When Omar Infante was signed prior to the 2014 season, he was supposed to be the answer at second base. Instead, after two disappointing seasons that has seen Infante produce a combined .238/.268/.329 batting line with eight home runs and WAR of exactly zero, second base is no longer promised.
Instead, Infante will have competition in the form of Christian Colon. Colon has displayed a solid ability to make contact, but with only 168 major league plate appearances at age 26, he is just as much of a question mark as Infante is at this point. Can his career .303/.361/.382 batting line and 12.5% strikeout rate hold up over a full season?
Ultimately, the cost to keep Infante on the bench may be the deciding factor. His $17.75 Million salary over the next two seasons would be difficult to put into a utility role for a team that has had the payroll concerns that the Royals have had in the past. As long as he can continue to play solid defense and continue his chemistry with Alcides Escobar, then he is likely to start.
However, that is not a given. If Infante struggles to find his offense during Spring Training and Colon is hitting well, the Royals may be forced to give Colon his chance. Either through injury or ineffectiveness, it would not be a surprise to see Colon at second on Opening Night.
Next: The second revolving door