Today is Cactus League opening day. The Royals, as per usual, start their spring off by hosting the Texas Rangers. Also as per usual the first lineup of spring looks a lot like a reasonable guess of what the opening day lineup could look like.
Today's Royals lineup in the Cactus League opener here in Surprise:— Jeffrey Flanagan (@FlannyMLB) February 23, 2019
Could be an Opening Day lineup at The K, minus Salvy, of course.
If you’re wondering how Gordon wound up in the three-hole I won’t blame you. They Royals moved him there late in the season last year and it coincided with an offensive resurgence. In 22 games batting third, last season, Alex had a 115 wRC+. He wasn’t lighting the world on fire, but he was a perfectly productive hitter.
The Rangers will start Ariel Jurado, today. He is in his sophomore season after appearing in twelve games with eight starts, last season. His 5.93 ERA was not particularly impressive. Glenn Sparkman gets the nod for the Royals. According to Royals writer Jeffrey Flanagan he’ll throw about 35-40 pitches before giving way to Ben Lively, Tim Hill, Jake Newberry, and Jake Kalish. Too bad Jakob Junis isn’t pitching, today.