Spring FAQ: When do Royals open camp?

February 9th, 2024

This story was excerpted from the Royals Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

KANSAS CITY -- Kansas City fans have their eyes on the Super Bowl right now, but what’s really exciting is there are only a few days post-football season until baseball begins.

Royals players and coaches are making their way down to Surprise, Ariz., right now, and no doubt the optimism is high after the offseason the Royals just had. Not only did they bring in seven free agents, but they also got an extension done with their young star shortstop, Bobby Witt Jr. That excitement will carry the team through the spring -- but the Royals know they have a lot to prove in 2024.

Here’s what to know for Spring Training, whether you’re headed for the desert or following along from home:

When is the first workout for pitchers and catchers?
The first workout is Wednesday -- Valentine's Day, who says baseball isn’t romantic? There will be long tosses and bullpen sessions galore. You can expect full daily coverage on royals.com, the MLB app and in this newsletter.

What is the date of the first full-squad workout?
Many position players are already working out at the complex or will be soon, but the first official full-squad workout is Monday, Feb. 19.

Where is the Royals’ facility?
The Royals have called Surprise their Spring Training home since 2003 and share Surprise Stadium with the reigning World Series-champion Rangers. The stadium is located at 15850 N. Bullard Ave. It’s approximately 40 minutes northwest of downtown Phoenix.

Can fans attend workouts?
Yes, and admission is free. Practice fields are open to the public beginning around 9:30 a.m. MST daily. Please note that team practice schedules may vary on a daily basis. Fan access for the Royals’ practice fields is located on the northwest end of the stadium complex off Bullard Avenue and Buck O’Neil Way.

Who are some new faces fans should know?
How about one-third of the active roster? The Royals revamped their pitching staff and added new bats to their lineup to improve in 2024. Here are the players set to play their first year in Kansas City:

• Starter Seth Lugo (free-agent signing)
• Starter Michael Wacha (free-agent signing)
• Starter Kyle Wright (trade -- won’t pitch until 2025 due to shoulder surgery)
• Reliever Will Smith (free-agent signing)
• Reliever Chris Stratton (free-agent signing)
• Reliever Nick Anderson (trade)
• Reliever Matt Sauer (Rule 5 Draft)
• Outfielder Hunter Renfroe (free-agent signing)
• Utility man Garrett Hampson (free-agent signing)
• Second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier (free-agent signing)

Who are some of the top prospects invited to Major League camp?
Two prospects vying for roster spots after being added to the 40-man roster this offseason are outfielder Tyler Gentry (No. 8) and reliever Will Klein (No. 26). The Royals also invited several of their prospects to Major League camp, including starters Chandler Champlain (No. 11) and Mason Barnett (No. 12) and catcher Carter Jensen (No. 7).

Catcher Luca Tresh, infielders Tyler Tolbert and Devin Mann and outfielders Nate Eaton, John Rave and Diego Hernandez are also thought of highly in the organization and will be looking for exposure through Cactus League at-bats.

When is the first Cactus League game?
The Royals kick off their Spring Training slate on Friday, Feb. 23, as the visiting team against the Rangers at Surprise Stadium. The teams will flip the next day, with the Royals serving as the home team.

What are a few other notable spring games?
The Royals will have their first game of many against the White Sox on Feb. 29 as a split-squad and face the Guardians shortly after on March 2 in Goodyear, Ariz. The Royals have a night game scheduled against the Cubs at Surprise Stadium on March 5, as well as two back-to-back against the Giants in Scottsdale on March 19 and the Angels at home on March 20 (split-squad).

What is Spring Breakout and when is the game?
A new four-day event that aims to showcase prospects around baseball, Spring Breakout will take place across Arizona and Florida from March 14-17. Each club will create a roster of their top prospects and will play another team’s prospect roster. Royals prospects will play Brewers prospects at 1:05 p.m. MST at Surprise Stadium before the Major League teams play the Cactus League game.