Edward Olivares’ season with the KC Royals has been like a roller-coaster. He was called up and sent back down to the minors repeatedly during June, with Wednesday afternoon’s recall marking the fourth time he’s returned to the club this year.
This season at Triple-A Omaha, Olivares slashed .366/.433/.597 with a 1.030 OPS, hit eight home runs, and had 21 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. In 27 at-bats with the Royals, Olivares is slashing .259/.286/.259 with a .545 OPS and .350 BABIP, and has seven hits with three runs.
Olivares also slashed .274/.292/.419 with a .712 OPS in 62 at-bats with the Royals last season, and had seven RBIs and two home runs after he was acquired from the San Diego Padres in exchange for Trevor Rosenthal.
Though it’s a small sample size, Olivares’ numbers more than prove him to be a potential fixture in the Kansas City outfield. This begs the question of when his stay in the majors will be permanent.
Olivares has handled his many trips between Omaha and the KC Royals well.
When manager Mike Matheny was asked recently by The Athletic’s KC beat writer Alec Lewis how Olivares has handled constantly shifting between the majors and minors, he praised Olivares’ professionalism (click on Tweet for full text):
Empathetic, yes, but this still doesn’t explain why Olivares hasn’t been a mainstay in the outfield over struggling players like Hunter Dozier and Jorge Soler. Dozier is batting .166 with a -2.2 WAR and though Soler has been 4-for-17 since moving up to bat second, his average is still .183 with a -1.7 WAR.
If Olivares starts more consistently, there’s little doubt he would produce more than Soler and Dozier have this season.
The KC Royals should begin to start Edward Olivares more consistently.
"“We got him last year and he took some good at-bats. This guy worked really hard this offseason to improve on some of his routes, his intensity, his purpose, his route efficiency. …We’re watching a lot of things come together, and he just seems to be getting better. He goes about it the right way.”"
Olivares got the nod in left field on his first day back with the Royals Wednesday when the club needed an outfielder to replace Hunter Dozier, who replaced Emmanuel Rivera at third after Rivera went on the Injured List. But he didn’t start (but did play) in Thursday’s embarrassing 15-1 defeat against Boston.
As Kings of Kauffman’s Aidan Karpin suggested recently, there is no reason to shuttle Edward Olivares up and down between the majors and minors, and to not start him in the outfield, when this season is really a rebuilding campaign.
In a season of ups and downs, the Royals should see just what they have in Edward Olivares and play him more consistently.