Tagged: Tim Collins

Royals Turn it Up to Eleven

A few notes before we begin…

  • The Royals’ 10 consecutive home losses to start the season matched something that hasn’t been done in the Major Leagues for 99 years.
  • During the 10-game homestand, the Royals were outscored 64-37.
    • If you take out that dreadful Cleveland series, the the differential is much smaller: 32-18. Not awful… But still nowhere close to what this team is capable of.
    • Kansas City has had the lead at one point in exactly 4 of those games.
  • In 13 double-play situations, Billy Butler has grounded int0 4 (31%) thus far. The league average is 11%.
    • As a team, the Royals have grounded into 19 double-plays, good for 18% of their opportunities. Again, the league average is 11%.
      • 12 of the double-plays came in the seven games against Detroit and Toronto.
  • The team was a meager 5-for-40 (.125) with runners in scoring position in the Tornto series.
    • For the series, Escobar had 7 hits (including a 4-for-4 night) while Moustakas collected 6. Billy Butler, who was riding an 8-game hitting streak coming into the series, went 0-fer.
  • The Royals haven’t won a game since Lorenzo Cain was placed on the DL. Coincidence? Not that Cain was a world-beater in his 5 games, but his defense has been sorely missed in center field.
  • The team’s Pythagorean W-L is 6-10, suggesting that the Royals have been a bit more unlucky than not. The guys over at FanGraphs even think that the Royals are better than what their record shows.

It’s been extremely hard to listen to the guys at 610 Sports radio talk about the Royals for the past week and a half – let alone think, read, watch, and write about them on a daily basis. I’ll be the first to admit it’s tough to write about a team that’s losing games in every which way imagineable – from hitting to pitching to base running (the team’s defense has been it’s lone bright-spot throughout this whole skid. Just watch Mike Moustakas).

Let’s just forget about the Cleveland series for right now and focus on the series’ against Detroit and Toronto.

In the three losses to Detroit, the scores were 3-2, 3-1, 4-3. In each game of the series, the Royals had chances to score the tying/winning runs late in the game, but failed to do so thanks to a bases-loaded, full-count, 3-2 100 MPH fastball by Justin Verlander in game one and a dumb-luck, game-ending double-play by Miguel Cabrera that would have otherwise been a game-winning extra base hit in game three. In game two, the Tigers broke a 1-1 tie by getting two base knocks against the shift in the top of the 8th by Miggy and Prince. The Cats also scored on a wild pitch by Jose Mijares.

In the four-game sweep by the Jays, the finals were 4-3, 9-5, 5-3, 4-1. Greg Holland imploded in game one (and was placed on the DL directly after), just got plain beat in game two, Danny Duffy reverted back to his old ways in game three by surrendering 5 BB and a 4-run inning, and the offense couldn’t sole Brandon Morrow in the finale.

Now in both series’, the Royals got good enough starting pitching to win four of the seven games. And the offense was great at starting rallies when the games were on the line, but were awful at “getting them on, getting them over, and getting them in”. The Royals have a wOBA of .333 with the bases empty (4th in the league). But with runners in scoring position, the team has a wOBA of just .275, ahead of only Oakland. And to make matters worse, they’re hitting .242 with runners in scoring position and two outs.

So the Royals really haven’t had many problems getting men on, even in clutch situations. They just have not been able to get that clutch hit to fall, that sac fly to leave the infield, or that sac bunt to roll down the correct line.

Now it may be as simple as “these guys are still young” or “they’re trying too hard”. They’re definitely pressing – no doubt about it. The Royals aren’t losing because of a lack of effort – Hosmer is hitting homers and laying down bunts for base hits, Gordon is still going hard for every fly ball, Moustakas and Escobar continue to wow with both the stick the leather, Billy has been Billy, Yuni has been maybe the most consistent hitter, Chen has given nothing but quality starts, Hochevar took a groundball off the ankle and didn’t miss a start, Duffy has shown he can go more than five innings, and Crow and Collins have been solid from the ‘pen.

But, regardless of all of what I just said, the Royals had a winless homestand, sit at 3-13, and are sitting at the bottom of baseball’s barrel. This team is capable of winning – and they’ll get off the schneid at some point.

