The Kansas City Royals will head out of Surprise to Peoria, Arizona to take on the Seattle Mariners today at 2:10 CST. The Royals will look to continue their successful spring so far as they continue to build their 25-man-roster. Burch Smith will get the start against Mike Leake.
The Kansas City Royals recently signed First Baseman and 2015 World Series “hero” Lucas Duda. Since the Royals made his deal official he could make his first appearance today. This signing has cooled down the battle for first base for the Opening Day roster but Hunter Dozier could make a run for it later this year. Center field is still wide open though. Billy Burns was designated for assignment yesterday to make room for Duda so he is likely out of the running.
Burch Smith will head to the mound to build on his previous outing of two innings, allowing an unearned run and a walk. Smith looks to be a good candidate for this bullpen so far but we will have to see how his Spring Training finishes out
Seattle lost both games they have played since seeing the Royals. In their last game against the Royals they started out hot against Wily Peralta, scoring 6 runs in the first inning, but the Royals bounced back. On Wednesday the Royals did not see many from the Mariners major league squad so this game will likely be more competitive.
Mike Leake had a great 2017 holding an ERA of 3.92 in 31 starts with the St. Louis Cardinals and Mariners last year. So far this Spring he has pitched two innings, giving up only one hit. He could give the Royals offense a tough time.
Keys to Success
- Player question marks early. Again this is Spring Training. The point is not about winning and losing but evaluating players. Leake is a good pitcher that could give the Royals tough at-bats. This can help in the evaluation of the players they are unsure of. Playing them early gives you better looks at them. Jorge Soler, Adalberto Mondesi, and Hunter Dozier would be ideal for the most at-bats in today’s game.
- Pitch well early. Smith needs to go out there and give another performance like he did earlier this spring. He is a pitcher who needs to stay hot as he continues to fight for a roster spot. The Royals are looking to have another dominant bullpen and he could play a role in that bullpen.
This game will not be televised in Kansas City, however, Seattle’s broadcasting team is televising it. So if you live in Seattle or have MLB.TV you will be able to watch with Seattle’s announcers. On the radio, it will be on 710 AM ESPN Radio on a delay. If you do not have those options, you can stream through MLB.com and the At Bat App. Be sure to follow us on twitter for updates throughout the game and for a recap.