4 key things to watch after KC Royals make 2 big roster cuts

Not everything is resolved in Kansas City's camp.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
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The KC Royals tied the Angels 8-8 Wednesday night. That only-in-spring-training result notwithstanding, they've won 13 Cactus League games and lost 11 with five exhibition games left to play. But only the regular season counts, and that begins March 28 when Opening Day starter Cole Ragans throws the first pitch of the club's 2024 campaign.

Don't think, though, that those five games are meaningless. They're not. The Royals still have questions to answer and issues to resolve before the season begins, and manager Matt Quatraro, his coaches, and general manager J.J. Picollo will rely in part on data points those contests provide to finalize Kansas City's 26-man Opening Day roster.

The Royals took care of some personnel business after Wednesday evening's game, but in the process left open a burning rotation question — who will be their fifth starter?

Who's the final starter after KC cut Daniel Lynch IV and Anthony Veneziano?

The club announced it's sending Lynch and Veneziano to Triple-A Omaha. Lynch was clearly in the running for the fifth rotation spot and, considering his 2.77 ERA in five games, seemed well-positioned to land it. Veneziano wasn't as close — he pitched for the Royals late last season, but had given up seven runs, seven hits, and walked four in 6.1 innings this spring.

The moves probably improve Jordan Lyles' chances to retain his starting job, although Alec Marsh, who's struck out 17 and yielded only three runs (1.93 ERA), and has a 0.86 WHIP, could edge him out. And Lyles, troubled by a back issue this spring, has pitched only twice.

Deciding between Lyles and Marsh, or perhaps a third candidate, won't be easy.

Moving on to three other issues confronting the Royals...