Tuesday, March 04, 2008

ST Game #5

Game Date: March 3, 2008
Royals 7, White Sox 6 / Box Score
Royals Spring Training Record: 2-3

This was baseball played the Hillman way--for the most part. Tony Pena bunted for a base hit. Joey Gathright, drove in a run with an infield single, and stole three bases. Jason Smith drew a one-out walk in the ninth inning with the Royals down 6-5 and that help to set the stage for a Royal comeback. Throw in a Damon Hollins' two-run home run in the sixth and you have the makings of a good offensive showing. For the record, Mark Teahen drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the ninth.

So far, John Bale has been one of the big surprises in camp. He threw three scoreless innings without giving up any hits or bases on balls (he hit one guy). He also struck out four. The Star said that he "overmatched the White Sox" and it's hard to argue with that. Jorge De La Rosa didn't fair quite so well. He gave up four earned runs on five hits in 1.1 innings in his first action of the spring. Leo Nunez, Yasuhiko Yabuta, and Joakim Soria pitched one scoreless inning each. And Ron Mahay gave up one earned run in an inning of work.

The thing that stood out for me in this game is that players like Gathright and Smith aren't necessarily guaranteed of making the club, and with Alberto Callaspo and Angel Berroa (why?) in camp, I'm not even sure that Tony Pena is 100% secure in his role, but yet Gathright, Smith, and Pena played the game yesterday the way Hillman wants them to. The team as a whole only drew one walk and they struck out eight times. That's not good. But I wonder if some of the players who are on the bubble aren't realizing that they have a much better shot at making the club if they small ball.

The Royals play the Rockies this afternoon. Brett Tomko will go up against Ubaldo Jimenez.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog all the time though no one seems to post here. :(

Keep 'em coming I think they're excellent.

I'm excited about the pitching competition this spring. Like any other time though, people with options have less of a chance.

Signing Maroth to a minor league deal was a great move as I think he's under-rated. I'm hoping Davies continues to improve as well.

Overall an exciting spring and I can't wait for opening day!

Lee Warren said...

Thanks for stopping by...I didn't originally enable comments, so that's one reason not as many people comment as I'd like.

I agree with you about the pitching. I love the fact that we aren't going to be stuck throwing a guy into the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation simply because we don't have anybody else. And our bullpen looks to be solid again, although I think we are going to miss David Riske.

Otis26 said...

Riske was definitely a loss, but there's more than enough talent left there to make up for it. We've signed some experience to replace him...there is mentorship for the young pitchers.

What we've not had a lot of is talent. Leadership is important for sure...but if you can't pitch I can't lead you to be able to.

Sometimes talent can overcome a loss of leadership. In our case there are so many guys looking good in Spring Training that the loss of Riske is looking pretty acceptable.

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