Herrera welcomes pressure as Royals' closer

Herrera welcomes pressure as Royals' closer

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- New Royals closer Kelvin Herrera thought it'd be a good thing this offseason to check in with former closer Wade Davis, now with the Cubs, on what this full-time gig will be like.

As one might expect, Davis told Herrera he would do just fine.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

Royals want Dozier to see time at first base

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Hunter Dozier, the Royals' No. 2 prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com, was drafted as a shortstop, converted to third base, and most recently has been working in right and left field.

Now comes a new position for Dozier to tackle: First base.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals taking it slow with Kennedy, Hammel

Royals taking it slow with Kennedy, Hammel

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Basically everyone either in the Royals' rotation or competing for a job is listed in the probables for the first six games of Spring Training.

That would be except right-handers Ian Kennedy and Jason Hammel, who, of course, are locks for the rotation.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cain sticks with original glove during visit from Wilson

Center fielder keeps game glove protected

Cain sticks with original glove during visit from Wilson

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain has a special relationship with his glove.

Cain has used the same glove -- a Wilson A2000 1799 -- for seven years.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

KC will hand Staumont ball for Cactus opener

Yost details pitching plan, with emphasis on seeing young arms early

KC will hand Staumont ball for Cactus opener

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Josh Staumont, the Royals' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, will get the start for the Cactus League opener against the Rangers on Saturday (2:05 p.m. CT).

Royals manager Ned Yost said the plan all along has been to see the younger players like Staumont in the early going.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Zimmer feels healthy, hopes injury concerns are in past

Prospect fully rehabbed from August surgery

Zimmer feels healthy, hopes injury concerns are in past

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- These days, Royals prospect Kyle Zimmer is keeping expectations low.

Zimmer, the Royals' No. 9 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, arrived to Spring Training in 2016 with great optimism. His fastball was hitting 96 mph early in camp.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breaking down the Royals' Top 30 Prospects

KC's farm headlined by big league-ready Strahm, Dozier

Breaking down the Royals' Top 30 Prospects

Six years ago, the Royals had the best farm system in baseball. The biggest names were Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers, all of whom would contribute mightily -- Myers via trade -- to an American League pennant in 2014 and a World Series title in 2015. So too would a deep crop of then lesser-known talents that included Danny Duffy, Jarrod Dyson, Kelvin Herrera, Greg Holland, Salvador Perez and Yordano Ventura.

That championship will resonate forever in Kansas City, but the team slipped to 81-81 last year and the current system lacks the reinforcements that will be needed after a likely free-agent exodus following the 2017 season. The Royals traded their best young arms (Brandon Finnegan, Sean Manaea, Cody Reed) to add Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist for the stretch drive in 2015, and they haven't drafted as well since they began picking lower in the first round and were hamstrung by bonus limitations.

Continue Reading

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moore not worried about losing big-name stars

Moose, Hosmer, Cain and Escobar can be free agents following season

Moore not worried about losing big-name stars

PHOENIX -- Much has been made in the past year or so about the Royals' window of opportunity closing.

This is the last year the core of the Royals' 2015 World Series championship team is guaranteed to stay together. Kansas City has four potential big-name free-agents after the '17 season -- third baseman Mike Moustakas, first baseman Eric Hosmer, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

After strong year, Moylan ready for competition

Royals brought righty reliever back on Minor League deal with spring invite

After strong year, Moylan ready for competition

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Peter Moylan had been hoping to land a Major League contract for 2017 after he posted a 3.43 ERA in 50 appearances for the Royals last season.

But as the months rolled by this offseason, no Major League offers came. And when Spring Training began last week, Moylan decided he wouldn't wait any longer. He finally decided to take a Minor League deal with Kansas City last Friday with an invite to camp.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hosmer curious about free agency, loyal to KC

Hosmer curious about free agency, loyal to KC

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- First baseman Eric Hosmer is one of several Royals who could become a free agent after the 2017 season.

And while Hosmer has indicated he is curious about testing the free-agent waters, he doesn't want to be misunderstood: He has interest in a long-term deal with the Royals.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Royals president stresses togetherness in '17

Royals president stresses togetherness in '17

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- In honor of Presidents Day, we at MLB.com asked club presidents around the league to offer three messages they had for fans as we head into the 2017 season.

Here's what Royals president Dan Glass had to offer:

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Payroll raise keeps KC contending

Club president Glass says front office always looking to improve team

Payroll raise keeps KC contending

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- That Royals' mandate to trim the payroll in 2017 started with the best of intentions.

But thanks to the sales jobs of general manager Dayton Moore and club president Dan Glass, the Royals' payroll for 2017 might exceed the 2016 payroll. And the team should again be in position to compete for another World Series title.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Staumont will have Royals' attention in camp

Hard-throwing prospect could become a bullpen candidate

Staumont will have Royals' attention in camp

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- One of the intriguing young arms in camp will be right-hander Josh Staumont, who has been clocked at 100 mph.

