2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Kansas City (MLB)

Team Name: Kansas City Royals
Location: Kansas City, MO
Stadium Name: Kauffman Stadium
Level: MLB

Starting Lineup:

  1. Whit Merrifield, 2B
  2. Adalberto Mondesi, SS
  3. Jorge Soler, DH
  4. Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
  5. Salvador Perez, C
    Martin Maldonado, C****
  6. Alex Gordon, LF
  7. Hunter Dozier, 3B
  8. Brian Goodwin, RF
  9. Billy Hamilton, CF

Bench:

  • Terrance Gore
  • Meibrys Viloria**
    • Cam Gallagher****
  • Chris Owings

Starting Rotation:

  1. Danny Duffy
  2. Brad Keller
  3. Jake Junis
  4. Ian Kennedy
  5. Jorge Lopez

Bullpen:

  • Brian Flynn
  • Kevin McCarthy
  • Tim Hill
  • Brad Boxberger
  • Wily Peralta
  • Sam McWilliams
  • Chris Ellis
  • Kyle Zimmer
  • Jake Diekman*
  • Josh Staumont***

23 of the 25 Opening Day spots for the big league club feel pretty safe. The only guys I’m not 100% confident in are Terrance Gore and Kyle Zimmer. I am 99% sure Gore is on the roster, but I can see the Royals wanting Zimmer to get some AAA innings in before thrusting him into the big leagues. If Richard Lovelady forces the Royals hand, Zimmer could be optioned to Omaha to begin 2019. With that being said, Lovelady isn’t on the 40-man roster and Kyle Zimmer is, so I’m giving Zimmer the upper hand.

The only real positional battle to speak of is going to be in RF. Brett Phillips was awful at the plate in 2018 and Jorge Bonifacio is awful in the field. Brian Goodwin is adequate in both departments and he’s simply the best option the Royals have, unless Brett Phillips has an outstanding spring. That’s not to say Goodwin is the best long-term option, he’s just the best option to win the game on Opening Day. I could see Bonifacio making the Opening Day roster as a bench player, but I think he’s a 4th OF at this stage in his career.

The battle for the 5th starter spot should be fun to watch in Spring Training. I think Jorge Lopez is currently the front-runner for the position, but the Royals could opt to put Chris Ellis in that role and let Jorge Lopez work from the bullpen. The Royals could also choose to just use four starters for the first couple weeks of the season, meaning the battle for the 5th starter spot could carry into April. If Jorge Lopez can show some improved command from 2018, I think he’s by far the Royals best option.

Just missed the cut:

  • Jake Newberry
  • Richard Lovelady
  • Josh Staumont
  • Kevin Lenik
  • Glenn Sparkman
  • Heath Fillmyer
  • Trevor Oaks
  • Scott Barlow
  • Ramon Torres
  • Humberto Arteaga

I would’ve thought that Ramon Torres and Humberto Arteaga would be the perfect cheap options for the Royals to carry as backup utility infielders in 2019, but no, Chris Owings got $3.5M. All 8 of the aforementioned pitchers will battle for spots in the big league bullpen, but I think the Royals would prefer Fillmyer and Oaks to continue starting in Omaha. I guess it’s possible that both Fillmyer and Oaks could legitimately compete for the 5th starter spot in Spring Training, particularly Fillmyer, but I think both of them will have to wait for an injury or trade first. I’m not super thrilled about the likes of Newberry, Lovelady, and Staumont all beginning in Omaha again to start 2019, but, ya know, Brian Flynn is such a valuable asset to the organization.

Stay tuned and catch our prediction for the Omaha Storm Chasers tomorrow morning.

*Updated to reflect the signing of Jake Diekman. Diekman figures to make the team, while we’ll now predict a DFA for Brian Flynn.

**Updated to reflect the injury of Salvador Perez. Cam Gallagher now figures to be the starting catcher for Kansas City while Meibrys Viloria figures to split time in a platoon role.

***Updated to reflect dominant performances from Josh Staumont and poor performances from one Chris Ellis.

****Updated to reflect the Martin Maldonado signing.

 

Photo Credits: Rick Scuteri, USA Today

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Kansas City (MLB)

  1. You are in agreement with most of roster. I think Gore is going to be out at end of ST. KC won’t keep him on opening day roster. They will keep an extra arm. Fillmyer makes bullpen. I am optimistic on Zimmer making team, too. Only one of Rule 5s stay. I bet on McWilliams. Ellis gets sent back.

    Like

    • McWilliams will be on team 100%. The Royals are going to change the game a bit again, Gore will be on the roster. They’re going to use him like they did in the playoffs all year.

      Like

  2. First assumption you make is Royals start with 13 pitchers. I will be surprised if that happens, especially with Ned wanting Gore on the bench and all the off days the first 2 weeks.
    Barring a horrible spring, Phillips starts in RF (Dayton’s defensive focus) and Goodwin (if not traded or waived) starts on bench with Gore, Owings and Gallagher.
    Lopez is the 5th starter (when they finally need him) and Fillmyer will be the long man (starter in waiting when they finally move Kennedy to the pen).
    I still don’t see all the fuss about Ellis. I bet Royals offer him back to StL and hope they don’t want him.
    Barring rash of injuries Zimmer will start in Omaha to prove he can stay healthy and pitch competitively on a regular schedule. But he could be the first call up when Royals go to 13 pitchers.
    I also expect at least one more pitcher signing before ST games start that will send either Flynn to the waiver wire or Hill back to Omaha.
    Finally, where did you come up with Torres. He elected free agency last November and as far as I can tell, has not signed with anyone yet.

