1 Saturday roster move bound to upset and anger KC Royals fans

Kansas City reverses course on Walter Pennington.
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Concerned about and disillusioned with their club's bullpen, KC Royals fans got their wish Friday when the team's series of afternoon roster moves included the promotion to the majors of lefty reliever Walter Pennington. He'd been phenomenal out of Triple-A Omaha's bullpen all season, making the bump to Kansas City inevitable ... and probably overdue.

Now, however, those fans are crying out — or crying — for Pennington once again. Less than 24 hours after he made his big league debut by shutting down Colorado's one-out, two-runners-in-scoring position threat after John Schreiber let the go-ahead and winning runs score (the Rockies won 4-2) in the bottom of the eighth, Pennington is on his way back to the minors.

The Royals optioned him to Omaha Saturday. The move, sure to upset and anger Royals fans, clears room on Kansas City's major league roster for Kris Bubic, the starter-turned-reliever who the club reactivated from a stay on the Injured List that began early last season when he had Tommy John Surgery. And it came in Denver, where Pennington thrilled his hometown crowd ad family by striking out the first batter he faced Friday evening.

Pennington returns to the Storm Chasers and a 4-3, 2.35 ERA 2024 minor league record that seemed to prove he was ready for a longer big league stint than the Royals gave him. Look for him to return to Kansas City later this year ... unless the Royals deal him away for stretch run help if they're still contending as the July 30 trade deadline nears.

Kris Bubic rejoins the KC Royals as a reliever

The reinstatement of Bubic, a southpaw like Pennington, to the active roster is a move we speculated Thursday could happen as early as this weekend. No more extensions of his stay on the 60-day Injured List were available, and he was pitching decently at Omaha.

Bubic won't return to the spot in the club's starting rotation to which he's become accustomed since breaking into the majors in 2020; instead, he'll take Pennington's place in the bullpen, where he'll probably remain for at least the rest of this season.

Kansas City fans shouldn't be upset about Bubic's return; instead, they'll wonder why the club didn't keep Pennington and send someone else out.

The Royals also DFA'd Colin Selby

Because Kansas City's 40-man roster was full Saturday, the club needed to make room for Bubic, and did so by designating Omaha reliever Colin Selby for assignment. Acquired via an early April trade with Pittsburgh, Selby pitched just twice for the Royals. He was 2-2 with a 5.32 ERA in 20 games for the Storm Chasers.

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