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Everything you need to know about Royals spring training in 2016

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Baseball is back!

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Metaphorically, winter is over and spring training has begun. Royals pitchers and catchers officially report today in Surprise, Arizona and the first workout is tomorrow. Position players will officially report in a few days, but many are already in camp. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about Royals spring training.

Where

The Royals are one of fifteen teams that train in Arizona. They share a stadium with the Texas Rangers in Surprise, Arizona, about 30 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Important Dates to Know

February 18 - Pitchers and catchers report

February 19 - Pitchers and catchers first workout

February 22 - Positions players report

February 23 - Full squad workout

March 2 - First spring training game vs. Texas Rangers

March 15 - Dillon Gee must be added to the 40-man roster. The pitcher can opt-out of his contract if he is not added by that time.

March 18-19 - Royals exhibition games in the Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas

April 1-2 - Royals exhibition games in Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona

April 3 - Royals regular season Opening Night, Kauffman Stadium

Positional Battles

The Royals had few roster spots to work out last spring, but may have a few more decisions to make this year.

Second Baseman

The Royals have said the job is an open competition between Omar Infante and Christian Colon. With two years and $18 million left on Infante's deal, he would likely have the inside track. However Colon has hit well in limited action, including the game-winning hit in Game 5 of last year's World Series. Colon's defense has been a concern for the club, while Infante's glove has been solid despite his slumping bat. Most likely the Royals are trying to kickstart Infante's career, but if he struggles in Cactus League play, Colon may see himself starting on Opening Day.

Outfield

The Royals seem comfortable letting Jarrod Dyson get the bulk of the starts next to Lorenzo Cain and Alex Gordon. Dyson will likely platoon with a right-handed bat, with Paulo Orlando having the inside track for that gig. Non-roster invitee Travis Snider brings some pop and could serve as a fifth outfielder. Omaha hitters Brett Eibner and Jose Martinez are long-shots at a roster spot and the Royals could still bring in another free agent to compete for a job.

Starting Rotation

The first three rotation spots are set with Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, and Ian Kennedy. Kris Medlen is very likely to serve as the fourth starting pitcher, leaving a battle for the fifth spot. Danny Duffy has a 3.16 ERA as a starter over the last three seasons, but has also been plagued with inconsistency and might excel as a reliever. Chris Young was impressive last season, especially in the post-season, but his flyball tendencies can be cause for concern. Top pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer could be a darkhorse candidate for the rotation, and former Mets pitcher Dillon Gee could compete for a spot as well.

Bullpen

The Royals pen has been the envy of baseball the last two seasons, but they lose All-Star closer Greg Holland and solid setup man Ryan Madson. Joakim Soria returns to join Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera, and Luke Hochevar as the locks in the pen. Brian Flynn has the inside track for a lefty role but will likely battle Scott Alexander and David Huff, with Tim Collins likely to return in May. The pitchers that fail to make the rotation will round out the staff and pitching prospect Miguel Almonte could a dark horse to join the pen.

Schedule

The Royals will play 35 exhibition games to prepare for their title defense. Ten spring training games will be broadcast on Fox Sports Kansas City, including both games in San Antonio. KCSP 610 in Kansas City will air thirteen games on the Royals Radio network, and audio of all games will stream on MLB.com.

