KC Royals reinstate Diego Hernandez, Josh Taylor lands on 60-day IL

Hernandez is a top-15 KC Royals prospect and is officially back in action.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The KC Royals announced on July 3 that outfielder Diego Hernandez is off of the 60-day IL, with relief pitcher Josh Taylor taking his place on the list. Hernandez, the Royals' 15th-best prospect according to MLB.com, had been on a rehab assignment in Surprise and High-A Quad Cities. He started the 2023 season on the shelf, due to a dislocated shoulder and subsequent surgery in his Cactus League debut.

Two KC Royals players traded spots regarding the 60-day IL this week.

In his eight rehab starts, Hernandez looked more than ready to be back. He posted a 1.226 OPS, walking 10.3% and only striking out 23.1% of the time. Granted, that was against much lesser opponents, but Hernandez showing he can play at 100% is what really matters.

The Royals assigned him back to Quad Cities, but he only played one more game for the River Bandits. On July 4, the Royals promoted Hernandez to Double-A Northwest Arkansas which was the initial level Hernandez would have probably started the 2023 season. He ended the 2022 season with the Naturals, playing 32 games in Northwest Arkansas. His defense played well in the outfield for the Naturals, with his speed on full display in center field.

The Royals signed Hernandez as an international free agent back in 2017. The Royals were high on the Dominican Republic Native, signing him for $200,000. It may not sound like a lot, but the organization was unable to sign any one player for more than $300,000 due to a penalty. He has steadily risen up through the organization ranks and made his Low-A debut in 2021. The 22-year-old is an intriguing talent, with hopes that the power blossoms this season or next.

Taylor heading to the 60-day IL is not a surprise, unfortunately. The Royals put him on the 15-day IL on May 28, due to left shoulder impingement syndrome. On top of that, Anne Rogers tweeted that he was having surgery due to a herniated disk in his lower back. The surgery puts the 30-year-old righty on the shelf indefinitely. Taylor was the return for Kansas City trading away infielder Adalberto Mondesi to the Boston Red Sox. Taylor was unspectacular in his 17 2/3 innings, giving up 16 earned runs and four home runs. His -.5 WAR is a career-worst as of July 4, after he had 1.2 WAR in 2021 for the Red Sox.

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