KC Royals energize fanbase with historic Opening Day roster

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It is almost a tradition now that the KC Royals wait until mere hours before Opening Day's first pitch to announce the 26-man roster. The roster's construction seemed finalized days ago, but Kansas City made the necessary official moves for a historic Opening Day roster. From shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. to starting pitcher Cole Ragans, who made the cut?

KC Royals Opening Day roster shows promising organizational growth

There were not many surprise moves regarding the 26-man roster. It looks extremely different from the 2023 iteration though. Kansas City’s roster includes only seven players who made the Opening Day roster last season, including pitchers Jordan Lyles and Brady Singer, catcher Salvador Perez, infielders Vinnie Pasquantino and Witt Jr., and outfielders Kyle Isbel and MJ Melendez. The bullpen turnover is an underestimated aspect of Kansas City's roster construction.

The Royals did place four players on the IL, retroactive to March 25. Those four players include pitchers Carlos Hernández, Jake Brentz, and Josh Taylor, plus infielder Michael Massey.

Here is how the roster breaks down by position.

Catchers: Salvador Perez, Freddy Fermin

Infielders: Bobby Witt Jr., Vinnie Pasquantino, Maikel Garcia, Adam Frazier

Outfielders: Hunter Renfroe, MJ Melendez, Kyle Isbel, Dairon Blanco, Nelson Velazquez

Utility: Garrett Hampson, Nick Loftin

Rotation: Cole Ragans, Seth Lugo, Brady Singer, Michael Wacha, Alec Marsh

Bullpen: Jordan Lyles, Angel Zerpa, Matt Sauer, John Schreiber, Nick Anderson, Chris Stratton, James McArthur, Will Smith

According to a Royals press release, this is the first Opening Day roster appearance for nine Royals. That list includes Marsh, whose strong spring earned him a spot in the rotation. Also, Garcia took to social media Wednesday evening to express his excitement for fulfilling a life-long dream.

Perez's 10 Opening Day starts at catcher further extends his Royals record at the position. Plus, the team captain will tie Willie Wilson for the sixth-most Opening Day starts in franchise history. Perez still trails Geroge Brett's record 18 Opening Day starts by a wide margin, but the catcher is further cementing his status as a Royals great.

Kansas City kicks off the season on Thursday against the Minnesota Twins in Kauffman Stadium. The 2024 season is finally here, and I could not be happier.

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