Maybe this is all because the Royals started their homestand on Friday the 13th…?

Maybe “Our Time” has gotten to their heads.

Or maybe this team just needs a change of scenery.

Nobody should expect this team to go out and win eleven in a row and just forget this losing streak ever happened. It’s going to take winning series’ and a few short winning streaks to come out of this hole.

This team is young, but they’re capable.

Here’s to the optimist in us all. Cheers!

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Oakland Blanks KC 1-0

On a particularly cold night in Oakland, Tommy Milone looked more like Tommy Glavine. The rookie, making his 1st start as an A (made 5 starts with the Nationals in 2011), went 8 scoreless (93 pitches) and surrendered only 3 hits and 3 walks and had 0 Ks. Needless to say, the Royals’ hitters just couldn’t figure him out.

The Royals’ 3 hits all came in the first three innings of the game:

Photo Credit: Ben Margot / AP

  • Jason Bourgeois lead the game off (inplace of Alex Gordon) with a double to deep center which would have been a triple if not for a hustling Yoenis Cespedes. His leadoff double was quickly erased. Lorenzo Cain hit a flyball to right that normally would have been difficult enough for a runner to advance to third, but A’s right fielder Josh Reddick threw a laser to third and nailed Bourgeois with a perfect throw.
  • Yuniesky Betancourt doubled to left field with 2 outs in the top of the 2nd. Brayan Pena proceeded to groundout to end the inning.
  • Alcides Escobar hit a double down the right field line to leadoff the 3rd, but never was able to advance past second thanks to a Chris Getz infield pop-up, a Bourgeois grouder to short, and a Lorenzo Cain fly ball to center.
    • Chris Getz’s at-bat was probably the biggest missed opportunity of the night. He had Escobar on second with nobody out. He tried to lay down a SAC bunt and failed. In turn, he hit a harmless pop-up. All he needed to do was move Escobar over to third, and he would have likely scored on Bourgeois groundball. Situational hitting is probably the biggest asset that Getz brings to the roster and he failed to come through last night.

The only other baserunners the Royals had on the evening were the product of walks – 3 by Milone and 1 by Grant Balfour.

  • Eric Hosmer walked to leadoff the 4th and moved to second base on a Billy Butler groundball out. With Jeff Francoeur at the plate, just as Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler were discussing Hosmer’s speed, Hosmer took off for third base and was thrown out by catcher Kurt Suzuki. Frenchy would go on to draw a walk from Milone as well. So instead of having two-on with one out and a runner on scoring position, the Royals had Frenchy on first with two down. Until Frenchy was caught trying to steal second. Inning over, threat neutralized.
  • Hoz drew another walk in the 7th, but nothing came of it. Pinch-hitter Mitch Maier walked in the 9th.

Poor basrunning just killed the Royals last night. Three times (!) a scoring threat was killed on the basepaths. But if we have to lose the game, we lost it our way: being aggressive baserunners. The offense wasn’t doing much, so Ned Yost tried to get the team to manufacture runs. It just didn’t workout this time. The Royals also went down in order four times – innings 1, 5, 6, and 8.

Photo Credit: Ben Margot / AP

On the other side of the ball, Luis Mendoza had an impressive season debut. He did struggle a little with his command, as it seemed like his sinker was floating too far inside to every A’s left-handed hitter. He ended up going 5.2 innings, giving up just 1 earned run on 5 hits and 2 Ks. But he also had 4 BBs.

The A’s one run against Mendoza came in the bottom of the 2nd. With 2-out and runners on the corners, third baseman Josh Dolnaldson hit a sharp grounder to right field, bring home the runner from third base. Other than that, aside from a few walks, Mendoza didn’t run into much trouble against the Athletics lineup.

Lefties Tim Collins and Jose Mijares pitched 2.1 innings collectively to finish the game for KC, each giving up one hit, and recording one K (Collins also walked one).

Too Much Tinkering?

