Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jackson Kowar throws during the second inning of a spring training baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Kansas City Royals made some significant cuts to their spring training roster on Thursday, optioning right-handers Max Castillo and Jackson Kowar and utility player Samad Taylor to Triple-A Omaha. They also placed left-hander Angel Zerpa on the 60-day injured list with left shoulder tendinopathy.

Kowar, a 2018 first-round pick, was expected to compete for a spot on the major league staff this spring but allowed five earned runs with a .350 opponent batting average and a 2.00 WHIP in five Cactus League innings.

Castillo and Taylor were both acquired from the Blue Jays organization in the August 2022 trade that sent Whit Merrifield to Toronto. Castillo allowed seven earned runs with a 1.94 WHIP in 5.2 innings this spring. Taylor, meanwhile, was very productive in the Cactus League, posting a .400/.435/.850 slash line with two homers, seven RBIs and three steals in three tries.

Zerpa, who had his 2022 season cut short due to a knee injury, has not pitched this spring while battling a shoulder ailment. His placement on the 60-day IL opens up a spot for the Royals to add a player to the 40-man roster.