Royals set September Roster – Struck by Chicken Pox

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UPDATE: According to Andy McCullough, the Royals have a chicken pox problem with Kelvin Herrera and Alex Rios both being stricken by the virus. They are expected to miss up to two weeks. This may also help explain the Gomes acquisition the Royals made at the 11th hour yesterday. Rios was reported to have first contracted it before the game Saturday with Herrera showing symptoms on Sunday. At this time club officials do not expect any more players to be affected.

It was announced by the Royals on twitter today that they have activated Alex Gordon from the disabled list as well as made some roster moves. With the expansion of rosters for the month of September to 40 players, the Royals have added some depth to the big league club.

The Royals purchased the contracts of Miguel Almonte and Scott Alexander to move them to the Royals 40 man roster. To make room, they also moved injured pitcher Jason Vargas to the 60-day disabled list. They were only at 38 players before, so this puts them right on the mark at 40.

They also decided to bring up catcher Francisco Pena, infielders Christian Colon and Cheslor Cuthbert, and speedster Terrance Gore.

Terrance Gore will once again terrorize the base paths for the Royals as he did late last season. His elite level speed is arguably unmatched in baseball and he can provide late inning value as a pinch runner. He has spent the year at AA where he has managed to hit .284/.367/.311. It is possible that if need be, he could bunt his way on should he find his way at the plate in KC, but he will most certainly never be used as a pinch hitter.

Scott Alexander is a 6th round pick by the Royals in the 2010 draft. He has spent the year at AAA Omaha where he has a 2.56 ERA in 41 games and 63.1 innings pitched. He has struck out 7.1 batters per 9 innings and the left handed reliever will fill a void in the Royals rotation by pitching with the wrong hand.

Miguel Almonte was the #56 prospect in all of baseball according to Baseball Prospectus. The right handed pitcher has split time this year between AA and AAA. He has mostly been used as a starter, and has a cumulative 4.51 ERA on the year with a 1.350 WHIP and has struck out 8.3 batters per 9 innings.

Cheslor Cuthbert has already made a brief 8 game stint with the Royals this season when he was called upon to provide some infield relief. During that stint he had 6 hits in 25 at bats. He has primarily been used as a corner infielder, but does also have limited (very limited) experience at second base that can be used in a pinch. For AAA Omaha this season he has slashed .277/.339/.421 and he has 11 home runs. Cuthbert was listed by Baseball Prospectus the #83 prospect in baseball prior to the 2015 season.

Francisco Pena had a breakout season in 2014 while playing for the Omaha Storm Chasers when he hit 27 home runs in 96 games. He has cooled off this year and only managed 13 long balls while still playing for the Storm Chasers. His slash line for this season is .251/.305/.430. The 6’2 catcher provides yet another big target behind the dish and he is thought of as a decent catch and throw receiver.

Christian Colon is no stranger to the big leagues as he has played 135 games with the Royals over the last 2 seasons. His time in KC has given him a .276/.331/.366 line. He plays 2b, SS and 3b but has been a little bit of a defensive liability which was one factor in seeing him sent back to AAA earlier this year. He also was not hitting the best this season after only accumulating a .601 OPS in 29 games of work.

Ned Yost had stated he was not going to go crazy with September call-ups this season due to the number of bodies and workload it puts on his coaching staff. The players they have called up are most certainly there to provide value to the organization while they look to balance resting the regular starters and maintaining a lead in the division and league will looking forward to October baseball.

There are some notable exceptions from this list that many had expected to be part of the group such as Joba Chamberlain and Wandy Rodriguez who were both recently picked up by the Royals on minor league deals to provide insurance.

Also missing is AAA Storm Chaser Jose Martinez who was hitting .383/.456/.565 for the season. Martinez has primarily played in the outfield which left him on the outside looking in considering the number of outfielders the Royals are already looking to utilize this September. As with Joba and Wandy, he also was not on the 40 man roster which would have also required the Royals to boot another player to make it happen.

This September looks to be a bit different. The usual excitement for September call ups has a different feel this season, and it is one we can all certainly get used to.

 

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