The Kansas City Royals start Spring Training next week and have their roster pretty well set. The non-roster invitees have been announced and there seems little chance of another free agent signing. This makes it a good time to look at the players who will be preparing for the season and where each of them will probably be on 1 April.
The obvious place to start is with the pitchers an the Royals do have a lot of them in camp this year. There are 25 on the 40-man roster (including two who are still recovering from injury) and another nine non-roster invitees. The analysis for them has thus been broken up into parts, of which this is the third. I look at how the player has done, their role in the club and in some cases what they have to do in Spring Training before predicting where they will be on Opening Day.
Louis Coleman was drafted by the Royals in the fifth round of the 2009 June amateur draft and made his major league debut in 2011. He’s been up and down from the minors since then and has had mixed success at the highest level. His lack of consistency is his biggest problem and he’s in danger of being ousted from his spot on the 40-man roster.
Prediction: Will keep his spot on the 40-man roster by the skin of his teeth and probably make the Opening Day roster as well.
Tim Collins is coming off a record-setting 2012 in which he struck out 93 batters in 69.2 innings, the most ever in a season by a Royals left-handed reliever. He has improved his command from 2011 and looks to go into 2013 as one of the pillars of a strong Kansas City bullpen.
Prediction: Spot on the Opening Day Roster is all but locked up.
Aaron Crow figures to be the Royals’ setup man in 2013. That is how he finished 2012 after the trade of Jonathan Broxton and he did an excellent job of it, conceding just seven earned runs in 26 outings after the start of August. All he has to do this spring is stay healthy.
Prediction: Already inked into the Opening Day roster.
Wade Davis was something of the ‘other’ man to come to the Royals in the blockbuster trade with the Tampa Bay Rays in December. But he is a very good pitcher in his own right with a career ERA under four. After pending last year in the bullpen with the Rays he is expected to slot back into the starting rotation this year.
Prediction: Third starter