Notes: Teahen ready for right field

Notes: Teahen ready for right field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When they introduce the Royals lineup Thursday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, it will include right fielder Mark Teahen.

"You have to get the first out of the way sometime. I guess it is tomorrow," Teahen said.

Teahen has played only third base in the Majors, and never the outfield at any point in his professional career. The Royals, however, are moving Teahen to right to make room for blue-chip prospect Alex Gordon, who also plays third. The Royals want to get both of their bats into the lineup.

Teahen said he is "not really" nervous about his outfield debut.

"If I do good, I'm doing better than expected," Teahen said. "If I do bad, whatever. It will probably be average. It does feel weird, but it is just a totally different perspective from the outfield, but I'll get used to it. I'm eager to get out there and see what more I need to work on."

Teahen, who had right rotator cuff surgery last September, said his arm is feeling "pretty good," but that he would be throwing to the cutoff man, not airing out his arm in Spring Training.

"I feel like if the game depended on it, I could make a full throw, but not in March," Teahen said. "April 2, [the season opener] maybe."

Manager Buddy Bell said he is "anxious to see" how Teahen adapts to right field.

"Even though it is first day, we have got to be patient about it," Bell said. "The only way you're going to get better is experience it. It is going to be interesting to see how quickly he progresses. I think he will. I think he has got the ability to play anywhere on the field.

"Mark is going to have some issues out in the outfield. Arizona is a tough place to play the outfield. It is a high sky, and with the glare, it is not easy to pick the ball up. If he can get it done down here, he shouldn't have really any problem with any ball park in the American League or National League."

Bell miffed: Bell was chagrined the Veterans Committee didn't vote anybody into the Hall of Fame.

"What is the deal?" Bell said. "They have to come up with some better plan to get these guys in. For Ron Santo not to be in the Hall of Fame is a sad state. Jim Kaat, why isn't he in? Why isn't [Rich Gossage] in now? Other than [Mariano Rivera], I think he might be the best reliever of all time.

"There are a lot of guys in the Hall of Fame now who are not as good as guys I played for or against. The guys in the Hall of Fame should be in the Hall of Fame, but there are a lot of guys who are better than the guys in the Hall of Fame who aren't in. It irritates me."

Spring Training
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Fourth slot: Bell has not yet named Jorge De La Rosa as his No. 4 starter, but it is clearly his job to lose in Spring Training.

"He's got a 90 percent shot of being in the rotation," Bell said. "He still has to compete for that spot. We saw enough of him last year that we'd like for him to be in the rotation."

For De La Rosa to keep his rotation spot, he must throw more strikes and lower his pitch count. He has walked 106 in 144 innings in the majors.

Duckworth healthy: Brandon Duckworth, who had surgery Aug. 15 to remove bone chips in his right elbow, is scheduled to pitch three innings Monday.

"It is much better," he said. "It is good to throw without pain. I couldn't get a good extension last year. It is a world of difference."

Meeting day: The Royals had two meetings before practice. There was a security meeting and then a meeting with Players Association chief Don Fehr.

It was about 10:45 a.m. MT before the players got out of the meetings, so Bell shortened the workout schedule.

Rotation turnover: Not one member of the Royals rotation at the beginning of last season will be in the rotation to begin this one.

"Well, we needed to," Bell said of transforming the staff. "We have to get better. We have to get more innings out of our starters. Our bullpen is going to be better, but it really depends on how many innings we get out of our starters. It doesn't matter what kind of bullpen you have, if you've got to go to them too much, you're going to be in trouble."

Alan Eskew is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.