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Royals starters facing early 100-pitch count

DETROIT -- Don't expect Royals starting pitchers to go much above 100 pitches, if that many, early in the season.

"The first three or four starts, once they get to the 100-pitch mark, they're about done," manager Ned Yost said. "Once we get into it, you extend 'em out to about 115. I'll probably never go much over 125.

"I start to get -- I don't know if nervous is the right word -- but I start to get very cautious once you get to 115, 125, depending on how they're doing. But the first three or four starts when they get between that 100 and 105 mark -- bam!"

That said, keep in mind that Yost is going with 11 pitchers and just six relievers instead of the seven he'd planned on to start the season, so he'll get as much as he reasonably can from his starters.

"You're going with an 11-man staff so you're going to try to milk everything you can out of your starters, but we'll just play it by ear and see where we go," he said.

In Monday's opening 4-3 loss to the Tigers, Yost pulled starter James Shields in the seventh inning after 105 pitches.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for
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