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Royals to promote prospect Nicky Lopez, move Whit Merrifield to outfield

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The Royals announced on Monday that infield prospect Nicky Lopez will be promoted to the majors ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Rangers. Second baseman Whit Merrifield will move to the outfield to allow Lopez to become the full-time second baseman.

Lopez, 24, is the Royals’ No. 8 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He was performing well at Triple-A Omaha, batting .353/.457/.500 with three home runs, 13 RBI, 27 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 138 plate appearances.

Merrifield, 30, is no stranger to the outfield, having logged 637 1/3 defensive innings there in this major league career. He’s having another terrific season, owning a .286/.342/.512 triple-slash line along with six homers, 19 RBI, 30 runs scored, and seven stolen bases in 184 trips to the plate.

Video: Jorge Soler launches first home run of spring training

Jorge Soler
Associated Press
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The Royals and Rangers played the first game of spring training today. A few other teams (the Red Sox, Tigers and Twins) played or are currently playing college squads, but Kansas City-Texas is our first matchup of big league teams. Baseball’s back, baby! And you know what baseball means?

Kansas City’s Jorge Soler, who hit 48 homers last year to lead the American League, offered us the year’s first glimpse at recreational baseball murder when he took Kolby Allard out over the left field yard.

Mmm. That’s the good stuff. Here’s to eight and a half months more of that. Bring me the dingers.

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