As we inch closer and closer to the season, things start to take shape for the Royals minor leaguers down in Surprise, AZ. The Royals made more roster moves, reducing the number of players in Major League camp to 44.
Among those optioned to AAA Omaha were former Naturals RHP Devon Lowery and 2008 Texas League POY 1B Kila Ka’aihue. This ends their chances at being on KC’s Opening Day roster and all but assures that they will break camp headed for Omaha.
Minor League Spring Training games are also taking place daily for the Royals prospects. As with major league Spring Training games, these are to get players some game work and to get pitchers arms into shape for the season.
A point to keep in mind as well is that there are 4 minor league games going on each day so just because a player does or does not play in the Double-A on any particular day is not that big of a deal. Players are often shuttled around to different fields and games during Spring Training so that different staff members can get a look at them. Final determinations on a players’ destination to start the season does not have to be made until early April.
Also over the weekend, the Royals presented the Championship rings to the 2008 Midwest League Champion Burlington (IA) Bees. The Bees were a young group that cruised through the playoffs going undefeated when it counted. The Royals hope to keep the nucleus of this team together as they rise through the minor leagues.
Many of the key members of this team such as 3B Mike Moustakas, OF Adrian Ortiz, LHP Danny Duffy, RHP Alex Calderra and RHP Matt Mitchell may be targeted to arrive in Northwest Arkansas in the 2010 season.