Robert Ford came to 610 Sports Radio in 2009 as the station’s “Royals Insider.” He currently serves as the pre and post game show host for Royals Broadcasts on 610. The Syracuse graduate has been around professional baseball as a reporter and broadcaster for over a decade.
Royals Spring Training Report for Thu, 3/1
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 1 2012 4:19PM
Today was the first of two Royals intrasquad games and the first opportunity to take a look at the Royals players in a semi-competitive situation. The game lasted 6 ½ innings and every pitcher who came in worked exactly one inning. Offensively, it was good to see Alex Gordon continue to hit the ball the other way, with two singles to left. Salvador Perez continues to show tremendous power, driving a ball to deep left-center for a double. Chris Getz, who has a more upright stance, picked up a pair of hits.
The pitcher who opened the most eyes was Tim Collins. He worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth and showed superb command. Manager Ned Yost raved about how well Collins kept the ball down during his appearance. Collins and pitching coach Dave Eiland have been working on some slight mechanical adjustments and they seem to be paying off for Collins early in camp. If Collins throws strikes consistently, he’s going to make the Royals as one of the two lefty relievers.
I also liked the way Jeremy Jeffress threw the ball, especially since he didn’t throw a single curve, sticking to his fastball and changeup, a pitch he barely used during his Major League stint last year. I was impressed with Mike Montgomery’s breaking ball and, after a few pitches up early, I thought he commanded his fastball well down in the zone. Non-roster invitee Tommy Hottovy had a lot of movement on his pitches and continues to look like someone who has a future as a situational lefty, but it’s going to be very difficult for him to make the Royals out of spring training.
The reason Hottovy is going to have trouble making the Royals out of camp is because Jose Mijares was signed this off-season to be the situational lefty. Mijares was a late arrival to camp and, as a result, is a little behind the other pitchers. But, he did throw live batting practice before the Royals’ intrasquad game. Mijares showed a good fastball and solid command, but he seemed to struggle with his breaking-ball command. Eiland – who was standing behind Mijares as he threw – told Mijares he needed to do a better job with his follow through on his breaking ball, and it looked much better after that.