Gore's legs keep him in mix for roster spot

Gore's legs keep him in mix for roster spot

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- If you're looking for a sleeper pick to be the Royals' 25th man on the Opening Night roster, look no further than speedster Terrance Gore.

While super utility man Whit Merrifield has been getting the most attention as the possible final player to be added to the roster, Gore's amazing speed has catapulted him into consideration.

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Could Royals manager Ned Yost envision Gore making the 25-man?

"I can," Yost said Friday morning. "A definite possibility until [Jarrod] Dyson gets back. He's a weapon off the bench."

Dyson is recovering from a strained oblique and likely won't return until mid-April. While Paulo Orlando and Reymond Fuentes are battling for the starting job to replace Dyson, Yost and his staff are pondering Gore, Merrifield or Travis Snider as a possible fifth outfielder.

Gore's attributes are well-known. He has four career postseason stolen bases, and among Major Leaguers with fewer than six plate appearances, his eight career regular-season stolen bases are second all-time only to Herb Washington's 31.

"We all pretty much understand what Gore's strength is -- baserunning," Yost said. "You always want a guy who can come off the bench in a tie game or down by a run with a big bat. With Gore, with his legs, it's like having a big bat off the bench.

"You can pinch-run him, and he can steal second or third. He can score on any hit. He can score on any fly ball. He's a valuable guy until Dyson comes back. Him and Dyson -- Dyson is a threat off the bench. Other teams don't want to see Dyson coming off the bench or Gore coming off the bench. They can steal a base when everyone in the world knows you're going to steal a base. Very few guys can do that.

"So yes, he's still in the mix to make the Opening Day roster."

And Gore already is on the 40-man roster. Merrifield and Snider are not.

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.