KC Royals News: Andy Reid pitches on Opening Day, 2 players hit with injury

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Can you believe Opening Day is only eight days away? Spring training is fun and all, but I look forward to the KC Royals playing games that, well, matter. The AL Central is up for grabs and Kansas City's offseason aggressiveness should have fans cautiously optimistic for their team's outlook.

Social media saw plenty of Royals news and updates on Tuesday evening. Let's run through some of the headlines and what we know.

Andy Reid to throw out first pitch on Opening Day

Truman Sports Complex teams have won four world championships since 2014, and Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid holds three of them. The Royals are starting the 2024 season off right, with Reid throwing out the ceremonial first pitch against the Minnesota Twins on Opening Day.

The Chiefs, fresh off their second Super Bowl win in as many seasons, are all over popular culture right now. Patrick Mahomes is this generation's top quarterback, Travis Kelce never rests, and now Reid takes the mound in Kansas City. He will hand off the ball to Cole Ragans, the Royals' announced Opening Day starter against the Twins.

This is just the latest addition to Kansas City's Opening Day festivities. The season's first game is only eight days away and fans have plenty to look forward to in Kauffman Stadium. Local music, the first bobblehead giveaway of the season, and the Price Chopper Tailgate are just the highlights of the Opening Day celebration.

The Royals graphic design team always does great work, but kudos to the chicken nuggets in the bottom right. Reid will have plenty of food choices on Mar. 28, but he has to accomplish his baseball duties first.

Jake Brentz misses KC Royals Opening Day roster

The Royals Opening Day bullpen still has plenty of competition, but Jake Brentz is no longer in the race. MLB.com's Anne Rogers reported Tuesday that the lefty has a left hamstring strain, sidelining him for six weeks.

This is the latest bump in Brentz's return to The Show. He hasn't pitched since early in the 2022 season after undergoing elbow surgery. The Missouri native returned on a rehab assignment late in the 2023 season but only made three apperances before suffering a season-ending lat strain.

Brentz's path in 2024 was far from certain though. His control has been nonexistent as he returns to game action, recording 11 walks and an 18.69 ERA in 4 1/3 Spring Training innings. His velocity is reportedly back and he still notched eight strikeouts in that span. Now, Brentz has time to recover and ramp back for a hopeful MLB return later this spring.

Michael Massey scratched from Tuesday game

One minute before the Brentz news, Rogers tweeted (xeeted? xweeted? What is it nowadays anyways?) that second baseman Michael Massey is suffering from lower back tightness. Kansas City scratched him from the lineup against the San Francisco Giants while trainers evaluate Massey.

Massey, who turns 26 later this week, has had a solid Spring Training in Arizona. His four extra-base hits, including two home runs, are buoying his .767 OPS this spring. He hasn't been perfect, not drawing a walk and sporting a .233 batting average, but the power is promising.

FanGraphs' Ben Clemens had some high praise for the second baseman in his recent second base power rankings.

"Massey has legit power and his contact skills took a step forward in 2023. He’s capable defensively, too; he’s the kind of gamble the Royals should be taking. Even if they’re wrong in this particular instance, they’ll win in the long run. I don’t always like the way the Royals run things, but the way they’re handling Massey makes a lot of sense to me."

Ben Clemens, FanGraphs

Massey is a divisive player among the Royals fanbase, but Kansas City seems content with him as their primary option at second base. He could platoon with new addition Adam Frazier, but Massey will hopefully turn a corner in 2024.

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