Royals manager Ned Yost talks about setting the opening day roster
The Royals made their last moves prior to the start of the season and finalized their major-league roster leading into Thursday’s season opener against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium.
First baseman Frank Schwindel, a former organizational player of the year, will make his big-league debut and bat fifth for the Royals, while longtime highly-touted pitching and injury-plagued prospect and Kyle Zimmer will also make the opening day roster for the first time in his career.
Left-handed pitchers Danny Duffy (shoulder impingement) and Brian Flynn (left UCL sprain) were placed on the 10-day injured list retroactive to March 25, while right-handed pitcher Trevor Oaks (hip surgery) went on the 60-day injured list. All of those moves were expected as results of injuries.
Right-handed pitchers Homer Bailey, Michael Ynoa, catcher Nick Dini, infielders Humberto Arteaga, Cheslor Cuthbert and Erick Mejia were all reassigned to the minors.
Bailey, a veteran free-agent signing this offseason, will begin the season in the minors on paper though he figures to join the starting rotation once the Royals need a fourth starter next week.
With the extra off days in the schedule and assuming the opener doesn’t get postponed, opening day starter Brad Keller could remain on regular rest and make a second start before the Royals need a fourth starter.
The opening day roster
Catchers (2, 1 IL): Cam Gallagher, Martin Maldonado, *Salvador Perez (60-day IL).
Infielders (7): Hunter Dozier, Lucas Duda, Whit Merrifield, Adalberto Mondesi, Ryan O’Hearn, Chris Owings, Frank Schwindel.
Outfielders (4): Alex Gordon, Terrance Gore, Billy Hamilton, Jorge Soler.
Pitchers (12, 4IL, 1 suspended): Scott Barlow, Brad Boxberger, Jake Diekman, *Danny Duffy (10-day IL), Chris Ellis, *Brian Flynn (10-day IL), *Jesse Hahn (60-day IL), Tim Hill, Jakob Junis, Brad Keller, Ian Kennedy, Jorge Lopez, Kevin McCarthy, *Trevor Oaks (60-day IL), Wily Peralta, *Eric Skoglund (restricted list), Kyle Zimmer.
*Injured or reserved list players do not count against the 25-man total
Opening day lineup
1. RF, Whit Merrifield
2. SS, Adalberto Mondesi
3. LF, Alex Gordon
4. DH, Jorge Soler
5. 1B, Frank Schwindel
6. 2B, Chris Owings
7. 3B, Hunter Dozier
8. C, Martin Maldonado
9. CF, Billy Hamilton
SP, Brad Keller