Jason Vargas brings calm approach to Royals’ starting rotation

During the offseason, the Royals granted Jason Vargas, a 31-year-old lefty, a four-year, $32 million deal, the second-largest ever lavished upon a pitcher in franchise history. Those who know him all hit upon similar themes: His competitiveness, his on-mound serenity and his reliability. Vargas makes his first start as a Royal on Wednesday at Comerica Park.

Royals lose opener 4-3 at Detroit in heartbreaking fashion

His shirt was untucked and his face was red. Ned Yost walked through the Royals clubhouse at a measured pace. In the minutes after a 4-3 Opening Day loss to Detroit, in which the Royals blew a two-run lead and failed to capitalize a wobbly version of Tigers ace Justin Verlander, Yost leaned back in a chair inside the visitors’ office in Comerica Park and started to decompress.

Report says Royals’ average ticket price increase is highest in the major leagues

The Royals’ average single-game ticket price rose 24.7 percent to $24.73, the highest yearly increase in Major League Baseball in 2014, according to the Team Marketing Report’s annual survey. Even with the highest per-year increase in baseball, the Royals’ average price ranked 19th in the majors. World Series champion Boston had the highest average, rising 4.8 percent to $52.32.

Yes it’s just one game, but bullpen success can be fleeting

Good bullpens are almost always like pop songs, hot one summer, then forgotten the next. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was so 2013. The Royals still have the makings of a good bullpen. Most teams around baseball would trade their relievers for the Royals’, no questions asked. But, still. It’s a bullpen, which means they are a group of flawed pitchers who didn’t make it as starters, and no team has had the majors’ best bullpen two years in row this century.

Not thinking past this season, Shields has postseason plans for Royals

The Royals ace believes team has what it takes to make the playoffs. But what about his contract, which ends after this season? During multiple conversations with The Star last week, Shields made sure to reinforce that his first choice was to remain with the Royals. After that, he portrayed himself as a blank canvas. From a financial perspective, he said, “I just want to be definitely compensated fairly for what I’ve done in the past.”

Replay: The Royals' season opener at Detroit

Follow live updates and analysis from Andy McCullough, The Star's Royals beat reporter, and Sam Mellinger, Star sports columnist, who are in Detroit for the Royals' season opener against the Tigers. First pitch was 12:08 p.m. and the game is on Fox Sports Kansas City, but follow along on your desktop or mobile device here.

Royals’ 2014 season will be referendum on Dayton Moore

The disastrous state of the Royals upon Moore taking over and David Glass’ willingness to go from awful to solid-for-a-small-money-franchise in 2006 have always been conspiring to set Moore up as a hero or dunce in Royals history with not much in between. Over the last few years, especially, the natural and understandable impatience of Royals fans has been in a constant tug-of-war with the self-serving and ever-changing timelines put out by the front office.

Ned Yost says Wade Davis will be set-up man in Royals bullpen

For most of spring training, Royals manager Ned Yost stressed that a committee of relievers would handle the eighth-inning. With Opening Day a little more than 24 hours away, Yost says Wade Davis will be his set-up man, and the last link on the bridge to All-Star closer Greg Holland.

Special report: Can Royals make the jump into playoffs?

The Star looks toward the Royals' 2014 season in this special section, which examines the club's treacherous next step into the playoffs after last season's breakthrough and features in-depth stories on Mike Moustakas, Yordano Ventura and Dayton Moore.

Royals fall to Brewers 7-2 in final exhibition game

In the Royals’ final tune-up of the spring, Yordano Ventura and Jeremy Guthrie stumbled in a 7-2 loss to Milwaukee on Saturday. The team finished spring training with a 12-15-2 record. The season begins Monday afternoon in Detroit.