Royals to Start Cheslor Cuthbert – Frasor DFA’ed

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The Royals announced that Mike Moustakas has been placed on the bereavement/family emergency list, and to fill his spot on the roster have called up Cheslor Cuthbert. Cuthbert takes over a role previously held by Christian Colon, who had started at 3b in the past, but was often plagued by inconsistencies on defense. Colon was recently sent back down to AAA to make way for first timer Dusty Coleman who will continue to be the clubs utility infielder.

Cuthbert is slotted to start tonights game at 3b and bat 8th. He began playing for the Royals as a 17 year old in 2010, and has slowly worked his way through the minor league system until landing in AAA Omaha last season and so far in 2015. He was batting .256/.318/.389 so far for the Storm Chasers and had primarily played third base though he did have 20 games at first base as well.

Long thought to have potential to be a third baseman in the majors, it became apparent he might be blocked by some of the Royals other players such as Mike Moustakas and the recently drafted Hunter Dozier. It was announced that he would begin receiving some playing time at second base to help give him more options to crack the majors, but that chance never materialized as he has only played 3 games ever at second in his major league career and has 2 errors in those 3 games.

Defense has long been one of the criticisms of Cuthberts game, and with the defensive minded Royals already being set for the near future at both first and third, he may have a hard time cracking the lineup. Being only 22 years old, he still very much has age on his side, and continues to refine his game both defensively and offensively. His .752 OPS he slugged last year between AA and AAA was the highest of his career since he played in rookie ball.

Cuthbert has also begun to show some more promise of power as he managed 12 home runs last season and already has 8 this year after never hitting double digits in any previous seasons.

It was also announced that the Royals have designated reliever Jason Frasor for assignment in order to make room for Paulo Orlando. Frasor had a 1.54 ERA in 23.1 innings this season for the Royals and had signed a $1.25 million dollar 1 year deal with the Royals after helping them make a push at the end of the 2014 season. He had a $2 million mutual option for the '16 season with a $550k buyout.

While it is a bit of a curious move for the small market Royals to be rid of a pitcher they have so much monetarily invested in, especially when that pitcher has done quite well, they have fallen victim to having a roster crunch. With only so many spots available, it becomes a matter of who is expendable, and with only Brandon Finnegan possessing any options in the bullpen, it was inevitable someone was going to be squeezed out.

To replace Frasor, the Royals called up outfielder Paulo Orlando. Yost stated that Lorenzo Cain had tweaked a hamstring, and Orlando was to provide added insurance. Orlando has a .241/.274/.384 line in 32 games with the Royals so far this season.

With the looming potential additions of pitchers such as Jason Vargas,Chris Medlen and Yordano Ventura, there could certainly be even more tough decisions for the Royals in the near future.

There has been no word given as to the reason for Moustakas to be placed on the list, but he left during the game on Sunday with Dusty Coleman finishing out the game in his place.

 

Photo Source: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America

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