Scouting report: Royals vs. Orioles

April 01, 1996|By Buster Olney

Royals update

Kansas City plays in the same division as the Indians, which is to say that it didn't have a chance to contend in the AL Central last year, finishing 70-74, 30 games back of Cleveland -- and that in a shortened season. The Royals have undergone major changes in the off-season, getting a new double-play combination (Bip Roberts at second and Jose Offerman at short) and establishing the fact that youngsters Johnny Damon and Michael Tucker will be regulars. Those moves will in no way alter their status as weak sisters to the Indians, but the speedy Royals will be a pesky first test for the Orioles. Key stats: The Royals stole 120 bases last year, ranking second to Cleveland in the AL. . . . Cal Ripken has a .348 lifetime average against Mark Gubicza. . . . Appier has a 1-3 lifetime mark in Camden Yards, with a 4.85 ERA.

Pub Date: 4/01/96

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