PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mike Aviles might not be quite ready for the rocket throw from the shortstop hole but he's getting close.
His recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery last June 8 is ahead of schedule, allowing him to play in 18 Cactus League games. There's certainly nothing wrong with his hitting -- he's at .489 (22-for-45) with five triples and two doubles.
Aviles has played mostly at second base in the games and, in his turns at shortstop, his throws have seemed a bit tentative.
"In the practices, no, but I do see tentativeness in the games but I think that'll dissipate," manager Trey Hillman said.
Aviles has made one long throw from shortstop in a game and got his man but on the bounce.
"I don't have that zip, that bite but that's part of the whole process and it's going to come," he said. "We're not quite nine months. If we were at 12 months and that was the case then, yeah, I'd be a little more concerned."
Aviles likely will start the season in the Minors as he builds up his arm, although Hillman said that's yet to be determined. Meantime, Aviles is pleased with his progress.
"It's coming along pretty good," Aviles said. "It's one of those things where one day it's great and one day it's bad. But the best part of that is it's slowly progressing up."
When Aviles is ready, the Royals envision getting back the same guy who was their 2008 Player of the Year. Both the club and Aviles don't want to rush things.
"I know if I mess myself up throwing-wise, it's going to harm me hitting-wise so I've got to keep everything moving in forward motion," he said. "I don't want to take any steps backward. I've come a long way."