Royals Q&A: Joseph continues to pitch well

The Royals, unbeaten no longer, end the work week today with their first of three scheduled split-squad, day/night doubleheaders.

Weather permitting.

Rain is in the forecast and threatens both games: at 2:05 this afternoon against Cleveland in Surprise, and 8:10 tonight against Colorado at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. (Those are Central times.)

The unbeaten record ended in a thud Thursday in a 12-2 loss to Seattle, although Ervin Santana and lefty bullpen candidate Donnie Joseph pitched well.

Santana allowed one run and three hits in three innings while striking out four and walking none. Joseph pitched around a one-out error with two strikeouts in a scoreless seventh inning.

Joseph has nine strikeouts in four scoreless one-inning appearances while allowing one hit and no walks.

The scheduled pitchers today show Noel Arguelles starting the afternoon with John Lamb, Ryan Verdugo, Justin Marks, Yordano Ventura and Sugar Ray Marimon in relief.

Jeremy Guthrie is scheduled to start tonight against the Rockies with Chris Dwyer, Greg Holland, Aaron Crow, Everett Teaford and J.C. Gutierrez in relief. The night game can be heard in Kansas City on KCSP (610 AM).

The World Baseball Classic opened pool play Thursday in Puerto Rico and Phoenix. Some notables:

• Relievers Kelvin Herrera and Atahualpa Severino each struggled in brief appearances for the Dominican Republic, which beat Venezuela 9-3. Herrera allowed two hits in one-third of an inning; Severino gave up one run and two hits in two-thirds of an inning.

• Catcher Salvy Perez didn’t play for Venezuela. Infielder Miguel Tejada did not play for the Dominican.

• The USA, which has first baseman Eric Hosmer and reliever Tim Collins, begins its pool play tonight against Mexico at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Keep those questions coming on twitter to @Royals_Report. Here is today’s exchange:

@AdamBurnsKC: What are the chances Donnie Joseph makes this team out of ST?

I still think it’s unlikely barring a trade, injuries or the decision to take 13 pitchers instead of 12.

That said, he’s been tremendously effective down here. That positions him for prime consideration for an early-season promotion when the bullpen requires a fresh arm.

@WFweatherman: any sign of an emerging second baseman?

Nothing that I can see. The two seem very close at this point. Again, I think Chris Getz has to hold the position, while Johnny Giavotella has to win it. That’s my guess; not something anyone in authority has told me.

@jhfrierdich: we know that @mellinger was putting too much media pressure on the Royals and that is why they lost. Were you doing the same?

Actually, I didn’t cover Thursday’s game. I’m still undefeated.

@christiandr85: With the rotation now stocked, what do you think the Omaha rotation will look like?

Will Smith has been dominant so far in camp, but I think he’s a long shot to make the club. He’s a good bet to pitch the opener for Class AAA Omaha. Other rotation candidates include Nate Adcock, Chris Dwyer, Everett Teaford, Brian Sanches and Ryan Verdugo.

@ChrisWoerner: What’s the chances of Brandon Wood making the roster? Granted it’s AZ, but he seems to be putting on a nice display of power?

Barring an injury? Pretty slim. Tough to see where he fits.

@samuelcjparrish: What situation calls for Getz/Gio in OF? Is it any better than Hos in right with Billy at 1st in interleague?

I believe it’s an emergency thing where, in fact, the Royals might view Chris Getz or Johnny Giavotella as a better alternative than Eric Hosmer in the outfield. It’s hard, at this point, to see a situation where either one would start a game in the outfield once the regular season starts.

@Rheff7: how was Santana’s velocity? I heard his velocity dropped last season..is it where it should be?

Ervin Santana worked his fastball Thursday from 92-94 mph. With his slider, the seems good enough.

@BigCountry125: who do you think has more fantasy value... alex gordon or hosmer? Or someone else ?

Let me try to slow or eliminate the fantasy questions...I don’t follow it. I don’t know how the values are computed. There are plenty of websites and books that track that information.

I think it’s great some fans choose to use fantasy leagues to increase their interest in the games. But I’ve got my hands full following the real club.

@85royal: Can’t disagree about need for a 4th OFer, but couldn’t the odd man out at #5 SP net a Tim Collins or Donnie Joseph prospect?

Possibly, but I don’t believe the Royals see that as an area of need. A corner outfielder with some pop is. If the Royals choose to trade a starting pitcher, I think they’d see that as a great chance to fill a need.

@limaboykc: is moustakas trying to become a switch hitter?

This makes me wonder if you or someone you know is in Surprise because Mike Moustakas does often take swings from the right side in the cage and occasionally in batting practice.

No, he’s not trying to become a switch-hitter. He does that to work his other hip in an effort to stay more limber.