SURPRISE, Ariz. — Only one more day until pitchers and catchers report although, as noted in Sunday’s paper, about everyone is here already and taking part in optional conditioning workouts.
By BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
The only exceptions, as of Saturday, were pitchers Jeremy Guthrie, J.C. Gutierrez, Luis Mendoza, Atahualpa Severino and Dan Wheeler and catcher Manny Piña.
We previewed the opening of camp in Sunday’s paper with an expanded package. You can access the online links here on our home page.
Our use of pictures should pick up significantly after Star photographer John Sleezer arrives Monday night – the day before the first official workout.
Meanwhile, keep those questions coming on twitter at @Royals_Report.
Here is the latest batch:
@CoreyInGulfport: does gordon lead off all season, or will Yost find a way to move him to the 3 hole?
It all depends on whether Eric Hosmer bounces back to his rookie form. If he does, I think he bats third and Gordon got back to the top. If not, then Gordon probably stays as the No. 3 hitter.
@jgreen1982: who is your favorite to get the fifth spot in the rotation?
If I were handicapping (assuming everyone stays healthy), it would be Luke Hochevar, Bruce Chen, Luis Mendoza and Will Smith in that order.
@cyrusthevirus85: any indication of an impact being made by the new coaching staff? Positive or negative?
Impossible to say. Camp hasn’t even officially opened yet.
@Dharmabum1974: Will Hoch if not dominant in spring get released out right or will he be moved to the bully?
To paraphrase manager Ned Yost: Hoch is making the club.
@AU_SeanWald: Why is Colon Not in Any #Royals Top Prospect Reports? Has Zimmer, Starling, Ventura, and Some Have Bonifacio, No Colon Though.
What rankings are you looking at? The Star’s latest rankings had him at No. 14.
@jbryanlarson: Any chance Cain hits number 2? Gordon Cain Hosmer would look good.
Sure, there’s a chance, but the Royals, at this point, seem to prefer Alcides Escobar in that spot.
@soobio: what should be the fan expectation of Noel Arguelles? Not a top-20 prospect, no buzz, but a 40-man spot. Best case?
Arguelles has a 40-man spot because he signed a major-league as a free agent after defecting from Cuba – a five-year contract for $6.9 million in January 2010.
He pitched better down the stretch last season, although his overall 2012 numbers were a big disappointment. It’s a key year for him, and my guess is he returns to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
@Wingnuttage: Who's in the player pool for the PTBNL in the Myers/Shields trade?
That’s still to be determined. It can’t be anyone who was on Tampa Bay’s 40-man roster at the time of the trade. There’s also a chance it could be cash instead of a player.
@ejshelt: will either bubba or Zimmer make double a this year?
There’s a good chance the Kyle Zimmer could reach Northwest Arkansas because he’s on a fast track and appears likely to start at Hi-A Wilmington. It is far less likely for Bubba Starling, who is probably ticketed for Lo-A Lexington. Also, the Royals seem disinclined to rush Starling.
@Brad_Fischer: headed to spring training... What's best ball park in cactus lg? Any AZ restaurant recommendations?
My favorite is Surprise Stadium for its ease of entry, good sightlines and easy access to the practice fields (if you want to see the minor leaguers). But I’m probably biased.
The consensus is probably Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, which is shared by Arizona and Colorado; or Scottsdale Stadium, which is home to World Series champion San Francisco.
You don’t want dining suggestions from me.
@ReubenWetzel: Who is more likely to join Gordon as a gold glove winner, Escobar, Hosmer, or Perez?
Probably Perez, whose reputation keeps growing around the league. And reputation is important in the Gold Glove selections. Managers and coaches determine those winners, and they are more likely to go on the “eye test” over the various defensive metrics.
Oddly (to me, anyway) is the lack of respect that Escobar seems to get around the league. He wasn’t even one of the three finalists last year among shortstops. Hosmer is a darkhorse candidate at first base.