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Royals' Danny Duffy: Expected to require rehab stint
Manager Ned Yost said Duffy (shoulder) will likely head out on a minor-league rehab assignment before rejoining the big-league rotation, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Duffy is working his way back from left shoulder tightness. The southpaw, who is scheduled to face live hitters Monday, will remain at extended spring training to finish his throwing program before being cleared for a rehab assignment. Based on where Duffy is currently at in his recovery, he may not be ready to join the Royals until the second half of April.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jorge Lopez: May stick around at spring camp
Manager Ned Yost said Saturday that Lopez will likely stay at extended spring training after the Royals wrap up their Cactus League slate this weekend, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Lopez showed some flashes of promise late in 2018 with the Royals but hasn't taken a major step forward through his first five spring outings, posting a 4.41 ERA, 1.78 WHIP and 11:9 K:BB across 16.1 innings. Despite the underwhelming results, Lopez looks likely to fill a rotation spot for the rebuilding Royals, though Yost hasn't indicated when the right-hander might be ready to make his first turn. At this point, only Brad Keller and Jake Junis are locked in as starters for the first two games of the season, but Lopez could be summoned when a third starter is required March 31 versus the White Sox. If the Royals look go with another pitcher as their No. 3 starter, Lopez may not be summoned to the majors until April 9 or 10, when the team would first require a fourth and fifth man in the rotation.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Heath Fillmyer: Demoted to minors
The Royals optioned Fillmyer to Triple-A Omaha on Saturday, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
The Royals intend to break camp with a three-man rotation since their schedule allows them to get by without a fourth and fifth starter until April 9 and 10, respectively. With that in mind, Fillmyer's demotion doesn't necessarily take him out of the mix for a rotation gig, though his odds of rejoining the big club may hinge on the health of Danny Duffy (shoulder), who isn't certain to be ready to pitch when a fourth starter is needed. Along with Fillmyer, Homer Bailey and Jorge Lopez are other candidates to fill out the rotation. Kansas City could also bring Fillmyer back in a long-relief role.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Alex Gordon: Should be ready for opener
Manager Ned Yost said Gordon likely won't play in the Royals' final two spring contests, but indicated the outfielder would be ready to go for the Opening Day game March 28 versus the White Sox, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Gordon exited Friday's 15-3 win over the Giants with left calf tightness, but felt fine upon reporting back to camp Saturday. Yost described the calf issue as more of a cramp than a true injury, so Gordon shouldn't need more than a couple days of rest to remedy the matter. Gordon is slated to open the season as the Royals' everyday left fielder and could be a sneaky source of counting stats in deeper mixed leagues and AL-only formats after chipping in 13 home runs and 12 steals in 2018.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Homer Bailey: Could remain in Arizona
Bailey could remain in extended spring training for another start or two, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
The Royals don't need a fifth starter until the second week of the season. As such, Bailey may be held back to begin the year, allowing Kansas City to carry an extra reliever or bench player until the right-hander is needed in the rotation. The veteran owns a 4.05 ERA and 11:3 K:BB through 13.1 innings this spring.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Alex Gordon: Removed with tight calf
Gordon was removed from Friday's spring game due to left calf tightness, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Gordon went 1-for-1 with a two-RBI single and a run scored before giving way to Brian Goodwin in the bottom of the second inning. The severity of the injury remains unclear at the moment; Gordon should be considered day-to-day until he's further evaluated in the coming days.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Alex Gordon: Exits after one at-bat
Gordon was removed from Friday's Cactus League game in the second inning, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Gordon was 1-for-1 with two RBI and a run scored before being replaced by Brian Goodwin in the bottom of the second inning. The reason for Gordon's removal remains unknown at this point. He should be considered day-to-day.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jon Perrin: Slapped with 50-game ban
Perrin was handed a 50-game suspension Friday for testing positive for a drug of abuse.
It was Perrin's second positive test. The 25-year-old reached Triple-A for the first time in 2018, posting a 2.59 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across 24.1 innings of relief with Colorado Springs.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Meibrys Viloria: Heading to minors
Viloria was optioned to Double-A Northwest Arkansas on Friday.
Viloria will unsurprisingly begin the season in the minors with Martin Maldonado and Cameron Gallagher serving as the Royals top two catching options in absence of Salvador Perez (elbow). GM Dayton Moore indicated shortly after signing Maldonado that Viloria still figures into the Royals' major-league plans for 2019.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Lucas Duda: Heads to Kansas City
Duda signed a minor-league contract with the Royals on Friday.
