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The team MUST keep their 1.5 game lead over the Seattle Mariners for the Cactus League.
Bob Dutton has revealed Ned Yost's opening day rotation, almost. Here is the tweet from the Royals beat writer announcing the moves.
As expected, #Royals manager Ned Yost says James Shields will pitch opener followed by Ervin Santana, Jeremy Guthrie and Wade Davis...— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) March 22, 2013
Dutton also revealed that Yost has yet to decide between Luis Mendoza and Bruce Chen for the fifth spot in the rotation. I'm sure it's a battle between all the recent evidence is pointing towards Mendoza getting the first crack, but Chen is a lefty and we can't have no left-handed starting pitchers in the rotation for some reason.
Despite the fact that the Royals will only need the fifth starter once in the first 21 games, Yost has stated that he will use a normal five-man rotation.
Dutton does enough work for both of us, so here's his tweet announcing the lineup:
#Royals at LA Angels: Gordon 7, Escobar 6, Butler DH, Moustakas 5, Perez 2, Hosmer 3, Cain 8, Francoeur 9, Getz 4 and Shields 1.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) March 22, 2013
That lineup could be a lineup that we see Kansas City use fairly regularly, although I would rather hit Butler four instead of three.
Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Aaron Crow and Francisley Bueno are expected to pitch after Shields today.
It's officially crunch time in the Cactus League. Let's do this.