Is it strange to feel disappointed when the Kansas City Royals lose a Spring Training game? The Royals suffered only their second loss in 16 Cactus League games, yet enough excitement has been built up that even this meaningless loss caused the slightest twinge of disappointment. It’s silly really; there are going to be several more losses in Arizona and in the best scenario possible, at least 70 regular season losses. This is just an indication of how starved Royals fans are for a winning ball club.
The day started out great for the Royals. Left fielder Alex Gordon boomed a homer run in the first and James Shields pitched three perfect innings with 4 strike outs to begin the game. Despite the 3-0 lead, Shields faltered in the 4th, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits. Another run scored against “Big Game” in the 5th. Shields’ performance is nothing to get upset about as he was working to build up arm strength by extending his pitch count. Be encouraged by the 3 perfect innings and be less worried about the final two.
Gordon raised his spring average to an amazing .536 by going 2-3 on the day. Let’s hope he saves some of those hits for the regular season. Seriously though, he obviously is seeing the ball real well in the desert. Louis Coleman continues to make it hard for the Royals not to include him on their Opening Day roster by retiring all four batters he faced in relief.
Salvador Perez and Luis Mendoza have returned from their stints playing with Venezuela and Mexico, respectively, in the World Baseball Classic. Perez is one of the team’s leaders and Mendoza should still be strongly considered for the rotation’s 5th starter, so it is great to see them make it through the WBC unscathed.
AL Central Notes
Cleveland Indians: Scott Kazmir continues to make a case as a starter for the Indians. He pitched 4 scoreless innings Tuesday against the Angels, allowing 3 hits and walk, while striking out 4. He has struck out 13 while only walking 2 this spring.
Chicago White Sox: Third baseman Jeff Keppinger has missed some time with a sore shoulder.
Minnesota Twins: Third baseman Trevor Plouffe will miss a week with a calf strain. An MRI came back favorable.