With spring training just weeks away, the KC Royals have important lineup questions.
With four prime free agents signed so far, an ongoing search for another lefthanded hitter, and feature prospects knocking on the major league door, the KC Royals are on a clear path to improvement. But as spring training draws near, the Royals still have uncertainties at several positions.
Spring camp is, of course, the time and place to resolve such issues and gives Kansas City over a month to sort out its lineup before the regular season opens April 1. The Royals must work hard to avoid starting the campaign with the kinds of personnel questions they had at the start of 2020 when first base was a toss-up between Ryan O’Hearn and Ryan McBroom, the outfield remained a puzzle, untested rookies held two rotation spots and no one knew whether the bets on Greg Holland and Trevor Rosenthal would pay off.
Now, free agent signings have addressed some issues. Although things could change, Mike Minor completes the rotation, Michael A. Taylor seems set in center, Carlos Santana puts first base questions to rest and Greg Holland is the presumptive closer. If all goes as planned, those moves will help stabilize the major league roster.
One spot the Royals aren’t worried about, of course, is the one behind the plate. Salvador Perez returned in style last season, turned in one of the best offensive efforts of his career, and reestablished himself as the team backbone. Other than catcher, though, unanswered questions remain almost everywhere. Let’s examine some of the issues.