Manager Ned Yost threw out a unique lineup last night in Oakland. He decided to give Gordon and Moustakas – both left-handed hitters- the night off against LHP Tommy Milone. In place of Gordon and Moose were Jason Bourgeois in LF and Yuni at 3B. On top of that, Chris Getz was in the lineup at 2B – meaning that all three of the Royals’ super-utility players were on the field at the same time. So this is what the lineup looked like last night:

1. Jason Bourgeois LF

2. Lorenzo Cain CF

3. Eric Hosmer 1B

4. Billy Butler DH

5. Jeff Francoeur RF

6. Yuniesky Betancourt 3B

7. Brayan Pena C

8. Alcides Escobar SS

9. Chris Getz 2B

It’s game number four, and already Ned is giving two guys – who probably weren’t too happy about it – the game off. And, not to mention, this was the Royals’ fourth different lineup in four days. The end result: 0 runs, 3 hits. Yost may be playing around with this lineup a little too much. Just let Gordon and Moose go out there and take their hacks.

Tonight’s Matchup

  • Royals (2-2) @ A’s (2-3)
  • Royals LHP Danny Duffy vs. A’s RHP Graham Godfrey
  • 9:05 pm CT

Royals, Hochevar Top Halos 6-3

We’ve been waiting all offseason for this: the first of what we hope will be many victories for the Royals. And on a nationally televised game, Kansas City did not disappoint.

The Royals got off to a very quick start. After Alex Gordon grounded out to begin the game, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Billy Butler recorded three consecutive singles – loading the bases for Jeff Francoeur. Frenchy then proceeded to knock a single into center, bringing Cain and Hosmer around to score (2-0 KC).

Another run was put on the board in the top of the 2nd when Humberto Quintero scored on LoCain’s sacrifice fly to RF (3-0 KC).

Leading off the top of the 5th inning, Eric Hosmer kept the runs coming by sending Dan Haren’s pitch over the wall in right-center, furthering the lead to 4-0. Mike Moustakas must have thought that was pretty cool, since he lead off the 6th inning with a long-ball to right, making the score now 5-0.

The Angels were able to put 2 runs on the board in the bottom of the 7th, one on a double by Bobby Abreu and another on a groundout by Vernon Wells.

Chris Getz was able to add another run in the top of the 8th when he stole third base, causing an overthrow by Angels catcher Bobby Wilson. Getz went home on the error, 6-2 Boys in Blue.

Bobby Abreu brought Kendrys Morales home in the 9th with a sac fly, making the score 6-3. But Vernon Wells grounded into a 5-4-3 double-play to end the game.

Luke Hochevar was solid yesterday, going 6.1 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 ER, 2BBs, while recording 4 Ks, with 3 of those Ks coming from the bottom of the 5th where he struck out the side (Abreu, Wells, and Callaspo). Oh yeah, he also was able to keep Albert Pujols from hurting the Royals for the second day in a row.

Pujols did manage to get a double off of Hoch in the bottom of the 4th, but that was negated when Albert tried to score on Morales’ single to LF. Alex Gordon came up throwing and nailed Pujols at the plate. So sorry, Albert.

Lefty Tim Collins followed Hochevar, allowing 2 runs to score in the 7th (both charged to Hochevar). He ended the inning by striking out Callaspo.

Holland pitched a scoreless 8th which included striking out Pujols.

Jonathan Broxton came into the 9th with a 6-2 lead. He surrendered a leadoff double to Morales, followed by a bunt single by Torii Hunter – making it runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out. Bobby Abreu hit a sac fly to LF, bringing in Morales. Gordo’s throw to second kept Hunter at first, which was paramount, keeping the double-play in order. Vernon wells proceeded to hit a sharp grounder to Moose, inducing the game ending double-play.

The Royals and Angels will finish the three game series today in Anaheim at 2:35 pm CT. It’ll be new Royals lefty Jonathan Sanchez vs. Ervin Santana.

2012 Spring Training Recap

With a 7-6 victory over the Padres last night, the Royals wrapped up Spring Training at 16-15. Hey, take it for what it is. Yeah, it’s only Spring Training. But you have to start somewhere, right?

The Royals 2012 Spring Training was… interesting. We saw injuries (both significant and not), position battles/tinkering, rotation and bullpen shuffles, promotions, demotions, trades, off-the-chart performances, contract extensions, etc.

