Roy­als’ Keller gives up 8 in start against Rockies

The Kansas City Star - - Sports - BY LYNN WOR­THY lwor­[email protected]­star.com

The spring train­ing sta­tis­tics don’t count against you dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, and Kansas City Roy­als pitcher Brad Keller was surely thank­ful for that on Thurs­day.

Keller, last year’s open­ing­day starter, gave up eight runs on one walk and seven hits, in­clud­ing a three­run home run to left-cen­ter field by Colorado Rockies star Nolan Are­nado on the last at-bat of Keller’s out­ing. The Roy­als fell 9-1 to the Rockies at Salt River Field at Talk­ing Stick.

Keller left with two outs and two men on af­ter hav­ing sur­ren­dered seven runs in the sec­ond in­ning. Keller struck out three bat­ters in 1 2/3 in­nings.

“Re­sults-wise, not great” Keller said. “I bat­tled out there. It was just a spring-train­ing out­ing, just try­ing to get my work in. I think that’s why I was out there so long in the sec­ond in­ning. I got some weak con­tact there in the sec­ond, they fell for hits, and then I fell be­hind some

guys. I ended up giv­ing up a blast right there, 2-0 fast­ball that I didn’t get to where I wanted it to be.”

He faced nine bat­ters in the sec­ond in­ning and pitch­ing coach Cal El­dred paid a visit to the mound af­ter the fifth bat­ter.

The one run Keller al­lowed in the first in­ning came af­ter the Roy­als’ Alex Gor­don made a div­ing at­tempt but couldn’t hold onto a ball hit by Raimel Tapia. Tapia got a dou­ble out of it, ad­vanced on a wild pitch and scored on a Trevor Story sac­ri­fice fly.

Keller, who last pitched in an in­trasquad “B” game on March 1, threw 46 pitches (29 strikes) on Thurs­day against the Rockies.

“With the off-day right on my side day, it kind of pushed my side (ses­sion) back a lit­tle bit,” Keller said. “It wasn’t the same five-day rou­tine, but that’s no ex­cuse. I just didn’t re­ally have my best stuff to­day. That was about it.”

MONDESI STILL WAIT­ING

Short­stop Adal­berto Mondesi still hasn’t played in a Cac­tus League game, though he has par­tic­i­pated in sim­u­lated and in­trasquad squad games in Ari­zona. There was some op­ti­mism he might get into a game this week, but tight­ness in his sur­gi­cal­lyre­paired shoul­der has caused the Roy­als to take it slow with Mondesi’s pro­gres­sion.

Mondesi said he thought he might be able to play in a game next week.

Roy­als man­ager Mike Ma­theny said he didn’t have a min­i­mum num­ber of games Mondesi needed to play be­fore the sea­son, nor was he aware of any min­i­mum re­quired by the train­ing staff. Ma­theny also said there were no set­backs.

Mondesi may still be ready to play on open­ing day for the Roy­als.

“I’d like to see him in there real soon,” Ma­theny said. “That’s a big piece, but it’s one of those deals you just don’t push. It’s been pro­gress­ing nicely, so if there’s any­thing that says tight or doesn’t feel right, then let’s fol­low the plan.”

Mondesi will see the doc­tor again to make sure any­thing he’s feel­ing is con­sis­tent with his re­hab and pro­gres­sion.

YOUNG GUNS

Roy­als pitch­ing prospects Brady Singer, Jack­son Kowar and Daniel Lynch will all pitch on Fri­day.

Lynch will start a split­squad game against the Angels in Sur­prise, and Kowar is also ex­pected to pitch in that game along with Trevor Rosen­thal, Josh Stau­mont, Greg Hol­land, Braden Ship­ley, Kyle Zim­mer, Ofreidy Gomez and Con­ner Greene.

Singer will start a split­squad game against the

Angels in Tempe. Jorge Lopez, Jesse Hahn, Kevin McCarthy, Chance Adams, Randy Rosario, An­dres Machado, Jake New­berry and Richard Love­lady are also sched­uled to pitch in that game.

Brad Keller

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