RC Spring Training Report -- Day 1

The first day of RC's Official Spring Training Trip went well. We arrived at camp shortly after 10 AM, and we moved back and forth between the four fields on which the Royals were taking batting practice. After figuring out who was where, we began taking photos and observing the action. George Brett was throwing BP on one of the fields, and it appeared that almost every Royal in camp was either hitting or shagging. Unfortunately, the workout was cut short due to the intrasquad game scheduled for 1 PM, but we still managed to take some pretty nice photos in the hour or so we had.

We assumed the intrasquad game would be open to the public, but of course, it wasn't. RC was relegated to watching the action through the left field gate, which offers a relatively poor view of the field from about 500 feet away. Nevertheless, we did see Ruben Gotay's homerun, which was a laser to right center off of Denny Bautista. John Buck's dinger was true no doubter to center off of J.P. Howell, and Justin Huber looked like he was swinging the bat well.

After a couple innings, half of the RC delegation left the game to see if there was anything interesting happening on the practice fields, which were still open due to a tryout on one of the fields. And it was then that we got our first look at Jeff Bianchi and Jeffery Howell, along with Shawn Hayes and a couple of other minor leaguers. We watched Bianchi and Hayes go through infield drills and batting practice, while Howell was working on his throws and footwork with John Mizerock on an adjacent field.

After adjourning to RC's official hotel for a couple hours, we drove to Tempe to watch Arizona State take on Texas Tech. We came away very impressed with a pair of Sun Devil players -- junior outfielder Colin Curtis and freshman pitcher/DH Ike Davis. We'll have more to say about them later, but for now, please enjoy some of the photos we took today at Spring Training.

Jeffrey Howell hit .346/.455/.449 last season at Idaho Falls.

Bianchi looked good working out at short, and he showed his quick line drive stroke during BP.

Mitch Maier looked much stronger than he was when RC last saw him in Wilmington, and he was hitting rockets during BP.

Justin Huber stopped by to say hello.

RC was also treated to our first look at Mark Grudzielanek in a Royals uniform.

Be sure to stop by again tomorrow for more photos and commentary.


At 3/01/2006 1:07 PM, Anonymous Eric said...

Nice pics guys! Great info too on the happenings going on in Surprise. It is to bad that you can't be out there all month. I am sure Royals fans would get much better info on the entire organization than what the local media will do. I'm curious though about the "rockets" being hit my Maier. Was he able to get the added backspin/lift on the ball like the Royals have been hoping he would? If he is then he could have a monster season in 06.

At 3/01/2006 5:20 PM, Anonymous FuriousB said...

Looks like Gotay is set to have another good Spring. Let's hope he carries that into wherever he plays this upcoming season.

At 3/01/2006 5:25 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

Plus remember about Maier that he is going to start out at Wichita, where the dude has tones of experience. If he can breakout, and get some AAA-Omaha AB's and have a good season then he may be a good candidate to play in the outfield for us next season.

At 3/02/2006 2:17 PM, Blogger Max said...

Where do you think Bianchi begins the season? Idaho Falls, Burlington or extended spring training?

At 3/03/2006 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

See that guy sitting just above Justin's left shoulder?

At 3/03/2006 11:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...



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