Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
The dream is over. Yesterday, the Royals took their first loss of the Cactus League season, ending their hopes of perfection. I’m sure the guys were disappointed that all they’ve worked for these past three weeks had to end like this, but it was a heck of a ride while it lasted, wasn’t it? The team will have to climb back on the figurative horse today, but they won’t be able to do so together, as they have two split squad games against the Reds and Padres this afternoon. Here are some links to help you through this trying time.
– At FOX Sports Kansas City, Matthew DeFranks notes that while the AL Central does have several quality teams, they’re also all flawed, with some potentially major issues. The White Sox lack depth, and both the Tigers and Indians may see some regression following extreme breakouts from Victor Martinez and Corey Kluber, respectively. Then there’s the Twins. At least Byron Buxton is on the way! As long as he can stay healthy, of course.
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– Speaking of health, the Kansas City Star’s Andy McCullough checked in on Alex Gordon and Omar Infante, both of whom took batting practice for the first time this spring yesterday. Gordon said his wrist is getting close to 100%, and it looks like he’s nearing game action. Infante doesn’t think he’s fully healthy yet, but he didn’t feel any pain when swinging the bat. The latter will be in the lineup today as the designated hitter.
– Harvey Araton of the New York Times wrote about a speech the Royals heard recently from Kathy Redmond. Redmond was there to speak to the players on the topic of violence against women, a topic with which she is personally familiar. Major League Baseball has initiated an education program for players just recently, but this is not Redmond’s first appearance at Royals camp. The organization invited her to speak in 2013 as well, and hopefully her words will have a positive impact on the players and their futures.
– Yours truly was one of the featured bloggers for a post at Cards Conclave on the Royals’ upcoming season. “Featured bloggers” is a funny-looking phrase, isn’t it? Anyway, a few of us gave our thoughts on the team’s offseason, a potential breakout player, and predictions for the team’s record, among other things. A big thank you is owed to Daniel Shoptaw for the invitation to participate.
– Jonah Keri interviewed Dr. Glenn Fleisig and posted some great quotes in a piece for Grantland, covering the topic of Tommy John surgeries in today’s game. We continue to see more and more surgeries, and while there isn’t necessarily one definite cause, Dr. Fleisig suggests there are some factors teams can assess in order to limit some of the risk associated with throwing baseballs at 95 MPH over and over again.