Date Opponent Location Time TV/Radio
3/2/2016 vs. Rangers Surprise 2:05 KCSP 610
3/3/2016 vs. Rangers Surprise 2:05 KCSP 610
3/4/2016 at Padres Peoria 8:10 KCSP 610
3/5/2016 vs.White Sox Surprise 2:05
3/6/2016 at Angels Tempe 2:10 KCSP 610
3/7/2016 at Athletics Mesa 2:05
3/7/2016 at Cubs Mesa 2:05 KCSP 610
3/8/2016 vs.Rockies Surprise 2:05 KCSP 610
3/9/2016 vs.Brewers Surprise 2:05 KCSP 610
at Mariners Peoria 2:10
3/10/2016 at White Sox Glendale 2:05
3/11/2016 vs.Diamondbacks Surprise 2:05
3/12/2016 at Diamondbacks Scottsdale 2:10 FSKC
3/13/2016 vs.Indians Surprise 3:05
3/14/2016 vs.White Sox Surprise 3:05
3/15/2016 at Reds Goodyear 3:05 FSKC, KCSP 610
3/16/2016 vs.Cubs Surprise 3:05 KCSP 610
3/17/2016 at Dodgers Glendale 3:05
3/18/2016 vs. Angels Surprise 3:05
at Rangers San Antonio, TX 7:05 FSKC
3/19/2016 at Rangers San Antonio, TX 2:05 FSKC
vs.Mariners Surprise 3:05
3/20/2016 at Cubs Mesa 3:05
3/22/2016 vs.Dodgers Surprise 8:05 FSKC, KCSP 610
3/23/2016 at Indians Goodyear 3:05 FSKC, KCSP 610
3/24/2016 at Brewers Maryvale 3:05 FSKC
3/25/2016 at Giants Scottsdale 3:05
3/26/2016 vs.Athletics Surprise 3:05 FSKC
3/27/2016 at Athletics Mesa 3:05
3/28/2016 vs.Padres Surprise 3:05
at Mariners Peoria 3:10
3/29/2016 vs.Giants Surprise 8:05 FSKC, KCSP 610
3/30/2016 at Rangers Surprise 12:05 KCSP 610
4/1/2016 at Diamondbacks Phoenix 8:40
4/2/2016 at Diamondbacks Phoenix 3:10

Royals radio affiliate listing available here.

Roster

The Royals will have 64 players in camp, but only 25 will break north with the club for the season opener. You can get to know the non-roster invitees a bit more here.

