USA TODAY Sports
The Royals close out their Cactus League series against their facility rivals, the Texas Rangers
Jeff gets to give you fun tidbits from the beautiful weather in Arizona. I present you bland tidbits from the cold, grey skies of Kansas.
Luis Mendoza looked strong last night in a 10-0 victory over the Dodgers. Its going to be fun watching him as a long reliever every fifth day when Bruce Chen has to be pulled after three innings.
James Shields, Salvador Perez, and Alcides Escobar all got work in a minor league game yesterday for the Royals. Shields pitched innings that literally included four-out innings.
Questions on why Shields faced four-out innings...to enable him to throw 75 pitches with only six up-downs. Rules fluid in minors in spring.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) March 18, 2013
Sheesh, these minor leaguers don't even know how to play baseball correctly!
Ervin Santana will show us what he's got in a start against the Rangers. Luke Hochevar is expected to pitch in relief. The stands are sure to be packed with scouts, hoping to be the one team the Royals choose to do business with in a possible Hochevar trade.
Speaking of which, Joe Posnanski loves, loves, LOVES the move of Hochevar to the pen. Not because Luke will be good, but because maybe the Royals will start eating sunk costs.
Do I think Hochevar will be effective in the bullpen? Doubtful. As mentioned, he was the worst in baseball last year and preventing runners from scoring. The league hit .312 and slugged .493 with runners on base last year. That's .304 and .480 over his career. Basically, yeah, he cannot pitch from the stretch. This really hurts his chances of being a bullpen hero.
Anyway, here are the hitters, who hit the ball:
LF Alex Gordon
SS Alcides Escobar (hooray, he's back!)
1B Eric Hosmer
DH Billy Butler
3B Mike Moustakas
C Salvador Perez
CF Lorenzo Cain
RF Jeff Francoeur
2B Johnny Giavotella
Someone is taking this game seriously!
Yu Darvish was supposed to go for the Rangers tonight, but was probably too scared to face the hottest team in Arizona, so over-the-hill veteran/future Royal Derek Lowe goes to the hill instead.
The Royals are 17-4. That is pretty awesome. Has this been discussed enough?