KC lefty Flynn happy to be healthy again

February 20th, 2016

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If there is one reliever who will be on Royals manager Ned Yost's radar this spring, it will be left-hander Brian Flynn.

Flynn had a fabulous camp last season -- in 12 Spring Training games, the converted starter posted a 2.40 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 15 innings.

Flynn certainly did more than enough to make the Royals' 25-man roster. But fellow reliever Ryan Madson had an opt-out in his contract, and the Royals did not want to lose Madson to another team. Flynn also had options.

That led to a painful decision for Yost. He had to send Flynn to Triple-A Omaha.

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"I just felt terrible about it," Yost said. "But as it turned out, it was the right decision."

It was the right call because Madson went on to have a stellar season for the Royals. And unfortunately, Flynn injured his latissimus dorsi muscle in his first outing at Omaha and missed the rest of the season.

"It was a real tough month," Flynn said. "It just piled on. I didn't make the team, then I got hurt, and then [Greg Holland] went on the DL and I had to watch someone else get called up from Omaha."

Flynn remembers his injury all too well.

"I threw a slider and extended through and heard a pop in the lat," Flynn said. "I just sat and did nothing for two months, let it scar over and then started back up.

"I came back and started throwing again, and then a month into that program, I had a shoulder impingement deal. Then we shut it down for good."

Eventually, though, Flynn came back and pitched briefly in the instructional league, where he said his fastball sat at 92 mph and touched 94. Last spring, his fastball sat around 94 and touched 96-97.

"I think I'll get [the velocity] back there," he said. "I'm just happy to be back healthy again, with another chance to help this team."

New addition to Cain family

• Center fielder Lorenzo Cain arrived in camp on Friday, and on Saturday he spoke about the latest addition to his family -- a boy named Jayden Lamar.

"Yes, [Jayden] was born Jan. 29," Cain said. "We named his middle name after my middle name -- Lamar."

Cain's other son, Cameron Loe, was born during the 2014 postseason.

Cain was glad to see all the familiar faces in the clubhouse, especially Alex Gordon, who re-signed with the Royals last month.

"He's one of the leaders here," Cain said. "He fits here. Very happy he's back."