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Spring Training Game 26: Royals vs. Diamondbacks

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Almost there...

MLB: Kansas City Royals-Media Day Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Jason Vargas? The pitcher who was signed for four years and $30+ million before the 2014 season? He hasn’t really been healthy since that magic offseason, the one where the Royals were a scrappy upstart. He started a combined 12 games over 2015 and 2016

And yet: Vargas has, very quietly, been very good for the Royals. Over his 42 regular season starts for Kansas City, Vargas has put up a 3.68 ERA and a 3.89 FIP, and made three postseason starts in 2014 to the tune of a 3.52 ERA.

Vargas is starting today’s Spring Training game, and we should pay attention, because he’s probably one of the low-key most important Royals this year. In baseball, average is still incredibly valuable. Vargas could be that boring, solid anchor that the Royals have so often lacked in the rotation.

So he’s at the mound. Below is the lineup:

Some other notes: we’ve got Alex Gordon in RF and Jorge Soler in LF again, with Peter #Dongtown O’Brien as DH. Mike Moustakas and his knee gets another crack at playing the hot corner, and Raul Mondesi, who has been super hot in Spring Training, is going to be at second base today.