Before this afternoon's game, the Royals will pay tribute to Yordano Ventura, who died tragically this past offseason in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. His mother will throw out the pitch. With that sad specter hanging over today's game, and really the whole season, the Royals will open their season at Kauffman Stadium today.
Taking the ball for the Royals will be Ian Kennedy, who will look to rebound after a rough first outing in Minnesota. Ian the Red lasted just five innings, striking out five but also walking five. He yielded only three hits. Perhaps worth noting, he seemed to be relying more upon his cutter in his first game than in years past. The three earned runs he allowed all came in a long second inning where he issued three of his walks, two of which came across to score.
Kennedy duels against A's righty Jharel Cotton. Despite a smaller frame and lack of velo that kept the scouting/prospecting community from going fully priapistic, Cotton's minor-league résumé is impressive. Cotton posted a K-BB% between 19.7% and 21.9% in the high minors in 2015 and 2016. His changeup is seriously incredible with tons of movement and 15 MPH of separation between it and his fastball.
These will be the visiting A's:
Friendly reminder that we play at 1:15 pm PT. Here's the lineup... pic.twitter.com/TY0dDJij3z— Oakland A's ⚾️ (@Athletics) April 10, 2017
And these will be the Royals: