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, 3/7
by Robert Ford,posted Mar 7 2012 6:49PM
Defense was an issue early in the Royals’ spring training game against the Cubs in Surprise, with Mike Moustakas playing a part. In the first inning, the third baseman committed a fielding error and a throwing error – the latter happening after Jeff Francoeur’s throw from rightfield short-hopped past Moustakas. In the second, Moustakas almost committed his third error of the game, taking a groundball off his chest before just barely throwing the runner out at first base. He did rebound nicely though, making some nice plays coming in on grounders later in the game. Moustakas struggled defensively in camp last year, but did a nice job at third during the season. There have been questions about whether Moustakas would stick at third base his entire professional career. However, I think Moustakas will be at least adequate defensively at third; he has plenty of arm for the position, he seems to have the work ethic and desire when it comes to his defense and he’s slimmed down the last couple of years, which should improve his agility. Nevertheless, how Moustakas does at third is worth watching, especially since this will be his first full Major League season at the position.
Jeff Francoeur also committed an error in the Cubs’ four-run first, the only inning Jonathan Sanchez pitched in his Royals spring debut. From what I’ve seen of Sanchez during his time with the Giants and in live batting practice earlier in camp, he has electric stuff and all of his pitches move. Sanchez has always walked a lot of hitters and run deep pitch counts because he’s struggled to fully harness his stuff. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Sanchez this spring, but I get the sense he’s one of those pitchers who will always run a deep pitch count, even when he’s pitching well. Of the 31 pitches Sanchez threw today, 21 of them were strikes, which is encouraging, even in a rough outing. The Royals have been taking it slow with Sanchez, whose 2011 season ended a month and a half early because of an ankle injury, so he’s a little behind the other starting pitchers, but not by much. Sanchez’s command should get better in his subsequent spring outings but, again, he’s a pitcher for whom command may always be a bit of an issue.