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 Wed, 3/28
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 28 2012 7:34PM
Not once during camp did I feel like I had a good sense as to what direction the Royals were headed when it came to the last two spots in the rotation. After Mike Montgomery was eliminated rather early in the competition, it came down to Felipe Paulino, Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy for those two spots. Mendoza needed to have a great spring to have a shot at the rotation, and he has. Duffy has shown flashes of brilliance and looks better than he did last season, but has been inconsistent throughout camp. Paulino’s looked good at times and struggled with his command at times. Of the three candidates, Mendoza seemed to be the best fit for long relief, but his success starting would making it tough for the Royals to put him in the ‘pen. Meanwhile, Paulino’s one stint as a reliever, with Colorado last year, was a disaster, so moving him to the ‘pen could also be a bad idea.
Today, the Royals announced that Luis Mendoza and Danny Duffy would be their fourth and fifth starters, respectively, with Felipe Paulino going on the disabled list with a forearm strain that manager Ned Yost said affected his command. While he wouldn’t come out and say it, Yost seemed to indicate that, had Paulino been healthy, he would’ve been in the rotation and Mendoza would’ve been the long man; that could still happen once Paulino comes back in a couple of weeks, especially if Mendoza doesn’t pitch well in his first two starts. As recently as yesterday, I thought there was a good chance Duffy could start the year with Omaha, but the Royals seem to feel he’s made the adjustments he’s needed to make to be more consistent at the Major League level. Also, Paulino’s injury increases the chance that Everett Teaford begins the year as the Royals long man out of the bullpen, a ‘pen that figures to have two other lefthanders in Jose Mijares and Tim Collins.
The next few days loom large for Louis Coleman, Jeremy Jeffress and Kelvin Herrera, who are competing for that final bullpen spot. Greg Holland, Jonathan Broxton, Jose Mijares and Aaron Crow are locks and Collins and Teaford seem to be safe bets to make the ‘pen as well.