Hip-Hip-Jorge! KC Royals call Bonifacio to The Show in an attempt to spark an anemic lineup.
One could read the KC Royals call-up of Jorge Bonifacio—less than 12 hours after a joyless 13-inning affair in the opener against the Texas Rangers in which the offense could not muster a single run despite a strong start from Danny Duffy and sterling performances from different arms out of the bullpen—as nothing less than panic.
I say it’s a move that had to happen now. And it allows the KC Royals can move forward with a little more certainty.
Although my love for Paulo Orlando has been documented—and although Jorge Soler is due to come back at full strength soon—this move needed to be made. They can’t wait on Soler and for as much as doofuses like me thought Paulo was ready to make a leap into a more central role this year, his route-running has been garbage in the outfield and he has an OPS+ of 6, which should be impossible.
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Leave aside for a moment that Gallo’s probably stretching that into a double anyway. You can’t take that route as a big-league outfielder, and I don’t care that UZR or Defensive Runs Saved think you’re on par with Kevin Pillar.
Hopefully Paulo just needs a hard reboot and can rejoin soon. For now, it’s Jorge Bonifacio’s turn.
Listed at 6-1, 195 pounds (you be the judge, based on the photo in this article), the younger brother of former Royals infielder Emilio Bonifacio comes highly-rated (12th at MLB Pipeline, fifth by John Sickels, ninth at Baseball America) and with a pedigree for clout. After cranking 19 homers in 134 games for Omaha last season, he already had clubbed three in a dozen games and was hitting above .300 for the Stormchasers this year.
Bonifacio was thought of highly enough that he appeared the MLB Futures Game during last season’s All-Star break and collected a couple of walks. He’ll be leaned on to spark an offense mired in mediocrity; the KC Royals boast an WRC+ of 71, an OPS of .611 and a hard-hit ball rate (26.5 percent) that is laughably embarrassing.
No corresponding move was immediately announced. Speculation posits that Orlando or The Struggling Raul Mondesi Jr. will be moving down to Omaha.