Surprise, Ariz. Right-hander Runelvys Hernandez, who missed all of last season after having reconstructive elbow surgery, had an impressive initial bullpen session Monday in the Royals' spring training camp.
Hernandez began the 2003 season 4-0 with a 1.36 earned-run average in his first six starts before developing soreness in his elbow and being placed on the disabled list in May. He returned in July, but he needed elbow surgery after seven more starts.
Hernandez threw 40 pitches, only fastballs and change-ups, while manager Tony Pena, pitching coach Guy Hansen and general manager Allard Baird watched.
"I was very, very surprised at the command of his fastball," Pena said. "He threw some great change-ups. I was very encouraged."
Baird said he was optimistic Hernandez would be healthy enough to start the season in the rotation.