Today’s Spring Training game will be an important one for Nicky Lopez. No, not because he’s still fighting to prove he belongs in the regular starting lineup, even though he is. Rather, today is Lopez’s birthday. He turns 26 years old, today. If ever he’s going to be good enough to be a starter, that time is now.
Daniel Lynch will start the game and make his third appearance for the Royals, this year. His previous efforts were both in relief and did not go particularly well for the big lefty. He’s allowed five runs while walking four and striking out four in only three-and-two-thirds innings. Spring stats in such small quantities don’t mean much but he was never very likely to make the opening day roster. Whether he appears in the major leagues for the Royals at any point this year will have more to do with his performance in the minor leagues than anything that happens now. Still, this is a good opportunity for manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred to see him in action and determine how they’ll use him when he does eventually get promoted.