Starling keeping momentum going during layoff

April 24th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- Royals outfielder was in a precarious spot this spring trying to make the Royals’ 26-man roster.

Starling, like fellow outfielder Brett Phillips, is out of options. So, it possibly could have come down to Starling or Phillips for the Opening Day roster.

But the MLB pause created by the coronavirus pandemic has put baseball on hold. And there has been much talk about an expanded roster for teams when and if play resumes.

Starling participated in a Zoom call on Friday and spoke about his future. He had an excellent chance to make the roster regardless this spring, hitting .367 with three home runs and three doubles in the Cactus League.

“I think it can be beneficial for me,” Starling said. “When we do start games, I can just keep rolling from what I was doing in Spring Training. It hasn’t stopped for me since then, I’ve been working out three or four times a week and still getting my hitting in. I’m still trying to stay focused even with all the stuff with virus going down.

“But [expanded rosters] will be beneficial to me and some of the other guys trying to make the roster, and show what they can do.”

Starling, who had a scholarship to attend Nebraska as a quarterback before the Royals drafted him in 2011, said he was excited to watch the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

“I did watch it,” Starling said. “It was awesome. Having no sports on TV, and to finally have that. Our family usually doesn’t’ do stuff like that, but it became a big deal because there was something going on, so we got together. It was fun to see. It was really cool to see one of the local guys in [Isaiah] Simmons [from Olathe, Kan.] to get drafted so high. That was cool.”