Kansas City Royals spring baseball kicked off today in Surprise, AZ against the Dodgers. Luckily, the team began the year with a win. Check out some of our analysis below of what went right, what went wrong and what’s in store for the next game.
Kevin McCarthy pitched a solid 1.1 innings. He gave up one hit that brought two runs across the plate, but both runs were charged to Jesse Hahn. McCarthy also struck out a batter in his just-over one inning of work.
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Alex Gordon looked healthy. He made great contact his first two at-bats and one of them brought a run home. The second one was a deep fly out, however, it was still a well-hit ball.
In his first appearance with the Royals, Burch Smith shined. Tossing two scoreless innings and striking out two batters, he showed great potential with his fastball.
Adalberto Mondesí (no longer Raúl) homered. It’s always a plus when someone hits a home run, especially coming from a highly-regarded young player.
Paulo Orlando went 2/2 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. He also scored after his 8th-inning double, which was a pleasant sight.
Newly-acquired pitcher Jesse Hahn has been given a chance to compete for a spot in the starting rotation with a solid spring. His first start with the Royals didn’t go as anticipated. In 1.2 innings of work, Hahn allowed a pair of runs on two hits, two walks, and a hit batter. He managed to strike out two batters and showed impressive velocity, for what it’s worth.
Despite the reports of Jorge Soler being ready to make an impact in 2018, he didn’t bring his A-game today. Striking out twice and committing an error in left field, it wasn’t the spring debut he hoped for. It’s way too early to make any assumptions, so we’ll give him a pass for this game.
Cheslor Cuthbert committed a fielding error and, as a result, fueled the fire of people pulling for someone else to claim the starting third base job.
First of all, before anyone gets ahead of themselves, this is just one spring training game. It’s easy to see your favorite player succeed and raise your expectations as a result, but it won’t end well. Furthermore, the same applies in the case of a bad game – not a big deal. Now that we’ve covered some ground rules, let’s get to the fun stuff.
This was a good game for the Royals. Hahn and Soler’s struggles aside, there were plenty of highs. Beginning the spring with a win is never a bad thing. Seeing the likes of Gordon, Mondesí, and Orlando have good games was great. While following the game, I was impressed with how many players came away with something positive to build off of. Because there are so many open spots on the team, keep an eye on the under-the-radar players moving forward.
The Royals travel to Hohokam Stadium to square off against the Athletics tomorrow at 1:05 PM. You will be able to find a preview and recap right here at Kings of Kauffman.