With the Royals first game of the season today, here is five things to look for against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
1. How well does Albert Pujols play for his new team?
The former Cardinals slugger signed a 10 year, 240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels back in late 2011. Albert Pujols has a lot to live up to with a contract that big. So far he is tearing up spring training hitting .383, with 7 home runs. I believe Albert Pujols will be a decisive factor in the Royals first game of the 2012 season today. Another interesting fact about Albert Pujols is that in the last year of his contract in 2021, he will be making 30 million a year!
2. Who will be the Royals closer?
Currently the biggest mystery on the Royals roster is who will be the closer. In my opinion, I think Jonathan Broxton will get the job, because of his experience as being the closer for the Dodgers. Also another reason I think he will be the closer, because he has played solid in spring training only having an ERA of 1.13 in 8 innings pitched. Compared to Aaron Crow’s ERA of 3.75 in 12 innings pitched, and Greg Hollands 3.86 in 11.2 innings pitched.
3. Can Bruce Chen become the Royals “Ace”?
Even after playing okay last season, still many doubt his ability to be the Royals number one pitcher. Bruce Chen has struggled so far in spring training having thrown a horrendous 9.41 ERA in 22 innings. But, so far he is still slated to pitch on opening day and could make or brake the Royals on opening day. I still believe in Bruce Chen though, I still think he can get back to that 3.77 ERA he threw last year.
4. Will Gordon still play like an all-star?
Can Alex Gordon handle the pressure of being the leader of the offense, or will he revert to his old ways? Even though Alex Gordon has played superb in spring training, hitting .366 with 4 home runs. That doesn’t mean there still isn’t a chance that is new 37.5 million contract gets to his head. He also has a history of injuries that could hold him back.
5. Will Mike Moustakas adjust to big league life?
Will Mike Moustakas breakout like Eric Hosmer? I believe it is very likely, and that he just needs a little bit more time. Mike Moustakas struggled last year only hitting .263 with 5 home runs in 89 games. But, Mike Moustakas has tremendous potential, he is a great 3rd baseman and has a lot of power. He could easily hit .295 with 20 home runs this year.