Hochevar, Young working toward bullpen spots

Hochevar, Young working toward bullpen spots

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Two potentially integral parts of the Royals' bullpen this season -- one new and one well-established -- are working their way back toward game action.

Luke Hochevar threw a live bullpen session on Monday, while Chris Young is set to throw one this week.

Hochevar, who had surgery last spring and began his rehab last fall, threw a live bullpen session on Monday. Manager Ned Yost said he thinks Hochevar's next stint will be in a Cactus League game.

"He really threw the ball good for me," Yost said on Monday afternoon.

Hochevar has spent his entire seven-year career with the Royals, and he would provide another weapon in Kansas City's vaunted bullpen. The righty is 43-61 with a 5.10 ERA in his career.

Young, who was signed to a one-year Major League contract on Saturday, threw a side session on Sunday, and he will throw BP on Tuesday. The right-hander, who won the American League Comeback Player of the Year Award after going 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA with the Mariners last season, has worked almost exclusively out of the rotation (188 of his 189 career appearances), but he's slotted into Kansas City's bullpen this year.

"It'll be a situation where it'd be basically a middle guy-long guy situation, which provides a lot of protection for that dynamic bullpen in that," Yost said.

With Young likely slotted in and Hochevar on the mend from Tommy John surgery, that may leave only one to two bullpen spots up for grabs.

• Left fielder Alex Gordon, coming off right wrist surgery, still has not hit on a field, but Yost said Gordon remains "on his schedule" and should hit live in the next few days after taking soft toss over the weekend.

"This is a very cautious schedule for him knowing that we're in Spring Training, there's no need to push it and he'll be ready for Opening Day," Yost said. "They've mapped out a very slow and cautious map back for him."

Yost added that Gordon "looks 100 percent throwing-wise and feels really good with the bat."

• With the 5-3 victory over the Brewers on Monday, the Royals improved to 6-0 in Cactus League play, the only team still unbeaten this spring. Kansas City went 12-16 in Cactus League play last year.

• Reliever Ryan Madson, signed as a non-roster invitee this spring, made his Cactus League debut on Monday and he gave up a solo home run to Matt Long, while also striking out a batter.

"I thought he threw the ball well," Yost said. "He got a fastball up, but that changeup is a real weapon. I thought he had good velocity on his fastball and I thought it was a real good first outing for him."

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.