KC Royals News: New reliever, 2 sign, power rankings, MLB All-Star Game voting, more

Kansas City added Dan Altavilla to its bullpen Monday. And there's other club news.
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The KC Royals welcomed a new pitcher to their big league roster Monday afternoon. Just hours before the scheduled start of a critical four-game home series with the Yankees, the club announced the addition of Dan Altavilla, who should be available for tonight's 7:10 p.m. CDT game against New York.

To create space for the right-handed reliever, the Royals optioned Will Klein, who'd been pitching well before being charged with two runs in Sunday's 6-5 loss to Seattle, to Omaha, where he'll replace Altavilla.

Altavilla was 1-0 with a 2.63 ERA and three saves in a dozen appearances for the Storm Chasers. Kansas City signed him as a minor league free agent in December; in 119 major league appearances dating back to 2016, he's 8-7, 4.03. He pitched previously for the Mariners and Padres.

Kansas City has signed two new players

Flying well under the baseball radar, barely detectable to KC Royals followers who don't regularly check the club's transaction log, were two moves the club made last week. Neither will impact the big league roster any time soon, but they're worth noting.

The Royals signed free agent infielder Kevin Padlo and assigned him to Double-A Northwest Arkansas, where in four games he's 2-for-16 with three RBI. He'd played in 47 games for the Dodgers' Triple-A Oklahoma City affiliate and was slashing .216/.340/.380 with six homers and 29 RBI when OKC let him go May 27.

A fifth-round pick by Colorado in the 2014 amateur draft, Padlo has seen action in parts of three big league seasons and has a .111/.158/.167 line in 26 games. He's spent time with the Rays, Giants, Pirates and Angels. And in over 3,000 at-bates in nine minor league seasons, he's hitting .242 with an impressive .351 OBP.

The Royals also signed 19-year old right-handed pitcher Adrian Belen and assigned him to Ventura in the Dominican Summer League, where he's pitched once and surrendered one run in two innings.

Kansas City moves up in latest power rankings

Although they've lost eight of their last 13 games, the Royals still fared well in MLB.com's latest power rankings. Released just this morning, those rankings have Kansas City in seventh place, one slot better than last week. The Brewers are one place ahead of the Royals and the Braves are a spot behind.

Philadelphia beat out the Yankees for first place. Cleveland, four games ahead of the second-place Royals in the American League Central, is fifth.

All-Star Game voting update

Plenty of time remains for Kansas City fans to cast All-Star ballots for their favorite players. Phase 1 voting, which will determine two things — one automatic starting spot in each league and those players who will move on to the Finals — began last week and runs until Noon ET June 27. Nine Royals are on the Phase 1 ballot.

Here's our guide to this season's All-Star voting.

Who's hot, who's not

All continues to go well with Kris Bubic's minor league rehab assignment. Recovering from the Tommy John Surgery that ruined his 2023 season in April, Bubic started for Omaha Sunday and, although he lost to Memphis, pitched five innings and gave up two runs. That outing comes on the heels of the excellent four shutout innings he threw against the Redbirds five days before, and the fine 3.2 scoreless, seven-strikeout frames he worked against Indianapolis May 29.

The Royals recently sought and received an extension of Bubic's original 30-day rehab assignment. It's due to expire this weekend.

While Bubic pitches well in the minors, Salvador Perez is slumping in the majors. Perez ended April with a .355/.415/.598 line but, after going 0-for-4 against Seattle Sunday, is hitting .120 so far this month, and .170 over his last 16 games. His average dropped under .300 for the first time since the fourth game of the season

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