Currently the Kansas City Royals sit with a 5-5 record in the Cactus League after Monday's tough 2-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants. Following spring training baseball is much as it seemed as when I was a kid in that it is tough to get a good feel for things because of the lack of television thus far.
However things change on Wednesday evening when the Royals will be on the MLB Network facing the Seattle Mariners. The game isn't on until 9 pm local time, but I am sure many Royals fans will stay up late to get some game glimpses of the Royals in action.
So your mission for Wednesday evening is making sure you have all your NCAA brackets completed before 9 pm.
Judging statistics is much like trying to evaluate team records in spring training. On one hand it means something, but you can also make a case it doesn't mean much at all. With many minor leaguers mixed in with veterans during many of these games, it's really not fair to judge how a player's season will go. It is a given though that you'd like to see your pitchers hone in on their command, and you are certainly happy to see batters get off to a good start in spring training.
On a broad scale, let's look at some of the good, the bad, and the ugly thus far from the early games thus far-
-Lorenzo Cain is batting .500/.588/.786 through seven games. Cain will be coming into this season with as little experience as anyone on the Royals roster. That is saying a lot for a team with numerous young players, so it is good to see he is off to a quality start. Cain also shares the team lead in walks thus far (three) with Eric Hosmer.
-Journeyman catcher Max Ramirez, who was signed to likely be the catcher in Omaha (especially with the injury to Manuel Pina), has three home runs in just 10 at-bats which contributes to his .400/.571/1.300 line. So far this is looking like a great minor-league depth signing.
-So far Johnny Giavotella's numbers exceed both Chris Getz and Yuniesky Betancourt. Many Royals fans are worried by recent comments that Giavotella's leash may be shorter than anticipated as the Royals seek to get quality playing time for Getz and and Betancourt. As long as Giavotella produces, he will hopefully be the predominant starter of the trio.
-Luis Mendoza, the man many fans have mixed feelings about has been stellar in six innings so far. He's allowed no runs on just three hits. He's also struck out four, while walking only one batter.
-Francisley Bueno, Aaron Crow, Danny Duffy, and Brandon Sisk have combined to throw 7.1 innings between the four, and none has allowed a hit. Bueno may be the most unknown of the group as the 31-year old journeyman left-hander has appeared in just one major league game (2008 with the Atlanta Braves).
-Sisk, a 26-year old left-hander has been in the Royals organization since signing as an undrafted free-agent in 2008. He split 2011 in the bullpen between AA Northwest Arkansas and AAA Omaha.
-Mike Moustakas, who is known for getting off to slow start each season, is batting just .211/.318/.211 so far in 19 at-bats. Moustakas was a fine player at the plate down the stretch last season and I know the Royals brass is eager for him to get off to a hot-start once April rolls around.
-Bruce Chen, who the Royals brought back in the off-season, has not found his stuff in his first two games. He has a 9.64 ERA and 1.93 WHIP through 4.2 innings. The only bright spot is he has yet to walk anyone.
-Jeff Francoeur is batting just .133/.176/.200 so far. Even worse, Salvador Perez, is hitless thus far. Now neither will continue to post such abysmal numbers, but for Perez he is still young enough that you don't want to see a poor spring mess with his confidence. You may remember that just recently Perez signed a long-term contract with the club.
-Jonathan Sanchez and Mike Montgomery have been bad anything but good thus far. Granted the sample size is small, as the two have combined for just 3.2 innings pitched so far, but both left a lot to be desired with the time out on the mound so far. Combined they have allowed nine earned runs on 10 hits, with just two strikeouts.
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