Montgomery among Royals' four camp cuts

Montgomery among Royals' four camp cuts

Montgomery among Royals' four camp cuts
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The field of candidates for the Royals' bullpen was decreased by two on Monday when right-handers Blake Wood and Greg Holland were optioned to Triple-A Omaha.

The Royals also optioned catcher Manny Pina to Omaha, and reassigned left-handed pitcher Mike Montgomery to the Minor League camp -- reducing the camp roster to 36.

Manager Ned Yost expects to have the roster whittled to the Opening Day 25 players by the time the club breaks camp on March 29.

Holland had not allowed a run in seven Cactus League games covering seven innings, with 10 strikeouts and three saves. He gave up five hits and walked four.

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"I think he's got a chance to be a pretty dominant bullpen guy in our future. He still has issues with fastball command," Yost said. "We're looking for strike-throwers -- guys with stuff that can throw strikes."

Wood pitched four innings in four games, and gave up four runs for a 9.00 ERA. He gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out five.

"These were tough. Both guys have things they need to continue to refine to get them to the next level as relievers," Yost said.

Last year in the Royals' pen, Wood was 1-3 with a 5.07 ERA in 51 games, and Holland was 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA in 15 games.

There are five bullpen spots to be filled, with eight pitchers in contention: Kanekoa Texeira, Luis Mendoza, Jeremy Jeffress, Robert Fish, Aaron Crow, Tim Collins, Louis Coleman and Nate Adcock. Yost said he's made up his mind to take one of them, but declined to identify him.

The option of Pina solidifies the catching staff, with Brayan Pena and Lucas May taking over for Jason Kendall, who's recovering from shoulder surgery.

"It gets Manny back to playing every day over there," Yost said. "We've got to get Pena and May ready for the season."

Montgomery's reassignment means that he'll likely be in Omaha's pitching rotation.

"He's got a chance to be a real special starter for us in the future," Yost said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.