De La Rosa, Bale struggle on Monday
Royals pitchers both vying for spots in starting rotation
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-handers Jorge De La Rosa and John Bale each had difficult outings on Monday for the Royals.The difference is that Bale seemed to have the No. 4 spot in the rotation well in hand, while De La Rosa was scrambling to win the No. 5 spot. De La Rosa went just four innings in a 10-9 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers and was charged with four runs on seven hits and two walks. The good news was he struck out five. "I threw too many pitches," De La Rosa said. "I've got to throw fewer pitches and get ahead of the hitters." That, plus two home-run pitches, was the primary problem. "We wanted to get his pitches up between 80 and 90, but, unfortunately, he got up to 83 in four innings," manager Trey Hillman said. "He was good in spots, and he was erratic in spots." De La Rosa completed his Arizona work with an 8.03 ERA in 12 1/3 innings. He had 10 strikeouts and eight walks and gave up 16 hits. Asked to sum up his spring, he said: "So-so." Bale worked on Monday afternoon against the Triple-A Oklahoma RedHawks in the adjoining Texas Rangers' camp. He pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up five runs on 10 hits in Omaha's 5-3 loss. "I guess line-wise, [it was] not real good," Bale said. "No walks. I was around the dish a lot so I was giving up some hits. But same thing [Brian] Bannister was talking about: you'd rather do that than walk guys. "Changeup was real good and we got up to 92 pitches, so my pitch count was up. That was the main thing. I threw a sidearm breaking ball to a righty and gave up a home run, so it kind of cost me there, but other than that, I threw a lot of strikes." Bale still doesn't know if he's won a rotation spot. "I haven't heard anything yet," he said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.