SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As far as first impressions go, Royals right-hander Burch Smith made a pretty good one.Smith, a Rule 5 acquisition trying to find a spot in the bullpen, threw two hitless innings, giving up one unearned run, in the Royals' 8-4 win over the Dodgers in their Cactus
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- As far as first impressions go, Royals right-hander Burch Smith made a pretty good one.
Smith, a Rule 5 acquisition trying to find a spot in the bullpen, threw two hitless innings, giving up one unearned run, in the Royals' 8-4 win over the Dodgers in their Cactus League opener Saturday at Surprise Stadium.
Smith walked one and struck out two.
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"I was just trying to go out and throw first-pitch strikes and stay ahead of hitters," Smith said, smiling. "Felt good."
Royals manager Ned Yost was impressed with that approach.
"I think he threw first-pitch strikes to every hitter but two," Yost said. "You want to see that."
Smith, formerly with San Diego and Tampa Bay, admits he was a bit pumped up when he entered in the fourth inning. He last pitched in the big leagues in 2013.
"Absolutely. I hadn't faced big league hitters in four years," said Smith, 27. "So I was definitely nose through the roof and excited to get back at it."
Smith's fastball hit 94-98 mph.
"Really just tried to command the fastball and work around the plate today," he said.
Mondi goes yard
Last spring, Raul Mondesi shocked many observers and made the 25-man roster out of camp. His odds seem long again this spring, but he got off to a solid start on Saturday by belting a home run in the sixth inning in his first at-bat of the spring.
Right-hander Jesse Hahn got the start and went 1 2/3 innings, giving up two hits, two walks and two runs while striking out two. His fastball early on hit 96-97 mph. He threw 41 pitches.
"Still getting a feel for everything," he said. "Still going to take some more innings and more sides. You really can't mimic anything out here to face guys in a game.
"My velo was kind of where it's been at the last couple of years. I was rushing some pitches that's why I was up in the zone. Results really aren't what I wanted. Obviously, I want to clean up my command."
The Royals announced they signed pitchers Miguel Almonte, Trevor Oaks and Eric Skoglund; catcher Cam Gallagher; infielders Cheslor Cuthbert, Mondesi and Ramon Torres; and outfielders Jorge Bonifacio, Billy Burns, Paulo Orlando and Bubba Starling.
Everyone on the 40-man roster now is signed.
The Royals will get their first look at right-hander Trevor Oaks in game action as they travel to Mesa to take on the A's in a 2:05 p.m. CT start on Sunday. Oaks was acquired from the Dodgers in the Scott Alexander trade. The Royals also are expected to pitch right-hander Heath Fillmyer.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.