Johnson joins large group of reserve candidates
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Elliot Johnson, the last piece of the Royals' trade with Tampa Bay, will join a large group of candidates for bench roles when full-squad workouts begin on Friday.
If the Royals go with 12 pitchers and one backup catcher, there will be just three spots for reserve infielders and outfielders. The in-camp contenders will include infielders Johnson, Miguel Tejada, Irving Falu, Xavier Nady, Brandon Wood, Christian Colon, Anthony Seratelli and the loser of the second-base battle between Chris Getz and Johnny Giavotella. Potential extra outfielders are Jarrod Dyson, David Lough, Endy Chavez, Luis Durango, Willy Taveras and Nady.
Manager Ned Yost will do some tinkering as he evaluates the group.
"We're going to do a lot of stuff. Tejada's going to play third, second, short and first. Falu is going to play some outfield. Nady's going to play some outfield and some third and first in Spring Training," he said. "We're going to look at Elliot at second, shortstop, some in left and maybe a little in center -- just to see what we've got. Try to be as versatile as we can."
Johnson, obtained on Tuesday, is the player to be named by the Rays to go along with pitchers James Shields and Wade Davis in the deal for prospects Wil Myers, Jake Odorizzi, Mike Montgomery and Patrick Leonard.
Yost sees Johnson as a possible fill-in for shortstop Alcides Escobar.
"He's a very solid, not flashy, but very solid player in all aspects of his game," Yost said.