Junis, Almonte, McCarthy, Duenez reassigned

Junis, Almonte, McCarthy, Duenez reassigned

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals made more reassignments on Monday, sending four prospects to their Minor League camp and thus reducing their number of players in Major League camp to 51.

Royals manager Ned Yost said of those who were moved -- pitchers Jake Junis, Kevin McCarthy and Miguel Almonte, who were optioned to Triple-A Omaha, and first baseman Samir Duenez, who was optioned to Double-A -- he believes Junis and McCarthy could possibly help the big league team this season.

"Innings are getting short," Yost said. "I want guys who can possibly help us this year to get more innings right now. We're losing innings [as fewer Spring Training games remain]."

Yost got a good look at McCarthy last season, when McCarthy appeared in 10 games for the Royals and posted a 6.48 ERA. Yost liked what he saw this spring from him.

"Like I said, he can help us," Yost said.

This was Yost's first extended look at Junis, a right-hander who gave up 10 hits and nine runs in four appearances. He is ranked No. 6 among Royals prospects by MLBPipeline.com.

"He just needs to work on consistency," Yost said. "Pitches are good, stuff is good. Just a young guy who is developing."

Almonte, once considered an ascending prospect, had a rough year in 2016 and was demoted from Triple-A to Double-A, posting a combined 5.92 ERA. But Almonte, ranked No. 17 in the organization, is only 23 and has time, as Yost pointed out, to figure things out.

"Good stuff. Same stuff," Yost said. "He just needs to continue to develop as a pitcher, get a little more on the attack."

Duenez, 20, is an ascending prospect (ranked No. 19) who was protected on the 40-man roster in the offseason. He was promoted twice last season and wound up at Double-A Northwest Arkansas -- combined he hit .284 with 13 homers and 100 RBIs.

"He was really impressive," Yost said. "Had a heck of a year last year and you can see why. His bat stays in the zone a long time. Needs to work on his defense."

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.