Reality is starting to sink in just a little bit for the Kansas City Royals in Arizona. It was all fun and games the first few weeks in the Cactus league but following Kansas City’s 7-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies Tuesday, the Royals have now lost 4 of their last 5 spring games. They are now 17-6-1 in the desert.
On the Mound
Despite the loss yesterday, the situation is the same. These games don’t count. There is no banner for Cactus League Champions. Just as we urged everyone to start feeling excited for the 2013 season, but temper the excitement with a realization that the games are exhibitions, now is not the time to panic because the Royals are in a little March slump. Be excited or worried about things that will have meaning soon, for instance – Royals starters still haven’t started pitching very deep into games without tiring. Yesterday was the perfect example. Starter Jeremy Guthrie allowed just one hit in four scoreless innings before getting knocked around field in the 5th and 6th. Guthrie allowed 7 hits and 4 runs in those last two innings. With only a couple of spring starts left, it is worrisome that Guthrie is wearing out so quickly.
Aaron Crow pitched well, only allowing one base runner out of the 6 he faced. Greg Holland though, got beat around hard. Holland got pounded for 3 runs, 4 hits, and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. He also uncorked a wild pitch. Holland hasn’t been sharp for any length of time this spring. With less than two weeks before Opening Day, he better find his groove.
At the Plate
The offense has performed just as poorly as the pitchers in this little slump. The Royals only generated 8 hits against the Rockies. Mike Moustakas had two of them, including a monster home run in the second. Of the players that can be considered regulars, only Butler, Hosmer, and Getz were able to scratch out a hit. As blazing hot as the bats have been this spring, a cooling off period was inevitable. It is better to have it now than in two weeks.
The Royals take on the Los Angeles Dodgers today with Wade Davis getting his first start against major leaguers since straining his shoulder two and a half weeks ago. Tim Collins and Louis Coleman are also scheduled to work during the game.
AL Central Notes
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos was sent to minor league despite hitting .360 this spring with power. With the Tigers set in the field and Castellanos working on his conversion to the outfield, Detroit wants him playing every day. If the Tigers suffer any major injuries in the outfield, he could be called up.
Cleveland Indians: The Indians are in negotiations to sign Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis to long term contracts. They would like to secure the services of two of the organization’s young keystones.
Chicago White Sox: Brent Morel, once hoped to be the White Sox future at third base, was optioned to AAA. Morel, who struggled with performance and back injuries in 2012, is little more than organizational depth at this point.
Minnesota Twins: Aaron Hicks has all but wrapped up the starting center field job for the Twins with 4 spring home runs, 13 RBI, and a .306 average. This is the spring Minnesota was hoping for out of their rookie.