The Kansas City Royals have been pretty awful so far in 2018. The bullpen has been absolutely putrid and the offense is mostly hard to watch. The 2018 season was never going to be about making the playoffs, but with a roster as old as Kansas City’s, the Royals aren’t really rebuilding either. Fortunately enough, the young guys will be here fairly soon. With as awful as some of the Royals have been, the DFA’s are going to come in waves this season. Let’s take a list at the chopping block, and who we can expect to replace some of this nonsense we’ve seen so far.
- Blaine Boyer. I have no idea how he is still on the roster but, he is. He and his 25.20 ERA will be out of here pretty quick. I think the first reliever to get a call from Omaha this year is gonna be Scott Barlow. Barlow received the nod as the 26th man for Tuesday’s double header in Toronto, and has been dealing in Omaha. He has a 0.90 ERA in two starts (10 innings) and appears to be next on the pecking order. Don’t rule out a Brandon Maurer return here, though I think they’re gonna let him work for a little bit before he comes back.
- Justin Grimm. I think Grimm makes it a little bit longer than Boyer, because he has better stuff, but not by much. Grimm gave up 6 earned runs on Tuesday and only recorded one out. His ERA is up to 18.90 on the season and he’s gotten progressively worse every time out. There’s a reason that KC was able to get him so late in the offseason, because no one else wanted him. I think Kevin Lenik is the next man to get the call here. He hasn’t been great so far in 2018, but he was fantastic in 2017 and he has great stuff to go with a funky arm slot. Lenik produces tons of ground balls and I expect the Royals to give him a shot in the big leagues here before too long.
- Ryan Goins. Much like Blaine Boyer, Ryan Goins should have never made this team to begin with, but here we are. My theory is that Goins will be replaced by Ramon Torres as soon as Adalberto Mondesi is healthy. Mondesi will be getting at-bats in extended Spring Training for another week or so, then he figures to go on a rehab assignment or just join AAA Omaha pretty quickly. When Mondi returns to Omaha, he and Humberto Arteaga will man SS and Torres will be allowed to rejoin Kansas City where he belongs. Goins will be DFA’d, probably clear waivers, or just go away. Either way, he’s not long in Kansas City.
- Paulo Orlando. Sigh. It’s been fun. I loved watching Paulo succeed at the big league level as much as the next guy. Unfortunately, I think the arrival of Abraham Almonte makes Paulo the odd man out when Alex Gordon returns from the DL. I’d love to say that Almonte catches the DFA here and not Orlando, but the Royals gave up a roster spot for Miguel Almonte to acquire Abraham, and I don’t think he’s going anywhere anytime soon. Paulo hasn’t helped his case much this year, and I don’t think he will be a Royal for much longer.
- Brian Flynn. I almost forgot Flynn was on the roster until he made an appearance over the home stand. I’m not really sure what he brings to the table that guys like Jesse Hahn or Nate Karns don’t. The Royals aren’t releasing Burch Smith or Brad Keller with the way they’ve been pitching. Tim Hill has been one of the best relievers on the team. Maybe Flynn survives if Kelvin Herrera is traded before Hahn or Karns return but, in that unlikely scenario, Flynn probably gets the boot for either Jesse Hahn or Nate Karns.
There are a couple of other guys that I think will survive on the roster once trades are made. Abraham Almonte and Cheslor Cuthbert won’t be going anywhere because the Royals can trade Moose, Jay, and Duda before they’d need to DFA anyone. That, or they’d just DFA Duda instead. I don’t think that ends up happening though. Jay probably gets traded around the same time Boni returns from suspension to open up a roster spot there, and the Royals will probably call up Hunter Dozier to play third or first when Moose gets traded. Eric Skoglund still has options left, so the Royals won’t need to DFA him when Clay Buchholz is ready to make his Royals debut. Same scenario for Cam Gallagher when Salvy returns.
So there ya go. Lucky for us fans, we won’t have to put up with too much of this crap for much longer. Once a couple of key injuries and suspensions get over with, some of this poor play will get tidied up and we won’t have to watch too many more innings as ‘Grimm” as the 8th inning was on Wednesday.