Royals’ Keller gives up 8 in start against Rockies
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.
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.