SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With third baseman Mike Moustakas expected to arrive in camp either Friday night or Saturday morning, the Royals have some immediate adjustments to make.First, the Royals will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Manager Ned Yost hinted that outfielder Bubba Starling, now battling an
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- With third baseman Mike Moustakas expected to arrive in camp either Friday night or Saturday morning, the Royals have some immediate adjustments to make.
First, the Royals will have to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Manager Ned Yost hinted that outfielder Bubba Starling, now battling an oblique injury, could be a candidate for the disabled list. If the Royals deem Starling's injury serious enough, he could go on the 60-day DL, thus opening a 40-man spot.
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And, of course, the Royals will have to adjust their everyday lineup.
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With Moustakas at third base, Cheslor Cuthbert will have to get his playing time elsewhere. Earlier in camp, the Royals made it clear they wanted to get players such as Cuthbert and outfielders Jorge Soler and Jorge Bonifacio 500-550 at-bats to further their development in this rebuild.
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Yost, without acknowledging the Moustakas reunion because Moustakas hasn't had his physical yet, said getting Cuthbert his 550 at-bats now would present a challenge.
"The goal for [Cuthbert] was 550 at-bats, now it's 450 at-bats," Yost said. "We just got to get it done somehow."
Yost did confirm that he views the DH spot as a "floating" position this season.
Cuthbert most surely will see some extended time at DH, while also playing some third base to rest Moustakas, who also may play some first base (where Lucas Duda starts) and DH at times.
The DH spot also could be a temporary home for players such as Soler and fellow outfielder Jonathan Jay. The Royals signed Jay recently on the premise that he would play regularly.
But Alex Gordon, Bonifacio and Soler also will play virtually every day, so there could be a logjam at DH that would include Soler, Jay and Cuthbert.
"It's all going to be a challenge that we have to work out," Yost said. "But that's OK. Mr. [David] Glass has always given us every opportunity to win, to be the best we can be. It's up to us to make sure we get it all done. We just have to figure it all out."
The addition of Moustakas also will bump someone off the 25-man roster.
The Royals now likely will carry six infielders instead of five, which would force them to perhaps go with four outfielders -- Soler, Jay, Gordon and Bonifacio -- instead of five. Paulo Orlando, who opened camp as the primary center fielder and is having a solid spring, has an option remaining and is a candidate to begin the season at Triple-A.
The Royals also could decide to carry seven relievers instead of eight, which would keep Orlando on the 25-man.
The other ramification of Moustakas coming to the Royals is regarding their Draft picks. They will get four picks in the top 39 (Nos. 18, 31, 33, 39), whereas they conceivably could have had another top-40 pick had Moustakas signed elsewhere for $50 million or more.
Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.