    Like

  3. Another question for you, Alex.
    Royals claimed C Chris Rabago off waivers back in December. But see he is now shown in Rockies organisation. He was also listed on Omaha roster up until a few weeks ago but not there now.
    Did KC finally realize they have a major log jam at catcher and release him right after they claimed him?

    Like

  4. Heath Fillmeyer was probably one of the two best starters at the end of 2018. I don’t see how he wouldn’t grab one of the rotation spots.

    Like

    • You are probably right about this. Fillmyer closed out strong.

      I think who the pitchers are all comes down to how they approach 2018. Are they going to try to run a 5-man rotation (bad idea) with the sub-optimal staff they have, or will they get creative. No one on the current roster is a 200 inning guy. Given injury history few of them could survive 150 innings. Duffy’s best was 179. Junis pitched 177 last season. Kennedy isn’t coming close to 200 ever again. Keller doesn’t have a 200 arm.

      Love this article from last season – see “The Tandem Rotation”: http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/218121596/mlb-changing-the-five-man-piching-rotation

      We’ve got a ton of sub-optimal starting pitchers. Way more than the 8 required for a tandem rotation: Duffy, Kennedy, Junis, Keller, McWilliams, Fillmyer, Zimmer, Lively, Bailey, Lopez, Flynn, Oaks, Sparkman, Skoglund… You could easily run an 8 man tandem rotation with 1-4 8-5 with the 1 backing up the 8 and 4 backing up the 5. There’s enough back-up arms in Omaha to bring someone up when Kennedy or Duffy get hurt (and they will get hurt). That leaves 5 spots in the bullpen for 2 closers (Peralta, Boxberger) and 3 set-up men (Hill, Ellis, McCarthy).

      Like

      • You are probably right about this. Fillmyer closed out strong.

        I think who the pitchers are all comes down to how they approach 2018. Are they going to try to run a 5-man rotation (bad idea) with the sub-optimal staff they have, or will they get creative. No one on the current roster is a 200 inning guy. Given injury history few of them could survive 150 innings. Duffy’s best was 179. Junis pitched 177 last season. Kennedy isn’t coming close to 200 ever again. Keller doesn’t have a 200 arm.

        Love this article from last season – https://www.crawfishboxes.com/2017/2/27/11213482/revenge-of-the-tandem-why-starters-and-relievers-need-to-go

        We’ve got a ton of sub-optimal starting pitchers. Way more than the 8 required for a tandem rotation: Duffy, Kennedy, Junis, Keller, McWilliams, Fillmyer, Zimmer, Lively, Bailey, Lopez, Flynn, Oaks, Sparkman, Skoglund… You could easily run an 8 man tandem rotation with 1-4 8-5 with the 1 backing up the 8 and 4 backing up the 5. There’s enough back-up arms in Omaha to bring someone up when Kennedy or Duffy get hurt (and they will get hurt). That leaves 5 spots in the bullpen for 2 closers (Peralta, Boxberger) and 3 set-up men (Hill, Ellis, McCarthy).

        Like

  5. Starting Lineup:
    Whit Merrifield, 2B
    Adalberto Mondesi, SS
    Jorge Soler, DH
    Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
    Salvador Perez, C
    Alex Gordon, LF
    Hunter Dozier, 3B
    Brian Goodwin, RF
    Billy Hamilton, CF

    We 100% agree on starting line-up. Goodwin is currently the best OF option in RF. He’s fast, he’s a better hitter than Phillips, and a better defender than Bonifacio. At only 28, his bat could still have some upside if he turns into a late bloomer. Goodwin is also a pretty good CF allowing Soler to play RF.

    Bench:
    Brett Phillips
    Cam Gallagher
    Chris Owings

    2/3 here. Gore was signed to a split deal for a reason. He has no business on the major league roster for the 1st half of the season. Phillips is also fast and gives you another outfielder.

    Starting Rotation:
    Danny Duffy
    Brad Keller
    Jake Junis
    Ian Kennedy
    Jorge Lopez
    Sam McWilliams
    Ben Lively
    Homer Bailey / Heath Fillmyer

    Bullpen:
    Kevin McCarthy
    Tim Hill
    Brad Boxberger
    Wily Peralta
    Chris Ellis

    Now I might be off my rocker here… but I might also be on to something. Moore could (key word is could) be building an 8-man rotation. If so, he drops Bryan Flynn as he doesn’t need a long-man and rotates his 8 SPs in the long-man spot. I think Fillmyer and Bailey are fighting for that final spot.

    Like

  6. Pingback: 2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Omaha (AAA) | Royals Farm Report

  7. Pingback: 2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Northwest Arkansas (AA) | Royals Farm Report

  8. Pingback: 2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Wilmington (A+) | Royals Farm Report

  9. Pingback: 2019 Royals Opening Day roster predictions: Lexington (A) | Royals Farm Report

  10. Pingback: 10 Spring Training Predictions | Royals Farm Report

Leave a Reply to royalduf Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s