Seven Royals experience first Opening Day

Seven Royals experience first Opening Day

Seven Royals experience first Opening Day
ANAHEIM -- This is the first Major League opener for seven Royals, including first baseman Eric Hosmer and third baseman Mike Moustakas who surfaced from Triple-A Omaha to become lineup regulars after the season began last year.

The others are center fielder Lorenzo Cain and pitchers Danny Duffy, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland and Everett Teaford.

"A lot of jitters, a lot of excitement, nervousness, all that rolled into one," said the normally relaxed Cain in the Royals' clubhouse. "But I'm definitely excited and ready to go. I worked hard all spring to get to this point, and I'm ready to get this thing started tonight."

Once Cain got started, however, he had a tough time against the Angels' Jered Weaver, striking out all three times he faced him in the Royals' 5-0 loss. He tempered that with an excellent play on a Kendrys Morales blast, grazing the right-center-field wall as he made the catch after a long run.

There are seven other players who weren't on the 2011 Opening Day roster against the Angels: pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Luis Mendoza, Jose Mijares and Jonathan Sanchez, catcher Humberto Quintero, second baseman Yuniesky Betancourt and outfielder Jason Bourgeois.

So that's 14, meaning there are only 11 holdovers on the 25-man active roster from last Opening Day: pitchers Bruce Chen, Tim Collins, Aaron Crow and Luke Hochevar, catcher Brayan Pena, designated hitter Billy Butler, second baseman Chris Getz, shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielders Jeff Francoeur, Alex Gordon and Mitch Maier.

On the disabled list this year are pitchers Joakim Soria, who was on last year's Opening Day roster, Felipe Paulino and Blake Wood and catchers Salvador Perez and Manny Pina, who were not.

Manager Ned Yost sees the yearly turnover declining, though, as more young players become fixtures.

"It'll be less and less as we go along. It'll be five or six or fewer every year. It won't be 14," he said.