The Kansas City Royals officially kicked off the 2014 baseball season with the first game of Spring Training, taking on the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Arizona, where the teams share a Spring Training complex.
The Royals fell short in their debut in defense of their Cactus League title, as they got beat up pretty badly by the Rangers hitters. Kansas City dropped the Cactus League opener 11-7.
On the Mound
Bruce Chen started, and worked 2 innings, allowing one run. Rotation candidate Danny Duffy was roughed up a bit when Prince Fielder bashed one over the fence for the Rangers. Duffy allowed 2 runs on 3 hits in his 2 innings but he also struck out 4.
Cory Wade, pick up off the scrap heap in the off season did not have a good debut as a Royals. He allowed 5 runs in a single in of work.
At the Plate
Offensively, 7 runs on 11 hits is a nice afternoon. Third baseman Danny Valencia, acquired this off season from the Baltimore Orioles for David Lough, hit a home run, as did reserve outfielder Justin Maxwell.
The Kansas City Royals also had three doubles on the day as Eric Hosmer, Johnny Giavotella, and Jarrod Dyson got into the swing of things. Newcomers Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante combined to 0-5 in the top two batting spots in the line up.
This and That
It is too easy to get caught up in spring performances (Remember Mike Moustakas‘ red hot spring a year ago?) but try to keep things in perspective. Don’t get too excited or too put off by spring numbers. These players are just working hard to get their timing down, and to work on specific things throughout camp.
Talk about a forgotten man. Johnny Giavotella is still on the roster and in camp again. Barring an injury to Omar Infante, it will take a miracle for Giavotella to make this team. It is really surprising to even see him on the team. The Kansas City Royals have obviously have moved on from him as a major league talent.
Gio was never really given a real chance, and he is not going to get one now. His name never really came up this off season, so it is easy to forget about him.
The Kansas City Royals face the Rangers again today at 2:05 CT.