After losing to the Texas Rangers on Monday night, the Royals sent five more players to minor league camp.
Earlier on Monday, they’d sent Will Smith, Yordano Ventura and others to the minor league side of the complex. At the end of the night, they also sent Brandon Wood, Christian Colon, Anthony Seratelli, Willy Taveras and Adam Moore to the minors. None are on the 40 man roster.
Of those five, Colon may have had a slight shot at sneaking into the second base competition, but his own struggles combined with Johnny Giavotella and Chris Getz performing well wiped out any chance he may have had. He’ll man shortstop in Omaha alongside whichever second baseman loses the competition for the big league job. Colon got six hits in 27 at bats and walked once. Rob Neyer, who viewed a couple of Royals games in Arizona, wasn’t impressed with his range at shortstop, which matches what a lot of the scouting reports suggest.
Wood should be Omaha’s everyday third baseman barring any injury to Mike Moustakas. After striking out in four of his first eight at bats, he’s only done so four more times in the next 23, and drove in the only two runs the Royals scored on Monday night. He’s probably going to show a lot of power in Omaha, which is friendly to right-handed batters, but he’s not a secure option if he gets pressed into action. He had a .323/.344/.677 line in 17 games.
Seratelli didn’t get a lot of hits but he’s gotten on base this spring with six walks to go with his five hits. The .208 average looks bad but the .367 on base percentage is nice. He can play anywhere he’s asked and will be a valuable utility player for the Storm Chasers. He’s got a good story about his path to this point as well.
Taveras is insurance for an outfield that has some question marks. Lorenzo Cain is hitting so well that it’s not a question of ability to be the everyday center fielder, but more a question of his durability over the course of a season. Jeff Francoeur is hoping to rebound but not having a good spring at the plate, and Jarrod Dyson is most likely a fourth outfielder. David Lough should be the first man called up if something happens, but Taveras, who had 13 hits in 17 Cactus League games, is another speedy option.
Moore showed some power in camp, but he’s going to fall victim to the logistics game. George Kottaras and Brett Hayes are playing well enough to keep him away as well, so Moore will be in Omaha splitting time with Manuel Pina. He’d been outrighted to Triple A previously in the winter.
That drops the Royals roster down to 39 players. Seven of those – Atahualpa Severino, George Sherrill, Dan Wheeler, Miguel Tejada, Max Ramirez, Endy Chavez and Xavier Nady – are non-roster invitees. Sherrill is recovering from Tommy John surgery, Nady is fighting foot issues, and only Tejada is expected to make the team.