It is one thing to read about baseball, or even to listen to the Kansas City Royals on radio. It is quite another to get to watch them on television. Nothing gets us ready for baseball more than actually seeing the Royals on TV and knowing next week it is for real. The NCAA Tournament is is a fantastic sporting event but what makes this time of year even more exciting is the knowledge that it is almost baseball season.
Last night, Kansas City faced former Royal star Zack Greinke and the big spending Los Angeles Dodgers. The Royals were able to force Greinke from the game in the 4th inning on their way to an 8-2 win. Kansas City Now stands at 22-6-1 this spring.
On the Mound
Wade Davis, in his second major league start since returning from resting a sore shoulder, went 5 innings. He surrendered 2 runs, only one of which was earned, on four hits. He struggled with his control at times, missing high, and walked 3. He pitched out of trouble in the 3rd, only allowing an unearned run when the normally stellar defensive third baseman, Mike Moustakas, let a hot shot get through his legs. The bullpen, including Aaron Crow, Dan Wheeler, and Luke Hochevar pitched 4 scoreless innings to protect the victory.
At the Plate
The Royals offense stayed hot, pounding out 15 hits, 14 of which were singles. The lone exception was a RBI double by Salvador Perez in the first. The Royals also walked 6 times on the night. Alex Gordon, Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Jeff Francoeur each contributed 2 hits in the winning cause. In an effort to throw a wet blanket, the Royals exceptional spring offensive numbers must be tempered with the knowledge that 8 of the Royals’ 9 starting hitters have spring batting averages over .300. Three, Gordon – Cain, and Moustakas – are over .400. Only Jeff Francoeur is under .300, and he has lifted his average to .279 over the past few games. This will not continue. These are spring training inflated, small sample sized numbers that will have no bearing on anything when the season starts Monday. Be warned. Be excited, but be warned.
This and That
It is official. the Royals have no plans for right field other than to run Francoeur out there every day. Despite hitting .455 this spring, David Lough evidently didn’t show the team brass enough to convince them he could help this ball club, since they sent Lough to AAA after the game. So much for the best 25. KC will now evidently go with 2 utility infielders, probably Elliot Johnson and Miguel Tejada. The Royals also released outfielder Xavier Nady and lefty reliever George Sherrill yesterday.
Bruce Chen will make his final bid to be the 5th starter today as the Royals take on the Seattle Mariners.
AL Central Notes
Minnesota Twins: Starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey is trying to return from Tommy John surgery and make the rotation. He gave up 1 run on 5 hits and a walk over 5 innings. Pelfrey will probably start the year at AAA as he works to build up arm strength.