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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Will the Royals carry three catchers on the roster?

In a certain sense, the immediate answer to this question could be "Yes" because MJ Melendez, the club's presumptive left fielder, was primarily a catcher until a couple of seasons ago. He hasn't caught a regular season game since last April, but could fill in behind the plate in an emergency.

The real question, of course, is whether Kansas City will decide to begin the season with Salvador Perez as its No. 1 catcher and Freddy Fermin as his only backup, an arrangement that seems the most logical and beneficial considering the plethora of players competing for the team's scarce bench spots.

But the Royals also have two big league veteran backstops in camp — Sandy León, who's playing on a minor league contract and a non-roster spring training invitation, and Austin Nola, who the club signed to a major league deal a few days after camp opened. León making the Opening Day roster has been a long shot from the beginning and, barring injuries to Perez and Fermin, isn't going to happen.

Nola has an outside chance, though. He's caught rotation newcomers Michael Wacha and Seth Lugo before, and their mutual familiarity might help, at least in the early stages of the season. But because roster room is at such a premium, and Nola has a minor league option left, look for him at Triple-A Omaha to open the season, with Melendez staying ready to catch if necessary.

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