The Kansas City Royals lost Wednesday afternoon and will look to get back to winning ways on Thursday.
In Surprise, AZ, the Royals lost 9-5 to the visiting San Francisco Giants. Starting pitcher Carlos Hernandez, one of the Royals’ brightest young talents a year ago, struggled a lot and ended up giving up six runs in the second inning. The trio of Kyle Isbel, Edward Olivares and Salvador Perez did their best to keep Kansas City in the game but in the end the damage was already done and the Giants took the win as the Royals fell to 7-4 -1 in spring. training.
On Thursday, the Royals are in Mesa, AZ, to take on the hosting Oakland Athletics at Hohokam Stadium. It’s been a tough spring for the A’s, as they are 3-8-1 in their game against the Royals. Brady Singer, Scott Barlow and Josh Staumont are listed as Thursday’s likely pitchers, with Jonathan Heasley, Angel Zerpa, Collin Snider and Taylor Clarke being on deck as likely on Friday when Kansas City takes on San Diego.
Here’s how the Royals will line up in this afternoon’s game:
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Kansas City: LHP Kris Bubic (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
Oakland: RHP Daulton Jefferies (0-1, 11.12 ERA)
Kansas City Royals starting lineup
- Kyle Isbel (G) – LF
- Bobby Witt Jr. (R) – 3B
- Ryan O’Hearn (L) – DH
- Edward Olivares (R) – RF
- Vinnie Pasquantino (L) – 1B
- Adalberto Mondesi (S) – SS
- JaCoby Jones (R) – CF
- Clay Dungan (L) – 2B
- Cam Gallagher (D) – C
Kris Bubic, new slider looking to continue his momentum
In his Cactus League debut last Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, left-hander Kris Bubic showed off a new pitch. In two impeccable relief runs, the 24-year-old launched some cursors during its release. Developing another offer has been a focus point for Bubic for some time now and over the offseason it looks like he’s improved it enough to launch it in games. It’s a significant boost if the ground stays in his arsenal – even if he’s not one of the three favorites.
Bubic plans to be a major part of the Royals’ pitching staff in 2022, whether out of the bullpen or in the starting rotation. He split time between the two last season, performing well enough in relief to earn promotion in the rotation. Towards the end of the 2021 campaign, Bubic really started to settle down and figure things out. In September, he went 4-2 with a 2.20 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 32-2/3 innings of work. Bubic is looking to build on that success in spring training, and adding some new ground to his mix could be the key to opening the door for him.
Can Kyle Isbel stay hot?
Much has been made of how fantastic Edward Olivares has been this spring – and rightly so – but fellow young outfielder Kyle Isbel is also enjoying a whole string of games so far. In 10 games, the southpaw is hitting .286/.400/.810 with a triple, three home runs and nine RBIs to start. 2021 has been a turbulent year for Isbel as he was called up to the MLB club and quickly demoted in the same month. then ended up playing much better baseball to end the year. From September 12 until his last game of the year on October 3 (16 games, 11 starts), Isbel hit .286 with an .886 OPS.
Isbel, the No. 7 ranked prospect for the Royals, could work his way into the club’s plans in the outfield if he keeps it up. This statement also applies to Olivares, although he is older and does not have quite the same pedigree as Isbel. With Andrew Benintendi, Michael A. Taylor, Whit Merrifield and perhaps a few others set to record innings in the outfield at various times throughout the year, it will take some big games for Isbel to stand a fair chance. Lucas Murphy of Inside the Royals recently wrote about Isbel’s journey and how he could take a better turn moving forward.
First pitch: 3:05 p.m. CST
TV: N / A
Radio: Royals.com, MLB.com