The Kansas City Royals announced which non-roster players had got invites to the big league Spring Training camp next month and most of it was what one would expect. The notable minor league free agents like Xavier Nady, Endy Chavez and Willy Taveras have all been invited as was expected, but the far more interesting names are those of the players who have been in the system for a bit longer and who will at least start Spring Training playing with the main team in Surprise.
I think the most interesting invites might be two of the Royals’ minor league catchers, Adam Moore and Manny Pina. It’s hardly unusual for minor leaguers who don’t have a hope of making the big league club see a few games in early spring, of course. With 61 players vying for 25 spots and most of those 25 spots already locked up there isn’t going to be a realistic chance for a lot of them. Moore and Pina might fall into that category, but they both have major league experience and in fact were each called up in successive Septembers. It would seem like they were going head-to-head for the backup catcher role vacated by Brayan Pena, but the Royals already have Brett Hayes on the 40-man roster for that. My guess is that Moore and Pina are there to fill up the numbers, but with no incumbent at the position it will be interesting to see if a real contest emerges. Pitchers and all four catchers report in less than a month, but presumably we will have to wait for the first Spring game to get a good idea of the pecking order.