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Royals continue to evaluate prospect Singer

@DKramer_
March 11, 2020

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brady Singer’s bid to break camp in the Opening Day rotation will indeed continue, even after his scheduled start in the Royals’ matinee game against the Indians on Wednesday was canceled due to rain. Singer will be pushed back one day and pitch in relief in Thursday’s

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brady Singer’s bid to break camp in the Opening Day rotation will indeed continue, even after his scheduled start in the Royals’ matinee game against the Indians on Wednesday was canceled due to rain.

Singer will be pushed back one day and pitch in relief in Thursday’s game against the Mariners at Peoria Sports Complex, following Danny Duffy, who will make his third spring start.

Pushing Singer back, rather than letting him get his work in on Wednesday back in Surprise, indicates that the club could be considering including the 2018 first-round Draft pick on its Opening Day roster. Kansas City is reaching the point of camp where it will need to allocate more innings to pitchers who will be on the 26-man roster, in order to build their workloads.

That, and the fact that the club would like to match him up against Major League talent, is why Singer sticking around is relevant.

Ranked as the Royals’ No. 2 prospect, Singer had a stellar finish to 2019, when he posted a 1.96 ERA, 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings and held hitters to a .188 batting average over his final nine starts at Double-A Northwest Arkansas.

Mondesi still on the mend
Adalberto Mondesi was slated to take the field for a full-squad workout on Wednesday before Mother Nature squelched that opportunity. A possible Cactus League debut for the standout shortstop could come as soon as this weekend if Mondesi clears his workouts. Mondesi, recovering from left shoulder surgery, took full batting practice on Tuesday.

“He's doing more of what the whole team is doing right now,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “He's tracking well right now. It's too bad because we were hoping to do a full on-the-field workout today. He took BP yesterday. Everything felt good. He just needs to keep getting more repetitions. That's all. He's already had live swings. I mean, he's done most of that. Just making sure that when we're going out here, doing a little more work, everything is still tracking well.”

Although his surgeon reported on Friday that Mondesi is right on schedule, he’ll still need to accumulate a handful of live at-bats before the Royals feel comfortable installing him in a regular season lineup. That leaves the window at just two weeks -- or 11 days worth of exhibition games left -- before Opening Day against the White Sox.

Roster moves
After Tuesday’s games, the Royals optioned left-hander Foster Griffin, outfielder Nick Heath and catcher Meibrys Viloria to Triple-A Omaha, giving clearer scope to the Opening Day roster.

Viloria had been vying for the backup catcher role against Cam Gallagher, now that all signs point to Salvador Perez returning from Tommy John surgery for the Opening Day start.

Heath, the club’s No. 26 prospect, slashed .185/.267/.296 over 30 plate appearances while vying for the fourth outfield spot.

Griffin’s long-awaited bid to reach the Majors spiraled in Spring Training after giving up five earned runs over 5 2/3 innings across four outings (7.94 ERA). The 2014 first-round Draft pick is entering his seventh season in the Minors, coming off a 2019 in which he went 8-6 with a 5.23 ERA in 25 starts.

The Royals also optioned infielder Jeison Guzman to Class A Advanced Wilmington and re-assigned Ofreidy Gómez, Arnaldo Hernandez and Jake Kalish, catchers MJ Melendez and Sebastian Rivero and infielders Gabriel Cancel, Kevin Merrell and Emmanuel Rivera to Minor League camp. Kansas City has 50 players left in big league camp.

Up next
Duffy will continue his bid to start the Royals’ home opener on April 2, when he starts on the mound against the Mariners on Thursday at Peoria Sports Complex. The game is scheduled to start at 3:05 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on MLB.TV. Greg Holland, Tyler Zuber, Kevin McCarthy, Randy Rosario and Andres Machado are also expected to pitch. Duffy is a smidge behind, having made only two starts, but is still on track for the regular season.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.