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 several parts, of which this is the eighth. 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.
Justin Marks was named to the Arizona Fall League top prospects team this year after having a dominant six weeks there. He’s one of the Royals top prospects and this will not be the last we see of him in Spring Training.
Predisction: With the Royals pitching situation as strong as it is, he won’t be on the Opening Day roster, but it might not be too long before he is.
Luis Mendoza was the MVP of the Caribbean Series pitching for Mexico, and he hopes to take that good form into his quest for the final roster spot. It’s fair to say that he isn’t the favourite, however, and will only hamper his chances by taking part in the World Baseball Classic.
Prediction: After a decent showing in the rotation in 2012, it will be the bullpen for Mendoza. If the Royals need a spot starter he will probably get the nod.
Guillermo Moscoso is with the Royals after splitting time with the major and minor leagues in 2012 with the Colorado Rockies. He didn’t fare particularly well in either case and has an uphill battle to get on the Opening Day roster after being claimed by the Royals off waivers.
Prediction: It’s hard to see Moscoso on the 25-man roster for Opening Day and he is certainly a candidate to be cut from the 40-man roster if someone else makes a case.
Felipe Paulino was one of the standout performers in 2012 for the Royals, giving them excellent starting pitching as they looked to put the season back together. Then in June, he went out with Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the season. He is still recovering and will not be available until mid-season.
Prediction: Will start the year on the disabled list.