Kyle Zimmer looks healthy as the Royals reported for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 18. (Photo Credit: John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star)
Kyle Zimmer looks healthy as the Royals reported for pitchers and catchers on Feb. 18. (Photo Credit: John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star)

With pitchers and catchers having reported to Arizona, baseball season is upon us once again. Here is a look at how the roster for the defending world champions can look like heading into Opening Day on April 3 against the Mets.

Lineup:

  1. Alcides Escobar – SS
  2. Alex Gordon – LF
  3. Lorenzo Cain – CF
  4. Eric Hosmer – 1B
  5. Kendrys Morales – DH
  6. Mike Moustakas – 3B
  7. Salvador Perez – C
  8. Omar Infante – 2B
  9. Jarrod Dyson – RF

Bench:

C – Drew Butera
INF – Christian Colon
OF – Paulo Orlando
OF – Jose Martinez

Rotation:

  1. Edinson Volquez
  2. Yordano Ventura
  3. Ian Kennedy
  4. Kris Medlen
  5. Danny Duffy (L)

Bullpen:

CP: Wade Davis
Kelvin Herrera
Joakim Soria
Luke Hochevar
Brian Flynn (L)
Chris Young
Dillon Gee

The majority of the group remains in tact, minus Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto. Kennedy fits into Cueto’s spot in the rotation while Infante and Christian Colon will battle to fill the void at second base. With Zobrist out of the picture, this will enable either Gordon or Moustakas moving up to the second spot in the order, with Gordon being the most likely candidate. Jose Martinez won the Pacific Coast League batting title in 2015 by hitting .384 with a robust .461 on-base percentage. The 27-year old career minor leaguer should get a crack at a utility outfield role in 2016. Soria returns to the place that jump-started his major league career, serving as the Royals’ closer from 2007-11. “Jack” recorded 160 saves in that span, good for third most in Royals’ history, and was an All-Star in 2008 and 2010. His return will offset the loss of Ryan Madson, who signed a three-year, $22 million deal with the Athletics.

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