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Royals cut three from camp, roster comes into focus

Brian Duensing, Clint Barmes, and Peter Moylan are all released.

Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Royals released veteran pitchers Brian Duensing and Peter Moylan, as well as veteran infielder Clint Barmes as the club trimmed the roster closer to the 25-man limit for Opening Night. Duensing and Barmes both had opt-out clauses in their contracts that allowed them to be free agents if they were not on the Major League roster by Tuesday. All three could re-sign with the club on minor league deals and be assigned to Omaha.

Duensing is a seven-year Major League veteran, all with the Minnesota Twins. He served as an effective lefty-specialist for several years before struggling last year with a 4.25 ERA. The Nebraska grad is a close friend of Alex Gordon. Clint Barmes is a 37-year old infielder with thirteen years of Major League experience, spending last season with the Padres. Moylan is a 37-year old sidearmer who has pitched primarily with the Braves, but has battled numerous injuries and had struggled this srping.

The moves make the roster situation a bit clearer. Non-roster invitee Chien-Ming Wang now seems like a decent bet to make the club as a reliever, although the Royals have said they may carry just 11 pitchers due to so many off-days early in the year. Wang would join a bullpen that includes Wade Davis, Joakim Soria, Kelvin Herrera, Danny Duffy, Luke Hochevar, and Dillon Gee.

The release of Barmes also likely means Christian Colon will make the team as a reserve infielder. The Royals still have two roster spots available with four players seemingly in competition for the positions - Travis Snider, Reymond Fuentes, Whit Merrifield, and Terrance GoreMerrifield and Fuentes have been the most impressive in camp, while Ned Yost is intrigued by the possibility of using Gore early in the season as a strategic pinch-running weapon. Merrifield and Snider would have to be added to the 40-man roster if they were to make the team.

The Royals also have to determine who will serve as backup catcher - Drew Butera or Tony Cruz. Manager Ned Yost said the team could have a 25-man roster in place by the time the team leaves for Phoenix on Friday for a pair of exhibition games against the Diamondbacks in Chase Field.