So here’s a quick recap of it all:

  • Significant Injuries
    • Manny Pina C: Feb. 22 – torn right meniscus (knee), 60 Day DL
    • Salvador Perez C: Mar. 14 – torn left meniscus (knee), 60 Day DL
    • Joakim Soria RHP: Mar. 19 – Tommy John surgery (right elbow), 15 Day DL – will miss 2012
  • Slightly Less Significant Injuries
    • Blake Wood RHP: Mar. 26 – sore right elbow (ulner nerve), 15 Day DL
    • Felipe Paulino RHP: Mar. 26 – sore right elbow/forearm, 15 Day DL

Each one of the injuries required reactionary moves from the club. The injuries to Pina and Perez forced the Royals to look for a veteran, defense-first catcher; leading to the acquisition of Humberto Quintero. Soria’s injury opened up the closer role to one or all of Holland, Broxton, and Crow. It also opened up a full-time spot in the bullpen for a fresh face. Blake Wood’s spot became up for grabs, but he was a fringe bullpen guy to begin with. The loss of Felipe opened up two rotation spots for Mendoza and Duffy, as well as the long-relief spot for Everett Teaford.

  • Position Battles
    • Second base

      Photo Credit: Rob Tringali / Getty Images

      • Injuries aside, the combo of Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt winning the 2B job over Johnny Giavotella was the biggest shock of the Spring. Virtually everyone, myself included, basically gave Gio the job before the Royals arrived in Surprise. But, to their credit, Getz and Yuni outperformed Gio and currently present better options defensively for KC.
    • Fifth Starter
      • The first three rotation spots were a given: Chen, Hochevar, and Sanchez. The last two spots were up for grabs, but Paulno and Duffy basically had dibs on the spots. But the performance of Luis Mendoza changed all of that. He was without a dout the best pitcher in Royals camp, forcing the Royals to give him a rotation spot. And once Paulino went to the DL, Duffy had the fifth spot locked up.
    • Lefty Relievers
      • No lefty had a bullpen spot given to them coming into Sporing Training, although Jose Mijares was close. Every bullpen should have at least one lefty, but two would be more ideal, and three would be perfect; and that’s what the Royals wound up with. Jose Mijares, Tim Collins, and Everett Teaford comprise the left-side of the bullpen – beating out other lefties Tommy Hottovy and Francisely Bueno. Mijares and Collins will serve as middle relief/situational lefties, while Teaford will be the swing-man/spot-starter
  • Eric Hosmer: Right Fielder