# Position Pitchers DOB 40-man? 2015 Club
54 LHP Alexander, Scott 7/10/1989 Yes Omaha (AAA), Kansas City (MLB)
Rookie who performed well in Omaha last year could compete for a lefty reliever role.
50 RHP Almonte, Miguel 4/4/1993 Yes NWA (AA), Omaha (AAA), KC (MLB)
Promising young prospect who could be a dark horse candidate for the bullpen.
IF Barmes, Clint 3/6/1979 No San Diego (MLB)
Solid glove man and seasoned veteran who could fill utility infielder role.
72 RHP Binford, Christian 12/20/1992 No NW Arkansas (AA), Omaha (AAA)
Was 2014 Royals Minor League Pitcher of the Year but struggled mightily in 2015.
38 OF Bonifacio, Jorge 6/4/1993 Yes Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Solid power bat with trouble getting on base who should start in Omaha.
9 C Butera, Drew 8/9/1983 Yes LA Angels (MLB), Kansas City (MLB)
Likely has the inside track to be the backup catcher for the Royals.
6 OF Cain, Lorenzo 4/13/1986 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
All-Star centerfielder, could spend some time in right field to save his legs.
61 IF Calixte, Orlando 2/3/1992 No Omaha (AAA), Kansas City (MLB)
Solid glove that can play shortstop, but has failed to hit much in the minor leagues.
43 IF Coleman, Dusty 4/20/1987 No NWA (AA), Omaha (AAA), KC (MLB)
Career minor leaguer known for baserunning gaffe in 2015.
55 LHP Collins, Tim 8/21/1989 Yes Disabled List
Will likely return after recovering from Tommy John surgery by May or June.
24 IF Colon, Christian 5/14/1989 Yes Omaha (AAA), Kansas City (MLB)
Will compete for the starting second base job, but could serve as a utility infielder.
7 C Cruz, Tony 8/18/1986 Yes St. Louis (MLB)
Will compete for backup catcher position, but has options remaining and could be sent down.
19 IF Cuthbert, Cheslor 11/16/1992 Yes Omaha (AAA), Kansas City (MLB)
Likely the starting third baseman for Omaha, could fill in for the Royals this season.
17 RHP Davis, Wade 9/7/1985 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
One of the best relievers in baseball, will likely serve as Royals closer.
46 IF Decker, Cody 1/17/1987 No El Paso (AAA), San Diego (MLB)
Nice power bat for the minor leagues, will likely start at first base for Omaha.
60 3B Dozier, Hunter 8/22/1991 No Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Former first-round pick has struggled and was a disaster in 2015.
LHP Duensing, Brian 2/22/1983 No Minnesota (MLB)
Alex Gordon's groomsman has spent seven years in the big leagues as a lefty specialist.
41 LHP Duffy, Danny 12/21/1988 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Is competing for a rotation spot, could be sent to the bullpen where he excelled in limited action.
1 OF Dyson, Jarrod 8/15/1984 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Will likely get start in the outfield in a platoon role against right-handed pitchers.
73 LHP Dziedzic, Jonathan 2/4/1991 No NW Arkansas (AA), Omaha (AAA)
Lefty with solid numbers in the minor leagues, but is not considered a top prospect.
26 OF Eibner, Brett 12/2/1988 Yes Omaha (AAA)
Has produced solid power numbers in the minors but has battled injuries and is long shot to make the team.
2 SS Escobar, Alcides 12/16/1986 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
All-Star, Gold Glove-winning shortstop and leadoff hitter.
78 C Evans, Zane 11/29/1991 No Wilmington (A), NW Arkansas (AA)
Bat has slumped the last two seasons, will likely head to Northwest Arkansas.
33 LHP Flynn, Brian 4/19/1990 Yes Omaha (AAA)
Former Marlins pitcher missed all of 2015 with a lat injury, could be a favorite to win a job as a lefty reliever.
1B Fuenmayor, Balbino 11/26/1989 No Northwest Arkansas (AA), Omaha (AAA)
Slugger returns from ACL injury ahead of schedule, should be ready for Omaha by opening day.
34 OF Fuentes, Raymond 2/12/1991 Yes Omaha (AAA)
Speedster hit well for Omaha last season, where he will likely return as depth for the Royals.
70 C Gallagher, Cam 12/6/1992 No Wilmington (A)
Was a Carolina League All-Star in 2014, but the bat has never really come around.
53 RHP Gee, Dillon 4/28/1986 No Las Vegas (AAA), NY Mets (MLB)
Former Mets starting pitcher with a decent shot at making the Royals as a long reliever.
4 OF Gordon, Alex 2/10/1984 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Royals All-Star, Gold Glove left-fielder fresh off signing a four year, $70 million deal.
0 OF Gore, Terrance 6/8/1991 Yes NW Arkansas (AA), Kansas City (MLB)
One of the fastest men in all of professional baseball, surprised many with the bat last year.
40 RHP Herrera, Kelvin 12/31/1989 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
All-Star reliever will likely serve as the seventh-inning setup man again.
44 RHP Hochevar, Luke 9/15/1983 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Reliever will be looking to pitch his first full season since coming back from Tommy John surgery.
35 1B Hosmer, Eric 10/24/1989 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
