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Opponent Preview: Kansas City Royals

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Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Now that the Twins got through their series with the sad-sack Cleveland squad, let’s take a look at our next opponents: the 1st-place Kansas City Royals.

While my introductory statement was clearly in jest, the Royals are indeed tied for 1st place in the AL Central. They are coming off a three-game series with the sadder-sack Chicago White Sox, and are 2-1. The Twins will be making a quick stop in Kansas City for two contests at the beginning of their first road trip of the season.

The Royals are in the midst of a rebuild, coming off a 104-loss season (and maybe headed toward another). Furthermore, they traded away their 2nd-best player, Mike Moustakas, in July of last year. Their best player, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez, was lost to Tommy John surgery this spring, and he will miss the whole year. They offset these losses by adding journeyman catcher Martin Maldonado and speedy (but that’s about all) outfielder Billy Hamilton. One player to keep an eye on, though, is speedy second baseman Whit Merrifield. He is a slick defender and no slouch at the plate.

Their pitching staff is similarly in flux, as top starter Danny Duffy will be out until the end of April. The four-man rotation they are rolling with right now is largely unproven, and their bullpen (after losing Kelvin Herrera to free agency) is nothing to write home about either.

Without further ado, here is the roster:

KC Roster

Position Name
Position Name
SP Jorge Lopez
SP Jake Junis
SP Brad Keller
SP Scott Barlow
RP Wily Peralta
RP Brad Boxberger
RP Jake Diekman
RP Chris Ellis
RP Tim Hill
RP Ian Kennedy
RP Kevin McCarthy
RP Kyle Zimmer
C Cam Gallagher
C Martin Maldonado
1B Ryan O'Hearn
1B/DH Lucas Duda
2B/RF Whit Merrifield
SS Adalberto Mondesi
3B Hunter Dozier
INF Frank Schwindel
INF Chris Owings
RF/DH Jorge Soler
CF Billy Hamilton
LF Alex Gordon
OF Terrence Gore

All in all, I think the Twins should be able to build on their strong first series. Cleveland’s lineup was very unimpressive, but don’t take too much credit away from the strong pitching performances that were put out. Kansas City’s lineup is no more impressive than Cleveland’s, and their pitching is certainly worse. Jose Berrios is taking the mound in game one, and if he picks up where he left off on Opening Day, the Twins will be able to grab an early lead in the division.

Pitching Matchups

Tuesday, April 2nd, 7:15 PM CDT

Jose Berrios vs. Brad Keller

Wednesday, April 3rd, 12:15 PM CDT

Kyle Gibson vs. TBD

Poll

How many games will the Twins take from the Royals?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    0. Still a huge pessimist.
    (30 votes)
  • 17%
    1
    (106 votes)
  • 77%
    2. Division title, here we come!
    (467 votes)
603 votes total Vote Now