Notes: Singer's roster chances, Soler power

July 19th, 2020

KANSAS CITY -- Right-hander Brady Singer, the Royals’ No. 2 prospect per MLB Pipeline, already handles himself like a pro, especially with the media.

Singer appears on the cusp of cracking the Royals’ 30-man roster. But during a Zoom call Sunday with reporters, he wasn’t taking the bait about whether he felt confident in making the team.

“I’ve been working on this for a long time,” he said. “I feel extremely good. I feel like this is the best I’m going to be right now. I feel like I’ve worked on everything as much as I can. I feel 100 percent ready to go.”

Singer, who impressed manager Mike Matheny and his staff during Spring Training, was still in camp in March when MLB activities were shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. There was an outside chance he could have cracked the 26-man roster then.

Singer’s chances of making the team appear better now, especially with the uncertainty regarding right-hander Brad Keller, last year’s Opening Day starter. Keller returned from the COVID-19 IL on Friday, and he likely won’t be built up enough to make any lengthy starts soon.

Singer, who threw four shutout innings in an intrasquad game Friday night, has looked like he belongs on the roster. And Matheny continues to rave about Singer’s pitchability and competitiveness.

Soler power
Royals slugger Jorge Soler has had kind of a slow Summer Camp as he works on his timing.

On Saturday, Soler belted his first home run of the intrasquad games. But Soler believes his timing will come quickly.

“I’m still working on it hard,” Soler said through interpreter Luis Perez. “I’m not worried about it too much. If I start slow, I know I can pick it up pretty fast.”

Royals add Brentz
Jake Brentz, whom the Royals signed to a Minor League deal last August, was added to the 60-man pool and assigned the club's satellite camp.

Brentz, 25, began his pro tenure in the Blue Jays' organization in 2013. From there he was traded to Seattle in '15, then to Pittsburgh in '16. The Pirates released him last summer.

Brentz has a power fastball, but he has struggled with control issues. Across 69 career starts at Double-A and Triple-A, he averaged 7.5 walks per nine. He can miss bats, though, recording 10.3 strikeouts per nine on average at those levels.

Montgomery to start Monday
Left-hander Mike Montgomery will get the start Monday in an exhibition game against the Astros at Kauffman Stadium at 7:05 p.m. CT.

That could conceivably set up Montgomery for a Saturday start in Cleveland, as Danny Duffy already has been named Opening Day starter for Friday. But Matheny didn’t confirm Montgomery would go Saturday in a Zoom call Sunday.

If Montgomery starts Saturday, he would then be available to start in the four-game series that follows in Detroit. Montgomery pitched his best game as a Royal last season on Aug. 10 in Detroit: seven shutout innings with 12 strikeouts.