SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Josh Staumont, the Royals' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will get the start for the Cactus League opener against the Rangers on Saturday (2:05 p.m. CT).Royals manager Ned Yost said the plan all along has been to see the younger players like Staumont in
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Josh Staumont, the Royals' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will get the start for the Cactus League opener against the Rangers on Saturday (2:05 p.m. CT).
Royals manager Ned Yost said the plan all along has been to see the younger players like Staumont in the early going.
"I don't want to burn out my veteran guys this early in camp," Yost said. "Because of the [World Baseballl Classic], we're starting a week early. We've got plenty of time to get everyone ready."
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Right-hander Kyle Zimmer, the team's No. 9 prospect, will get the start Sunday against the Rangers.
Staumont will be followed by right-hander Jake Junis, the team's No. 6 prospect. Both Staumont and Junis will throw two innings or 35 pitches.
"It's a huge honor," Staumont said. "It's phenomenal to even be able to play for this team in the first place. It's a chance to get more work in."
Will he get too amped up for the start?
"I'm from Southern California," Staumont said. "We're slow. We take things easy. I don't get too amped up for things."
Staumont has impressed Yost early in camp.
"Everything comes out pretty free and easy," Yost said. "And he still is hitting 97 or 98 [mph]."
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Also slated to pitch Saturday are right-handers Yender Caramo, Luke Farrell, and Andrew Edwards, left-handers Eric Stout and Jonathan Sanchez and right-hander Al Alburquerque.
On Sunday, Zimmer will be followed by right-hander Miguel Almonte, left-handers Scott Alexander and Jonathan Dziedzic, and right-handers Malcom Culver, Brandon McCarthy, Brandon League and Bobby Parnell.
On Monday, left-hander Jason Vargas will start against the Mariners in Peoria, Ariz. Vargas will be followed by right-hander Joakim Soria, left-hander Mike Minor and right-hander Chris Withrow.
Left-hander Danny Duffy, likely the Opening Day starter, will pitch Tuesday against the Brewers in Maryvale, Ariz. Left-hander Matt Strahm will follow him.
Right-hander Nathan Karns will start against the Cubs on Wednesday in Surprise, while right-hander Christopher Young will start Thursday against the Rockies in Surprise.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.