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Cuthbert cool with Moustakas' return, new role

MLB.com @FlannyMLB

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert took the news of Mike Moustakas signing back with his former team in stride.

Cuthbert will feel the impact of the signing more than most -- the Royals once pledged to get Cuthbert 550 at-bats this season, which now seems like an extreme longshot with Moustakas back at third base.

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Royals third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert took the news of Mike Moustakas signing back with his former team in stride.

Cuthbert will feel the impact of the signing more than most -- the Royals once pledged to get Cuthbert 550 at-bats this season, which now seems like an extreme longshot with Moustakas back at third base.

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"I was prepared for it," Cuthbert said, "because no one really knows [with] free agents. And thanks to God, I am ready for whatever. Wherever they want to put me to play, I'm ready."

Cuthbert considers Moustakas a good friend, and spoke with him recently to congratulate Moustakas on the birth of his second child.

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"I learned a lot when I got here from him," Cuthbert said. "He was always next to me, helping me and telling me how things are up here."

Cuthbert now likely will be slotted into the DH role more.

"I'm OK with whatever they want me to do," Cuthbert said. "I'm glad he is back."

Hammel a bit off

Right-hander Jason Hammel went two innings Saturday and gave up four hits and three runs. He walked two and struck out two in the Royals' 10-3 loss to Arizona on Saturday.

"I felt I was rushing a little bit," Hammel said. "Second inning was better. But, the timing wasn't right and just one of those days. Overall I felt great, but for whatever reason, I couldn't get it going."

Camp battles

• Outfielder Paulo Orlando, trying to secure an outfield spot on the roster, had an RBI double, but also left the game with slight soreness in his right hamstring.

Video: KC@ARI: Orlando plates Goins with an RBI double

• Right-hander Brad Keller, a Rule 5 Draft acquisition, pitched one clean inning, and then gave up three runs in his second inning of work.

Injury update

Infielder Adalberto Mondesi continues to sit out with what now is being described as a shoulder impingement. He will be on a no-throw program for three more days, he said.

"It's nothing serious," Mondesi said. "Just a little sore."

Center fielder Bubba Starling is expected to be out of action for an extended period, Royals manager Ned Yost said, because of an oblique injury. Yost also said Starling could be a candidate for the disabled list.

Shortstop Alcides Escobar was a late scratch on Saturday because of back soreness, but Yost said he will play Sunday.

Up next

Right-hander Nathan Karns will make his second start this spring as the Royals return to Surprise Stadium for a 3:05 p.m CT game against the Indians. Also expected to pitch are left-handers Eric Skoglund and Foster Griffin and right-hander Mike Broadway. Watch the game live on MLB.TV.

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

Kansas City Royals, Cheslor Cuthbert