This, of course, hasn't changed, though the Royals got a big scare when Perez suffered a knee injury when Butera, of all people, collided with Perez in a World Baseball Classic game. Perez, who had a second MRI on Tuesday, appears to be OK (and Butera is fine, too) and is back in Royals camp.
Sticking with the original projection here, but not nearly as certain. Yes, Merrifield's versatility seemingly assures him a roster spot. But Raul Mondesi has forced his way into the competition with a terrific spring. The Royals are intrigued by Mondesi's athleticism, and he has outplayed his competitors. Here's the problem: For Mondesi to grab the job, Merrifield (who has options) would have to be sent out, or Cheslor Cuthbert or Christian Colon would have to be traded. Cuthbert and Colon are out of options. Can't keep all four. Tough call.
What's interesting this spring is that manager Ned Yost has Gordon playing everywhere -- left field, right field, even center field. Soler, off to a slow start offensively, has played several games in left. Yost is keeping his options open in terms of where Gordon and Soler will be positioned Opening Day.
Yost has moved Colon all over -- second base, third base, shortstop, even left field. Cuthbert has looked better at second base than many expected as he makes the transition from third base. Cuthbert also has looked good at first base, increasing his versatility. Originally, the thinking was that the Royals might carry an extra position player -- a late-inning weapon such as Billy Burns. Not likely anymore with Wood taking up an extra spot on the pitching staff.
Nothing has changed here from our original forecast, though the battle for the No. 5 spot among Karns, Wood and Chris Young rages on. Still too early to call the winner, but the Royals remain fascinated with Karns' potential, especially now that he's added a changeup. Young has pitched very well lately. The addition of Wood will give the Royals either three lefties in the rotation or possibly four in the bullpen.
The Royals most likely go with a seven-man bullpen with the final spot probably going to Alexander, veteran Peter Moylan or perhaps even camp surprise Yender Caramo. Neither Moylan nor Caramo is on the 40-man roster, which complicates matters slightly. Alexander has wowed coaches this spring.
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.