A Sunny Surprise, in Sunny Surprise!

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As if that title wasn’t enough to get you excited, the start that some old friends have had in camp should be.  Earlier this Winter two big names re-joined the team as non-roster invitees.  The pride of Gardner, KS. Bubba Starling was released from the 40 man roster last fall in an effort to free up space for some of the up and coming players. 

Essentially cutting bait with what, for all intents and purposes, seemed to be a failed draft pick.  Another can’t miss draftee was Kyle Zimmer.  After numerous injuries and setbacks, the Royals also released him from his contract after his six years of service time in the minor leagues had come to an end.  In order for these two to rejoin the squad they were both invited as non-rostered individuals to camp. 

Both players have had rather promising starts to their Springs.  Bubba Starling has been on fire to start things off going 5-6 with two homers, a double, and four RBI’s.  His knock has always been his offense, and with a new compact swing to start the 2019 exhibition season off, things are trending up. An .857 batting average with a slugg. of 1.875 is probably a bit more than what we should expect.  However, it is a ray of sunshine on a town covered in ICE yet again. 

Kyle Zimmer also had a nice start to his camp with an inning and two-thirds yesterday.  He gave up one hit, and seemed to be throwing comfortably.  Reports from camp were that he didn’t quite have his touch on the curve ball, but after major arm surgery, and pitching off an indoor mound for most of his rehab, it is natural to be working on finding your grip and touch again. 

Zimmer has the higher likelihood of making the squad this season, as a reliever, and this would create a bit of a return on his draft stock.  After the injuries he has faced and the let down he seemingly was, anything at the major league level is now a victory. 

The Royals themselves are also off to a hot start this Winter, and hitting coach Terry Bradshaw has to be happy about that.  Through four games the thin Arizona air has helped the Royals hit 10 homeruns.  One of which was off the bat of Jecksson Flores. 

Flores hit a ball off the top of the wall and completed the most exciting play in baseball in the process.  Inside the park homeruns are definitely not the most common thing, but are widely seen as the most exciting thing in baseball.  Just ask a Yoneis Cespedes and the Mets. 

The Royals are off to a 3-2 start having scored a total of 31 runs in those 5 games.  While hitting and runs are always inflated in the Cactus League it does give us some optimism in a place that could sure use it.  Speaking of I hear it is going to be back below zero on Monday with a chance of multiple inches of snow….Super.

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Author: Walker

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