Last night, the Royals optioned Vin Mazzaro back to Omaha after his start in Toronto. To fill his next turn in the rotation, Nate Adcock was called up, but to keep the bullpen stocked with arms, Louis Coleman came up too.
That meant someone had to drop off the active roster and Mitch Maier was the odd man out.
Now the Royals could have optioned Jarrod Dyson or Jason Bourgeois back to Omaha, but instead, chose to designate Maier for assignment, meaning they have ten days to trade him, place him on waivers or release him. If he clears waivers he could be assigned to the minors, but may be able to decline it based on service time.
It’s really best for Maier at this point to head elsewhere. He hasn’t done well this year, but he’s also hardly seen action in 2012. He’s played five games start to finish since April, mostly being a late-inning replacement on defense or as a pinch-runner. That’s just been his role. The Royals want to see what they have in Dyson and Bourgeois has a track record against left-handed pitching that they feel can be leveraged, meanwhile Lorenzo Cain should return (at some point) and Wil Myers is tearing up Triple A.
There just wasn’t much use for Maier. Perhaps he ends up somewhere else where he can find some playing time. If so, his career Royals line will be .248/.327/.344 with 10 homers in 360 games.
That kind of line isn’t much to be upset about, but Maier filled in admirably in 2010 and 2011 when pressed into action and has always been accepting of his role. So while he’s somewhat of an internet cult hero for some Royals fans, it’s the logical move to make.
The 40 man roster now stands at 38.