Rain forced a halt to both ends of a split-squad doubleheader Friday for the Royals but, to hear manager Ned Yost tell it, it could have been a lot worse.
“It was expected to be 100 percent rain from the minute we got up,” he said. “We got some innings in. We’d have had a big backload if we hadn’t got any of these innings in.
“(Saturday) would have been a mess, but we’ll be OK.”
The Royals, 11-1-1 held a 3-2 lead over Cleveland in the third inning of their afternoon game at Surprise Stadium when rain forced a halt. The game was called after a delay of 1 hour, 9 minutes.
The delay in nightcap came after four innings with the Royals trailing Colorado 3-1 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz. The cancellation came after a few minutes.
There are no plans to make up either game.ARMS RACE
Jeremy Guthrie threw 52 pitches over three innings against Colorado, his former club, and gave up three runs and three hits. A leadoff walk led to a run in the first inning; a hit batter fueled a two-run third.
“I look at the pitches,” he said. “Today, they felt much crisper than last time. I’d like to put up zeroes as much as anybody, but I do evaluate the pitch quality and want it to go in the right direction. It did, I thought.”
Lefty Noel Arguelles, the long-rehabbing Cuban defector, retired six of seven hitters in the opener after yielding a leadoff homer in the first inning to Drew Stubbs.
Arguelles was optioned to Class AA Northwest Arkansas after the game.
Aaron Crow worked a one-two-three fourth inning against Colorado. He has retired nine straight batters over three appearances since yielding a homer to the first batter he faced.REGULAR GUYS
Jarrod Dyson, a.k.a. Mr. Zoombiya, generated a run in the second inning of the first game after reaching first on a fielder’s choice.
Dyson stole second, stole third and came home when catcher Van Gomes threw to an open base. Third baseman Ryan Raburn failed to cover the base.
The rainout means neither steal counts. Dyson reverts back to have three spring steals in four attempts.DEFINING DEFENSE
Catcher Brett Hayes overthrew second baseman Johnny Giavotella on Cord Phelps’ steal in the second inning of the first game. The error permitted Phelps to reach third with nobody out.
Noel Arguelles stranded the runner at third by retiring Mike McDade on a squibber back to the mound, Matt Carson on a grounder to third and Tim Fedroff on a grounder to second.
Hayes then atoned by contributing a double to a two-run second inning.PERSONNEL MOVES
The Royals trimmed four players from their big-league roster before their night game, including Arguelles who was optioned to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Three players were reassigned to minor-league camp: left-hander Ryan Verdugo, right-hander Sugar Ray Marimon and catcher Julio Rodriguez.
The moves leave 57 active players in big-league camp, although eight are participating in the World Baseball Classic.MEDICAL UPDATES
Jeff Francoeur was switched to DH after being listed as the right fielder for the night game. The move came after Colorado agreed to play the game with a DH.
Francoeur has been nursing a sore hip in recent says but said he would have played the game in right field if the DH had not been in use.ETC.
Left fielder Alex Gordon’s quest for a third straight Gold Glove will now be subject to sabermetic considerations. (Not just Gordon, of course. Everyone.)
Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, which sponsors the award, announced plans to include a “sabermetric-based component” as part of an expanded resource guide that accompanies ballots sent to managers and coaches.ON DECK
Right-hander Yordano Ventura will start Saturday in place of Wade Davis, who was scrubbed because of shoulder soreness. Davis is expected to pitch when his turn comes around again in the cycle.
“We’re at a point where we’re starting to run out of innings,” manager Ned Yost said. “This is an opportunity to give (Ventura) some more innings.”
That suggests Ventura, one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, might be a candidate to be reassigned to minor-league camp after the game. He is expected to open the season at Class AA Northwest Arkansas.COUNTDOWN TO OPENING DAY: 23 DAYS UP NEXT Royals (RHP Yordano Ventura) vs. Giants (RHP Yusmeiro Petit), at 2:05 p.m. Central time in Scottsdale, Ariz.