Kansas City Royals Designate Elliot Johnson for Assignment


June 23, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Elliot Johnson (23) celebrates with teammate David Lough (7) after scoring the go ahead run against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have gone on a binge of collecting utility infielders lately, acquiring Jamey Carroll on Sunday and Emilio Bonifacio yesterday.

As a result, Elliot Johnson finds himself designated for assignment today. That opens a spot on the active roster for Bonifacio and makes an opening in the 40 man roster as well. The Royals have ten days to trade him if he clears waivers, release him, or send him to Triple A.

Johnson committed a costly error at third base in Wednesday’s game that gave away a Royals lead and he hasn’t hit well for two months, so he was looking like the obvious roster casualty. He contributed some things – most notably 14 stolen bases without being caught – but ultimately, he wasn’t doing anything else offensively and Bonifacio has similar skills, a better track record, and is younger. Someone had to go.

The implication with this move is that Mike Moustakas‘s calf injury isn’t troubling enough to send him to the disabled list. If the Royals had insisted on keeping Johnson on the roster, a Moose DL trip would have accomplished it. Moustakas’s availability for the upcoming series against Detroit is in question, but he may be able to pinch hit or get into the lineup during the weekend games.

We had spoken with Johnson back in spring training after he’d come over from the Rays as the player to be named in the James Shields/Wil Myers trade, and he’s clearly an intelligent guy. His performance just wasn’t enough to keep him around.