The Reds come to Surprise for a 2:05 Central Standard Time first pitch against our Royals. All reports indicate that more pitches will follow the first one.
After a Billy Butler in the field appearance yesterday, we get another look/listen/read on Danny Valencia at second base. The entire lineup:
Jarrod Dyson - Centerfield
Danny Valencia - Second Base
Eric Hosmer - First Base
Billy Butler - Designated Hitter
Alex Gordon - Leftfield
Salvador Perez - Catcher
Mike Moustakas - Third Base
Justin Maxwell - Rightfield
Jason Donald - Shortstop
Danny Duffy will be the starting pitcher, followed by Bruce Chen (the two flip-flopping their appearance order from the Spring opener).
Snark aside, Valencia did turn a double play last time out at second and Butler started (and finished) a 3-6-3 double play yesterday at first. Hey, that's one play by each of them - better than zero. When it comes to the overall defensive picture, particularly when looking forward to inter-league play, isn't the one guy who really needs time at an unusual position Eric Hosmer?
The Royals play ten road games at National League parks this season and likely will want to have Hosmer and Butler's bats in the lineup for most of those. If everything goes according to plan, won't Hosmer spend more time out of position in 2014 than Danny Valencia?
Alcides Escobar (with his wife for the birth of a child) and Omar Infante (stiff shoulder) have yet to play an inning together, but all signs indicated we will see them sooner rather than later. Of course, given the anticipated roster, we will get about 160 games of those two when the 'real' baseball begins.
After two pitchers who are roster locks (Jeremy Guthrie and Tim Collins) were tagged for seven runs yesterday, the Royals will be looking for better today. You don't repeat as Cactus League Champions playing 9-7 games....or maybe you do.