    Photo Credit: John Sleezer

    • Say what? That can’t be right, can it? Yep. It happened. A few times, actually. In order to maximize offense against NL teams, the Royals tinkered around with Eric Hosmer in RF (and Jeff Francoeur in CF) so they could have both Hoz and Billy Butler in the lineup. Hosmer is a good enough athlete that playing RF shouldn’t be difficult at all for him. He has a terrific arm and good enough speed that I thought he could have been an everyday right fielder in the minors (this was all before we had Frenchy, Wil Myers was still a catcher, and Kila Ka’aihue was mashing in Omaha).
  • 12 Man Shuffle
    • Rotation (5)
      • Chen L, Hochevar R, Sanchez L, Mendoza R, Duffy L
        • No, Montgomery won’t be opening the season in Kansas City. Neither will Felipe Paulino, but not for the same reasons. Monty didn’t perform well in his few outings, and Paulino was sent to the DL, which opened up spots for Mendoza and Duffy.
    • Bullpen (7)
      • Holland R, Broxton R, Crow R, Herrera R, Mijares L, Collins L, Teaford L
        • Without Soria, the roles in back-end of the bullpen are up in the air. Holland and Broxton are the clear front-runners for the closing position, with Aaron Crow not far behind.
        • The most notable surprise here was Kelvin Herrera taking a spot away from Louis Coleman. Herrera had a great Spring, and Coleman scuffed a bit as roster cuts loomed. Herrera has the potential to be a closer someday. Luckily for him, someday may come soon.
  • Notable Promotions
    • Kelvin Herrera RHP, Everett Teaford LHP
      • See above.
  • Notable Demotions
    • Johnny Giavotella 2B, Louis Coleman RHP, Jarrod Dyson OF, Sean O’Sullivan RHP
      • If you’ve been reading, you already know why Gio and Sweet Lou were demoted to Omaha.
      • Jarrod Dyson became expendable with the acquistion of OF/U Jason Bourgeois. Dyson has the speed and defensive tools down, but he really needs to learn how to keep his flyball rates down so he can appropriately use his speed (similar to Juan pierre). Afterall, you can’t hustle out a pop-up.
      • The demotion of Sean O’Sullivan is no surprise. But in order to do so (since SOS was out of minor league options), the Royals had to place him on waivers – making him available to the rest of the league. Since nobody placed a claim on him, the Royals were able to send him to Triple A.
  • Trades
    • LHP Kevin Chapman and a PTBNL (KC) for C Humberto Quintero and OF/U Jason Bourgeois (HOU)
      • Chapman is a solid C+ to B- lefty reliever who would have been a welcome addition to the Royals in the future, but he (along with an unknown) helped the Royals land two veterans who can help the team this season.
      • Quintero is a career backup, but has seen enough playing time throughout his career that you pretty much know what you’llget out of him. Solid defense, below-average-but-acceptable offense. He’ll compliment Brayan Pena, as they’ll likely be splitting time at the catcher position until Sal Perez returns.
      • Jason Bourgeois is capable of playing all three OF positions, as well as some 2B and 3B. So, needless to say, his versatility is his biggest tool. And although he isn’t as fast as Dyson, he provides extra speed off the bench.
    • OF Greg Golson (KC) for cash considerations (CWS)
      • The Royals made an inter-divisional trade by shipping Golson to the White Sox for cash. Golson is a quick OF capable of filling in at each spot, but his bat has never really been there. He was a non-roster invitee this Spring, so nothing was really lost. He never really had a shot to make the roster anyway.
  • Performance Reviews

    Mark Kartozian - US Presswire

    • Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Billy Butler each hit over .360 this Spring, with Hosmer leading the league in RBI. If they can carry their performances into the season, the Royals may have one of the best 1-4 hitters in baseball in 2012.
    • Hopefully, since Mike Moustakas is a notorious “slow starter”, he got all of that out of the way this Spring. He only his .240, but came around a little bit as ST came to an end.
    • Bruce Chen and Jonathan Sanchez had rough Springs, as did Danny Duffy (even though he did show flashes of dominance).
    • Luke Hochevar showed that he may have gotten his career on the right track, and Luis Mendoza made Royals fans, scouts, and coaches a believer.
  • Extensions
    • Dayton Moore was hard at work this offseason, signing three key Royals to long-term contract extensions.
      • Salvador Perez through 2016 with club options for ’17, ’18, and ’19
      • Alcides Escobar through 2015 with club options for ’16 and ’17
      • Alex Gordon through 2015 with a player option for 2016

The season begins tomorrow night in Anaheim against Prince Albert and the Angels at 9:05 CT. It’ll be Bruce Chen vs. Jered Weaver.

Here’s to hoping the Royals can make this a fun, interesting, and competitive season! Do your part and get out to The K!

Analyzing the 25-Man Roster

It’s set. That’s it. No take backs, do overs, quitsies, or anti-quitsies. Triple stamped it, no erasies, touch blue make it true. (Dumb & Dumber, for the layperson)

The Royals have officially set their 2012 Opening Day 25-man roster. And aside from maybe one or two guys, it’s pretty much what we all should have expected it to be. So they’ll break camp with 13 hitters and 12 pitchers.

Catchers (2): Brayan Pena, Humberto Quintero

Photo Credit: John Sommers II / Getty Images

  • C’mon… Did you really expect Cody Clark to make the team? Quintero is a proven catch and throw guy, who will give the Royals solid defense when he’s behind the plate 3-4 days a week.

Infielders (6): Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler, Chris Getz, Yuniesky Betancourt, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas

Photo Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire

  • The demotion of Johnny Giavotella (and thus the presence of Chris Getz) was the only real surprise here. Yuni and Getz will share the 2B/Utility role until Gio earns another look. Other than that, after the Yuni signing, you could have pegged everyone else from the get go.

