Royals Q&A: Shields to pitch today vs. A’s

The Royals resume their Cactus League schedule today, after Monday’s open date, with a trip to old Phoenix Municipal Stadium to play Oakland.

James Shields is slotted for four innings in his third spring start, which begins at 3:05 p.m. Central time and can be heard in Kansas City on KCSP (610 AM).

Greg Holland, J.C. Gutierrez, Donnie Joseph, Everett Teaford and Louis Coleman are also scheduled to pitch. It would be Teaford’s spring debut.

Here’s the lineup: LF Alex Gordon, SS Alcides Escobar, DH Billy Butler, 3B Mike Moustakas, C Salvy Perez, RF Jeff Francour, CF Lorenzo Cain, 1B Elliot Johnson and 2B Johnny Giavotella.

Before that, there’s an abbreviated “B” game on the George Brett Field at noon Central time against Texas. It’s scheduled for just 41/2 innings with Blaine Boyer, Francisley Bueno, Michael Mariot and Brian Sanches targeted for work.

Here’s that lineup: LF Willy Taveras, 3B Christian Colon, 1B Max Ramirez, C George Kottaras, SS Anthony Seratelli, RF Endy Chavez, CF Jarrod Dyson and 2B Rey Navarro. No DH.

Perez and pitcher Luis Mendoza are back in camp following their time in the World Baseball Classic. Their teams, Venezuela and Mexico, were eliminated over the weekend.

Six other Royals are on teams that open second-round pool play today in Miami:

First baseman Eric Hosmer and reliever Tim Collins are on the USA, which plays Puerto Rico at 7 p.m. Central time. Infielder Irving Falu is on Puerto Rico.

That follows the noon Central game between Italy and the Dominican Republic. Infielder Miguel Tejada is on the Dominican along with relievers Kelvin Herrera and Atahualpa Severino.

Two teams from the pool join Japan and The Netherlands this weekend in San Francisco for the semifinals and finals.

Some housekeeping notes about this daily question-and-answer exchange in response to some readers. Only a selection of questions are answered. If several people ask the same question, I usually only answer it once.

Also, I generally only take one question per person per day. Finally, it’s a twitter Q-and-A. Those are the only questions handled in this format.

With those qualifiers, keep those questions coming on twitter to @Royals_Report. Here is today’s exchange:

@MadDogKiller: if @White_Willy31 continues to dominate, any chance barring injury he is the #5 guy?

Will Smith has been the best pitcher in camp, in my view, but I don’t think he’s got much of a chance to be the fifth starter barring injuries. But I could easily see him in the rotation at some point this year.

@TurksTake: what should we make of Alex Gordon’s hot hitting so far?

I don’t want to say it’s meaningless, but it doesn’t mean a lot. I’d say the same thing if he was three for 25 instead of 13 for 25.

@BretPowellJr: Does M. Ramirez have any trade value as a DH? Or does KC hold on to him should they be contending during September ex. roster

Max Ramirez was a minor-league free agent after last season, which means he could have signed anywhere. Presumably, he would have done so if any team had offered him a major-league deal.

That said, I think he can help a big-league club in the right circumstances. He can hit a fastball, particularly from a left-handed picther.

@mbtgtc: Would you say starting Frenchy over Lough is more about keeping depth or not losing money by letting Jeff go?

I’d say neither. I think the Royals expect Jeff Francoeur to have a bounce-back year. You might not think so, but I think the Royals do.

@jeff_fett: At the end of the day are you a fan of the Royals and if not, when you’re not reporting on the Royals, who do you root for?

It’s hard to be a fan of the team you cover, but I certainly don’t root against the Royals or root for any other major-league team. There are certain players who, individually, are easy to root for or against.

There aren’t many of the latter.

There is a certain NHL team that has the ability to frustrate me beyond all reason. So I understand many of the emotions that Royals’ fans experience.

@PannoneNick: what’s the point of a tryout if you can’t win a spot on the team?

I’ll assume this is in reference to outfielder David Lough, whose chances of making the club are stacked against him despite having a terrific spring. (Although it could apply to several players.)

Keeping inventory is important to clubs. Lough has options. That works against him. That’s the system.

But a strong spring isn’t meaningless. It can be a factor in whether a player gets called up when a roster opening occurs.

@TarnishedCrown: do the Royals put any stock in Mendoza’s decent performance against the USA?

Not much, really. How he pitches now that he’s back in camp will be of greater importance.

@jayhawkdeacon: If Adcock is in Omaha, is his salary still MLB minimum guaranteed for the season due to Rule 5?

Nearly all players not yet eligible for arbitration are on split contracts, which means they get one salary if they’re in the majors and a far lower salary if they’re in the minors.

@rick_m_usaai: is JC Gutierrez rly the leader for 1 of the bp spots? Did Sat outing knock him back a bit? what do we need to know about him?

My guess is he’s still the leader because he’s out of options, while most of the other top competitors either have options remaining or are in camp on minor-league contracts.

Being the leader (assuming I’m right) is a long way from being a lock.

@WFweatherman: do the Royals use the 3rd base dugout at the Surprise complex?