The Royals announced a number of roster moves on Tuesday afternoon and involved some significant names.
First, they optioned right-hander Kelvin Herrera to Omaha. This is his second trip to Omaha with his first coming after a problem with the home run ball in mid-April and that continued into May. He gave up eight homers in a 14 inning stretch starting with three in Atlanta before being sent down. At the time, Ned Yost said he needed to regain his confidence.
Herrera strung together five scoreless appearances in Triple A and returned, and, in his first outings back, looked better, but he’s struggled with his fastball command and doesn’t seem to trust his changeup. He walked batters in his last four appearances and gave up a run in three of those.
Coming up is Will Smith, newly converted to a relief role. Since June 7, Smith has worked exclusively out of the Omaha ‘pen, racking up 11 innings, striking out nine and walking just two. He has a 0.82 ERA in that role and has seen a slight uptick in velocity in shorter outings.
The Royals also announced that they’ve activated Danny Duffy from the 60 day disabled list and optioned him to Omaha. Duffy has been roughed up in six rehab starts, carrying a 7.84 ERA in 20.2 innings. He did strike out 25 in that time, but also walked 12. Since he has an option, it makes sense to let him hang out in Omaha and get his command back. The velocity is back already after having Tommy John surgery on June 13, 2012.
To make room for him on the 40 man roster (since a player on the 60 day DL doesn’t take up a 40 man spot), the Royals designated Francisley Bueno for assignment. He had a 3.40 ERA in 45 innings for Omaha. The Royals had previously designated outfielder Quintin Berry for assignment on Sunday and he’s cleared waivers and accepted an outright assignment to Omaha. He was DFA’d in order for the Royals to claim former Cardinals pitcher Maikel Cleto.