The Royals have yet to finalize their minor-league rosters, but as Opening Day dawns for the big-league club, here are a few nuggets on a trio of pitching prospects:
1. Kyle Zimmer has begun throwing sessions of live batting practice at the team’s complex in Surprise, Ariz. Zimmer should begin pitching in extended-spring games by the end of next week, assistant general manager J.J. Picollo indicated.
The Royals hope Zimmer can pitch in a minor-league game by May 10, Picollo said. Zimmer missed most of 2014 due to a series of strained muscles in his back. He underwent minor shoulder surgery in October. Many in the organization still consider him their finest young arm.
2. Sean Manaea, the left-handed starter, will remain in extended spring training for at least a few weeks as he recovers from an oblique strain in his lower abdomen. Manaea experienced the injury early in camp and has been held out of action since.
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3. Christian Binford received an assignment to Class AAA Omaha. Binford, the 22-year-old righty, posted a 3.19 ERA in eight starts for Class AA Northwest Arkansas last season. He pitched for Omaha in relief in September.