(We still don’t like Brad Keller.)
Benches clear in Royals-White Sox after Brad Keller hits Tim Anderson in the 6th inning. pic.twitter.com/u9IhZ56AvP— MLB (@MLB) April 17, 2019
Hey, you know who else was on the field for that kerfuffle? Check out our guy Pedro!
Anyhow, the Sox have won eight of 11 matchups with Keller since then, but the lineup they’re sending out today isn’t their usual look, what with Tim Anderson, Yoán Moncada, and Luis Robert Jr. all out representing their countries.
Oscar Colás to the leadoff spot is sure to raise some eyebrows, as he seems to be working his way into pole position for the Opening Day right-field spot, with nine hits and a walk in 22 trips to the plate so far this spring. Granted, eight of those nine hits were singles, but he’s put together some good at-bats against MLB pitchers to this point. The same is true for Andrew Vaughn, who doesn’t seem like an obvious 2-hole hitter but isn’t suited badly for it thanks to his ability to make contact.
Andrew Benintendi continues to hit third. We’ll revisit this in 22 days.
Yasmani Grandal went hitless but drove in two more runs yesterday, and continues to look fresher than we’ve seen him in nearly two years.
Romy González and Leury García sharing the middle is interesting if one believes the team may actually entertain the idea of eating the latter’s money and replacing him with the former. Billy Hamilton gets the nod as he continues to battle Victor Reyes and Jake Marisnick for a fourth outfielder role that’s not 100% guaranteed to exist on Opening Day.
Dylan Cease walked two, struck out two, and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings to start his spring last week. Assuming he’s on a pitch count, we’ll have a good chance to see what he’s working on for at least a few innings, because there might be an above-average hitter and a half in the Kansas City lineup if you’re squinting:
Hitting dingers against Keller is fun, and I’d like to see some of it tonight, even if it means listening to Kansas City’s announcing team, as their broadcast is the only way you’ll be able to set your eyes on this match. MLB.tv is free through T-Mobile, ICYMI.
First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. CT.