SURPRISE, Ariz.- The Royals are looking to repair their pitching staff after an unusual and tragic offseason. After finishing .500 last season, leaving them in third place in the AL Central just one year after winning the World Series, the Royals need to find a replacement for Yordano Ventura. “Ace,” 25, was killed in a car accident in January, leaving a large gap in the Royals’ rotation.
Also, the Royals traded all-star Wade Davis to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for outfielder Jorge Soler, leaving an opening for the closer spot going into spring training.
Going into spring training, look to see if pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer can recover from multiple surgeries in the past few seasons. The fifth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, Zimmer has been plagued with arm issues, making him unable to get through Double-A affiliate Northwest Arkansas Naturals. Despite these issues, Zimmer still has the stamina of a starter, and he can keep his fastball around 92-95 mph. Look for him to overcome these injuries and become the replacement that the Royals’ rotation needs.
The Royals’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training at Surprise Stadium on Feb. 14. The position players report on Feb. 17.