The Royals pared their spring-training roster down to 30 players on Monday morning, completing a series of maneuvers that left left-hander Francisley Bueno in line for the final spot in the bullpen.
The Royals optioned outfielder Jimmy Paredes to Class AAA Omaha. They also reassigned catcher Adam Moore and reliever Jon Rauch to minor-league camp.
That leaves Bueno. But manager Ned Yost refuses to name Bueno to the club – just as he refuses to name other probables like Louis Coleman or Kelvin Herrera to the club.
“Until we leave here, and that roster’s set, that roster’s not set,” Yost said. “He’s still very much in the running. Very much in the running. Until our roster’s set, it’s not set.”
Bueno, a 33-year-old Cuban, is out of minor-league options. The team probably would lose him on the waiver wire if he does not make the club. He has had big-league success in a limited sample: a 1.61 ERA in 28 big-league innings.
“He’s done a really nice job,” Yost said. “He fits everything we want. He’s a strike thrower. He’s got good stuff. He’s fearless on the mound.”
Yost wants his roster finalized, in his mind, by Wednesday. The team flies to Milwaukee for a two-game exhibition series that night. But the final product won’t be released until Sunday, the day before the season opener in Detroit.
For example, Brett Hayes appears the obvious choice to back up Salvador Perez behind the plate. But Ramon Hernandez remains in camp as an insurance policy.
“You go down to the last minute,” Yost said. “Because something can happen at any time. [Hernandez is] still a major-league catcher. He can still swing the bat. He can play first base. He’s a guy that a major-league club can use.”
Here is the lineup as the Royals drive back to Scottsdale to play the Rockies:
1. Jarrod Dyson, DH.
2. Johnny Giavotella, 2B.
3. Salvador Perez, C.
4. Billy Butler, 1B.
5. Alex Gordon, LF.
6. Justin Maxwell, RF.
7. Danny Valencia, 3B.
8. Lorenzo Cain, CF.
9. Pedro Ciriaco, SS.
Jeremy Guthrie will be on the mound.