Outfielders (5): Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bourgeois, Mitch Maier

Photo Credit: James Guillory / US Presswire

  • The addition of the speedy and versatile Bourgeois made light-hitting Jarrod Dyson expendable. Bourgeois mashed lefties in 2011 (.395 AVG), and spent significant time at all 3 OF positions, as well as a few games at 2B. He also can play at 3B if needed.
  • Lorenzo Cain has been off the charts this Spring, leading the league in what seems to be almost every offensive category. I don’t think we’ll see any loss of production from Melky to Zo in CF.

Starters (5): Bruce Chen-L, Luke Hochevar-R, Jonathan Sanchez-L, Luis Mendoza-R, Danny Duffy-L

Photo Credit: AP

  • Flip Paulino going to the DL really set up the rotation. If it weren’t for his injury, Duffy would have most likely been reassigned to Triple A.
  • Luis Mendoza has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this Spring, essentially forcing the Royals to give him a spot in the rotation.

Bullpen (7): Greg Holland-R, Jonathan Broxton-R, Jose Mijares-L, Aaron Crow-R, Tim Collins- L, Everett Teaford-L, Kelvin Herrera-R

Photo Credit: Chris Vleisides / Royals

  • Once again, Paulino’s injury helped someone else make the roster: Everett Teaford. By all accounts, Teaford earned his spot on the team, but without Paulino or Mendoza in the bullpen, Teaford becomes the long reliever / spot-starter.
  • Kelvin Herrera was the true dark horse here. Louis Coleman had the job locked down until he allowed runs in 5 of his last 6 appearances, basically handing the job over to Herrera. Kelvin has been dominant so far, even earning himself 2 Saves this Spring.

Disabled List (5): Salvador Perez (60 day), Manny Pina (60 day), Joakim Soria (IR), Felipe Paulino (15 day), Blake Wood (15 day)

  • How disappointing… The loss of Sal Perez stings the most. Given the severity of his injury, he most likely won’t be able to return to the team until after the All-Star break.
  • Losing Soria, although it may appear huge on the surface, doesn’t really affect the Royals as much as people may think. Yes, he is a proven performer, but he plays a position that is way overvalued. He got knocked around in ST, looking an awful lot like he did at the beginning of 2011.

And incase you’re wondering where everyone else who was left in camp went, here you go:

Reassigned to Triple A Omaha (2): Louis Coleman-R, Jeremy Jeffress-R

Reassigned to Minor League Camp (4): Tommy Hottovy-L, Francisely Bueno-L, Max Ramirez-C, Kevin Kouzmanoff-3B

This flurry of moves leaves the Royals with 26 healthy players in camp. But you can only break Spring Training with 25 players on your active roster, so one guy has to go. And that man is…

Sean O’Sullivan.

SOS is out of minor league options. So in order for the Royals to rid him for good, they’ll have to place him on waivers, meaning any other team can claim him for themselves. O’Sullivan will be the starter for tonight’s game against the White Sox, basically auditioning for any team who might think about claiming him.

Surprises from Surprise

  • Chris Getz/Yuni combo over Johnny Giavotella
  • Kelvin Herrera over Louis Coleman

Paulino’s Elbow Paints a Clearer Picture

If you haven’t heard yet, another Royal has succumb to the injury bug: Felipe Paulino. The Royals have sent the righty to the 15-day DL with a sore right elbow/forearm. Although an injury is always a cause for concern, the shift of Paulino to the DL falls more on the side of precaution and seriousness; and the last thing you want is a pitcher who continues to throw despite a sore throwing arm (I’m talking to you, Joakim…).

Photo Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images

And although this may seem like bad news for the time being, Paulino’s injury rids the fuzziness from the picture that is the Royals’ pitching staff.

