Cleat Geeks

Royally Yours: Spring Training Preview

The Kansas City Royals will report to spring training this week. Pitchers and catchers will report on Tuesday. Their first workout will be on Wednesday. The full team will report next Sunday. The first full team workout will be next Monday. The Royals first spring training game will be on February 24th in Surprise, Arizona against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Image result for cactus league map 2018

Last year the Royals went 17-15 in spring training. They finished 4h in the Cactus League. It was their highest finish since the 2015 season when they finished 2nd. It will be important for the Royals to play well in spring training this season because they have a lot of new additions to the roster.

 

There are a few former Royals that are still free agents. The Royals biggest target is Eric Hosmer. They have pursued Hosmer in free agency but he has not signed a contract. If he is not signed by spring training he could participate in the training camp set up by the players union. Logan Morrison could be a target for the Royals if they do not sign Hosmer. Morrison was born in Kansas City and has expressed interest in playing with the Royals. It is unclear who will play first base for the Royals next season.

 

Shortstop will be a position to watch this offseason. The Royals signed Alcides Escobar to a one-year contract this offseason. They also have Raul Mondesi Jr. who was considered one of the Royals best young infielders. There should be a competition for the starting shortstop job in spring training between Escobar and Mondesi. The Royals could make Escobar the starter for the 2018 season, which would give Mondesi more time to improve in the minors.

Image result for Raul Mondesi Jr.

The Royals starting rotation will be another position battle to watch. Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel started the majority of the season and should be in the rotation this season. Nate Karns had thoracic outlet surgery last July and could compete to get back in the starting rotation. Jakob Junis started in 16 games last season and could be another option in the starting rotation. The Royals have a lot of depth at starting pitcher and it will be interesting to see who is in the starting rotation at the beginning of the season.

 

Spring training will be an opportunity for the Royals to figure out their roster for the 2018 season. There are a few position battles to watch in spring training that will have an impact on who will make the 25-man roster. Spring training will be the first chance to see the Royals new roster come together.

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