The KC Royals have a solid group entering the 2021 season but there shouldn’t be many surprises when it comes to what the Opening Day roster will look like.
Even though the 2021 MLB season doesn’t begin until April, it seems like the Kansas City Royals know who will be included on their Opening Day roster. Anne Rogers of MLB.com made her latest predictions as to who she thinks will make the cut and the only “surprise” out of the bunch was seeing Ryan O’Hearn included with the first basemen.
"O’Hearn hit two home runs in his first 10 at-bats this spring, showing a mechanical adjustment with his swing that he has worked since the end of last season. His starting job at first base is now blocked by Santana, but O’Hearn recently talked about finding the positives in that and making sure he continues to compete when he’s called upon."
It’s no secret that the first base battle is between O’Hearn and Ryan McBroom. This time last year, whoever won that battle would be the starter at said position, but it’s a different story this time around, as the Royals signed Carlos Santana to a two-year deal. He’ll be the starter at first base while O’Hearn or McBroom, whoever wins the battle, will hang out on the bench.
The rest of the KC Royals’ roster seemed pretty cut and dry.
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Salvador Perez will be the starting catcher and no one will be shocked to see Cam Gallagher as his backup, as that’s been the case in recent years. Nicky Lopez is the second baseman, Adalberto Mondesi is the shortstop, and Hunter Dozier is at third base.
In the outfield, it seems pretty obvious that Andrew Benintendi will man left field, Michael A. Taylor is patrolling center field, and Whit Merrifield is the newest Royals right fielder. With the recent acquisition of Jarrod Dyson, it makes sense that he’d be the fourth outfielder and will likely be used as a pinch-runner, just like the old days.
The starting rotation hasn’t been much of a mystery, though someone could certainly climb the ranks in spring training and maybe earn one of the five spots. That unit, as of now, likely will consist of Brad Keller, Danny Duffy, Mike Minor, Brady Singer, and Kris Bubic, but with a strong spring, maybe Daniel Lynch or Jackson Kowar find their way into the rotation (doubtful, but stranger things have happened).
The rotation, according to Rogers, will consist of eight relievers and none of them are shocking names. I’m excited to see Wade Davis and Greg Holland back in a Royals bullpen together and hopefully, Davis can return to WadeBot form.
The 2021 KC Royals might not win a World Series, but this group is going to provide us with some fun baseball.