SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Luke Hochevar gets his first Spring Training shot at making the Royals' pitching staff on Wednesday against the Texas Rangers.
He's scheduled to follow starter John Bale to the mound and pitch two innings in the Cactus League opener.
"I'm fired up, I'm excited," Hochevar said. "All the BP's [batting practices] and throwing on the side, you get good work, but I'm chomping at the bit ready to face somebody from a different team and somebody with a different uniform on."
Hochever arrived in Arizona on Feb. 4 and has been working for three weeks with the Royals' staff.
"I've been feeling really good, and the things I've been working on have been extremely helpful in getting a good downward plane and keeping the ball down in the zone and attacking the strike zone a lot better," he said.
The No. 1 overall draft choice in 2006, Hochevar is in the running for a starting job but he's got an uphill battle against some veteran pitchers.
"His performance, because he has had no Major League experience, would have to be above and beyond anyone else's who has already had the experience of being able to do that," manager Trey Hillman said.
The Royals would consider him for a bullpen spot if he's not a starter.
Hochevar, like several other players, has been battling flu-like symptoms.
"I just broke it last night; I broke my fever and sweated it out. I had a 103 temperature last night and sweat for about four hours in bed so I think I got it out," he said.
"I woke up about 5:30 this morning and felt great, so I think I kind of flushed it. I'll get some fluids in me, get some rest and get ready for tomorrow."
Here's to good health: There's no doubt about Hillman's top priority as the spring games begin.
"The first thing that comes into my mind is a hope," he said. "A hope we stay healthy."
Other than the cold and flu which has struck Brian Bannister, Brett Tomko, Tyler Lumsden and Hochevar among others, the report from the training room has been pretty clean.
Only shortstop Alex Sanchez (groin) and pitcher John Foster (back) are reported to be on the shelf. Foster was to have an MRI on Tuesday.
Webcasts available: Radio reports of Wednesday's game against the Rangers and all of the Royals' exhibition and regular-season games will be available as webcasts, the club announced Tuesday.
A subscription to Gameday Audio to hear live coverage of the Cactus League games can be purchased at Royals.com. To sign up, click on "MLB.TV" and then go to "Gameday Audio." The $14.95 package also includes broadcasts of the Royals' 162 regular-season games plus the Major League Baseball postseason games.
Steve Stewart, the newest member of the Royals' broadcast team, will give play-by-play of the 10 Cactus League games not carried on the radio network. Stewart will be joined by other broadcasters and Royals baseball operations officials during the webcasts. Fans can interact with the booth on the web at email@example.com.
This is the Royals' first venture into webcasting.
Down to 60: The Royals' spring camp roster was reduced to 60 players on Tuesday when catcher Cody Clark was sent to the Minor League camp.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.