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Royals decide to stick Mazzaro in the middle

The Sports Xchange
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Right-hander Vin Mazzaro is back with Kansas City, but in a different role.

While Mazzaro has been primarily a starter, manager Ned Yost plans to take a peek at him out of the bullpen.

"I think the next couple of days we'll look at Mazzaro in middle relief," Yost said. "We like the fact he's got a plus slider. We think we can match him up against tough right-handed hitters and he can do OK. We kind of want to look at him in that spot."

So Mazzaro might be a reliever?

"He could be," Yost said. "We'll find out."

Mazzaro, a right-hander, was acquired in a trade last Nov. 10 from the Athletics for outfielder David DeJesus. He spent most of the season with Class AAA Omaha, going 7-2 with a 4.29 earned run average and beating Round Rock and Sacramento in Pacific Coast League playoff starts.

Mazzaro, who has made 39 starts in 46 appearances in the majors with Oakland and Kansas City, was 1-1 with a 9.25 ERA in five games earlier this season with the Royals.

Mazzaro is also a candidate to start at Minnesota on Sept. 27, his 25th birthday.

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