Duda didn't have to wait long to find a spot after being released by the Twins on Wednesday. He played 87 games for Kansas City last season, hitting an unimpressive .242/.310/.413 with 13 homers. The Royals don't have much reason to give significant at-bats to the 33-year-old rather than to one of their younger players, so it could be hard for him to find a regular role.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Brian Flynn: Dealing with elbow issue
Flynn has been battling an elbow issue, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
The severity of the injury is not yet clear. Given the timing of the injury, Flynn may be forced to open the season on the injured list.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Billy Hamilton: Hitting, running well in spring
Hamilton has gone 14-for-42 at the plate (.333 average) in 16 Cactus League games and has gone 4-for-4 on stolen-base attempts.
Putting the bat on the ball has never been much of an issue for Hamilton, but making quality contact and reaching base at an acceptable clip have been bigger challenges for the speed maven since he broke into the big leagues in 2013. After the Reds pulled the plug on Hamilton over the winter, the Royals inked him to a one-year deal in December, presumably with the plan to install him as their everyday center fielder. Hamilton still looks likely to break camp as a member of the Opening Day lineup, though the Royals' spring lineups suggests he'll likely be ticketed for the ninth spot in the order. The impact hitting at the bottom of the lineup will likely have on his number of plate appearances could hurt Hamilton's chances of re-emerging as 50-steal threat, but he should be in good position to at least reach last season's mark of 34.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jakob Junis: Likely to get second game of season
Junis is expected to start the Royals' second game of the regular season March 30 versus the White Sox, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
Beyond announcing that Brad Keller would take the hill for Opening Day, the Royals haven't formally outlined their rotation plans to begin the season. Manager Ned Yost did clear things up somewhat Tuesday, however, when he said Ian Kennedy would head to the bullpen, leaving Junis, Jorge Lopez and Homer Bailey to follow Keller in the pitching schedule. Junis had some decent moments in 2018 -- particularly in the second half -- but he served up a whopping 32 home runs in 30 starts to prop up his ERA and WHIP to an underwhelming 4.37 and 1.27, respectively. He hasn't seemed to correct his struggles with reining in the long ball so far this spring, serving up two homers over 12.1 innings.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Homer Bailey: Secures rotation spot
Bailey is expected to open the season in the Royals' starting rotation, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
Ian Kennedy was sent to the bullpen Tuesday, all but confirming Bailey will break camp in Kansas City's starting rotation. The veteran hurler owns a brutal 6.25 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over parts of the last four seasons (231.2 innings), and he didn't necessarily turn any heads in camp, so it would be unwise to expect much from him in 2019.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jorge Lopez: Poised to break camp in rotation
Lopez is expected to open the season in the Royals' starting rotation, Rustin Dodd of The Athletic reports.
With Ian Kennedy being shifted to the bullpen, it sounds like Lopez is in line to break camp in Kansas City's starting rotation. The right-hander has been solid this spring, compiling a 1.88 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 9:6 K:BB through four appearances (14.1 innings).... See More ... See Less
Royals' Nicky Lopez: Assigned to minors
Lopez was assigned to minor-league camp Tuesday.
Lopez hit .278/.365/.417 in 57 games for Triple-A Omaha last season. He'll likely return there to make his case for a callup.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Drew Storen: Reassigned to minor-league camp
Storen was reassigned to minor-league camp Tuesday.
Storen is attempting to come back after missing all of 2018 while recovering from Tommy John surgery. His four earned runs and seven walks in 2.1 spring innings didn't help his case to break camp with the big-league squad.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Brett Phillips: Sent to minors
Phillips was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.
Phillips was battling to break camp as the Royals' primary right fielder, but an unimpressive spring -- coupled with the fact that he has a minor-league option remaining -- prompted Kansas City to send him back to Triple-A to open the season. The 24-year-old hit just .167 with 12 strikeouts through 30 at-bats in camp, which mirrored his struggles at the big-league level last season (.187 batting average and 41.5 percent strikeout rate in 147 plate appearances). With the Royals in rebuild mode, Phillips should get a chance to prove himself again at some point in 2019, though he'll need to make more contact if he wants to make any sort of impact. Jorge Bonifacio was also returned to the minors Tuesday, meaning Brian Goodwin will likely open the season as the team's starting right fielder.... See More ... See Less
Royals' Jorge Bonifacio: Sent to Triple-A
Bonifacio was optioned to Triple-A Omaha on Tuesday.
Bonifacio seemed to have a good shot at making the team as a reserve outfielder and occasional designated hitter, but he'll have to wait for his chance in the minors. He has an uninspiring .244/.317/.405 line in 182 career games, not good enough for a bat-first role.... See More ... See Less