The Royals finalized their 25-man Opening Day roster today, optioning left-handed pitcher Brian Flynn to Omaha and purchasing the contracts of reliever Ryan Madson and outfielder Paulo Orlando from Omaha. Despite flirting with the idea of an eight-man bullpen, the Royals will open the season with seven relievers and a four-man bench. The Opening Day roster will consist of:
Catchers (2): Erik Kratz, Salvador Perez
Infielders (6): Christian Colon, Alcides Escobar, Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, Kendrys Morales, Mike Moustakas
Outfielders (5): Lorenzo Cain, Jarrod Dyson, Alex Gordon, Paulo Orlando, Alex Rios
Starting Pitchers (5): Danny Duffy, Jeremy Guthrie,Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez
Relief Pitchers (7): Wade Davis, Jason Frasor, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Ryan Madson, Franklin Morales, Chris Young
Disabled List (3): Tim Collins, Luke Hochevar, Kris Medlen
Madson was a bit of a long-shot to make the roster at the outset of camp, having pitched only one minor league inning over the last three years. However Madson proved he was healthy, despite a minor back issue, and impressed the Royals brass enough that they chose not to risk losing him due to his "gentleman's agreement" to release him if another big league club wanted him and he wasn't going to break north with the Royals.
Paulo Orlando beat out Whit Merrifield and Moises Sierra to claim the last bench spot for the Royals. He spent all of last year in AAA Omaha, hitting .301/.355/.415. The right-handed Brazilian outfielder will be making his Major League debut at age 29. The only Royals players older than Orlando when making their Major League debut were Yasuhiko Yabuta (35), Edgar Caceras (31), Dar Smith (29), Chris Hatcher (29), and Aaron Guiel (29).