KANSAS CITY -- Pitcher Gil Meche, activated from the 60-day disabled list on Wednesday, is officially back on the Royals' roster.
"Officially, I'm sittin' in the bullpen," Meche said.
That's right. Meche, the longtime starter, is trying life as a reliever to avoid shoulder surgery that would shut him down for all of next season.
"I'm excited. It's been since the middle of May. It's been since forever. I'm going to have some fun," he said.
"I had a good last week in Omaha. I got used to it. In warming up, I got loose quick so that's no big deal."
Manager Ned Yost will be cautious as Meche breaks into his new routine.
"The way I want to use Gil is -- at least through this little September period and next year it'll evolve differently -- we're really going to protect Gil," Yost said. "We won't bring him in the middle of an inning, we're not going let him start his own innings. We'll probably limit him to two innings right now. And we probably won't use him on back-to-back days and if I get him up, I'll get him in."
He'll probably be limited to a maximum 40 pitches per outing.
Meche made just 10 pitches in his Royals 'pen debut in Wednesday night's 4-3 loss to the Rangers. He pitched a scoreless ninth, giving up just a two-out single. It was just his fifth relief outing in the 248 Major League games of his career.
With Meche and third baseman Josh Fields being recalled from their injury rehabilitation assignments, the Royals moved pitcher Luke Hochevar and outfielder David DeJesus to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.
Hochevar and Brian Bannister, also rehabbing, are expected to rejoin the Royals in a few days. Bannister worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings on Wednesday night for Omaha against Round Rock. He gave up five hits with no walks and five strikeouts, throwing 57 pitches (36 strikes).