"I'm looking forward to the first game because it has been extra long for me," he said. "I missed the last three weeks of the season, so I'm ready to get out there and get some competition."Teahen, who led the Royals in home runs last season with 18, underwent surgery on Sept. 8 to clean up a partially torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff on his right [throwing] shoulder. He also faces the challenge of learning a new position, moving from third base to the outfield. Veteran second baseman Grudzielanek, on the other hand, is in no hurry to play games. "There's a process you have to get through in Spring Training, and you just bite your tongue the first week and-a half and do the work until games start. "For the guys who have been around for awhile, they know that it's a long process and understand how important it is to pace yourself. I'm not ready for a game yet, but I have plenty of time to get ready [for the regular-season opener]. More than a number: The uniform number (55) pitcher Gil Meche wears on the back of his Royals jersey has some family history. Meche said he was given that number by the Seattle Mariners midway through the 1999 season when he was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma. He thought nothing of it at the time. But when he returned home following the season, he told his parents about the number and his mom, Linda, went to a place in the house where she had saved numerous items from their son's young life. <'p /> "She brought out this zip-lock bag with a tiny, red and white baseball jersey that I had worn as a newborn," he recalled. "She took it out of the bag, held it up and the number was '55'. Then she brought out another zip-lock bag, a little bigger, and it was my first beach blanket. "There was a pitcher on the mound with the number '55' on his back. It was kind of weird, actually," he said. "She still has them put away in the same zip-lock bags. I might have to get it, frame it and put it alongside the jersey I have now." The number became even more noteworthy last December when Meche signed a five-year, $55 million contract with the Royals. Derby day: Billy Butler hit three home runs during his five-swing second round to capture top honors in a Home Run Derby held prior to Sunday's Legends Game at Surprise Stadium. Butler finished with four home runs, two more than runnerup Russ McGinnis, who played for the Royals in 1995 and Rangers in '92.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.