The Kansas City Royals won their fifth game last season, pushing them above .500 for the last time all season. The 2013 edition of the Royals hopes to move above .500 with a win against the Philadelphia Phillies, and actually stay there this time.
The Phillies will send John Lannan to the mound against Kansas City. The left-hander spent most of 2012 pitching in AAA for the Washington Nationals, only throwing 32 innings at the major league level. Lannan had been a starting pitcher for Washington during the 2008-2011 seasons, someone the team could count on to eat 180 innings in not horrible fashion. Lannan owns a career ERA- of 98, but a FIP- of 111.
Lannan survives by forcing a ton of groundouts, as he has only struck-out 12.6 percent of batters faced. His career groundball percentage is 53%, the 13th highest percentage amongst all qualified starters since 2008.
The Royals should exercise patience at the plate, as Lannan walks an above-average number of hitters. The team should have opportunities with runners on against the southpaw, but will need to avoid grounding into double-plays.
Miguel Tejada and Elliot Johnson both make their first starts for the team this season; Johnson will play second base while Tejada is at third. Bob Dutton brings us the full lineup:
#Royals vs. PHL LHP Lannan: Gordon 7, Escobar 6, Butler 3, Perez 2, Cain 8, Francoeur 9, Tejada 5, Johnson 4 and Mendoza 1.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) April 6, 2013
Luis Mendoza will pitch for Kansas City, hoping to continue his success that made him the team's most reliable pitcher last season. Mendoza only has four plate appearances in his career, and struck out in three of them.
Game Time: 6:05 p.m. CT
Location: Citizens Bank Park; Philadelphia PA
TV: FSKC, MLBN