Thursday

RC Spring Training Report -- Day 2



RC arrived at camp today just as the gates opened, and we watched infield and batting practice for a couple hours. Buddy Bell ran the show on the main field, and after about half an hour of fielding drills, the players broke into four groups to take batting practice. Mark Teahen, Mike Sweeney, and John Buck were hitting the snot out of the ball, each sending several balls over the fence. After BP, RC watched as the Royals conducted a simulated game. The game was interesting, primarily because we'd never before seen one take place. The Royals in the field were the following:

1B - Justin Huber
2B - Donnie Murphy
SS - Angel Sanchez
3B - Alex Gordon
LF - Shane Costa
CF - Kerry Robinson
RF - Chip Ambres

Most of those seven remained in the field for the entire game -- the only players who rotated in and out after each half inning were the pitchers and catchers. Buck and Paul Phillips took turns catching the pitchers, who worked in pairs. Scott Elarton and Mike Wood threw the first two innings, with Joe Mays, Runelvys Hernandez, and Luis Cota finishing out the game, each throwing an inning apiece.

Our notes from the game:

  • Among the few players who actually got to bat, Aaron Guiel and Murphy had the best at bats and made the best contact. Murphy hit a double to deep center and a sacrifice fly to left.


  • Angel Sanchez looked great at short, displaying soft hands and a good arm. Gordon had a couple nice plays, the only flaw being a throw a bit to the right of the second base bag on a potential double play. Justin Huber flawlessly handled the three grounders hit to him at first base.


  • Chip Ambres took a poor route to an Aaron Guiel fly ball, and it hit off his glove for a two-base error, eerily similar to his infamous error from last season. Bell didn't look too happy about that.


  • Hernandez and Cota were both popping the mitt. Hernandez struck out Kerry Robinson on a nasty changeup to end his inning, and Cota finished the day by striking out his final batter. Wood's sinker was working well, and Elarton and Mays both looked good. None of the pitchers who threw struggled at all against a collection of minor league players trying to make the roster.


  • Tomorrow the real fun begins, as the Royals take on the Rangers in the first Cactus League game of the season. RC will be watching from our official box seats behind the third base dugout, and we'll be sure to take careful notes, along with tons of photos and video. In the meantime, here are some photos from today's action.


    Donnie Murphy rips a double to center as Dick Kaegel watches in the background.


    Angel Sanchez looked smooth at short.


    From RC's vantage point, it looked like Hernandez was throwing hard today.


    Obligatory Alex Gordon photo


    RC was thrilled to get our first look at Luis Cota.


    Justin Huber is heading to Florida tomorrow to join up with his mates on the Australian WBC team.

    9 Comments:

    At 3/02/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Awesome pics! I've never been to spring training, but you have me feeling like I'm there right with you! Thanks.

     
    At 3/02/2006 1:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great coverage.

    While you've got one of the major Kansas City baseball stories of the week completely covered, I thought I'd direct readers to an interesting debate on the other -- Buck O'Neil's exclusion from the Hall of Fame. Joe Posnaski, who I usually like, has weighed in several times (particularly toward the end), as has Rob Neyer, who I usually don't. I side with Posnaski.

    Not sure how to include links. Hope this works:

    http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/newsstand/discussion/36653/P0/

    (if you highlight it and copy it, your computer should grab the whole thing)

     
    At 3/02/2006 2:16 PM, Blogger Max said...

    Great stuff.

    Ambres is RF and Costa in LF? Seems like they should be flipped. Ambres seems better suited for LF and Costa in RF.

     
    At 3/02/2006 8:06 PM, Anonymous greg slaten said...

    It looks like Gordon has a little leaguer's glove on his hand! I thought only middle infielders used small gloves, that way they can turn the double play and get rid of the ball more quickly.

     
    At 3/03/2006 2:41 PM, Blogger Jeremiah said...

    Nice work as usual

     
    At 3/03/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger royalsbeliever said...

    Man someone should be paying you get this guy some money and keep him in Arizona!!!

     
    At 3/03/2006 7:06 PM, Blogger COroyal said...

    Cota looks bigger than I had imagined. Will be interesting to see how he progresses this year.

    Is he destined for HD?

     
    At 3/03/2006 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Man, look at Kaegs leering in the background.
    That guy looks like a bloodhound, or something. It's like he's concentrating as hard as he can to keep his face from melting.

    Great photos.

    -sumajestad

     
    At 3/04/2006 11:34 AM, Anonymous Brooke said...

    man, I need your camera, considering I was standing next to yall, and my pictures arent nearly that close, lol

    Good job

    Hoping to go to the game today

    ~Brooke

     

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