Surprise, Ariz. Although the Kansas City Royals lost 91 games last year, there are few jobs open in spring training.
The Royals, who held their first full-squad workout Saturday with 54 players, began their youth movement in earnest last season with a dozen players making their major-league debuts — including heralded prospects Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas.
“I imagine there will be some competition at second, in center and there will be some competition to see who is going to be on the bench,” manager Ned Yost said. “That’s basically it. We’ve got guys that are probably in a bit of a lead in some of those races. But again, it’s all going to come down to how we feel at the end of spring — which player gives us the best opportunity to win every day.”
Johnny Giavotella, who hit .247 in 46 games after his Aug. 5 promotion, is the leading candidate to win the second-base job. Lorenzo Cain, who batted .312 last year with Triple-A Omaha, will likely replace Melky Cabrera in center. Cabrera was traded to San Francisco for left-hander Jonathan Sanchez.
Missing from the workout were catcher Manny Pina, outfielder Paulo Orlando and left-handed reliever Jose Mijares. Pina is returning today to Kansas City for knee surgery on Monday. Orlando has a hernia, and Mijares has been delayed in Venezuela by visa problems.
The three-hour workout included pitchers throwing for 10 minutes off the mound for the first time.