Royals Break Camp
Pitchers and catchers have reported for the Royals. As usual, we have some ridiculous optimism coming from the Royals' manager, at least it's in English this time:
“We have to think of ourselves as a playoff team. I believe that. We have to figure out a way to get it done. With the acquisitions we made over the winter, I think those guys give us a much better chance.”
“I’m pretty realistic,” he said. “This has to be our goal. That’s No. 1. And only time will tell if it’s realistic.
Oh well, anything that gets rid of the losing attitude that the team has had for the past two years. Another thing that hasn't changed is that the Royals will ask a veteran to make a fool of themselves on Opening Day. This year's victim will be either Mark Redman or Scott Elarton. Redman and Elarton are locks for the rotation. Greinke and Hernandez are also locks for the rotation, barring a horrible spring. The Royals have indicated otherwise, but I don't buy it. The fifth spot appeared to be open, although Bob Dutton mentioned in the Kansas City Star that it might not be after all. Bob Dutton said that Joe Mays was a good bet to win the job because of his $1 million salary. The rotation should be better this year, as it would be nearly impossible to be worse.
The rotation appears to be pretty well set, with Affeldt and Bautista maybe getting a shot at the fifth spot if they have a great spring. I'll be rooting for one of those two. The Royals need more talent in the rotation. Aside from Zack Greinke, the Royals have no talent in the rotation. Most of the Royals' young pitching talent is in the bullpen, moping up the 13-1 games that are over in the 4th inning. Andrew Sisco comments on the Royals' unique bullpen situation:
"We do have something rare in a bullpen and that's some youth," Sisco said. "It's not a position where you see a lot of younger guys."
Maybe it's rare because most teams would rather take a very talented pitcher and get 200 innings out of them as the staff ace rather than 75 in middle relief or set-up roles?
The Royals' roster appears to be mostly set. Once the Spring Training games gets started, I'll focus on the candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation, fourth outfielder position, and the other spots still up for grabs.
Kansas City Star Spring Training Coverage