February 15, 2013

Royals Q and A: Where do Duffy and Paulino fit?

Finally, the Royals get their entire squad together today for an official workout. Nearly all of the infielders and outfielders have been around for several days but, today, they’ll be in official gear and not sweats and T-shirts.

Finally, the Royals get their entire squad together today for an official workout. Nearly all of the infielders and outfielders have been around for several days but, today, they’ll be in official gear and not sweats and T-shirts.

The pitchers started off their official workouts earlier in the week by throwing live batting practice for five minutes. (That means a hitter – minor-league players until today – stands in the box and takes an occasional swing.)

But Thursday’s workout saw half of the staff shift to 10-minute sessions and, and manager Ned Yost observed, “There was a lot of huffing and puffing out there.” That’s not at all unusual.

Today, the other half of the staff cranks it up for its first 10-minute session.

The Royals will get started later than usual today, too. The infielders and outfielders must undergo their routine pre-camp physical. A clubhouse meeting also precedes the first official full-squad workout. Club rules are reviewed at that time.

The number of questions is dipping a bit, so we’ll probably review a shift next week to a non-daily format if that trend continues. You can send questions anytime on twitter to @Royals_Report.

Here’s today’s exchange:

@GoBigEd: We saw pics of Shields working with Salvy on how he wants him to frame up his pitches. Anything special about it?

It’s not frame pitches so much as setting up a target for pitches. And, no, it’s not particularly different than what happens whenever a new battery gets together.

The only point of note is Perez has three new starters to learn, and he’s leaving in early March to join Venezuela for the World Baseball Classic. As we had in a story earlier in the week, he doesn’t anticipate a problem.

@dgdowner2: It all comes down to the pitching, doesn’t it?

Always the biggest ingredient with any team.

@kcshowtime96: realistic to expect 20/20 from Cain?

Homers and steals? I don’t know. Cain has never hit more than 16 homers in any of his eight professional seasons.

@DavidVest1: Is Getz’ range at 2B so much better than Gio or Falu to make up for his weak bat?

Getz’s range is better, and his bat might surprise you. He batted .275 last season in 64 games. Giavotella batted .238 last season in 53 games. Nowif Gio ever starts hitting like he has in the minors, that’s a different story.

@MLineBacker_32: Where does Paulino and Duffy fit in the long run? Who gets let go/traded

Both are viewed as legitimate rotation candidates going forward. Exactly where they fit will depend on (a) how effective they are after returning from Tommy John surgery; and (b) how other starters are doing when they are ready to pitch (presumably around the All-Star break).

@fightwookies4: How long is Wade Davis’s leash? If he struggles, will he go to the bullpen or to the minors to continue starting?

All indications suggest that leash is pretty long. But the Royals appear to have sufficient alternatives for their rotation that Davis could, conceivably, shift to the bullpen if he struggles for an extended period.

@DiamondDope: Why is Salvador Pérez referred to as "Salvy" in the @KCStar?

That’s what he is called by teammates more than anything else.

@dan_jones_music: I think Mendoza should at least be part of the conversation about 4 or 5 slot. Your thoughts?

I think he is part of the conversation for the fifth slot – the first four, barring injuries, are pretty well set. If you’re suggesting he should be the favorite for the fifth slot, club officials appear to disagree.

@jeff_fett: Which player can the Royals afford not to lose to injury this season and why?

Same answer as last year: catcher Salvy Perez. He not only has the potential to be special, but the drop-off from him to his replacement is probably sharper than at any other position.

@HitTheBallKC: If Colon is considered best replacement if Escobar goes down, why not getting look at 2nd?

Christian Colón will get a look, but the primary competition should be between Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella. Remember, this is Colón’s first year in big-league camp, and he has options remaining.

@rudyparedes: any way the royals can find room for Lohse

It’s hard to see. It’s hard to see for any team, actually. Teams are reluctant to go more than three years for Lohse (if that) but are also reluctant to offer a one-year deal because it means the loss of a draft pick. It will be fascinating to see where he eventually lands.

@RyanABland: with the hitting coach move from Seitz to Maloof, would you expect any changes to approach a fan would notice?

Hosmer and Maloof have each talked about “quieting” Hosmer’s swing, i.e., fewer moving parts. Now, Seitzer tried to achieve the same thing last year and, for whatever reason, Hosmer never responded. This spring, Hosmer and Maloof seem to be on the same page.

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