SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When the Royals re-signed shortstop Alcides Escobar last month, it seemed almost a given that Raul Mondesi would be ticketed for Triple-A Omaha when the season starts simply so he would be assured regular playing time.Not so fast.Royals manager Ned Yost said Thursday that while Escobar will
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- When the Royals re-signed shortstop Alcides Escobar last month, it seemed almost a given that Raul Mondesi would be ticketed for Triple-A Omaha when the season starts simply so he would be assured regular playing time.
Not so fast.
Royals manager Ned Yost said Thursday that while Escobar will play every day at shortstop, Mondesi still could win a job at the big league level at second base -- yes, second base, which was manned by Whit Merrifield for most of last season.
"It depends how Mondi is doing this spring," Yost said. "Is he doing [badly]? Is he doing great? If he's doing great, we want him here. If he's not, we want him at Triple-A.
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"We can move Whit around. Whit can play first or third or left or center. We can mix and match."
The Royals remain highly intrigued by Mondesi's ability.
"He has a very rare combination of speed and power," Yost said. "And he has great instincts for the game. He just hasn't been able to stay healthy all year to this point. But that will come."
Duffy reflects on tough year
Royals left-hander Danny Duffy looked back on last season rather candidly. Duffy was cited for a DUI last August in suburban Kansas City. He eventually pleaded guilty and received probation.
"Once you hit the bottom floor, there's nowhere to go but up," Duffy said. "Off the field, it was the worst year I had in my life.
"Time to erase and re-record. I want to be something the younger kids can look up to. In regards to what happened in August, I don't want them to put lives in danger like I did. I want to be the last Royal this ever happens to."
Gore wants to remain a Royal
One of the decisions Kansas City was able to postpone for awhile was regarding Terrance Gore's immediate future. Gore is out of options, which would have forced the club to either commit to him this spring on the 25-man roster or release him.
But Gore's agent and the Royals were able to work out a deal over the offseason in which he was designated for assignment, then quickly re-signed as a non-roster invite. For both sides, it buys some more time for him to develop in the organization if he doesn't make the 25-man roster.
"It's something we talked about with my agent," Gore said. "I wanted to stay with this organization. I know all the people here. I have friends here. I don't want to be hopping around from team to team."
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.