While losing the opener in the Cactus League is not a big deal, what happened in the game for the KC Royals is important. They lost to Texas, 6-2 and collected just four hits (just one from a starter).
Battling for the starting right field job, Jarrod Dyson was replaced on defense in the top of the third after leading off the 2nd inning with a ground out. Dyson left the game due to a right oblique strain. The Royals will know more tomorrow, as he was getting an MRI tonight. What we do know is he will miss at least two weeks of spring training, maybe a lot more. So I may not see Dyson when I head to Surprise in a little more than two weeks.
If Dyson were to miss significant time, the plethora of outfielders in camp will get plenty of opportunities to fight for two Opening Day roster spots.
UPDATE: Dyson has a Grade II strain of his oblique and will miss six weeks (about mid-April). Obviously, he will start the season on the DL.
So how did some of those outfielders do in Game 1 of the Cactus League?
Travis Snider replaced Dyson and struck out in both of his at-bats. Terrance Gore replaced Snider (but played left field) and struck out to end the game. Reymond Fuentes played left and right field, going 1-for-1.
Brett Eibner was the starting DH and went 0-for-1 with a walk. Jorge Bonifacio pinch-hit for Eibner and hit a solo home run. Bonifacio struck out in his other at-bat in the ninth.
Bubba Starling played center field and went 0-for-2. Whit Merrifield played second base and went 0-for-2.
The catching duo of Drew Butera and Parker Morin also had a good game. Butera threw two runners out trying to steal second base. Morin hit a solo home run in his only at-bat.
Despite dealing with the flu, Kyle Zimmer got the start and pitched well over two innings. He pitched a perfect first, getting a fly out, a strike out (Shin-Soo Choo), and a foul pop out (Prince Fielder). In the 2nd inning, he allowed two singles (around a double play). Zimmer then struck out Elvis Andrus to end the inning.
After Zimmer, seven relievers (six non-roster invitees) combined to allow six runs on 11 hits. Three relievers I consider favorites for roster spots didn’t exactly help their cause. Lefty David Huff allowed a run in the sixth and took the loss. Fellow lefty Brian Duensing followed and allowed two runs on four hits. Ross Ohlendorf allowed a two out, three-run home run in the ninth to Nomar Mazara (one of his three hits).
Chien-Ming Wang and John Lannan pitched the third and fourth respectively and both allowed a hit.
Non-roster invitee Peter Moylan struck out two (Robinson Chirinos and Drew Robsinson) in his scoreless 5th inning (he hit Andrus, but the pinch runner was thrown out by Butera). Lefty Scott Alexander worked a perfect eighth.
The Royals are back at it tomorrow against the Rangers. Edinson Volquez will get the start (with Miguel Almonte piggy-backing). Jeremy Guthrie is expected to make his Rangers debut against his former teammates.