The Kansas City Royals waited a bit this Spring Training to give the established members of the rotation a go. They’ve gone through once now though and so far, everything looks rather good. The only one of the four to surrender any runs was Jeremy Guthrie, who conceded two runs on four hits in his two innings on Saturday.
It is early, of course, and the main focus now is how the pitchers are commanding their pitches, and how they are feeling about them. The news is largely good on that front too, and certainly one would say that the pitchers have been sharp.
It is one of the big reasons (along with considerable offensive production) that the Royals are still unbeaten this spring. They have eight wins on the trot to go along with the draw in the Spring opener.
The other point to look at is the battle for the lone undetermined spot in the rotation. Bruce Chen had a scoreless outing on Wednesday, while Luke Hochevar conceded two runs in his two innings. The outside candidate Will Smith pitched three excellent innings on Thursday too, as he continues to put pressure on the two front-runners. Whether Chen has done enough to negate Hochevar’s presumed early advantage remains to be seen.
There isn’t any chance that we will continue to see these kinds of results as the minor leaguers start to drop out of camp, but this is at least a good start. It may not (in fact, almost certainly not) mean much, but it is better than starting poorly.