The Royals tried to get two split squad games in today, first against the Cleveland Indians in the afternoon, then again against the Colorado Rockies in the evening. Both were postponed then cancelled.
The cancellations wipe out the stats accumulated, but the Royals still got a chance to look at Jeremy Guthrie and Noel Arguelles. Guthrie threw 52 pitches and got hit around, but he said later that the pitches felt “crisp”. Guthrie had given up two runs on four hits in his first start of spring in two innings of work. Arguelles gave up a leadoff homer to Drew Stubbs in the Cleveland game, but got the next six batters out. Everyone’s been watching his velocity this spring, and he was around 90-92 mph with his fastball, but touched 93 and 94. His numbers haven’t been stellar, though. He’s given up six hits and walked three in three official innings (though today’s innings would have improved his totals slightly).
Arguelles, however, was optioned to Double A Northwest Arkansas after the game as the Royals started making their first cuts of spring camp. They also sent five other players to minor league camp with Arguelles (the only player on the 40 man roster):
- Catcher Manny Pina
- Catcher Julio Rodriguez
- Outfielder Luis Durango
- Left-handed pitcher Ryan Verdugo
- Right-handed pitcher Sugar Ray Marimon
That leaves 57 players officially assigned to big league camp – although that includes World Baseball Classic participants. Dutton’s reported that eight are officially participating with J.C. Sulbaran – acquired (with Donnie Joseph) from the Cincinnati Reds at the trading deadline last year for Jonathan Broxton – had been listed on the roster for the Kingdom of the Netherlands roster that’s no longer the case. (He’s been rooting them on from his Twitter account, however).
As for the WBC, Friday night’s matchup of Team USA vs. Team Mexico featured three Royals. Eric Hosmer got to a 2-0 count against Yovani Gallardo and hit a high fastball the other way. Despite putting a good charge on the ball, it didn’t carry quite enough to get over left fielder Edgar Gonzalez‘s head and he made a late snag on the ball.
Then Eric Hosmer came to the plate. Royal versus Royal.
Mendoza started him off with a changeup for a strike just on the outside corner. His next pitch, a slider, dropped out of the zone. He went back to the changeup with the third pitch and Hosmer hit it hard, but it had dropped enough so Hosmer caught it towards the end of the bat. Mendoza fielded the comeback grounder and threw to first to end the rally. If Hosmer had hit it harder, Mexico was in a shift and had shortstop Gil Velazquez near second base, who would have also made a play on the ball. Mendoza threw two full innings, walking two, allowing three hits and striking out three, but he gave up no runs.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hosmer came up with Mauer on third and Wright on first. Oliver Perez came in and induced a fly ball to left field that wasn’t quite deep enough to give Mauer a shot at scoring. In the bottom of the eighth, a bloop to right by Hosmer got Ryan Braun in from second with two outs for the USA’s second (but last) run of the night.
Tim Collins entered the game in the top of the eighth and walked Adrian Gonzalez to lead off the inning. He missed on a fastball for ball four that was just a bit off the plate. Jorge Cantu followed with a double to left when he turned on an inside fastball. Collins got his only out by striking out Karim Garcia on a big curveball but was relieved by Steve Cishek after. Neither runner scored. Collins didn’t have a lot of command of his curveball, though the movement looked good.
On Saturday, the Royals face the San Francisco Giants with Yordano Ventura taking the start while the Royals pass over Wade Davis, who was scheduled to make the start but has shoulder soreness.