Starting pitcher Sidney Ponson, who played for the Dutch National Team during the 2009 World Baseball Classic, made his Cactus League debut for the Kansas City Royals on Thursday in Peoria, Arizona against the Seattle Mariners. It was his first appearance for the Major League club, after having started in a Minor League game a few days ago.
The right-hander pitched pretty well for the first five innings, before tiring in the sixth. Ponson gave up eight hits, six runs (4 ER) and two walks in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 50 of his 87 pitches for strikes and reached the low 90s mph with his fastball. Manager Trey Hillman said after the game that he pitched well.
Ponson signed with the Royals organization after his successful audition in the WBC and is in camp, competing for one of two open spots in the rotation behind Gil Meche, Zack Greinke and Kyle Davies. His biggest competitors are Horacio Ramirez (ERA 10.29), Brian Bannister (ERA 8.53) and Luke Hochevar (ERA 3.86) with only the latter having a respectable ERA during spring training.