The Royals appear to have set their pitching staff for the season opener on Thursday, assigning pitchers Brooks Kriske, Mike Mayers, Evan Sisk, Ryan Weiss, and Nick Wittgren to minor league camp, and optioning pitcher Collin Snider to Triple-A Omaha. That appears to leave the last bullpen spot to Jose Cuas, who impressed last year with a 3.58 ERA in 37 2⁄3 innings. The sidearmer joins a bullpen that will also feature Scott Barlow, Aroldis Chapman, Taylor Clarke, Dylan Coleman, Amir Garrett, Carlos Hernández, and Ryan Yarbrough.
Manager Matt Quatraro also announced that Kris Bubic will be the fifth starter to begin the season, according to Anne Rogers. He joins a rotation headed by Zack Greinke, who will start on Opening Day, followed by Jordan Lyles, Brady Singer, and Brad Keller.
The Royals also assigned several hitters to minor league camp, including infielders Matt Beaty and Johan Camargo, who had been competing for a bench spot. Rogers reported yesterday that infielder Matt Duffy and outfielders Franmil Reyes and Jackie Bradley Jr. will be added to the roster, giving the Royals the 13 position players they will open the season with. The Royals will still need to open up three spots on the 40-man roster for Duffy, Reyes, and Bradley, who were non-roster invitees. Two spots can be opened by placing pitcher Jake Brentz and outfielder Diego Hernandez on the 60-day Injured List, but another spot would need to be opened up.
Barring any injuries or last minute transactions, this appears to be the Opening Day roster:
Catchers (2): MJ Melendez, Salvador Perez
Infielders (6): Hunter Dozier, Matt Duffy, Nicky Lopez, Michael Massey, Vinnie Pasquantino, Bobby Witt Jr.
Outfielders (5): Jackie Bradley Jr., Nate Eaton, Kyle Isbel, Edward Olivares, Franmil Reyes
Starting pitchers (5): Kris Bubic, Zack Greinke, Brad Keller, Jordan Lyles, Brady Singer
Relief pitchers (8): Scott Barlow, Aroldis Chapman, Taylor Clarke, Dylan Coleman, Amir Garrett, Carlos Hernández, Ryan Yarbrough
Injured List (5): Jake Brentz, Diego Hernandez, Daniel Lynch, Drew Waters, Angel Zerpa