The Kansas City Royals have some good news coming soon. Jorge Bonifacio will be eligible to return from his 80 game suspension on June 27th.
Some other good news is that the Kansas City Royals control Jorge Bonifacio for the next 4.5 seasons until he becomes a free agent in 2023. If he can grow from where he was last year, the Royals are in good shape in right field for a while.
However, the original intent of this article was to discuss who Bonifacio would be replacing on the big league roster. That was until the 6th inning of Friday nights ballgame with the Astro’s when Jorge Soler rumbled, bumbled and eventually stumbled out of the box after hitting a ball off his foot. Which, unfortunately, lead to him break his left first metatarsal (left big toe).
Besides Salvador Perez freak pre-season suitcase fiasco, this is the most difficult injury pill for the Royals to swallow thus far. But Saturday did bring better news, in that the worst case scenario may have been avoided.
According to Maria Torres of the Kansas City Star, it doesn’t look like Soler will require surgery but will miss a minimum of six weeks.
This is bad news of course but this absolutely could have been worse.
The Royals will call somebody up on Sunday but Bonifacio will ultimately be the replacement at some point.
Bonifacio’s return will bring a lift to the lineup if he can continue hitting for power. In his first season, Bonifacio smacked 17 homers in 113 games with a .255/.320/.432 slash. For reference, .255/.324/.426 was the league average slash in 2017.
In his first big league season, Bonifacio was basically a league average hitter with a little extra pop. Look for Bonifacio to continue improving his on-base percentage and power. If you stretch Bonifacio’s homerun total to 162 games his 17 homeruns become 24. I could see Bonifacio having multiple 30 homerun seasons in his future.
If you watched the game on Friday night Joel Goldberg went over some of the provisions of his 80 game suspension. First of which, he has been playing baseball but only at extended spring training. Suspended players are allowed to play in games where admission is not charged to watch (extended spring training is one).
Bonifacio was also allowed to begin a rehab assignment on June 13th at Triple-A Omaha. On June 27th when Bonifacio’s suspension is up the Royals will have to decide whether to let him continue preparing at Triple-A or if he will put on the 25 man roster right away.
With Soler out, I’d imagine it would be the latter of the two.
I’m excited to watch Bonifacio develop over the next few seasons. I hope he can bring a veteran presence to the next wave of young guys coming through in the comings years.
What do you think Royals fans, are you excited for the return of the Boni? Do you have any feelings about the suspension or do you just wish him the best of luck? Let us know below!