The game may not have counted for anything whatsoever, even in the Cactus League standings, but the Royals played a game yesterday.
Yesterday marked the Royals first of two intrasquad games, a six inning game where the Royals defeated the Royals 5-2. The two teams combined for fifteen hits and six walks. Carlos Peguero and Paulo Orlando each hit home runs. Most of the pitchers struggled, with Aaron Brooks producing the only perfect inning in the game.
What does the game mean? Absolutely nothing at this point. All we can really say is that the Royals hitters appear to be ahead of the pitchers, at least for now. There were positives, such as Alcides Escobar hitting a double. Likewise, there were a few negatives as well, particularly the performances of Luke Hochevar and Wade Davis. It is, however, far too early to be either concerned or excited about any performances.
Ned Yost summed up the action by saying that it was just a chance to get everyone ready for actual competition.
“This is a taste of competition in a low-key setting and in one inning you try to get them [the pitchers] acclimated to competing again, and I thought it went well,” Yost said. “All the pitchers threw fine; I thought all their stuff was really good, I thought we swung the bats really well.”
There will be another intrasquad game later today, and Royals will begin their Spring Training slate in earnest on Thursday against the Texas Rangers. As those games are played, all of us will be looking at the stats, hoping for a sign that this is the year that Mike Moustakas puts everything together. Hoping that Escobar really has changed his approach, and could learn to get on base. Hoping that the Royals starters behind James Shields will perform better than expected. That hope is what makes Spring Training so special.
Even though it did not count towards anything, the Royals played a baseball game yesterday. The regular season, and an end to winter, is officially in sight.