Royals Spring Training: On Lineups, Locks and More


Spring training news keeps coming out of Surprise as the Royals continue to prepare for the 2013 season.

After some visa issues related to his wife, Alcides Escobar is in camp, as is Miguel Tejada, who was delayed by illness. All players are at the training facility now and full squad workouts are getting in gear.

Despite what he deemed “eating too much” Tejada is good to go now, and according to Bob Dutton will have to play his way off the roster. He’s essentially a lock. The Royals love the bat speed they saw in the winter leagues and in the Caribbean Series. Tejada is saying all the right things, and at this point, it seems they were able to communicate to him that they wouldn’t use him as more than a utility player, unlike last season when Yuniesky Betancourt didn’t seem to know what his role would be going into the year. (Then again, the Royals didn’t seem to know either as they still started him most of the time last year until they designated him for assignment.)

That boils the starting second baseman job down to Johnny Giavotella vs. Chris Getz, as anticipated.

Regardless of which one wins that battle, Ned Yost sees them as a hitter at the bottom of the order, or, that’s his feeling right now. Things can always change – as he said, he won’t set it in stone – but his projected lineup has Getz/Giavotella in the #9 spot. Here’s the full projected lineup as of February 16th (and is always subject to change):

September 19, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals left fielder Alex Gordon (4) connects for a two run double in the seventh inning of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This lineup is contingent on Eric Hosmer rebounding to where he can be productive in the #3 spot which would enable Gordon to stay in the leadoff spot. I’m somewhat surprised by Perez batting ahead of Moustakas, as I’d have swapped the two (and kept a LRLRLR split in the first six spots). It’s vastly different than the lineup “by The Book” that Bob Ellis put together earlier in the month but it looks like what most expected to see.

The first spring training game will be between the Royals and Rangers next Friday, but the Royals first intrasquad action will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Finally, Cole Claybourn of the Owensboro, Kentucky Messenger-Inquirer talked with left-handed pitcher Justin Marks, who went to high school in Owensboro before heading to Louisville for his college ball. Marks is probably the first player on the 40 man roster to end up optioned to Omaha, but he’s got a shot to reach the big leagues this year.

Marks noted the veteran makeup of the starting rotation and told Claybourn that he’s hopeful to reach the big leagues but knows it’s going to be a tough trek to get there. He’s ready to listen and learn, though.