Decisions to be made on back end of Royals' rotation

Young, Duffy, Medlen and Gee to compete for fourth and fifth spots

Decisions to be made on back end of Royals' rotation

KANSAS CITY -- We can almost count the hours until Royals pitchers and catchers report on Thursday. With that in mind, we continue with Part V of our Spring Training preview series: Projected lineups/rotation/bullpen.

The Royals have opened up the competition for the second-base job between Omar Infante and Christian Colon, one of the heroes from Game 5 of the World Series. Infante is healthy again, having had bone chips removed from his elbow in a minor surgery in November.

Spring Training: 2B job | Comebacks? | Newcomers | Prospects

The other big camp battles will concern the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the rotation among Chris Young, Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy, Dillon Gee and others. The losers of that battle will likely shuttle off to the bullpen.

And there will be strong competition for the final two or three spots in the bullpen behind closer Wade Davis, as well as setup men Joakim Soria, Luke Hochevar and Kelvin Herrera.

Here are our early projections:

2015 record

95-67, first place in American League Central

World Series champions

Projected batting order (with 2015 statistics)

1. SS Alcides Escobar:
.257 BA, .293 OBP, .320 SLG, 3 HR, 47 RBIs, 17 SB
2. LF Alex Gordon:
.271 BA, .377 OBP, .432 SLG, 13 HR, 48 RBIs
3. CF Lorenzo Cain:
.307 BA, .361 OBP, .477 SLG, 16 HR, 72 RBIs, 28 SB
4. 1B Eric Hosmer:
.297 BA, .363 OBP, .459 SLG, 18 HR, 93 RBIs
5. DH Kendrys Morales:
.290 BA, .362 OBP, .485 SLG, 22 HR, 106 RBIs
6. 3B Mike Moustakas:
.284 BA, .348 OBP, .470 SLG, 22 HR, 82 RBIs
7. C Salvador Perez:
.260 BA, .280 OBP, .426 SLG, 21 HR, 70 RBIs
8. 2B Omar Infante:
.220 BA, .234 OBP, .318 SLG, 2 HR, 44 RBIs
9. RF Jarrod Dyson:
.250 BA, .311 OBP, .380 SLG, 2 HR, 18 RBIs, 26 SB 

Projected rotation (with 2015 statistics)

1. Edinson Volquez: 13-9, 3.55 ERA, 34 games (33 starts)
2. Yordano Ventura: 13-8, 4.08 ERA, 28 starts
3. Ian Kennedy: 9-15, 4.28 ERA, 30 starts (with the Padres)
4. Chris Young: 11-6, 3.06 ERA, 34 games (18 starts)
5. Kris Medlen: 6-2, 4.01 ERA, 15 games (eight starts)

Projected bullpen (with 2015 statistics)

Closer Wade Davis: 17/18 saves, 0.94 ERA
RH setup man Joakim Soria: 2.53 ERA (with the Tigers and Pirates)
LH setup man Danny Duffy: 4.08 ERA, 30 games (24 starts)

Jeffrey Flanagan is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.