The Royals began the process of thinning out their spring training roster on Wednesday morning, sending five pitchers and four position players to minor-league camp.
The cuts included top pitching prospects Josh Staumont and Kyle Zimmer, who could project as bullpen options at the major-league level in 2017. But Royals manager Ned Yost said the club wanted Staumont and Zimmer to stretch out as starters heading into the season.
“We’ve got enough competition right now in this camp for our bullpen,” Yost said. “But if something happens down the road, and they’re performing down there, and they’re lengthened out, they can very easily come back here and jump right into the bullpen.”
The Royals also re-assigned right-hander Luke Farrell and left-handers Jonathan Dziedzic and Eric Skoglund to minor-league camp. Skoglund has battled a minor injury and has yet to pitch in games this spring.
In addition to the pitchers, the team sent the following position players to minor-league camp: catchers Xavier Fernandez and Chase Vallot; second baseman Corey Toups; and outfielder Alfredo Escalera.
Moss back in lineup
Outfielder Brandon Moss was in the lineup for Wednesday’s exhibition game against Team Venezuela, a couple of days earlier than expected.
Moss was scratched from last Saturday’s split-squad game against the Reds because of back stiffness. Yost said Tuesday that he expected Moss to return to game action on Friday, but Moss was on the lineup card posted Wednesday morning in the clubhouse.
“I had that little back issue for the past week,” Moss said. “But everything is feeling better now.”
Moss, who said he bruised his back in the weight room, is ready to see some pitching in a game.
“I’ve only got 12 at-bats this spring, but I’m not really using my legs in my swing yet, so I’m swinging under a lot of things pretty late, because I’m just using my arms,” Moss said. “That’s one of those things where it comes.”