|KANSAS CITY ( SHIELDS )|
CHI WHITE SOX ( SALE )
|917||KANSAS CITY||+135||Ov 7.5,-115||+130||Ov 7.5,+110|
|918||CHI WHITE SOX||-145||Un 7.5,-105||-140||Un 7.5,-130|
|vs Left-handed Starters||24-28||+2.2||19-31||4.0||0.271||0.320||4.3||0.266||0.335|
|Past 7 Games||2-5||-2.8||4-2||3.7||0.232||0.297||6.1||0.309||0.378|
|vs Right-handed Starters||62-53||+4.8||48-62||4.7||0.255||0.314||4.0||0.248||0.309|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1||4-3||4.9||0.266||0.330||3.4||0.193||0.277|
|4/1/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ CHI WHITE SOX||SALE(L)|| |
|4/3/2013|| ||@ CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/4/2013|| ||@ CHI WHITE SOX|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||@ PHILADELPHIA|| || |
|4/8/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|4/1/2013||SALE(L)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|4/3/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/4/2013|| ||KANSAS CITY|| || |
|4/5/2013|| ||SEATTLE|| || |
|4/6/2013|| ||SEATTLE|| || |
|4/7/2013|| ||SEATTLE|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|CHI WHITE SOX: HITTING: The departure of Juan Pierre opens things up for SS ALEXEI RAMIREZ to hit leadoff. 2B GORDON BECKHAM will get a fresh start, but his leash is shortening. 1B PAUL KONERKO faded last year. He's potential trade bait for the rebuilding Sox. Did DH ADAM DUNN need a year to adjust to A.L. pitching and DHing? With his contract, the Sox will have to find out. OF ALEJANDRO DE AZA's late-season surge probably wasn't for real, but it was enough to get him the inside track on a starting job with Carlos Quentin having been dealt to the Padres on New Year's Eve. OF ALEX RIOS has bounced back before, but at his age the odds are longer now. The organization believes in OF DAYAN VICIEDO. His improving approach and power fit well in U.S. Cellular, but he could platoon with KOSUKE FUKUDOME in left field. C A.J. PIERZYNSKI has motivation for one more solid season as free agency looms. 3B BRENT MOREL is good glove, but has a limited stick. OF/1B BRENT LILLIBRIDGE has an improving bat and can play just about anywhere. |
STARTING PITCHING: JOHN DANKS doesn't look like a true No. 1 starter, but he keeps consistently throwing strikes and has some swing-and-miss stuff. Maybe it's because he's fallen short of his once-elite prospect status, but GAVIN FLOYD seems to get no respect as a quality middle-of-the-rotation arm. He was especially good after adding a cutter/slider-type pitch last year. JAKE PEAVY isn't going to win another Cy Young, but unlike last year, his shoulder should be close to 100 percent. The big question will again be whether, as a flyball pitcher, he can keep the ball in the park at cozy U.S. Cellular. PHILIP HUMBER was a nice surprise in 2011, but don't be fooled. It wasn't a former top prospect finally figuring it out. It was a back-of-the-rotation arm getting some good breaks. CHRIS SALE will make the move to the rotation. He'll likely be on some pitch counts, but this is an exciting development. With his stuff (he already has a solid changeup to go with his fastball/slider combo) he has monster upside.
RELIEF PITCHING: With closer Sergio Santos shipped off to Toronto, youngster ADDISON REED figures to be the top candidate to close games. Any young closer is a risk, but Reed's fastball/slider combo has been dominant over two pro seasons. Lefty MATT THORNTON might have blown his chance to claim the closer role last year. He had regained his form as a top set-up man late in the year, but if Reed falters he might be no more than a committee guy. JESSE CRAIN chased strikeouts more aggressively last year, but he also issued more walks. He may miss the first couple weeks of the season with an oblique injury.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-CHI WHITE SOX) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
(With AP Photos.)
*Royals-White Sox Preview* ==========================
By ANDREW SELIGMAN AP Sports Writer
Kansas City (0-0) at Chicago (0-0), 4:10 p.m. EDT
CHICAGO (AP) -- As the Kansas City Royals added to their roster during the offseason, Billy Butler was glad the team embraced the task at hand instead of eyeing the future.
The Royals are in a win-now mode and believe they are poised to make a big jump in the AL Central starting with Monday's opener against the Chicago White Sox.
"There's no reason we shouldn't be better," Butler said Sunday. "How much better that is? I'm not a mind reader. I'm not a projector. ... Our talent's higher than it's ever been since I've been here."
After going 72-90 for their 17th losing season in 18 years, they believe they're ready to become a winner.
"We're still young, we're still growing," manager Ned Yost said. "We're going to have ups and we're going to have downs, but I think we're in a much better position to be successful this year just because of the maturity factor."
While the Royals made some big moves, including a trade with Tampa Bay for ace James Shields, the White Sox largely kept their roster intact. Even so, they believe they have enough to challenge Detroit for the AL Central title.
They led the division for 117 days last season before a 2-10 slide in late September dropped them to 85-77, three games behind Detroit.
Chicago's biggest offseason moves were re-signing pitcher Jake Peavy before he could become a free agent and giving a five-year deal to Chris Sale - the opening-night starter - after a 17-win season. The White Sox also shuffled their front office, promoting Rick Hahn to general manager and Ken Williams to executive vice president, and let catcher A.J. Pierzynski sign with Texas.
As for splashy additions? They left that to the rest of the division.
"I'll drop the Florida Gulf Coast here," Sale said, referring to his alma mater's run to the regional semifinals in the NCAA tournament. "Nobody expected them to win anything. They didn't have a big bandwagon or fan base to start with. If you believe in yourselves, that can take you a long way. We all believe in ourselves and in each other. We're going to get this thing going - and get it going right away."
Where it'll end is difficult to predict.
"We have a solid team," Gordon Beckham said. "It's six months away from when we'll know if we're going to the playoffs or not. Do we have a chance? Yeah. But I think 30 teams have a chance."
Kansas City appears to have improved. The Royals re-signed Jeremy Guthrie after he dazzled in a short stint with them last season, and they acquired Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels. The deal for Shields cost them top prospect Wil Myers.
"That's the first time we've ever made a move to help out the big league team," Butler said. "Usually, we're stocking the system. Our big league team's gotten to the point where we needed to make a move to help out the big league team because we have talent and we needed to trade some prospects for major league. It doesn't get more exciting than that."
|Last Updated: 9/2/2014 3:57:58 PM EST|