World Series hero, Gold Glove first baseman, and likely cleanup hitter.
59 LHP Huff, David 8/22/1984 No Okla. City (AAA), LA Dodgers MLB)
Journeyman lefty with Major League expereince who could compete for a reliever spot.
14 2B Infante, Omar 12/26/1981 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Still has two years left on his deal, but could lose his starting second baseman job with a poor spring.
31 RHP Kennedy, Ian 12/19/1984 Yes San Diego (MLB)
Big free agent signing for the Royals, expected to be the #3 starter in the rotation.
37 LHP Lannan, John 9/27/1984 No Albuquerque (AAA)
Lefty with Major League experience, but poor velocity likely keeps him in the minor leagues.
66 OF Martinez, Jose 7/25/1988 Yes Omaha (AAA)
6'7'' outfielder hit .383 for Omaha, but is not likely to make the Royals ballclub.
39 RHP Medlen, Kris 10/7/1985 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Will be looking to pitch his first full season since having Tommy John surgery, likely to serve as #4 starter.
65 OF Merrifield, Whit 1/24/1989 No Omaha (AAA)
Versatile utility player will likely return to Omaha after disappointing 2015 season.
63 RHP Mills, Alec 11/30/1991 Yes Wilmington (A)
Starter put up fantastic numbers for Wilmington, but is already 24 years old.
LHP Minor, Mike 12/26/1987 Yes Disabled List
Former first round pick has a 4.10 career ERA in 111 games, but missed last season with a torn labrum.
27 IF Mondesi, Raul 7/27/1995 Yes NW Arkansas (AA), Kansas City (MLB)
Considered the organization's top overall prospect, despite lackluster career numbers.
25 DH Morales, Kendrys 6/20/1983 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
One of the top designated hitters in the game last year, will likely hit fifth for the Royals.
71 C Morin, Parker 7/2/1991 No Wilmington (A), NW Arkansas (AA)
Put up surprisingly good numbers last season, could move up to Omaha.
8 3B Moustakas, Mike 9/11/1988 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Starting third baseman, could be moved back up to the #2 spot in the lineup.
RHP Moylan, Peter 12/2/1978 No Gwinnett (AAA), Atlanta (MLB)
Put up surprisingly good numbers last season, could move up to Omaha.
79 RHP Nina, Aroni 4/9/1990 No Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Hard-throwing reliever has trouble throwing strikes and has put up underwhelming numbers.
RHP Ohlendorf, Ross 8/8/1982 No Round Rock (AAA), Texas (MLB)
Princeton grad could compete for a job as a long reliever, but most likely will start for Omaha.
16 OF Orlando, Paulo 11/1/1985 Yes Omaha (AAA), Kansas City (MLB)
Brazilian native surprised last year, should spell Jarrod Dyson against left-handed pitchers.
13 C Perez, Salvador 5/10/1990 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
World Series MVP and three-time Gold Glover, Royals would like to get him more rest this season.
75 RHP Pounders, Brooks 9/26/1990 No Lexington (A), Wilmington (A), NWA (AA)
Former Tommy John surgery missed time with a lat injury last year, but had good numbers in AA.
68 LHP Selman, Sam 11/14/1990 No Northwest Arkansas (AA)
Hard-throwing lefty has had command issues ever since being drafted in the second round in 2012.
OF Snider, Travis 2/2/1988 No Ind. (AAA), Balt. (MLB), Pitts. (MLB)
Eight-year MLB vet as a reserve outfielder, could find playing time in right field.
48 RHP Soria, Joakim 5/18/1984 Yes Detroit (MLB), Pittsburgh (MLB)
Former All-Star closer for the Royals returns to serve as eight-inning setup man.
12 OF Starling, Bubba 8/3/1992 Yes Wilmington (A), NW Arkansas (AA)
Former first-round pick showed signs of improvement at AA and could see his MLB debut this season.
64 LHP Strahm, Matthew 11/12/1991 Yes Lexington (A), Wilmington (A)
Struck out 11.6 per nine innings in A ball, but is 23 years old.
62 IF Torres, Ramon 1/22/1993 Yes Wilmington (A), NW Arkansas (AA)
Middle infielder has shown a decent bat, could be a sleeper in the system.
51 LHP Vargas, Jason 2/2/1983 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Will likely miss the entire season with a torn UCL and Tommy John surgery.
30 RHP Ventura, Yordano 6/3/1991 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
Fireballer will have the inside track to start Opening Day, will be expected to take a step forward in 2015.
36 RHP Volquez, Edinson 7/3/1983 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
"Steady Eddie" could start on Opening Day if Ventura is not up to the task.
67 RHP Wang, Chien-Ming 3/31/1980 No Gwinnett (AAA), Tacoma (AAA)
Two-time 19-game winner and groundball artist is likely near the end of his career.
32 RHP Young, Chris 5/25/1979 Yes Kansas City (MLB)
The lanky right-hander will compete with Danny Duffy for the final rotation spot.
15 RHP Zimmer, Kyle 9/13/1991 Yes Lexington (A), NW Arkansas (AA)
The oft-injured pitching prospect is a dark horse to make the team, could be up soon if healthy.