With the start of the new season on the horizon, the question of who will make the Opening Day roster for the Kansas City Royals looms ahead.
Who’s on first for the Kansas City Royals?
The short answer: Ryan O’Hearn.
The bigger questions are who goes north on the 25 man roster at the end of spring training and how many openings are really to be taken. The Kansas City Royals have always been good conserving assets. Contracts will dictate some of the spots, and options will become factors for others. Some will simply be there to take up space until players in the minors are ready to move up. Here’s my prediction on who opens the season with the Royals.
Predicting the Roster
Lets start with the position players I believe will start the season in Kansas City. Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, Whit Merrifield, Alalberto Mondesi, Billy Hamilton, Jorge Soler, Ryan O’Hearn, Hunter Dozier and Chris Owings. That makes nine.
Next, I list those because of contract and/or lack of options who will most likely make the team. Jorge Lopez and Brian Flynn seem to be locks. Add the players the Royals relied on heavily last year, Kevin McCarthy and Tim Hill. Plus, I believe both Rule 5 pickups Sam McWilliams and Chris Ellis make it. They did it last year. My total reaches 21.
Terrance Gore‘s major/minor league contract is hard to understand. I don’t know if it means he can start in the minors and be called up or he has to be on the 25 roster and be DFA’d and risk losing him. Same goes for Kyle Zimmer. With what Dayton and Ned have been saying about Gore, my guess is he makes the team. That brings me to 22.
So, now I’m down to three open roster spots. I expect one to be filled by a right fielder. Brian Goodwin has no options. Jorge Bonifacio and Brett Phillips do. Goodwin makes the team over Bonifacio and Phillips because of that. Glenn Sparkman is my next guess. He pitched really well in relief last year. His ERA spiked when they tried him at starter but otherwise was nails.
Zimmer is the wild card. If he has to be on roster or be exposed to waivers, he makes the team. If not, the last spot on my list will probably go to Ben Lively. Another one we will have to risk if he doesn’t make the team.
So there you go. My prediction for the roster we begin the season with. It’s not the Best team we can go north with, but the one that ensures the Royals keep the most bodies. I fully expect the 25 man roster to be constantly changing all year, especially with the bullpen staff, right field, and first base. Third base and center positions can all be lost by bad play or trades too.
Be patient. The players we want to see will probably make it to the show at some point in 2019. It’s a long season.