Jason Vargas rebounded from a miserable nine-run pounding over the weekend to string together his finest start of the spring in a 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. Vargas gave up one run on three hits in six innings.
The trouble was the Royals ran into top Chicago prospect Carlos Rodon, who struck out nine batters in four innings of work. Rodon, the No. 3 pick in the 2014 draft, is not expected to make Chicago’s opening day roster, but the Royals will have to reckon with him at some point this season.
Until then, they can take comfort in Vargas’ restorative outing. He reduced his Cactus League ERA to 9.55. Chicago scored a run when Melky Cabrera ripped an RBI single in the third.
Louis Coleman yielded a solo homer to outfielder Avisail Garcia in the seventh. Coleman is one of the candidates for the last spot in the Kansas City bullpen.
Even more disconcerting was the performance of Franklin Morales. Manager Ned Yost has said Morales looks to be a favorite to make the team as a lefty out of the bullpen, but Morales yielded four runs in the span of four batters. He gave up a triple, a ground-rule double, a walk and a three-run home run to infield prospect Keon Barnum.