Cecchini received a spring training invite from the Royals on Saturday, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports. Cecchini was reported to have a shot at the 25-man roster after being traded to Milwaukee in 2016, but he spent all of 2016 in Triple-A Colorado Spring, where he hit a mediocre .271/.325/.380 in 469 plate appearances. He'll make another run at the big leagues in 2017 with the Royals, but will likely need to show some significant improvement and receive some depth chart help to get there.
Cecchini was outrighted to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday. Cecchini's first year in the Brewers' organization was a letdown, as the 25-year-old posted a .705 OPS in the hitter-friendly PCL, leading to his removal from the 40-man roster Friday. There's always a chance he could attend major league spring training as a non-roster invitee, but it doesn't seem like he's in the team's plans for 2017.
Cecchini is 17-for-58 (.293) with a home run and four RBI through 16 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs. Cecchini is doing a good job hitting for average, but his .317 OBP and .379 slugging percentage leave a little to be desired. He will continue playing regularly for Colorado Springs, and could be an option for the Brewers at some point later this season.
Cecchini was optioned to minor league camp Saturday. Cecchini appeared in two major league games last season as a member of the Red Sox, but he'll likely open the year at Triple-A, where he spent the bulk of 2015. in 117 Triple-A games, Cecchini slashed .213/.286/.296 with 28 RBI and 40 walks.
Manager Craig Counsell said that Cecchini will have a chance to make the Brewers roster despite the fact that Aaron Hill will get the first crack at the starting third base job, Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Cecchini's ceiling is limited by the fact that Hill is expected to be the starter, but it's reassuring to know that his role doesn't hinge on garnering the starting role. Although Cecchini's batting stats were rough in 2015, he does possess good defensive utility, as he played significantly at both first base and left field with Triple-A Pawtucket last season, which could bode well for him as he seeks a bench role with Milwaukee.