Notes: Teahen trying out right field

Notes: Teahen trying out right field

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Mark Teahen is spending a lot less time at third base, but he can be found mostly taking fly balls in right field during the Royals' early Spring Training drills.

Teahen's move from third base to the outfield is to make room for Alex Gordon, who hit .325 with 29 home runs and 101 RBIs at Double-A Wichita in 2006.

"The plan right now is get me some work in right field and make sure I can make the throw from there," Teahen said. "If I end up moving back into third base, then the throw is shorter. It is easier to shorten up the throw than lengthen it out. I have a lot more experience at third, so right now I'm mainly working in the outfield."

Teahen, who hit .290 with a team-leading 18 home runs in 2006, had season-ending shoulder surgery on Sept. 8. Teahen said he is "not really" concerned about his shoulder being ready, and his throwing program is up to 180 feet.

"These last two or three weeks it started feeling a lot better," Teahen said. "I'm not really worried about it. Obviously, I've got to be smart with it and not just go air it out. It is feeling good. Honestly, now it feels better than it has in the last year and a half or so."

Gordon still must win the third base job in Spring Training, but if he does, it will mean a position change for Teahen.

"I'm not upset about it," Teahen said. "I love playing third base, but if we're better with me in right field, I'm excited about getting out there and learning a new position and making sure I'm good in right field, too."

"It was kind of heavy when they first brought it up because it was weird deciding on whether they were going to cut my season short [for the surgery], and they let me know I would possibly play some outfield this year. At the time, I was kind of taken aback. As it goes on, I realized we were doing what was best for the team and hopefully what is best for the team for a long time."

Elarton throws: Scott Elarton threw off the mound on Tuesday for the first time since having shoulder surgery on Aug. 1.

Elarton threw 25 pitches, all fastballs and changeups.

"Everything held up," Elarton said. "The house of cards is still together. My shoulder feels good and strong. I threw free and easy."

Elarton also had shoulder surgery in 2002 and missed the entire season.

"I'm ahead of where I've been in the past after surgery," Elarton said. "I didn't feel this good until a year [later] on my last surgery."

Elarton, who was the Royals' 2006 Opening Day starter, is scheduled to take two days off and have another bullpen session on Friday.

"I'm on the slow boat to China, but I'm on the boat," Elarton said. "It's been a long time. I'm looking forward to seeing how it feels Wednesday."

If all goes well, Elarton is hoping to be ready to pitch in the Majors by May 1.

"He didn't over exert himself by any means, but I'm very encouraged," Royals manager Buddy Bell said. "I'm pleasantly surprised."

Report day: Wednesday is the day that all position players are to report with the first full-squad workout on Thursday.

Spring Training
News and features:
• Duckworth on making rotation:  350K
• Soria talks about making team:  350K
• Grudzielanek on returning to action:  350K
• Skipper Bell on Royals' status:  350K
• Royals GM Moore on Pena, infield:  300K
• Royals' Bell on remaining spots:  350K
Spring Training info: coverage  |  Schedule  |  Ballpark  |  Tickets

Mark Grudzielanek, Esteban German and Justin Huber were among the position players supposed to arrive on Wednesday. Veteran outfielder Reggie Sanders is the only player who had not yet been to camp and he lives in nearby Scottsdale.

"We've got a lot of young guys who want to get here and get a head start," Bell said. "It seems like that guys get here earlier than in the past. Years ago, guys had jobs in the winter but now guys don't have to work much."

Palermo meeting: Steve Palermo, who is an umpire supervisor for Major League Baseball, talked to the Royals before the workout about the rule changes.

"It was a very informative meeting, good discussions on certain rules that guys had some concerns about," Bell said. "I was glad we had it."

One rule change is a pitcher must throw the ball within 12 seconds after the batter is in the box and he has the ball. If not, the umpire can call a ball. Bell does not believe the rule will be firmly enforced.

"I don't think so," Bell said. "It is just pretty much a guideline."

Tryout camp: So you want to be a Royal? The Royals are holding an open tryout camp on Feb. 27, beginning at 8 a.m. MT at their Surprise Spring Training complex. Players must bring their own equipment.

Minor points: There were 21 Minor League players who reported Tuesday for a mini-camp. Another 55 Minor Leaguers are scheduled to arrive on Monday, although the full Minor League camp will not open until March 8.

Outfielder Chris Lubanski, a former first-round pick, and first baseman Mike Stodolka, who was drafted in the first round as a left-handed pitcher but was moved to first base last year, were among the 21 players.

The group also included Minor League free agents Adam Greenberg, who was in the Cubs' farm system last year; right-hander Mark Woodyard, who was a reliever in the Tigers' system; and first baseman Danny Brezeale, who was in the Braves' system.

Games added: The Royals have scheduled three 'B' games with the Rangers, with whom they share the complex in Surprise. The games are scheduled for March 2, 7 and 11.

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