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Royals want to line up talents in spring camp

Yost likes Escobar in leadoff spot, while Ventura is odds-on Opening Day starter
MLB.com

KANSAS CITY -- As our Spring Training preview series continues, we get to the really fun stuff.

Yep, we're talking batting lineups and projected rotations and bullpens.

KANSAS CITY -- As our Spring Training preview series continues, we get to the really fun stuff.

Yep, we're talking batting lineups and projected rotations and bullpens.

Of course, there isn't a whole lot of debate about which players will be utilized in those three areas. It's more about what order.

Royals skipper Ned Yost went with his now famous "speed on top" lineup last mid-September and the team took off, winning nine of its final 14 regular season games before going 11-4 in the playoffs.

Yost said he still likes Alcides Escobar in the leadoff spot, but after that, he said he will leave it up to Spring Training to decide.

Video: Outlook: Ventura looking to build on strong 2014

The same philosophy goes for the rotation: Yost isn't saying how he expects his rotation to roll out, but all signs point to Yordano Ventura starting on Opening Day.

As for the bullpen, the back-end roles are defined.

Here we go with one man's educated guess on how it will all shape up:

2014 record
89-73, 2nd place in the AL Central

Projected batting order
1. SS Alcides Escobar:
.285 BA, .317 OBP, .377 SLG, 3 HR, 50 RBIs, 31 SBs in 2014
2. RF Alex Rios:
.280 BA, .311 OBP, .398 SLG, 4 HR, 54 RBIs, 17 SBs in 2014
3. CF Lorenzo Cain:
.301 BA, .339 OBP, .412 SLG, 5 HR, 53 RBIs, 28 SBs in 2014
4. LF Alex Gordon:
.266 BA, .351 OBP, .432 SLG, 19 HR, 74 RBIs, 12 SBs in 2014
5. DH Kendrys Morales:
.218 BA, .274 OBP, .338 SLG, 8 HR, 42 RBIs, 0 SBs in 2014
6. 1B Eric Hosmer:
.270 BA, .318 OBP, .398 SLG, 9 HR, 58 RBIs, 4 SBs in 2014
7. C Salvador Perez:
.260 BA, .289 OBP, .403 SLG, 17 HR, 70 RBIs, 1 SB in 2014
8. 2B Omar Infante:
.252 BA, .295 OBP, .337 SLG, 6 HR, 66 RBIs, 9 RBIs in 2014
9. 3B Mike Moustakas:
.212 BA, .271 OBP, .361 SLG, 15 HR, 54 RBIs, 1 SB in 2014

Video: Outlook: Cain a stellar defender with top-notch speed

Projected rotation
1. Yordano Ventura, 14-10, 3.20 ERA in 2014
2. Jason Vargas, 11-10, 3.71 ERA in 2014
3. Edinson Volquez, 13-7, 3.04 ERA in 2014
4. Danny Duffy, 9-12, 2.53 ERA in 2014
5. Jeremy Guthrie, 13-11, 4.13 ERA in 2014

Video: Outlook: Guthrie will eat up innings again in 2015

Projected bullpen
Closer: Greg Holland, 46/48 saves, 1.44 ERA in 2014
RH setup man: Wade Davis, 9-2, 1.00 ERA in 2014
LH setup man: Brandon Finnegan, 0-1, 1.29 ERA in 2014

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jflanagankc.

Kansas City Royals, Lorenzo Cain, Wade Davis, Danny Duffy, Alcides Escobar, Brandon Finnegan, Jeremy Guthrie, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Omar Infante, Kendrys Morales, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez, Alex Rios, Jason Vargas, Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez