With week two of Kansas City Royals spring training wrapping up, it’s time to take a look at the common questions floating around and also see if we have any answers or new questions for the Royals as they approach Opening Day 2020.
For those who didn’t catch my article last week, I asked three big questions surrounding the Kansas City Royals throughout 2020 spring training. We’ll revisit those again until we have the answers and will also explore some other questions circulating around.
Who will be the fifth starer in the rotation?
Last week we saw who most believe will be the Royals’ future ace in Brady Singer impress everyone, but even with that, DownUnderFan brought up a very good point with his comment to last week’s post.
He is absolutely correct that the team really doesn’t need a defined fifth starter until at least mid April. When looking at the schedule, there are three days before April 5th that the team will have off. This should keep the original four starters on a normal starting cycle. The first real need for a fifth starter might not be until the sixth of April.
Having Jorge Lopez in the bullpen and his ability to make a couple of spot starts until at least late April might be a very logical start to this 2020 season.
Singer will be better off starting off this season in Omaha to get into a good routine and then join the club in early May to make his Royals debut. That theoretically would be the fourth time a fifth starter would be needed; All very valid points once again by DownUnderFan.
Who will start at first base?
Both of these players will make the Opening Day roster and will get playing time based on who the Royals will face on the mound. Look for O’Hearn to get his at bats against right-handed and McBroom to get them against the left-handed hurlers, as their numbers from last season back this. O’Hearn hit one home run against lefties and 13 against right handed pitching.
How many outfielders will the Royals really carry?
It appears as though this question has been answered. The Royals will carry six, but this is starting to turn into who will be the last two.
Kyle Isbel now appears to be knocking at the door, but will he make the Opening Day roster? Doubtful, but this is a player waiting for his opportunity to make the roster. He’s not too far off either.
Moving forward, this question has been answered. Let’s introduce another one that will have a large impact on the roster and where someone like Whit Merrifield could start the season.
When will we start seeing SS Adelberto Mondesi at Spring Training?
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Mondesi suffered a sublaxation shoulder injury last season on and underwent a labral repair this offseason. It’s an injury the KC Star’s Lynn Worthy noted both Gregory Polanco and Michael Brantley the following season after the medical procedure.
Worthy’s comparison is valid except that both Polanco’s and Brantley’s injuries were on their throwing (left) shoulder while Mondesi’s is on his glove shoulder. This is a vastly different injury that was discussed by Royals long time play-by-play announcer Ryan Lefebvre on Tuesday night’s FSKC broadcast. Lefebrve suffered the exact same injury on his glove shoulder while playing baseball at the University of Minnesota.
Lefebvre said the main injury concern he has for Mondesi is trying to make a diving stop. He points out diving back into first on a pick-off attempt would involve his healthy shoulder (right).
For right now, this is still open and Mondesi’s progress is being evaluated by the Royals medical team. Mike Matheny is still very optimistic that Mondesi will be ready for Opening Day. Let’s just hope he isn’t rushed into the lineup before being fully ready.
One other noteworthy thing for week two of Spring Training is the Royals bullpen taking shape. Trevor Rosenthal is a non-roster invitee who will make the team’s Opening Day roster and he will have an immediate impact on how many games the Royals will be able to hold.
The move to bring the Lee’s Summit native Rosenthal to Spring Training by Dayton Moore looks like so far the best move so far. The bullpen seems to be trending in the right direction as well. This might be the biggest story midway through Spring Training so far. Also, the biggest story once the team heads to Chicago to start the season.
What questions do you find yourself asking about the KC Royals throughout spring training this year?