Series Preview in Blog: Kansas City Royals

The Twins host the KC Royals for three games this weekend. The Royals are currently in first place in the Central, one game ahead of the fourth-place Twins (in other words, nobody really distinguished themselves in the first month in this division). The Royals are starting off this road trip in Minnesota after taking 3 of 4 from Toronto (whatever, it’s not like it’s hard to beat Toronto or anything, the Twins totally beat them… once). Thus far Kansas City is 4-2 on the road, while the Twins are 8-6 at home.

One of the big stories for this series is the return of Joe Mauer for the Twins.  In other injury news, apparently Joakim Soriah has an injured shoulder.  First of all, this could explain some of manger Trey Hillman’s questionable bullpen decisions (which are well-documented).  Secondly, it appears the Royals were at least carefully controlling how and when information about the injury came out.  This reminded me, albeit to a lesser extent, of the way the NHL injury reports are handled.  In the NHL, the teams only say that a player has “an upper body injury” which could be anything from a minor contusion to a concussion that keeps a player out for 2 weeks or more.  It’s terribly frustrating as a fan to have absolutely no idea what is going on with a team’s players.  I hope this isn’t the beginning of a trend of gamesmanship with injuries in Major League Baseball, which doesn’t have the same excuse of hockey and football (opposing players could target the injury if they knew exactly what it was).

For the Royals the early going of this season has been about Zack Greinke (here’s some interesting stats on his scorching start).  Another topic is the new free agents – of course Farnsworth has been shakey in the bullpen, but there’s also Willie Bloomquist, who may have been the unwitting beneficiary of a case of mistaken identity when signed by the KC front office.  The jury is still out on this year’s free agent signings, but so far it seems like Farnsworth is destined for a spot on this list.  Meanwhile, if Gil Meche continues to pitch well for a couple of years, his contract will dwarf any of the others on the best-of free agents list (only 2 of the 10 involve more than $8M)

I’ll be moving to Kansas this summer (probably in July sometime). So I’m looking forward to taking in some games at Kauffman Stadium in KC (only about 40 minutes away). Apparently the recent renovation of the stadium included the concession stands, so I will have to make a point of checking out all that good food and reporting back.

Lastly, apparently the answer to ‘When will Billy Butler hit?‘ is ‘soon’.  Since that post was written, Butler has gone 6 for 8 with 2 HR, 2 2B, and a walk.  There’s some effective blogging for you.

PROBABLE PITCHERS–

Slowey v. S. Ponson

Perkins v. B. Bannister

Baker v. G. Meche

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