5 Questions About Kansas City Royals’ Outfield in 2014

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5 Questions About Kansas City Royals' Outfield in 2014

Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The beginning of the 2014 seasons is looming larger on the horizon, and teams in the MLB are scrambling to finalize their teams in preparation for Spring Training. With only so many spots available on the Opening Day roster, the Kansas City Royals and the rest of the teams in the league have plenty of decisions to make before April arrives.

Many of those choices for the Royals will involve the several players vying for one of the scarce Opening Day roster spots as outfielders. Seven of the spots on the 40-man roster are taken up by outfielders, and four of the team's non-roster invitees play outfield, as well.

This complex and confusing situation in the outfield presents quite a few unanswered questions to the franchise and its fans. Many moves and new acquisitions were made for outfield depth and flexibility, but I can say for certain that KC won't be heading into Opening Day with 11 outfielders on their roster. The Royals' headlines have been dominated by a combination of pitchers and outfielders for weeks. Two outfielders signed contracts with the Royals in the past ten days, Norichika Aoki's acquisition may be the biggest Royals move of the offseason, and none of the non-roster invitees have played in a single game yet for Kansas City.

Amidst all this criticizing and speculating I'll be doing, it should be noted that this overabundance of depth in the outfield is far from a negative for Kansas City. Too much depth is always a good problem to have. Continue on to find the Royals' five most pressing questions regarding their outfield in 2014.

Doug LaCerte is a writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @DLaC67, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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Will Peguero be an influence?

Carlos Peguero
Otto Gruele Jr. - Getty Images Sport
Can the struggling outfielder Carlos Peguero turn things around with the help of skillful hitting coach Pedro Grifol? If he can prove me wrong by doing so, the Royals will find themselves an athletic, left-handed power hitter that isn't yet eligible for arbitration.
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Can Lo Cain stay healthy?

Lorenzo Cain
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Lorenzo Cain has struggled with one injury after another throughout his career in Kansas City. Most who have seem him play in extended stretches would agree that he could break out as one of the premiere center-fielders in the world if he can avoid injuries in 2014.
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What is Justin Maxwell's role?

Justin Maxwell
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
After signing a one-year, $1 million deal with KC, how will Justin Maxwell respond in his probable role as a platooning outfielder and pinch hitter? If he's going to use up a precious roster spot come Opening Day, he'll need to prove why he deserves it.
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How will Gordo produce outside the lead-off spot?

Alex Gordon
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Gordon has struggled with the bat each and every time he is moved out of the lead-off spot in the batting lineup. Considering that Gordo's offensive capabilities don't fit the mold of the prototypical lead-off hitter, the move to make Norichika Aoki KC's lead-off man scares fans who have noticed this trend as well.
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Will Nori live up to expectations?

Norichika Aoki
Maddie Meyer - Getty Images Sport
Norichika Aoki is arguably the most integral new member of the Royals' roster, and his success will determine the offense's success. Fans will put the entire franchise on the hot seat if this move fails to deliver improved success, and the franchise has millions of crisp, green reasons to expect greatness from Aoki in the years to come.

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