It’s hard to believe it’s almost here, but the first pitch of the exhibition season is going to be thrown on Wednesday. The Royals will kick off Cactus League play against the Texas Rangers. The Cardinals get Grapefruit League games going on Friday.
The Royals-Rangers game was slated as a charity event and it wasn’t going to count in the Cactus League standings, but the MLB office ruled that the game and stats will count. John Bale will get the start tomorrow for the Royals. Originally, manager Trey Hillman was going to go with veteran Brett Tomko, then he switched to Jorge De La Rosa, but he’s been battling a flu bug, so Bale will get the start. De La Rosa will pitch Thursday in an intrasquad game, then Tomko will start Friday against San Diego.
The Cardinals will play St. Louis University on Wednesday. Thursday, they’ll be at home in Jupiter to play the Mets. Anthony Reyes, 2-14 last year, will start that game and go up against John Maine. On Friday, the Cards travel to Port St. Lucie to play the Mets again and they’ll get the first look at recently acquired Johan Santana. Adam Wainwright will start the Friday game.