Battle underway for No. 2 starter for Royals

SURPRISE, Ariz. - James Shields became the Royals No. 1 starter the day he was acquired from Tampa Bay. Now, the Royals just need to figure out who will be taking the ball the second game of the season.

The two most likely candidates were both offseason acquisitions as well. The Royals traded for Ervin Santana despite his slow start to last season. The 30-year old was plagued by the long ball and posted a 5.16 ERA.

"I just had a rough start in the first half. After that, I put everything together."

The Royals liked the way Santana finished the year. He has shown flashes of dominance in his career, including a no-hitter.

"That's really me. So, I think you're going to expect more good things about me this year."

Santana has tremendous upside, but Ned Yost likes what he saw from Jeremy Guthrie last season.

"When he got here and started doing good, everybody fell in line. We had little bit of a run there."

Guthrie posted a 5-3 record with a 3.16 ERA after coming over in a trade from Colorado. The Royals rewarded him with a three-year contract in the offseason. Guthrie would like to be the No. 2 starter, but says it doesn't really mean much once the season gets rolling.

"It's really just kind of a nice honor at the beginning of the season for those who have come in and earned it."

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