Staumont has been a starter during his Minor League career, but the Royals wouldn't be afraid to try him in the bullpen to start the season. Staumont isn't on the 40-man roster, though.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Minor will make transition to Royals' bullpen

Minor will make transition to Royals' bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Left-hander Mike Minor had high hopes of cracking the rotation last year when the Royals signed him to a two-year, $7.25 million deal.

Now, Minor simply wants to contribute any way he can.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

From soup to 'nuts': Who's healthiest in KC?

Merrifield's pizza craving gives edge to Gordon

From soup to 'nuts': Who's healthiest in KC?

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Call it the Royal Battle of the Health Food Nuts.

In one corner is the legendary Alex Gordon, he of the next-to-zero percent body fat who many years ago cheated on his diet with a cheeseburger. The shame.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shortstop Escobar aiming for the fences

Shortstop Escobar aiming for the fences

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Shortstop Alcides Escobar made a bold statement right out of the gate Saturday as rain cut short the Royals' workout: He believes he can hit double-digit home runs after hitting a career-high seven homers in 2016.

"Oh, yeah. I think I can hit 10-15 homers," said Escobar, who arrived in camp Friday.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gordon prepared to do Royals' outfield shuffle

Move will help give Soler time to acclimate to right field

Gordon prepared to do Royals' outfield shuffle

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost revealed Friday that he may have some unusual outfield combinations this spring, and perhaps during the regular season.

Yost indicated he plans to utilize Gold Glove left fielder Alex Gordon in all three outfield spots.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Moylan back with Royals on Minor League deal

Moylan back with Royals on Minor League deal

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals agreed to a Minor League deal with right-hander Peter Moylan, the club confirmed Friday. A source told MLB.com that Moylan will earn $1 million if he makes the Royals' 25-man roster. The club has not confirmed the value of the deal.

"We're very happy to have him back," manager Ned Yost said. "He is a guy who was very productive for us last year. I think he had 15 appearances in August alone last year.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strahm seizing opportunity to pitch from 'pen

Strahm seizing opportunity to pitch from 'pen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- For most of the offseason, the Royals stated publicly that left-hander Matt Strahm would be in the mix for a spot in the rotation.

But that officially changed after the Royals acquired starters Jason Hammel and Travis Wood. Hammel already has a spot secured in the rotation. Wood will compete with right-handers Nathan Karns and Chris Young for the fifth spot.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cuthbert in crowded mix for second-base job

Cuthbert in crowded mix for second-base job

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The prevailing offseason assumption was the Royals' second-base job was up for grabs among Whit Merrifield, Christian Colon and Raul Mondesi.

But manager Ned Yost isn't about to leave another name out.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Orlando honors wife with tattoo on right arm

Orlando honors wife with tattoo on right arm

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- We're spotting a trend here.

Last year, Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando showed up in camp sporting a large tattoo of himself on his back.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Wood officially joins Royals on 2-year deal

Versatile left-hander will compete for rotation spot, after full season in 'pen

Wood officially joins Royals on 2-year deal

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A Royals rotation that seemed decimated after the tragic death of Yordano Ventura last month suddenly looks deep and talented.

The recent signings of right-hander Jason Hammel and left-hander Travis Wood gives general manager Dayton Moore the type of depth he always covets this time of year.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Flynn talks about falling through barn roof

Royals place reliever on 60-day DL with rib, back injuries

Flynn talks about falling through barn roof

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The first bit of advice left-hander Brian Flynn got from his Royals teammates when he arrived here last week was this: Dude, hire someone to do home repairs.

Flynn, who was going to compete for a bullpen job, went on the 60-day disabled list Wednesday after sustaining a broken rib and three non-displaced fractures in his vertebrae following an accident at his home in McAlester, Okla.

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Strop wants to help players travel safe in DR

In wake of Ventura tragedy, Cubs reliever will visit complexes to address potential dangers on roadways

Strop wants to help players travel safe in DR

MESA, Ariz. -- Cubs reliever Pedro Strop was lucky. When he was involved in a car accident in the Dominican Republic in November 2014, he just needed a few stitches on his left arm. Yordano Ventura, tragically, was not as fortunate, and Strop wants to do what he can to avoid losing another young talent in his native country.

Ventura, a young star pitcher for the Royals, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican on Jan. 22. He was 25.

Continue Reading

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Soria ready to start anew in Royals' bullpen

Soria ready to start anew in Royals' bullpen

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals reliever Joakim Soria isn't going to harp on his 2016 season, and he had a message for anyone who may still want to:

"You just have to move on," Soria said, smiling. "And I hope you guys move on, too."

Continue Reading

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.