Any concerns over who will be manning second base and, in all likelihood, hitting second for the Kansas City Royals appear to have been assuaged, at least for now. Omar Infante has passed his tests, and is set to start at second base, and hit behind Norichika Aoki, on Opening Day for the Royals.
However, just in case something happens to either Infante or Alcides Escobar, the Royals have also decided to keep potential super utility player Pedro Ciriaco on the Opening Day roster. Ciriaco, who could potentially be Emilio Bonifacio Lite, gives the Royals protection in case either player experiences a recurrence of the soreness that plagued them throughout Spring Training.
Having Omar Infante ready to go, and Ciriaco on the roster, also means that we no longer have to worry about such potential catastrophes as Mike Moustakas attempting to play second base or Escobar hitting second. Well, the latter may still happen occasionally, but at least it will not be at the start of the season. That has to count for something at least!
The Royals, by keeping Ciriaco, will also start the season with an eleven man pitching staff. With the need for a fifth starter early in the season, that likely means a six man bullpen for the Royals, at least during the early part of the season. With James Shields, Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie all proven innings eaters, it may be possible that the six relievers will be sufficient. During stretches where the fifth starter is not needed, Bruce Chen could serve in that swing role that he performed admirably in last season.
With Opening Day finally coming tomorrow, the last few questions about the Royals Opening Day roster have been answered. Now, we can if the Royals lineup, with Aoki and Omar Infante set at the top, can be the on base juggernaut that we hope it will become.