Opening Day is this week! Kansas City has three more Spring Training, games, including this one, and then they’ll host the Minnesota Twins Thursday afternoon to kick off the regular season.
There may be two more Spring Training games, but they’ll both be played as exhibitions in Texas against the Rangers and so this is the final Cactus League game. If they win today or the Angels lose they will go home with the 2023 Cactus League Crown. If they lose and the Angels win they’d be tied in terms of counting the difference between games won and lost, but because the Angels played significantly fewer games they’d have the higher winning percentage.
Kansas City, however, does not appear to be taking this opportunity seriously. Only one player who is likely to crack the Opening Day roster - Jackie Bradley Jr. - is slated to start in today’s lineup. Ryan Yarbrough, today’s starting pitcher, is also likely to make the roster as a long-reliever. The good news is that despite the fact that most of these players will start the year in the minors, they’re all up-and-comers in the Royals system and we can probably expect to see them later this season or perhaps early next year.
Oh, and did I mention this game is televised? It’s not as good as watching the starters on Opening Day will be, but seeing all the top prospects in the same lineup isn’t a bad deal and it’s even free on MLB.TV for those of you who are out-of-market fans!