It may seem hard to believe, but it is only four days more than a month until pitchers and catchers report to the Kansas City Royals‘ Spring Training complex in Surprise, Arizona. It is an unusually long camp for the Royals and whilst it is certainly a good idea to get the team settled and going, there are not a lot of positions to be settled this year. But that doesn’t mean that there is nothing to be done and with the Royals seemingly all but done with winter moves we can make a fairly decent guess as to what the battles will be come late February.
The biggest and most notable should be the fight for the last rotation spot. The top four appear to be nailed down now after the Royals got James Shields and Wade Davis from the Tampa Bay Rays, Ervin Santana from the Los Angeles Angels and re-signed Jeremy Guthrie. That leaves last year’s number one, Bruce Chen, to fight it out with 2010′s number one Luke Hochevar as well as Will Smith. It should be fun.
But there are a handful of position spots to be determined as well. Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella will be fighting for the starting job at second base and Jarrod Dyson will make a bid to unseat Lorenzo Cain in centre field. Meantime there will be a few like Endy Chavez who were signed to minor league contracts trying to nab a backup spot.
One rotation spot and a couple of starting spots won’t make a huge difference to the look of the team, but the battles should be fun to watch as the season proper approaches.