Opinion

Royals hope Kyle Zimmer can pitch in minor-league games by May

Kansas City Royals top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer watched batting practice with his arm in a sling before the seventh game of the World Series last October.
Kansas City Royals top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer watched batting practice with his arm in a sling before the seventh game of the World Series last October. The Kansas City Star

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.

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.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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