SURPRISE, Ariz. — It’s a slow day today in Royals’ camp. Except for pitcher Bruce Chen, everyone on the big-league camp roster has the day off — the club’s last open date in its Cactus League schedule.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Chen is starting at noon Central time today in a minor-league intrasquad game to stay on his regular work schedule.
It’s a camp day on the minor-league side, which means no games against corresponding clubs from other organizations.
The Royals, 18-6-1, return to work Friday with a 3:05 p.m. Central time game against the Los Angeles Angels in Tempe.
The four players who played Tuesday night in the World Baseball Classic championship game should be back in camp.
Reliever Kelvin Herrera is scheduled to pitch against the Angels, while reliever Atahualpa Severino is slotted for a minor-league game. Infielders Miguel Tejada and Irving Falu are also likely to see action.
Public-service announcement: Utilityman Elliot Johnson is looking for twitter followers among Royals fans. Definitely worth a follow (@ElliotJohnson9).
And keep those questions about the Royals coming on twitter to @Royals_Report. Here is today’s exchange:
@kc571: didn’t moose have a great spring last year? Same story, need to see the team carry the winning ways onto the real season.
Actually, Mike Moustakas had a pretty bad spring last year -- .240 and just seven RBIs in 26 games with 21 strikeouts in 75 at-bats.
But I agree that what he’s doing this year won’t matter if he doesn’t hit once the regular season starts.
@Royal_boston: the royals fired Seitzer to increase their power numbers...any indication in spring training that the move is paying off?
Actually, I think the Royals fired Kevin Seitzer because they didn’t score enough runs -- they were 12th among 14 American League teams last year in scoring.
Here’s a spring-to-spring comparison: Their homers are actually down so far this spring: 34 last year in 32 games for 1.065 a game; compared to 21 this year in 25 games for .084 a game.
But their scoring is way up: 5.09 runs a game last spring compared (so far) to 6.24 runs a game. What it all means is anybody’s guess.
@aaronjbryant: How is Gio looking in the field this Spring?
Johnny Giavotella is not a finished product at second base, but even my eye tells me he’s far better than a year ago. I think club officials believe his defense is good enough to play every day -- if he hits.
@soobio: Without an heir apparent in RF, what are the chances of a Francoeur extension if he brings his 2011 bat to the ballpark?
That’s an interesting scenario because Jeff Francoeur was pretty good in 2011. If he returns to that form, yes, I think he could be in line for an extension.
That’s a big if -- and, even then, it would depend on the cost. Francoeur might want to explore free agency, and the Royals might believe they can get similar production going forward at a lower cost.
@kcshowtime96: Lough reminds me of dejesus. Why search for a lefty OF to hit righties when he clearly deserves a shot? Everyday AB’s in AAA?
David Lough has often draw comparisons in the past to David DeJesus, but I think the Royals would like a veteran left-handed hitter with a little more pop to pair with Jeff Francoeur.
I don’t know if they can find (or afford) such a guy. Lough could easily be an attractive fallback option.
@audra_marvin: Royals have played lots of NL teams in ST but always (I think) w/ AL rules. Why no games w/ NL rules? Pitchers need BP right?
Just once so far, although the starters are hitting just about every day in practice. You’re right, I would have thought they’d be hitting more often in games at this point.
@davidwlowe: I was at the Santana start Monday. Can we agree that Kinsler did whatever he wanted to vs. Santana? Not a good sign.
Ian Kinsler had two singles and a homer that night against Ervin Santana. So that night, yes, he owned him.
@TheJeffReport: how much longer do you think they let Eibner go before trying him out at pitcher?
The Royals don’t sound like they’re anywhere close to giving up on Brett Eibner as a hitter. Another year below the Mendoza Line might change that.
To reach Bob Dutton, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.