With Flip^ out of the picture for the near future, both Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy will open the season as the no. 4 and 5 pitchers, respectively. Before the injury, it was unclear as to who had the upper hand between Paulino, Mendoza, and Duffy. To me, Mendoza was the most obvious lock for the rotation out of the three. If Paulino won the 5th spot, Duffy would have most likely opened 2012 in Omaha. If Duffy won the spot, Paulino would have either been shifted to the bullpen or placed on waivers (which thankfully, for right now, isn’t the case).

^Im introducing this as Felipe’s nickname, btw. It’s mine. I was the first.

The injury also helps the Royals balance out their rotation in the sense of lefties and righties.

1. Bruce Chen LHP

2. Luke Hochevar RHP

3. Jonathan Sanchez LHP

4. Luis Mendoza RHP

5. Danny Duffy LHP

Balancing lefties and righties in your rotation may be arbitrary to some, but to deeper baseball minds, it’s an advantage that some teams don’t have the priviledge to take advantage of. For any given series, Royals’ opponents won’t most likely see a starter throwing from the same side as the day before (unless it’s back-toback lefties), meaning they’ll have to play more of a guessing game with their lineup rather than just using practically the same lineup for the entire series.

Not only does Flip’s injury help the Royals settle their starting rotation, it also helps clear up some of the foggy spots in the bullpen.

Now, the Royals will most likely carry 12 pitchers. 5 of those spots are reserved for the starters, and of the 7 spots left for the ‘pen, 4 of them are most likely already locked up by righties Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, and Jonathan Broxton and lefty Jose Mijares. Meaning that as many as 6 guys are fighting for those last 3 spots: lefties Tim Collins, Everett Teaford, Tommy Hottovy – and righties Louis Coleman, Kelvin Herrera, and Jeremy Jeffress.

It orginally seemed that if Danny Duffy made the rotation, the loser between Mendoza and Paulino would shift to the bullpen and serve as the long reliever / spot starter. But with the current state of affairs, it appears that lefty Everett Teaford (who has looked great so far) has that position secured – allowing the Royals to lock in at least 2 lefties for the bullpen. I would guess that of the final 2 spots up for grabs, the Royals will take a long look at possibly keeping another lefty for the ‘pen; thus giving them even more flexability to work matchups appropriately.

I’m sure all of you are with me in wishing Flip a speedy recovery. But for right now, when it comes to the Royals, there is a little bit less weighing on my mind.

Royals Blank Rockies 5-0

Starters

Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez

Both Felipe Paulino and Aaron Crow tossed two scoreless innings, with Crow earning the W, before handing the ball off to the bullpen. Paulino got out of both the 1st and 2nd inning with the aid of two double-play groundballs. This was his first appearance in a game this Spring due to a left-hamstring strain he suffered earlier in camp. Crow walked one in the 4th, but erased it by inducing a double-play.

Bullpeners

Photo Credit: John Sleezer

Jose Mijares, Louis Coleman, Brandon Sisk, Tommy Hottovy, and Jeremy Jeffress all threw an inning apiece, with all of them recording a K except for Hottovy, and all of them giving up a hit except for Sisk.

Hottovy is the most interesting potential bullpen possibility. The hometown lefty, just a few years removed from reconstructive-elbow surgery, has transitioned to a sidearm slot, leading Ned Yost to refer to him as a “left-handed Louis Coleman“. He had a stint with Boston last year, so he has big league experience. He’s currently battling with Tim Collins, Jose Mijares, and Everett Teaford for what is presumed to be the two lefty slots in the ‘pen.

Hitters

Photo Credit: John Sleezer

Max Ramirez has done it again. He and Yuni both went yard. Yuni’s solo-shot in the 4th off of lefty Josh Outman sparked a 4-run inning.  Ramirez had a pinch-hit HR in the top of the 8th, adding one more run to build the lead to 5-0.

The Royals had 10 hits in all, with Yuni and Zo Cain each collecting 2 each. And of the 10 hits, 5 were for extra bases (3 2Bs: Gordon, Butler, Cain. 2HR: Yuni, Ramirez).

Billy Butler got his second start at 1B this Spring, and the Royals were errorless. Just saying.

