Player News - Royals

Date: Team: Pos:

Nathan Karns delivered a stellar outing Wednesday in the Royals’ Cactus League win over the Padres, giving up just four hits over six shutout frames.

He struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone. Karns was razor-blade sharp in this one, retiring the first nine batters he faced before finally yielding a leadoff single to Travis Jankowski in the fourth inning. Cory Spangenberg’s fifth-inning double was the only hit he allowed that went for extra bases. Wednesday’s gem lowered Karns’ spring ERA from 7.36 to 4.76. The right-hander has already been tapped as Kansas City’s fifth starter.
Mar 22 - 8:09 PM

Cheslor Cuthbert led the Royals with two hits Wednesday in their Cactus League win over the Padres.

Facing a barely-there Jered Weaver, Cuthbert ripped a two-run double in the first and later scored on a two-out single by Whit Merrifield. Later he connected on his first home run of the spring with a solo shot to left field in the sixth. Cuthbert became an everyday player after Mike Moustakas went down with a torn ACL last season, but this year he’ll be his backup.
Mar 22 - 8:08 PM

Chris Young has been scratched from his scheduled appearance on Wednesday due to a stiff neck.

It doesn't sound like a major concern. Nate Karns was named as the Royals' fifth starter this week, so Young will begin the year in the bullpen.
Mar 22 - 12:19 PM

Salvador Perez (elbow) will return to Cactus League action as the designated hitter on Wednesday.

As expected. Salvador hyperextended his elbow in a home plate collision during the World Baseball Classic, but he's feeling better now. The plan calls for him to catch around six innings on Friday or Saturday. He'll be fine for the start of the season.
Mar 22 - 12:18 PM

Jorge Soler slugged his first home run of the spring Tuesday in the Royals' Cactus League loss to the Diamondbacks.

It was a fifth-inning solo shot off Diamondbacks starter Robbie Ray. Soler is batting just .140 with a .497 OPS in 53 plate appearances this spring, which won't inspire much confidence that the former Cubs prospect is ready to break out in Kansas City. But one should never read too far into Cactus or Grapefruit League stats.
Mar 21 - 6:53 PM

Jason Vargas yielded two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in his Cactus League start versus the Diamondbacks.

Chris Herrmann hit a solo homer in the second inning and Gregor Blanco smacked an RBI triple in the fifth. It was a decent overall outing for Vargas, who ultimately surrendered just three hits and lowered his spring ERA from 6.00 to 5.40. He's been limited to a grand total of 55 innings over the last two seasons because of Tommy John surgery, but 2017 offers a real chance for a bounceback.
Mar 21 - 6:46 PM

Royals re-assigned RHPs Bobby Parnell and Chris Withrow, INF Garin Cecchini, C Parker Morin and 1B Ryan O'Hearn to minor league camp.

The Royals are lacking in bullpen depth, which tells you how unimpressive Parnell (16.50 ERA) and Withrow (8.31 ERA) were this spring. Parnell hasn't done anything noteworthy in the majors since 2013.
Mar 20 - 8:42 PM

Royals released LHP Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez wasn't going to make the Opening Day roster, and the Royals have given him an early start on finding a new team. The lefty hasn't pitched in the majors since 2013.
Mar 20 - 8:38 PM

Matt Strahm retired just one batter while being charged with six runs in a relief appearance against the Reds on Monday.

Ouch. Strahm gave up six hits in the frame and also threw a wild pitch to plate a run. The Reds ended up scoring eight runs in the inning. Keep in mind that Strahm allowed just four runs (three earned) over 22 innings during his first test in the majors last season. We wouldn’t hold this outing against him. Some clamored for the lefty to get a chance in the rotation this spring, but he’s going to pitch out of the bullpen for now.
Mar 20 - 7:41 PM

Jason Hammel was charged with one run in 5 1/3 innings in Monday’s start against the Reds.

The only run scored on a sacrifice fly in the sixth inning after he was pulled from the ballgame. It was a strong outing, as he allowed just three hits while walking one and striking out five. Hammel settled for a two-year, $16 million contract with the Royals in early February, but he has a chance to be a nice bargain. The veteran right-hander faded during the second half last year, but he still finished with a 3.83 ERA and 144/53 K/BB ratio over 166 2/3 innings.
Mar 20 - 7:41 PM

Royals prospect Ryan O’Hearn went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI in Monday’s loss to the Reds in Cactus League action.

O’Hearn got the Royals on the board first with an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth inning. He later slugged a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth, but the Reds pulled away in the eighth. O’Hearn, 23, batted .275/.351/.478 with 22 homers and 78 RBI over 134 games last season between High-A Wilmington and Double-A Arkansas. His strikeout rate is an issue, but he has emerged as one of the Royals’ better hitting prospects. He’s worth watching as Eric Hosmer goes into his walk year.
Mar 20 - 7:40 PM

Salvador Perez (elbow) is planning to return to Cactus League action as a DH on Wednesday.

Perez suffered a hyperextended elbow March 11 when he was involved in a nasty home-plate collision during a World Baseball Classic game, but he expects to be ready for the opening of the MLB season. Salvy plans to catch his first game since that collision on Friday in Arizona.
Mar 20 - 1:45 PM

Chris Young will open the 2017 regular season in the Royals' bullpen.

Young pitched well as a starter this spring in Cactus League play, but the Royals are giving their final rotation spot to Nate Karns. Young will probably see starts at some point this year. For now he'll work in long relief.
Mar 20 - 12:56 PM

Travis Wood will be in the Royals' bullpen.

Nate Karns was named Kansas City's fifth starter Monday, meaning both Wood and Chris Young are headed to relief roles. Wood signed a two-year, $12 million free agent contract with the Royals in mid-February after shining to a 2.95 ERA in 61 innings last season with the World Series-champion Cubs. He won't carry any fantasy value in the bullpen.
Mar 20 - 12:54 PM

Nate Karns will open the 2017 season as the Royals' fifth starter.

That announcement was made Sunday in camp by Royals manager Ned Yost. Karns hasn't pitched all that well in the Cactus League, but he was the favorite for the No. 5 spot leading into the spring after Kansas City acquired him in an offseason trade for Jarrod Dyson. Karns has some deep mixed and AL-only fantasy appeal.
Mar 20 - 12:51 PM


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