Kansas City Royals baseball is back! Today the Royals begin Spring Training games in Surprise, AZ. Recently acquired Pitcher Jesse Hahn will make the start against Zach Neal of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This is the start of the rebuild and The Royals are going to be looking closely at what they have going into this season. Due to the departures of Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Lorenzo Cain, there are some holes in the lineup. Expect to see some new faces today as a result of that.
Because this is the first game of the Spring, the Royals will be working their way into a routine. While we will see some familiar faces, I would not expect them to play long.
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Jesse Hahn gets the first start of the Spring. He was traded from Oakland this offseason for Ryan Butcher and Brandon Moss. The Royals have stated that they are treating Hahn like a starter while they figure out the 2018 rotation. For Oakland last year, he started 13 games and held an ERA of 5.30 but held it at 3.56 until his last 2 starts. He played the first half of the season in Oakland before he was sent back to AAA.
The Royals are hoping to begin their spring with a win using Esky Magic. He will bat at the top of the order today against the Dodgers. The guys at the top of the order likely won’t play more than a couple at-bats. The Royals have close to 60 players on the roster, all who will need playing time so the Royals can evaluate who they have.
The Dodgers won 13-5 yesterday against the Chicago White Sox. This game will also be a split-squad game for them as they also play the San Francisco Giants with the same start time. Against the Royals they have former A’s pitcher Zach Neal getting the start. He appeared six times in relief for the A’s in 2017. In AAA, he had a 4.82 ERA in 16 starts and 5 relief appearances.
Because of the split game today, it’ll be interesting to see who gets playing time and who doesn’t. The Dodgers are also evaluating their roster to figure out what they need to do return the World Series this year.
The Royals and Dodgers face off today at 2:05 CST. You can listen on the MLB at bat app or MLB.com. Spring Training will help us see who will make the 25 man roster and this is the start of it.