Here’s the boxscore via NBC Sports

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 5 10 0
Colorado 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0
Kansas City Royals
Player AB R H RBI TB AVG OBP SLG
A. Gordon, LF 2 0 1 0 2 .300 .417 .700
  D. Lough, LF 2 0 1 0 1 .333 .333 .333
Y. Betancourt, 2B 3 1 2 1 5 .250 .250 .583
  J. Giavotella, 2B 2 0 0 0 0 .333 .385 .500
C. Robinson, DH 5 1 1 0 1 .200 .333 .200
B. Butler, 1B 3 1 1 0 2 .417 .462 .750
  M. Ramirez, 1B 1 1 1 1 4 .667 .778 2.167
M. Moustakas, 3B 3 0 0 1 0 .250 .357 .250
  K. Kouzmanoff, 3B 1 0 0 0 0 .500 .500 .833
L. Cain, CF 3 1 2 1 3 .500 .500 .800
  G. Golson, CF 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
B. Pena, C 3 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .375
  J. Rodriguez, C 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .500 .000
M. Maier, RF 1 0 1 1 1 .333 .400 .444
  W. Myers, PH-RF 2 0 0 0 0 .300 .300 .300
I. Falu, SS 2 0 0 0 0 .444 .444 .778
  T. Abreu, SS 1 0 0 0 0 .200 .333 .200
  F. Paulino, P 0 0 0 0 0
  A. Crow, P 0 0 0 0 0
  J. Mijares, P 0 0 0 0 0
  L. Coleman, P 0 0 0 0 0
  B. Sisk, P 0 0 0 0 0
  T. Hottovy, P 0 0 0 0 0
  J. Jeffress, P 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 35 5 10 5 19
Colorado Rockies
Player AB R H RBI TB AVG OBP SLG
D. Fowler, CF 3 0 0 0 0 .125 .125 .500
  E. Young, CF 1 0 0 0 0 .200 .333 .200
J. Herrera, 2B 3 0 1 0 1 .429 .429 .571
  H. Gomez, SS 1 0 1 0 2 .500 .500 1.000
  A. Brown, PR 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
J. Pacheco, 1B 2 0 0 0 0 .429 .500 .429
  B. Paulsen, 1B 1 0 0 0 0 .333 .429 .833
J. Giambi, DH 2 0 1 0 1 .333 .500 .333
  C. Tracy, PH-DH 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .167 .000
R. Hernandez, C 2 0 1 0 1 .429 .429 .429
  W. Rosario, C 2 0 0 0 0 .125 .125 .125
T. Colvin, RF 2 0 1 0 1 .333 .400 .556
  K. Matthes, PH-RF 1 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
C. Blake, 3B 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .200 .000
  N. Arenado, 3B 1 0 1 0 2 .286 .375 .571
C. Nelson, SS 2 0 0 0 0 .222 .222 .222
  T. Field, 2B 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
T. Wheeler, LF 2 0 1 0 1 .333 .500 .333
  B. Wood, LF 1 0 0 0 0 .125 .125 .250
  D. Pomeranz, P 0 0 0 0 0
  J. Outman, P 0 0 0 0 0
  M. Belisle, P 0 0 0 0 0
  D. Molleken, P 0 0 0 0 0
  E. Escalona, P 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 30 0 7 0 9
2B: KC 3, A. Gordon (1), B. Butler (1), L. Cain (3). Col 2, H. Gomez (1), N. Arenado (2).
HR: KC 2, Y. Betancourt (1), M. Ramirez (3).
Scoring Position: KC –  for . Col –  for .
Kansas City Royals
Player IP H R ER BB K ERA
F. Paulino 2.0 3 0 0 0 1 0.00
A. Crow, (W 1-0) 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0.00
J. Mijares 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0.00
L. Coleman 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0.00
B. Sisk 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00
T. Hottovy 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0.00
J. Jeffress 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0.00
Colorado Rockies
Player IP H R ER BB K ERA
D. Pomeranz 3.0 2 0 0 1 3 0.00
J. Outman, (L 0-1) 3.0 6 4 4 1 1 9.00
M. Belisle 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0.00
D. Molleken 1.0 1 1 1 0 0 4.50
E. Escalona 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0.00
Caught Stealing: KC 1, L. Cain (1).
Time: 2:28
Attendance – 6,773