Outfielder Anderson to try pitching

Outfielder Anderson to try pitching

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals have a center fielder who used to be a Major League pitcher in Rick Ankiel. Now they have a center fielder who wants to become a Major League pitcher in Brian Anderson.

"Brian Anderson has elected to become a pitcher," manager Trey Hillman said on Thursday. "I'm not sure how that process is going to go, but it's got to start at the very bottom, so we're kind of mulling through that right now."

Anderson, 28 and right-handed, was signed as a free-agent outfielder last Dec. 23 by the Royals. He had split the 2009 season between the Chicago White Sox, his original club, and the Boston Red Sox.

After he was signed, the Royals added outfielders Scott Podsednik and then Ankiel, pushing Anderson back in the ranks. He had a good Spring Training, batting .341 in 17 games, but was overshadowed in competition for a backup job by Mitch Maier (.444).

In five Major League seasons, Anderson has a .227 average with 22 homers and 80 RBIs in 355 games.

The Royals, by the way, have already had one Brian Anderson pitch for them. He was a left-hander who was with Kansas City in 2003-05.