What I'm Looking For in Spring Training

Feb 17, 2012 -- 11:11pm

    By Steven St. John

      While at spring trainign this week, here are a few things I’ll be watching for (focusing on the pitching staff) while I’m in Surprise with the Royals.

 

  • How is Aaron Crow progressing in his transition back to a starting pitcher? Crow was impressive last season as a reliever, but struggled in the minors as a starter. He clearly has top-shelf talent, but can he put it all together in time to make a real run at the Royals rotation?
     
  • Is free-agent acquisition Jonathan Broxton in shape? Broxton has been criticized in the past for being overweight with the Dodgers. How will he look in Royals camp? If Crow remains a starter, Broxton will be a huge key for Kansas City’s bullpen. If Broxton can revert to his form of pre-2010, the Royals bullpen will be fantastic, with or without Crow.
     
  • Did the Royals acquire the Jonathan Sanchez of 2010 or 2011? Sanchez possesses electric stuff, but he doesn’t always know where it’s going. The Royals traded a very productive Melky Cabrera for Sanchez, hoping that the former Giants lefty can put it all together in Kansas City. If he can, the Royals rotation will take a huge step forward.
     
  • Can Danny Duffy and/or Mike Montgomery begin to establish themselves as future aces? Duffy struggled last season in the majors and Montgomery struggled at Triple-A. Both are wildly talented, but the Royals have had little luck in developing starting pitchers under Dayton Moore’s watch. These two can ease a lot of fears with solid spring performances.
     
  • Will Salvador Perez continue his evolution into a front-line catcher? Perez looks like he can hit and he has a cannon for an arm. However, it will be fascinating to watch whether the soon to be 22-year-old can take full command of this pitching staff. Kansas City fans have longed for a franchise catcher and Perez looks like he’s the guy the Royals have been waiting for.

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