Kansas City Royals Roster
- AL Central
- Kauffman Stadium
The Kansas City Royals officially selected relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal's contract on Wednesday. In a corresponding move, they designated pitcher Eric Skoglund for assignment. Prior to the shutdown of spring training, Rosenthal had looked like he was back to his old self. He was hitting triple digits regularly and he struck out nine in five innings of work while walking no one. Rosenthal has fallen a long way from his high when he was one of the most intimidating relievers in the game, but this could be a chance for him to come back. While Ian Kennedy was a decent reliever for KC last year in the ninth inning, if he were to falter and Rosenthal is back to being what he can be, he could step into the role during the season and become fantasy relevant once again.
Kansas City Royals star shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is in the lineup for the first time this spring, but it's unlikely he'll actually get to play. Mondesi is returning from shoulder surgery related to his dislocation last season, but his first crack at live pitching is likely to be rained out. There's also a feeling that Major League Baseball will be suspending spring training games in the very near future due to the coronavirus outbreak, so though Mondesi is apparently ready to go, it's not terribly likely he'll actually get to play in any games anytime soon.
Kansas City Royals outfielder Bubba Starling, the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft, is hitting .423/.500/.885 in spring training so far. Starling hasn't yet delivered on his abilities in professional baseball, and he struggled to a .215/.255/.317 slash line in 197 plate appearances in his first taste of big league pitching last season. His athleticism is off the charts, and he's finally starting to show it at the plate in the Cactus League. The 27-year-old could be a late bloomer, however, and could become an option in AL-only or deep mixed leagues if he earns himself a regular role in the outfield for the rebuilding Royals. Starling is still worthy of stashing in dynasty/keeper leagues, too.
Kansas City Royals second baseman Nicky Lopez knocked a couple more singles against the Reds on Saturday, raising his spring average up to .316. Lopez has now performed well in back-to-back springs, but he struggled last season when he got the opportunity to face regular season pitching. The 25-year-old is most valued for his batting average and defense as he doesn't bring a whole lot of power or speed to the game, but he can chip in a steal or homer here or there. If star shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (shoulder) is unable to go at the start of the season, Lopez could pick up a few starts at shortstop, helping stretch his versatility in lineups.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jakob Junis (back) is slated to throw a simulated game on Sunday, and manager Mike Matheny told reporters that he expects Junis to make a start a few days after that. Junis missed his last scheduled start due to lower back inflammation, but he seems to be recovering quickly from the ailment. Junis was a promising fantasy option in 2018 when he had a 4/1 K/BB ratio and FIP in the low 4s, but his walks increased and he got hit harder in 2019, leading to an ERA that ballooned to 5.24. Junis took 14 losses in the ill-fated season, and he looks a lot more like a short-term fantasy option at best.