First Spring Training Games
Breaking News: Mark Grudzielanek will undergo knee surgery on Monday. There is no timetable for his return, but it is certainly weakens the Royals' defense up the middle until he returns. German will likely become the regular second basemen until he returns. German had an outstanding season for the Royals last year, hitting .326/.422/.459. So, he may be an upgrade offensively over Grudzielanek.
Spring Training games are finally underway and we've gotten a look at some of the Royals' new acquistions.
Game 1: Brian Bannister started for the Royals, pitching very well. Bannister went 2 innings, allowing 0 runs and throwing just 17 pitches (14 strikes). Bannister could be a nice find for the Royals. At the very least, it'll be nice to have someone in the rotation who can throw strikes. Joakim Soria's pitched two scoreless innings. A very good start for the Royals' young pitchers. The other big story was Billy Butler, who hit a 2-run single to put the Royals ahead 6-4. The Royals lost 7-6.
Game 2: Meche pitched well in his Royals' debut, pitching 3 scoreless innings and allowing just 2 hits. Gobble ended up with the victory, even though he allowed 2 runs in 2 innings. Butler continues to hit extremely well. He's 4 for 7 with a double and 2 RBIs so far. Shealy went 1 for 3 with a homerun and 3 RBIs. Huber later took over at first, going 0 for 1. Gordon went 0 for 4, making him 0 for 6 so far.
Game 3: Teahen and Buck homered for the Royals. Huber continues to play 1B, but struggled at the plate going 0 for 3. Perez pitched horribly, going 1 1/3 innings and allowing 4 runs. Perez was worth a shot, but I hope the Royals don't keep him around too long if he doesn't pitch better.
"B" game: Hochevar pitched in Friday's "B" game, throwing 2 scoreless innings. Rosa also pitched a scoreless inning and Buddy Bell was impressed with his stuff.
Sunday's game so far: Luke Hudson had a pretty good start for the Royals, going 3 innings and allowing just 1 run. Zack Greinke has pitched a scoreless innings so far. Alex Gordon got his first hit of the season, the only hit through the fourth inning.
Positives so far: The young players are doing very well. Butler, Shealy, Teahen and Buck have provided most of the Royals' offense. The Royals' young offensive talent is finally starting to show, which should make this season more exciting to watch.
Negatives so far: Perez looks like the Perez from 2006. Also, losing Grudz for an extended period of time is a blow to our defense up the middle, which already has a giant hole at shortstop.
Minor League News: Jeff Bianchi is healthy again. He will likely head to extended spring training and move to Burlington. The Royals' article also says he's throwing from the shortstop position (maybe insinuating a move to short?). Erik Cordier, who had a brillant season until getting hurt, will not pitch until the fall instructional leagues. Cordier may have the most upside of any Royals' pitcher next to Hochevar.