Strahm seizing opportunity to pitch from 'pen

February 17th, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For most of the offseason, the Royals stated publicly that left-hander would be in the mix for a spot in the rotation.

But that officially changed after the Royals acquired starters and . Hammel already has a spot secured in the rotation. Wood will compete with right-handers and for the fifth spot.

And Strahm will head straight to the bullpen, where he was lights-out as a rookie in 2016.

Strahm, who posted a 1.23 ERA in 21 outings last August and September, likely will team with as the primary setup men for closer .

And Strahm is just fine with that.

"It didn't really change anything for me," said Strahm, the Royals' No. 3 prospect. "I knew coming into Spring Training it was going to be one or the other. But now coming into camp, I know for sure and I know what I need to work on."

Instead of being stretched out to 70 or 80 pitches in camp, Strahm likely will be maxed out at 40-50 pitches.

"I don't care when I pitch, I just want to pitch," Strahm said, smiling. "I'll do whatever they want."

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Down the road, manager Ned Yost maintains that Strahm will be a starter. Just not now.

"Absolutely we view him as a starter in the future," Yost said. "But for now, we're better off with him in the bullpen."

Strahm simply will be happy holding on to a spot on the 25-man roster.

"Nothing is for sure yet," Strahm said. "I still have to earn it. Hopefully I can do exactly what I did the last two months last year."

Everyone in camp

The Royals' first official workout was Friday and everyone was in attendance. The last to arrive was shortstop .

"There was no special messages for this group," Yost said. "They all know what they have to do."