Right now, you will have six opportunities to watch the KC Royals spring training games on TV. MLB Network announced their schedule and the Royals will be on your television screen a few times.
The first time they appear is on March 5th at 5pm ET when they face the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. On March 8th at 4pm ET, the Royals will play Milwaukee at Maryvale Baseball Park.
The last two games that the Royals will be a part of will both be live: March 20th at Surprise against the LA Angels (4pm ET) and March 22nd against Texas (4pm ET). I will be at the March 20th game so look for me in the crowd.
The Royals set their pitching combinations for the first five games. The duo of James Shields and Chris Dwyer (whose curveball looked really good in Monday’s intrasquad game) will pitch the second game on February 28th against complex partner Texas. Those two could get the bulk of the innings in their first televised game on March 5th. Following Shields and Dwyer will be non-roster invitees Jason Adam and Sugar Ray Marimon. Also set to pitch are lefties Everett Teaford and Tim Collins, and Michael Mariot.
On March 1st against San Diego, newcomer Jason Vargas will get the start. He will be followed by non-roster invitee Brad Penny, who will be getting stretched out this spring to possibly win the fifth starter’s spot. Non-roster invitees Aaron Brooks and Jon Rauch will also see action, along with bullpen stalwarts Aaron Crow and Greg Holland.
In their first real Cactus League road game (March 2nd against the Chicago Cubs), the Royals will send Wade Davis to the mound to make the start. Yordano Ventura, who struggled with his command in Monday’s intrasquad game, will follow. Both are competing for the fifth starter’s spot. Lefties John Lamb and Francisley Bueno will follow, as will non-roster invitee PJ Walters.
On March 3rd against the Chicago White Sox in Glendale, Jeremy Guthrie will get the start. Luke Hochevar will follow, as he looks to try and win a rotation spot. Justin Marks and Louis Coleman will also see action.
Royals manager Ned Yost announced over the weekend that ten pitchers will be getting stretched out during spring training. They are Chen, Duffy, Shields, Dwyer, Vargas, Penny, Davis, Ventura, Guthrie, and Hochevar. After the first week of games, you could see the starters that were relieving start (ie Duffy, Dwyer, Penny, Ventura, and Hochevar). These ten could also see action in “B” games on the backfields once the minor leaguers officially report.
That probably means that once minor league spring training games start, pitchers like Adam, Brooks, Marks, Lamb, and Marimon will see more action in minor league games so they can get stretched out to start in the minors.
*The Royals played two intrasquad games (Monday and Tuesday).
Here are some highlights from the games, starting with Monday: Ventura had control issues and only made it through two batters in the first. The left-handed hitting Paulo Orlando hit a home run off lefty reliever Donnie Joseph. Carlos Peguero also hit a bomb
On Tuesday, Bueno had a quick bottom of the third (two strikeouts around a ground out). Walters also had a quick inning (the top of the fourth) with two strikeouts around a ground out. One of the K’s came with three pitches. Mariot had a tough fifth, giving up a solo home run to Melky Mesa and a two-run shot to Juan Graterol. Jason Donald hit a three-run bomb off Marimon in the bottom of the fifth after he recorded two outs via ground outs.
As a team, the Royals hit into four double plays, not exactly something to look forward to this season.