Catchers: Salvador Perez, Drew Butera
This, of course, looked in doubt earlier in March when Butera collided with Perez's knee at home plate in a World Baseball Classic game. But the MRI came back clean on Perez's knee, and the Royals' organization collectively exhaled.
First base: Eric Hosmer
Last year's MVP at the MasterCard All-Star Game was a unanimous all-Classic tourney pick, helping Team USA win a gold.
Hosmer's clutch two-run homer
VEN@USA: Hosmer belts go-ahead, two-run home run
Eric Hosmer gives Team USA a 4-2 lead in the 8th inning with a clutch two-run homer to right-center field
Second base: Mondesi
We had projected
Whit Merrifield to win this spot over Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert, with a to Mondesi back in February. We whiffed. Merrifield, who has options, was courtesy mention to Triple-A Omaha following Saturday's final Spring Training game. Colon, who does not have options, will get the other roster spot. sent
Shortstop: Alcides Escobar
Escobar is a pending free agent, and that is another good reason to have Mondesi in the big leagues in 2017, because Mondesi could be the shortstop in '18.
Third base: Mike Moustakas
Coming off his right ACL surgery last May, Moustakas had a great spring and is ready to go, though his time at the hot corner will be monitored the first month of the season.
Moustakas' solo homer
KC@OAK: Moustakas breaks tie with solo homer in 3rd
Mike Moustakas breaks a 1-1 tie in the 3rd inning with a solo homer to right field
Starting outfield: Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Paulo Orlando
Jorge Soler would be the right fielder, but he will open the season on the because of a strained oblique. Orlando replaces him. 10-day disabled list
Designated hitter: Brandon Moss
Moss was locked in at the end of Spring Training, blasting three homers in the final week.
Must C: Moss mashes a moonshot
Must C Crushed: Moss' homer clears Surprise Stadium
Brandon Moss launches a solo home run beyond the concourse tents in right field, enough to hit it completely out of Surprise Stadium
Bench: Colon, Cuthbert, Terrance Gore
We originally thought the Royals might go with an 11-man staff, thus creating an opening for speedy
Billy Burns on the bench. But the Royals will go with seven in the bullpen. Still, Gore and his world-class speed could take Soler's spot. Cuthbert makes the team as the primary backup to Moustakas.
Rotation: Danny Duffy, Ian Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jason Vargas, Nathan Karns
Well, it wasn't exactly tough, but we did hit this one on the screws. Karns beat out
Travis Wood and Chris Young for the No. 5 spot.
Karns fans Soto
CWS@KC: Karns K's Soto to end the frame
Nathan Karns strikes out Geovany Soto to end the top of the 4th inning
Bullpen: Kelvin Herrera, Joakim Soria, Matt Strahm, Young, Mike Minor, Wood, Peter Moylan
The Royals hadn't yet acquired Wood when our first 25-man projection came out. And originally, we went out on a limb with
Josh Staumont and his 100-mph fastball grabbing a bullpen spot. , and Moylan was added to the roster Hunter Dozier was placed on the 60-day DL to make room.