On Sunday afternoon, the Omaha Storm Chasers won their playoff matchup with Albuquerque and advanced to the Pacific Coast League Championship series. Last year, the Royals left multiple players in Triple A to finish the playoffs, but called them up at the conclusion of the postseason. Lorenzo Cain and Kelvin Herrera made their Kansas City debuts during that time.
This year, with the Royals again going through the motions to finish out another losing season, eyes turn to the future (as they often do this time of year).
Hopefully, the Storm Chasers go all the way and defeat their opponent, the Reno Aces. At this stage in the season, after their work all year, they ought to finish the job. As soon as that’s done, though, here are some players who might see time in Kansas City. (Some we’ve already seen, some we haven’t)
First, it’s obvious that someone get the call who’s already on the 40 man roster. Those players would be:
We’ve seen all of these players so far, even if only for a brief period.
Arguelles is a longshot. He was signed to a major league contract out of Cuba before 2010, missed most of the year due to shoulder issues but had a decent year in 2011 for Wilmington with a 3.20 ERA in 104 innings. His 2012 season in Double A Northwest Arkansas, however, was not so promising. In 119.1 innings, he walked more than he struck out en route to a 6.41 ERA. Without any level of experience at the Triple A level, he’s still a work in progress.
Moore was claimed off waivers from the Mariners during the All-Star Break after struggling in the big leagues in limited duty from 2009 to 2011 and for Tacoma this year. In Omaha, he’s hit a lot better in 35 games. He might get called up just to have another catcher around, though Manny Pina was recalled recently from Double A and still hasn’t made it into a game.
Derrick Robinson is interesting. The Royals had high hopes for him, but he’s never really hit. He has been able to get on base at a reasonable level in the minors, though and had a .344 on base percentage during Omaha’s regular season in 2012. With Jarrod Dyson nursing an injured lat that’s likely to leave him available as a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner only, Robinson could be used to see time on defense.
The Royals have two free spots on the 40 man roster, but with Chris Getz‘s surgery, they could also add three players who they’d have to protect from the Rule 5 draft later on anyway – two to fill the roster, then Getz could move to the 60 man disabled list to open up a spot and the Royals could add somebody like Chris Dwyer, Mike Montgomery or Jake Odorizzi. They could also add Donnie Joseph, who was relieving in Omaha since joining the organization as part of the return for Jonathan Broxton.
It’s unlikely, however. Odorizzi threw seven innings in the series against Albuquerque to push him to 152.1 on the year, exceeding his 2011 workload. He’ll also be pitching in Game One of the PCL Finals, adding more innings. Dwyer and Montgomery have struggled all year and probably aren’t in the plans for a brief look yet. Joseph’s the best bet, as he’s someone who could probably be in a big league bullpen anyway. Wil Myers, however, isn’t an option. Since the Royals don’t have to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, if he’s going to be added to the 40 man roster it’ll be out of spring training rather than this winter.
However unlikely, some of the fun of September is seeing the new faces join the club, and it’s nice to have some options. Donnie Joseph and Derrick Robinson are a lot more palatable as MLB September debut candidates than Dusty Hughes and Victor Marte were in 2009 (and the only Royals to make major league debuts in that season at all).
(Note: My mind entirely spaced out that the Royals never added anyone after trading Jonathan Broxton and waiving Jose Mijares, so they have 38 spots on the 40 man roster – though the idea still applies that many would still have to be added to the 40 man to join the team. Previous version suggested that the 40 man was full. My apologies.)