Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

Royals News

Notes: Rosenthal impresses; Perez begins comeback

@FlannyMLB
February 21, 2020

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal's spring debut with the Royals really couldn’t have gone much better. Rosenthal, on a Minor League deal, but certainly firmly in the running for a bullpen spot, tossed an easy 1-2-3 inning Friday in the Royals’ 5-4 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Trevor Rosenthal's spring debut with the Royals really couldn’t have gone much better.

Rosenthal, on a Minor League deal, but certainly firmly in the running for a bullpen spot, tossed an easy 1-2-3 inning Friday in the Royals’ 5-4 loss to the Rangers at Surprise Stadium.

Rosenthal struck out two hitters and his four-seam fastball sat at 98-99 mph.

“Not bad, first time out there,” Rosenthal said, smiling. “I was happy with everything. I wouldn’t change anything today.”

The ball appeared to come out of Rosenthal’s hand free and easy.

“I’ve put in a lot of work in the offseason, just trying to get my confidence up,” Rosenthal said. “I feel really happy where it’s at.”

Rosenthal started his offseason pitching program earlier than most years, this time in October.

“I definitely feel ready,” he said. “Coming off last year where I came into camp a little behind, I thought I should get going earlier. Combine that with my situation, trying to earn a spot with the team, it made sense to start a little earlier. I wanted to make sure I was ready to go.”

Rosenthal even shattered a bat on a 90-mph changeup.

Salvy is back

Royals catcher Salvador Perez played in just one game last Spring Training before requiring Tommy John surgery that ended his season.

Perez was back in the lineup as the DH. He walked and flied out.

But Perez was all smiles afterward.

“I feel like this was the seventh game of the World Series,” Perez said. “I was excited. This was a long year for me.”

The plan is to DH Perez early in camp before resuming some catching duties in March.

Jorge López sharp

Right-hander Jorge López, who is out of options and is a virtual lock for a spot in the bullpen, wasn’t especially sharp early, but he threw two scoreless innings, striking out one.

“I started that first inning a little shaky, getting behind the hitters,” he said. “Maybe too much excited. But after that it was good to be back again, making pitches. It felt good.”

López got five ground balls.

“All the ground balls I got were two-seamers and they really dipped down,” he said. “It wasn't going [horizontally], it was dipping down.”

López got the strikeout on a two-seamer looking.

“That's the big two-seamer I had last year,” he said.

Pumped up

Right-hander Josh Staumont is one of many candidates trying to win a spot in the bullpen, and he had a great showing Friday, striking out the side. At one point, he hit 102 mph on the radar gun.

“When my ball isn’t cutting or anything,” he said, “that’s when my velo goes up a bit. Felt good today.”

Did manager Mike Matheny notice the velo?

“It was kind of hard not to,” Matheny said, smiling.

Up next

The Royals will travel to Tempe on Saturday to play the Angels at 2:10 p.m. CT. Right-hander Scott Blewett is scheduled to start and will go two innings or 30-35 pitches. Right-hander Brady Singer, the Royals' No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, will pitch after that, followed by right-handers Kyle Zimmer, Glenn Sparkman and Kevin McCarthy.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.