SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Royals manager Ned Yost said on Monday that outfielder Justin Maxwell is expected to make the team coming out of camp as a member of the 25-man roster that will open the season on March 31 in Detroit.
"He's going to be on our club," Yost said when asked what his plans were for the player Kansas City obtained in a trade with the Astros on July 31. "We'll just mix and match. We have two guys who are everyday players in left and right. Maxie will fill in, he and [Jarrod] Dyson."
Maxwell has earned his way onto the roster with a breakout spring. A lifetime .228 hitter, he's batting .419 (18-for-43) with a homer and six RBIs in 14 Cactus League games.
Despite those numbers, Yost was asked by a reporter to clarify that Maxwell had made the team.
"I mean, he's on the club for me right now unless something changes," Yost said. "With his spring, the way that he's trending upwards as an offensive player, I mean, he's really getting better."
Maxwell, 30, has bounced from the Nationals to the Astros to the Royals and has played in only 321 Major League games since the 2007 season. It's either now or never for him.
And certainly, he views this as a great opportunity.
"Yeah, I came over here in an exciting time for the Royals organization," Maxwell said. "We were in the hunt last year, and I think that gave us a lot of motivation in the offseason. Guys came in prepared. You can see all the work we're putting in right now. And I think come March 31 when we start up, we'll be ready to go."
The good spring numbers? They don't faze him.
"I don't really check the stats in Spring Training," he said. "I just try to evaluate each at-bat, try to have good timing, make good contact and try to get ready for the season. Any time you look too far into the future, you just lose touch with what's in front of you. You've got to keep that mindset by focusing on this pitch or this at-bat or this one play. I know it sounds like a cliché, but it's really true."
Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less