Fans will have to wait for new hurlers' spring debuts
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals fans will have to wait a while before they see their new starting pitchers in Cactus League games.
Manager Ned Yost said left-hander Will Smith and right-handers Guillermo Moscoso and Luis Mendoza will be the starting pitchers, in that order, in the first three games -- all against the Texas Rangers.
"But we will not have [James] Shields, [Wade] Davis, [Ervin] Santana, [Jeremy] Guthrie throwing those, because with the length of Spring Training, our starters won't pitch in the first four or five games," Yost said. "The first one, I think, would be like Wade Davis on the fifth day. And then we start incorporating them in. The first five or six days we're going to go with our younger guys in these games."
Yost plans to have intrasquad games next Tuesday and Wednesday and a regular workout on Thursday, followed by Friday's Cactus League opener.
"It's cool to start off Spring Training and be the first guy to throw," Smith said. "But it's just a normal game. Just like if I was throwing the seventh game of Spring Training. So just get my two innings of work in, try to locate the ball down like I've been working on the whole offseason and get things rolling."
Smith, who started 16 games for the Royals as a rookie last year (6-9, 5.32 ERA), is among several pitchers vying for the fifth spot in the rotation.
"There's a lot of competition, but I think it helps everybody out," Smith said. "Whether you're a starter or in the bullpen, if you can help your team win, then you're doing the job. But having all these guys in here that are starters, it brings everybody up a notch because you want to be that much better. It raises everybody's game."