2013 Spring Training Game #21: Royals 5, Indians 3
McAllister, Bauer both struggle in loss
Carrera - RF (Carson)
Cabrera - SS (Lindor)
Kipnis - 2B (Wolters)
Chisenhall - 3B (Hernandez)
Giambi - DH (Phelps)
Raburn - LF (Naquin - CF)
Abraham - 1B (Gomes - PH in 9th, did not take field)
Santos - C (Jeroloman)
Hunter - CF (Moncrief - LF)
McAllister - 3.1 IP
Langwell - 1.2 IP
Bauer - 4 IP
Let's start with the pitching. It's hard not to be somewhat concerned with what happened on the Goodyear Ballpark mound on Thursday, especially in regards to big club fourth starter Zach McAllister.
The first inning was solid and uneventful (perfect but for a walk to Royals first baseman Billy Butler; however, the rest of McAllister's outing was a far different story. The second may seem like a minor blip (1 run on 2 hits), but was in fact a mess that required a 6-4-3 double play to get out of. While McAllister was able to escape the third unscathed, no thanks to a botched 5-4 force play (the error was charged to Kipnis, but the whole thing seemed like a Keystone Cops routine), he did lead off the inning by hitting Royals left fielder Alex Gordon with a pitch.
The signs of trouble had been bubbling under the surface the three innings before, but they came out in a full-force eruption in the fourth: A called strikeout of Royals right fielder Jeff Francoeur followed by a 2 run, 3 hit disaster that led to McAllister's removal in favor of likely Clipper middle reliever Matt Langwell, who got two straight outs to end the inning. The only good thing about McAllister's effort is that such outings are not uncommon in a pitcher's first outing after officially being named to the rotation. Let us hope that is all that this was (as I suspect to be the case).
On to Trevor "The Intellectual Assassin" Bauer, who pitched the final four innings for the Indians. While only one of his innings was particularly ugly, it was disquieting in regard to his near term (read: 2013) potential as a major league starter as he surrendered 2 runs on 3 hits in the eighth to a group of batters consisting almost exclusively of minor leaguers. While Bauer obviously has insane raw talent and a high, nigh-limitless ceiling, he also seems like a guy whose arm and head could both benefit from a full year in Columbus.
On a happier note, there were some solid offensive performances on the day in Goodyear. Lonnie The Chiz continues to mash as he went 2-for-3 with a double and solo homer to increase his spring slash line to .419/.472/.839. Also, reserve right field Matt Carson hit his fourth preseason homer - a solo shot that also netted him his 8th RBI of the spring. It was his lone plate appearance of the game and he continues to impress in his bid to move himself up the list of AAA outfielder options for a potential callup to the Big Club later in the season.
Next up for the Wahoo Tribe is a 4:05 matchup at the Milwaukke Brewers in Maryvale on Saturday, an area that is actually near a west side neighborhood of Phoenix and is not it's own suburban municipality as many wrongly assume. The game will air on 99X (99.1 FM) with no TV or web video broadcast available.
I didn't realize the Royals were 15-2-1 this spring. They're hitting the crap out of the ball. I have a feeling they're going to be a factor in the AL Central this year.
Langwell is unscored on and Francona said he's "opened some eyes."