Spring Training Diary: Days 6 & 7

Sorry for the delay in posts, but I got back to the hotel late on Friday night. But not because of baseball.

I went to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix for an event called “Agave on the Rocks”. There was plenty of good finger food, music, desserts, and you got to walk around the gardens. Also, there was a free margarita in a glow-in-the-dark glass (to use as your flashlight).

royals st logoNow to the baseball.

Prior to going to the Desert Botanical Garden, I went to the backfields in Peoria to see the Double-A and Triple-A teams play, as the KC Royals faced the Seattle Mariners. The M’s had plenty of big leaguers in the game.

On the Double-A side, the Royals started Jonathan Dziedzic, who faced Justin Ruggiano and Rickie Weeks to start the first inning. Weeks struck out and grounded out later.

In his four innings of work, Dziedzic also faced Willie Bloomquist and Logan Morrison. Dziedzic did not allow a hit, but walked two in his final inning of work.

Morrison got the M’s first hit, a single off Malcom Culver in the fifth.

Things did not start out well for the Double-A Royals, as Terrance Gore was hit in the face leading off the top of the first on the very first pitch of the game. He walked off on his own power and there wasn’t any blood, but he was woozy and needed help walking to the cart to take him out of the complex. It came out this morning that Gore has a broken jaw.

Raul Mondesi drove in the first run of the game in the first with a triple. In the middle innings, he scored from first base on Jorge Bonifacio’s double. He was definitely showing off his speed on Friday. Bonifacio would later hit a no doubt home run.

Kenny Diekroeger also hit a triple. In Bubba Starling’s first at-bat, he struck out looking on three pitches. In his defense, they were borderline strikes.

Back to the Double-A pitching. After Culver’s two innings, Brian Broderick was next. He allowed the M’s only run in the eighth on back-to-back one out hits. He then induced an inning ending double play. We had the chance to meet his dad and nephew, as they made it to the game just in time to see Brian pitch. Andrew Triggs finished off the M’s quickly in the ninth.

On the Triple-A side, the Royals started Christian Binford. I moved back and forth, but mainly watched the Double-A game because it was less crowded and easier to move around. I did see Binford pitch two innings and you can watch him face Montero below:

 

Moving on to today (it is still Saturday in Arizona).

I went to Salt River Fields to check out the Royals play the Arizona Diamondbacks. It was a hot one yet again.

The Royals brought just four expected starters in their lineup: Omar Infante, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas. Danny Duffy got the start and looked sharp early, striking out six over the first three innings. Then the wheels fell off.

Salt River FieldAJ Pollock led off with a double off the right field wall. Two batters later, Paul Goldschmidt hit a LONG blast to tie the game at 2-2. In the fifth, Pollock hit a two-run home run to give the DBacks the lead.

Never fear, the Royals minor leaguers will mount a comeback.

They scored five runs in the top of the seventh off Robbie Ray. It all started with a one out walk to JC Boscan. With two outs, Whit Merrifield singled and Alex Liddi followed with a two-run single. Gabriel Noriega drove in Liddi with a single and Paulo Orlando followed with an RBI triple to dead center. Moises Sierra doubled him in before pinch-hitter Brian Fletcher grounded out to end the inning.

Orlando, Sierra, and Christian Colon all played the entire game. Orlando helped his case to make the Royals Opening Day roster by going 3-for-4 with a walk. The third spot in the order (belonging to LoCain and Merrifield) went a combined 4-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Infant also had three hits.

Even minor leaguer Ethan Chapman got into the action. He pinch-hit in the ninth and delivered an RBI single.

In the battle for a bullpen spot, Louis Coleman struggled once again, allowing a run on two hits. Franklin Morales was SLOW, as he walked one and allowed a hit. Ryan Madson allowed two hits, but his changeup was nasty for the final out (a strikeout).

 

Tomorrow is my final day in Arizona and I’ll be checking out the big league game, as the Royals face the Chicago Cubs. Not sure if I’ll be able to see any minor league action again before I leave. Then it’s back to winter in New Jersey with my flight Monday morning.

 

* In Royals news, reliever Jandel Gustave, who the Royals picked up in the Rule V Draft, was claimed off waivers by San Diego. Infielder Ryan Roberts, who really was not given a shot at making the big league roster, was released.

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About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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