Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Royals Designate Pedro Ciriaco for Assignment; Add Aaron Brooks to Bullpen

The Royals have announced that they have designated utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco for assignment, and to fill his spot on the big league roster, they have selected the contract of Aaron Brooks from Omaha. Ciriaco appeared in just 1 game thus far, pinch running for Omar Infante against the Tigers on Wednesday, stealing a base, and scoring a run. Brooks had yet to pitch for the Storm Chasers this season, but in 2013, he threw 160 innings with a 4.28 ERA between Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas, along with 6.2 strikeouts per 9 innings and 1.2 walks per 9.

This move comes on the heels of the team going through 5 relievers in their home opening victory against the White Sox yesterday, and it does make sense to add an arm to the bullpen for some depth. However, the choice of Brooks seems odd, given the circumstances. The organization has been very high on Brooks this offseason, noting that he’s added some velocity, and he does get a lot of ground balls with his sinker. And while his command is terrific, there are no less than 4 very capable relievers in Omaha right now who would seem to make more sense. Donnie Joseph and Michael Mariot were already on the 40-man roster, and Buddy Baumann and Spencer Patton have experience in the bullpen, while Brooks has been a starter for his whole career.

I don’t necessarily think this is a bad move, per se, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scratching my head about it. In addition to the candidates I’ve already mentioned, Yordano Ventura will likely be available out of the bullpen for an inning or two (thus giving the Royals an 8-man bullpen for today), and while 5 relievers were used, it’s not like many of them were taxed very heavily. The Royals probably could have gotten by for at least another day or two without needing to worry about adding that extra reliever they so desperately desired.

The other side of this move, of course, is that the Royals are now left with no backup middle infielder, beyond Danny Valencia for emergency situations. For a team whose middle infield struggled with injuries throughout spring training, and for a team whose shortstop has once again looked overmatched at the plate, this decision could prove to be foolish. The team will need Infante to stay healthy, and for Alcides Escobar to find some semblance of offense while his “dome” is still being protected this early in the season.

All that being said, I don’t think this move will have an enormous impact overall. Brooks won’t be the first man out of the pen, even with some of the guys being used yesterday. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in Omaha once Louis Coleman is set to return from the disabled list, which could be as soon as early next week. Still, it’s a strange roster move, however inconsequential it turns out to be.

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Tags: Aaron Brooks Kansas City Royals Pedro Ciriaco

  • cardsfanatik

    I may be in the minority, but I believe it is completely stupid, blind, retarded, irresponsible, and foolish to go without a middle infielder. Just draw a mental picture of this. Escobar tweaks something, Valencia to short. OMFG, what the hell are the Royal’s leaders thinking? Even if you put Infante at SS, Valencia at 2B, thats still asking for disaster. I might work for the last inning or 2 of a game, but give me a damn break. How stupid are Ned and Dayton really? Why in the hell does Dyson stay and Ciriaco go? Dyson is not a future fixture on this team, yes, he runs like a cheetah, the end. This isn’t man love, this is baseball. Its a business, and if someone takes Dyson, so be it. He’s not that great of a fielder, he takes terrible routes to balls, and often gets bad jumps, but at this point in his career, his speed still covers his ass. He looks like a man trying to catch butterflies with the bat. This move was completely asinine.

    • Tyler_KC_Fan

      Christian Colon and Jason Donald are easy pieces to fill in if Intante gets hurt. Both are in Omaha and Colon is near MLB ready and the Royals would love to see how ready he is for the bigs. Moose was originally a SS so if Esky gets hurt we could move Moose to SS and Valincia to 3B. The team has options, they just aren’t screaming at your face.

      Ciriaco was nonexistent his entire time with the club, so he won’t be someone that is detrimental with him gone. He could run, but we have Dyson to run.

      Also, Dyson would be starting for most clubs if he was somewhere else. He might not take the best route ever time but with the speed that he has he is able to make up the distance. If we get ride of Dyson we get rid of a CF who can step in at anytime, his OBP is a lot better then most of our starters and if he gets a single, he’s almost guaranteed to be on 2nd next. Maxwell provides a power bat that the team needs.

      Nothing thus far is something to be concerned about. The two losses to DET were very unlucky and the team could easily be 4-0 instead of 2-2. Keep in mind, the Royals were never out of the game and they went against 2 Cy Young winners and one of the best 1/2 punches at the starting pitching in the league.

  • jimfetterolf

    Looks like the Royals are comfortable with the health of Infante and Escobar. If they get hurt they’ll be DL’ed in a hurry.

    As for Brooks, Clint mentioned that management was high on him and to keep an eye on him.

  • kcstengelSr

    Biggest surprise is Valencia benched against lefty Danks. Danny has a career (20 AB) facing Danks of 300/300/550/850 with a HR. Mike Moustakas career facing Danks (11 AB) is 091/167/182/348. It is hard to imagine Valencia even getting a pinch-hit appearance today with a thin infield.

    • jimfetterolf

      I think Valencia gets a start tomorrow against Chris Sale.