Broxton will be the setup man in Kansas City; Aaron Crow will go to the rotation

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When the Royals’ signing of Jonathan Broxton was announced this morning, the reaction of most people was “wait, isn’t the Kansas City bullpen kind of crowded already?”  Why, yes.  Yes it is.  But it won’t be going forward because Dayton Moore was just on the radio and said that Joakim Soria will remain the closer, Broxton will set up and Aaron Crow will be moved into the rotation.

Which seems smart to me. Crow was a starter in college and in the minors and when you have a young guy with great stuff like his, you have to figure out if he can handle the bigger job.  His control is obviously the big questions — Crow walks a lot of guys — but if he can figure that out he could be a useful starter, and the Royals need a couple of those.

Of course, the scrap heap is filled with guys who had great stuff and bad control of whom it was said “if they can just figure that out,” so we’ll see.

No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.