It's getting closer with approximately 21 days until pitchers and catchers report and around 47 days until I make it down to Phoenix/Surprise myself. I thought I'd make and early prediction on how the 25 man roster will breakdown.
SP Luke Hochevar (LOCK)-Could have breakout yr with better infield defense
SP Jeff Francis (LOCK)-Love his control
SP Vin Mazzaro (LOCK)
SP Kyle Davies (LOCK)
SP Bruce Chen (LOCK)
RP Joakim Soria (LOCK)-Best closer not named Mariano
RP Robinson Tejeda (LOCK)- Outstanding after April in '10
RP Blake Wood (LOCK)- Starting getting K's in Aug/Sep
RP Sean O'Sullivan
RP Kanekoa Texeira-
RP Greg Holland- Victim of .400+ BABIP last yr, 11.1 K/9 in '10
RP Tim Collins- 9.3 K/9 @ AAA was the low of his career
I think Sean O'Sullivan or Kanekoa Texeira will fall victim to Louis Coleman by midseason. Once Coleman is added there is a possibility that this could be the best Royals bullpen has looked since 2008 when they had Ron Mahay, Ramon Ramirez and Leo Nunez getting the ball to Soria. That group was only together for one season where this group (Wood, Holland, Collins and Coleman) could be leading to Soria saves for a few seasons.
C Brayan Pena (LOCK)- Gets his shot to show he can be a #1
C Lucas May
1b Billy Butler (LOCK)- 36 HR 96 doubles last 2 yrs
Dh Kila Ka'aihue (LOCK)- .878 OPS in Sept is what we were lookin for
2b Mike Aviles (LOCK)- From Apr-Aug 14 XB hits Sept 13 XB hits
SS Alcides Escobar (LOCK)-2010 .264 BABIP
3b Wilson Betemit
UT Chris Getz-His light hitting days are numbered w/Gio in Omaha
Mike Aviles health adds to the versatility of this group. His ability to play a passable 2b,SS and 3b allows KC to carry three 1b/DH (Kila, Butler, Betemit). Moustakas shoud be up by June or July leaving the loser of the Kila/Betemit competition as the probable odd man out.
RF Jeff Franceour (LOCK)
LF Alex Gordon
CF Lorenzo Cain
4OF Melky Cabrerra
OF Gregor Blanco
This is definitely the hardest group to determine. While Frenchy and Gordon are locks I don't think any of that can be said about the rest of the group. I give Melky and Blanco a headstart over Maier just based on where they come from organizationally. Should that be the case? No, definitely not, I think Mitch Maier is every bit as good if not better than both. But I think the point of the new roster is to purge the organization of the past and he unfortunately is apart of the past.