KC Royals Lineup: 3 big questions behind the plate

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
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Question 2: Who will be the main backup catcher for the KC Royals this year?

Kansas City fans may have been a bit surprised when the club added catcher Freddy Fermin to its 40-man roster to protect him from last December's Rule 5 Draft. That the Royals made the move was, though, logical given Perez's length of service and age and the emergence of MJ Melendez as an everyday player.

Melendez debuted in May and although his .217 129-game batting average was, and is, concerning, his 18 homers and 62 RBIs mean he needs to play every day on a team struggling to compete. Catching every day, though, something the Royals apparently want Melendez to do eventully, is out of the question as long as Perez remains productive and healthy.

So, Kansas City's effort to make Melendez a left fielder, at least for the time being, will continue this spring and into the regular season and raise another issue: who will back up Perez, Melendez or Fermin?

Unless the club trades for or signs another backstop, or breaks spring camp with prospect Logan Porter (more on him in a moment). the answer is "both." Fair to say is that the Royals still consider Melendez to be their catcher of the future so, to improve his catching skills, Quatraro will most often substitute Melendez for Perez when the latter takes a day off or DH's. Fermin will get some work, though, primarily in the late innings or when Melendez needs a break.

And Fermin is Quatraro's insurance in case injury or other circumstances force Perez and Melendez out of the same game.

And the third question is...