The Royals are facing a left-hander today and the lineup shows what might be a problem for the team going forward, even if the rookies only continue to improve: they’re almost all left-handed hitters.
Vinnie Pasquantino and Nicky Lopez will both get the night off (or at least most of the night off) because the Dodgers will start left-hander Andrew Heaney. That still leaves a lineup featuring three left-handers and fills the bench with lefties. The good news for the Royals is that Heaney doesn’t actually have a huge difference in his splits. The bad news is that this is because no one has hit him well in his first six starts of the season for the Dodgers.
The left-handed Heaney also means that Manager Mike Matheny will start Brent Rooker for the first time since KC acquired him from San Diego for backup catcher Cam Gallagher. He’s torn up AAA pitching several years in a row - including three dingers in only 20 at-bats for Omaha after the trade - but struggled against MLB pitching for both the Twins and the Padres. The Royals are hoping that Alec Zumwault and co. can help him get over that hump.
Brad Keller will take the mound for KC. Keller has had a mediocre season for KC but pitched well against Boston his last time out, allowing only a single run in six innings. Unfortunately, he bucked the recent trend in Royals pitching by allowing three walks while striking out only four. If he pitches like that against the Dodgers, it could be a very long night.
The Royals and Dodgers will be participating in Kansas City’s annual salute to the Negro Leagues, tonight. KC will wear 1945 Monarchs jerseys while the Dodgers will wear 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers uniforms.