Notice that dateline?
Let me get the cliché question out of the way now that I’m in Surprise: Temperatures for the next several days are supposed to reach the mid-60s – although dipping into the high 30s at night.
A warning if you’re heading down, though. From experience, I know the sun is still deceptively treacherous. Bring sunscreen and a ball cap.
There’s also a chance of rain over the weekend. If this area has a rainy season, it’s February. Rain is increasingly rare as the calendar turns to March, and the Cactus League schedule hits high gear.
The Royals won’t start official workouts until Tuesday, one day after pitchers and catchers report, and won’t hold their first official full-squad workout until next Friday. But lots of guys are already here.
I’m told 24 pitchers took part Thursday in light throwing and conditioning workouts. I hope to have some specifics on today’s workouts later today in an online report.
General manager Dayton Moore said it’s unlikely the Royals will make another major personnel move anytime soon. So anyone hoping for a late push to sign outfielder Michael Bourn or acquire pitcher Bud Norris (whom Houston is shopping) probably needs to recalibrate.
Right-hander Luis Mendoza, whenever he arrives in camp, will likely be sporting a bigger smile than usual. Mexico won the Caribbean World Series on Thursday night with a 4-3 victory over the Dominican Republic in 18 innings. Mendoza played a major role in the title run by pitching 131/3 scoreless innings while winning two Series starts.
Infielder Miguel Tejada prolonged the game for the Dominican with a game-tying single with two outs in the bottom of the 13th inning.
Angalena Scavuzzo, 22, is the only Royals’ fan among the 52 finalists for participation this year in the MLB Fan Cave competition. If she makes the top 30, she gets a trip to spring training. You can support her (and see her application video) by going to mlb.com.
On to the questions:
@RAM_Doubler: Lamb start spring training with any restrictions? He slated for AA, with an expectation to advance to AAA?
Everything I’ve heard is he’s full go. I’m anxious to see him throw and get the reactions of others when he does. Where Lamb opens the season probably won’t be determined until mid-to-late March, but my guess is in line with yours.
@APhiLionel: In the long run, do #Royals see Nate Adcock as a starter or a reliever?
I believe he’s likely to be on the same Omaha-to-Kansas City shuttle as last year, where he starts at Omaha and pitches long relief in the big leagues. Club officials still love his natural hard sinker, and we’ve seen him pitch effectively in the big leagues.
It could be that Adcock becomes the next Mendoza; not in terms of repertoire but in that circumstances determine how the Royals use his versatility.
@tsmitty1206: could you see Royals make push for Giancarlo Stanton for RF down the stretch if in playoff contention?
Sure, why not? If you want to dream, dream big. Just know that right now that’s a big dream.
@MLineBacker_32: I got in an argument with a coworker today and it made me think. Why hasn’t Quiz’s or Split’s numbers been retired yet?
I don’t know, of course, but that’s a great fan discussion: If the Royals were to retire another number, who should be first in line?
@leagan1968: s the #5 starter going to be about $ or results? If it’s wins I don’t see how Chen or Hochevar > Mendoza right now
If the decision had to be made right now, Mendoza is hard to argue with. He just threw two gems in the Caribbean World Series. Let’s see how things look in six weeks.
Mendoza faces an uphill climb to win a job in the rotation, but it’s a hill, not a mountain.
@fightwookies4: How bad will Wade Davis have to be to lose his rotation spot? Would he go to the bullpen, or down to the minors?
Pretty bad from all indications – at least, if we’re talking about the start of the season. Everything I hear from the Royals is they acquired him to be their No. 4 starter.
But that’s not an eternal commitment. The Royals have real options for their rotation for the first time in a long time. A poorly performing Davis could shift to the bullpen at some point this season.
It’s safe to say, though, that’s a move the Royals don’t want to make.
@RyanDivish: over the course of your day, how many times are you asked about Frenchy and Hochevar? 40? 75?
Well, one more than I expected. @RyanDivish of the
Tacoma News Tribune
, when he’s not wasting my time, is a must-follow for anyone interested in the Mariners.
@Grant4MU: have the Royals officially closed the door on Aaron Crow as a starter?
It sure seems like it for now. I’ll ask him again when I get a chance, but Crow has steadily maintained he has no preference between starting and relieving.
@RoyalsBookGuy: Is the OF set with Gordon, Cain, Francoeur, and Dyson? Any chance they carry 5? If so, who? Taveras, Nady, Chavez, Lough?
Entering camp, the likeliest number is four – and you’ve identified the four.
@Simmsbillj: 2B and #5 SP seem to be the only starting battles heading into spring training. Do you agree?
Those are the two likely to draw the most attention, but there could be fierce competition at the back of the bullpen. And newcomers George Kottaras and Brett Hayes should battle for the job as catcher Salvy Perez’s backup.