When last we gathered here, the Royals were undefeated and rookie Bobby Witt Jr. had made two sensational plays in each of the Royals’ first two games to help secure victories. Since then, the Royals have lost five in a row and Bobby Witt has batted .100/.143/.250/.393. That which once seemed promising now seems doomed to failure.
All hope is not lost, of course. The baseball season is a long one. But the most commonly cited criteria for the Royals to have a winning or even morally winning season were that one or two of the young pitchers needed to step up. So far that has decided not happened. But today is a new day, and left-hander Kris Bubic has an opportunity to flip the script on his season by putting together a much better start against the Tigers than he did the Guardians at the start of the week.
As for the lineup, it features the same players in the same order it has for all but one other game this season. Mike Matheny has turned into Ned Yost, insisting on giving his veterans a chance to find their footing instead of letting any of the younger players play. It seems that whatever Edward Olivares did to end up riding the shuttle constantly be Omaha and KC last year has still not been forgiven and the new CBA which prohibits endless trips between the majors and minors for players just means that he is now condemned to watch every game from the big league bench. I’m sure there are worse fates than earning the Major League minimum to have VIP seating for every Royals game - like having to watch every Pirates game - but when you’re as competitive as a professional athlete it must still be galling.
Today’s Royals lineup against RHP Matt Manning:— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) April 16, 2022
Whit Merrifield RF
Bobby Witt Jr. 3B
Andrew Benintendi LF
Salvador Perez C
Carlos Santana 1B
Hunter Dozier DH
Adalberto Mondesi SS
Michael A. Taylor CF
Nicky Lopez 2B
Kris Bubic P
Saturday afternoon baseball coming at ya. pic.twitter.com/PmOnsasP5Q— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 16, 2022