Both the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers will stay home on Monday, March 18. Because they share a facility, however, they will play each other and it will be the last time they meet in the spring.
The game is scheduled for 20.05 CDT and the Royals will start Ervin Santana as he readies himself for his role in the middle of the rotation this year. The bigger interest will probably be in Luke Hochevar, however, who is scheduled to make only his second appearance in his new bullpen role. Also of note is that Tim Collins has returned from the World Baseball
Farce Classic and is scheduled to pitch for the Royals as well. Alcides Escobar may or may not return to the lineup after being out with a sore back for part of last week. He had some success in a minor league game on Sunday, however, so the signs are promising.
Facing the Royals will be the Rangers’ expensive import Yu Darvish. There is little that needs to be said about him after all the media attention last year, of course, but it will be good for the Royals to face him and have something of a tougher test. The Royals have already beat Texas twice this spring, but that was very early in the schedule. As Darvish will likely get a few innings this will be a better game. The Royals, despite having fallen off pace a bit in the last few days, still boast an impressive 17-1-4 record and even if it doesn’t officially count they will want to improve on that.