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Royals Q&A with Dutton: Giavotella and Bubba

Updated: 2013-02-14T18:31:53Z

By BOB DUTTON

The Kansas City Star

— Today is the reporting date for the 21 infielders and outfielders on the Royals’ camp roster. The first official full-squad workout is Friday.

Everyone from the club’s 40-man roster is in camp except shortstop Alcides Escobar, who is delayed in Venezuela because of delays in obtaining a visa for his wife. He is expected arrive late Friday and be in uniform for Saturday’s workout.

There are four infielders and four outfielders who are non-roster invites – and I haven’t seen all of them. That doesn’t mean they aren’t here. I’ll try to get an official count for later in the day.

Utilityman Elliot Johnson, obtained Tuesday from Tampa Bay, is expected to arrive today in camp. Will look to confirm that.

Lefty Danny Duffy is also scheduled to make his second mound appearance since undergoing Tommy John surgery last June in Los Angeles. He threw 18 pitches, all fastballs, on Tuesday. Plans call for a similar workout.

Keep those questions coming on twitter at @Royals_Report. Here’s today’s exchange:

@85royal: Couldn’t the Royals have claimed Johnson on waivers, then receive cash or a different PTBNL?

Tampa Bay designated Johnson for assignment on Feb. 5 and traded him to the Royals on Feb. 12 as the player to be named later in a Dec. 9 deal. I doubt he was ever placed on waivers.

Teams have 10 days to reach a resolution on a player after designating him for assignment. Usually (not always) they wait until the last few days of that span to send the player through waivers.

@kevinashcraft: Assume Giavotella loses battle with Getz, does he start at 2B in AAA over Colon?

Yes – in part because I think Christian Colón probably starts at shortstop. Colón is regarded the best ready-now, in-house defensive replacement at short if something happens to Alcides Escobar.

@madturk2007: thx for doing this...odds that hoch or chen traded/released before opener? apologies if you’ve already answered

Very unlikely either gets released. A trade for either is possible if the Royals get to late March with no injuries among their starting pitchers and believe they can get something meaningful in return. I don’t think they just give either one away.

@billymiyaki: How is Bubba Starling doing? Will we see him this year? Go Royals!

First, he’s not in big-league camp. Second, the Royals were generally pleased with his first pro season. Third, he’s likely to start the season at Lo-A Lexington.

@KCCCK94: Does Guthrie seem like the logical #2 guy? It puts him in line I believe to start #OpeningDayAtTheK

You can certainly build a case for Guthrie as the No. 2 starter, but Ned Yost said he hasn’t yet decided between Guthrie and Ervin Santana. James Shields seems a clear No. 1, and Wade Davis appears a lock at No. 4. As of today, anyway.

@jeffroKC: Who do you think will bat clean up this year? #Royals

Would be surprised if it isn’t Billy Butler.

@ryancrist86: Why does Louis Coleman seem to get overlooked so often? 2 solid years and still appears on the outside looking in.

I think Coleman faces an uphill battle to break camp with the club. The Royals are pretty clear that Greg Holland, Kelvin Herrera, Tim Collins and Aaron Crow are their back-four bullpen guys. It also seems apparent they will take two long relievers.

That means Coleman is battling a lot of guys for one or two remaining bullpen spots – and Coleman has options, which means he can be sent to the minors without being sent through waivers.

@big_chiefD: How’s Lo Cain looking? Primed for the big/healthy year we need?

He says he feels great, but infielders and outfielders won’t start official workouts until Friday. Agree with you that Royals need him to stay healthy.

@mtb5003: Hearing anything good on prospect pitchers in the tier behind Ventura, Zimmer, & Lamb?

There are several, but I’ll give you four to watch: Sam Selman, Jason Adam, Miguel Almonte and Kyle Smith. I’ve seen very little of them in person but hear good things.

@Asbury_45: should we assume 13 position players now with the addition of Johnson?

It sure seems likely at this point.

@ATrionfo: does greg have the upper hand when it comes to the closer role or can kelvin herrera win it with a lights out spring?

Am told Holland is the closer, period. I doubt that changes before the season starts, but if he struggles in April (or anytime), the Royals certainly have alternatives – most notably Herrera.

@KevinW19: Does Getz, Gio, and Johnson all start the season on the 25-man? If not, who’s the odd-man out?

It’s hard to see a roster that contains Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella. Both are primarily second basemen, and both have options remaining. I expect one to win the starting job and the other to open the season at Class AAA Omaha.

@GoBigEd: To this point, has anyone shown up clearly looking like they had a "lazier" offseason than they should have?

Me.

To reach Bob Dutton, Royals reporter for The Star, send email to bdutton@kcstar.com. Follow his updates at twitter.com/Royals_Report.

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