3 pitchers who need great springs to make the KC Royals

They're good, but these hurlers must be especially so in spring camp.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
1 of 3

Packing spring training camps with pitchers is nothing new. It's a necessary practice for the KC Royals and every other major league club, all of whom must carefully stretch out their hurlers, have enough pitching to get through around 30 exhibition games, and effectively audition those pitchers who don't come to camp guaranteed of Opening Day big league jobs.

Counting those on their 40-man roster and a flock of non-roster invitees, (but not Kyle Wright, who'll spend 2024 on the Injured List, Christian Chamberlain, who recently tore his UCL, and the several minor leaguers who the club will occasionally borrow from minor league camp), the Royals are lucky enough to have almost three dozen pitchers working on the major league side of their Arizona training base and in Cactus League games.

Only 13 pitching staff openings are available to teams for Opening Day, and the Royals' spots seem spoken for already. But the shoulder soreness now plaguing Carlos Hernández, and the fact Daniel Lynch IV and Jake Brentz are both trying to put the finishing touches on comebacks from injuries, mean some unplanned vacancies could occur.

The Royals probably prefer to plug any such openings with pitchers with big league experience. But three of the possible candidates must have near-perfect springs to warrant serious consideration.

If necessary, can Anthony Veneziano make the grade for the Royals?

For Veneziano, ranked by MLB Pipeline as Kansas City's 16th-best prospect, making the club as even a temporary stop-gap hurler is a long shot. Yes, he has big league experience, but not much — he pitched 2.1 innings for the Royals last September, so he'll need a superb series of Cactus League appearances to qualify for Kansas City's Opening Day date with Minnesota.

So far, he's off to a decent start. Through Wednesday's games, he's pitched twice, struck out five, walked two, given up two hits, and yielded one run over four innings.

Who else might make the roster?