB Clubs. Every dollar donated through the Home Run Challenge goes to PCF to fund critical research to defeat prostate cancer.

Hahn throwing again
Royals right-hander Jesse Hahn, who has been on the 60-day disabled list because of a right UCL sprain, is throwing side sessions in extended spring in Arizona, Picollo said.

"He threw about 20 pitches the other day and everything looked good," Picollo said. "Assuming there are no setbacks, he should throw again Saturday or Sunday. I wouldn't necessarily say he's close, but he's making solid progress."

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

Kansas City Royals, Jason Adam, Jesse Hahn, Brandon Maurer, Kyle Zimmer