SURPRISE, Ariz. | The Royals continued their run of roster moves Tuesday morning by optioning right-handed relievers Carlos Rosa and Victor Marte to Class AAA Omaha.
That makes nine players cut from the big-league roster in less than 24 hours.
Rosa, 25, was once regarded as one of the organization’s top pitching prospects, but his ERA ballooned last season to 4.56 in 43 games at Omaha. He made just two spring appearances and allowed two runs on one hit and three walks in two innings.
“His fastball command (has to improve),” manager Trey Hillman said. “He needs to get the deception back to his changeup. He’s slowing his arm motion and his entire delivery down.”
Marte, 29, was optioned after allowing two runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning against Texas in a “B” game. It was his first spring appearance after being slowed since Feb. 18 by back spasms.
The Royals began their personnel shuffle just prior to Monday’s 9-1 victory over the White Sox in Glendale, Ariz., by optioning left-handed pitcher Noel Arguelles to Class A Wilmington and infielder Jeff Bianchi to Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
The move involving Bianchi was made for bookkeeping purposes because he is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery this week to repair his right elbow. He is expected to miss the entire season.
The Royals cut five players after Monday’s game.
Outfielder Jordan Parraz was optioned to Omaha, and catcher Manny Piña was optioned to Northwest Arkansas. Outfielder Buck Coats and left-handed relievers Adam Bostick and Nelson Payano were reassigned to minor-league camp.
The moves leave the Royals with 49 players on their big-league camp roster, including third baseman Alex Gordon, who is sidelined by a broken right thumb.
Zack Greinke’s next start will be Sunday in a minor-league game instead facing Colorado in a Cactus League game.
Pitching coach Bob McClure characterized the switch as routine and indicated all pitchers likely to make the rotation will pitch once in a minor-league game.
Greinke allowed one run and two hits over four innings in Monday’s victory over the White Sox. He has permitted just one run and four hits through 10 innings in three spring starts with eight strikeouts and one walk.