The KC Royals pitchers and catchers begin official workouts this afternoon, though most have already been in camp for a few days. Unfortunately, it has been a bit chilly in the morning at the spring training complex in Surprise.
Lefty Danny Duffy, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery, will be throwing off the mound for the first time today. This will be Day One’s highlight. Check out a Q&A with writer Bob Dutton via the Kansas City Star.
Dutton also writes about the fierce competition for the final spots in the bullpen, which should be a trickle down effect from those who do not win the fifth starter’s spot (and the “losers” trickle down to the minors). It is expected that with the upgrade in the rotation from last season, the Royals will only carry seven relievers and six of those spots (barring injury or anything else) are filled. Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Tim Collins, and Aaron Crow will pitch in the late innings. Luke Hochevar, Bruce Chen, and Luis Mendoza are battling for the final rotation spot and the “losers” are expected to fill the long-man roles in the ‘pen.
That leaves the one spot and there are at least 11 guys competing for that one spot. Most likely, the “winner” will be a guy who is out of options.
Also check out Kings Of Kauffman’s day one report for spring training with notes on Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez (who has been working with new ace James Shields already).