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Rounding The Bases With The Royals
By Ken from The Pipeline.
[ March 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM ] [ Comments (15) ] [ Full Story ]  [ Filed under: Features | Royals ]
[ Tagged: , ]
The battles in camp are beginning to intensify for the second base and starting rotation slots, and the Royals will get back a couple guys they lost for the WBC. At second base, Willie Bloomquist continues to reportedly make a name for himself as a starter, even though the move would smack of Ross Gload being the full-time 1B, which hasn't worked out that well. 
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There's a reason Bloomquist and Gload are situational players. They can't hit consistently enough to start more than 100 games, heck, maybe not more than 40 or 50. According to Kansas City Star reports, it's Alberto Callaspo's range that seems to be the issue in giving Bloomquist a foothold on a chance at the starting job. I think both make the roster either way, but I hope Callaspo emerges as the starter somehow. Bob Dutton is reporting there is likely one roster spot to go to one of Gload, Ryan Shealy, Mitch Maier, Brayan Pena and Tony Pena Jr. I say cut TPJ, option Maier, trade Gload for whatever you can get, get Shealy on there and also deal Buck for whatever and give B. Pena the backup catcher job. You have insurance at AAA in Vance Wilson, after all, if Brayan Pena doesn't work out. KC gave TPJ way too much rope last year to put up historically awful numbers. Brayan Pena can't get one shot?

The rotation question looks like it may be coming down to Brian Bannister OR Luke Hochevar for one slot, and Bannister has struggled this spring while Hochevar has been solid. Apparently Horacio Ramirez is still in the mix despite defense-aided struggles. Throw in Kyle Davies, who is riding the wave of a hot September '08 into a likely rotation slot, and you've got 4 guys for 3 spots. And Bannister and Hochevar have options left, so it's likely to be one of them that's gonna go to Omaha on the Shane Costa (formerly Aaron Guiel) Express.

With Canada out of the WBC and the Dominican Republic booted by the Dutch in an embarrassing showing, the Royals look to get Mark Teahen and Jose Guillen back to camp. It actually works out well in Guillen's case as he has more time to heal up and get to 100 percent for opening day. Teahen can go back to booting and bobbling his way at a shot at the second base job. It probably doesn't help his chances there that he just played third for Canada for the last week-plus. My money is on Teahen breaking camp as the 4th OF, if he breaks camp with the Royals at all. There were some rumors of shipping him to the Yankees, but the Royals have denied those reports.

After an off-day Tuesday, the Royals get back into game action today (Wednesday).

Ken covers the Royals on his blog The Pipeline.

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