With the July 31st trade deadline fast approaching, there are sure to be a few Royals traded, as well as a player or two that could be designated for assignment. So with the roster shuffling between those two things and the September call-ups, the Royals’ roster could look a little different come September.
Remember: these are just predictions of who I think will be gone, and who I think will be added to the roster by September. Here’s a rundown of what the Royals’ roster could look like in September with the expanded roster.
Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, Jakob Junis, Glenn Sparkman, Mike Montgomery.
Scott Barlow, Jorge Lopez, Brian Flynn, Tim Hill, Kevin McCarthy, Josh Staumont, Richard Lovelady, Jake Newberry, Kyle Zimmer, Bryan Brickhouse.
Cam Gallagher, Meibrys Viloria, Xavier Fernandez.
Ryan O’Hearn, Cheslor Cuthbert, Nicky Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi, Humberto Arteaga, Hunter Dozier, Kelvin Gutierrez.
Alex Gordon, Bubba Starling, Whit Merrifield, Brett Phillips, Jorge Bonifacio, Jorge Soler.
Richard Lovelady, P:
The lefty reliever has been dominant at Triple-A Omaha, with a 1.66 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 25 K’s in 21⅔ innings. While Lovelady wasn’t great in his stint with KC, I’d expect him to be called up soon, maybe as a replacement when Diekman is traded.
Jake Newberry, P:
Newberry has been solid this year between Omaha and Kansas City. As with Lovelady, I expect Newberry to be called up again soon. Especially if Kennedy is traded.
Kyle Zimmer, P:
Zimmer has been much better as an opener than a reliever for Omaha. He has a 6.49 ERA as a reliever compared to a 2.25 ERA as an opener. Zimmer will most likely be a September call up.
Bryan Brickhouse, P:
Bryan Brickhouse is an interesting arm to keep an eye on for a September callup. Brickhouse’s fastball sits upper 90s, and has thrown 4 scoreless innings since being promoted to Triple-A Omaha. Brickhouse is kind of a wild card pick here, but I like his chances of getting a September call up.
Xavier Fernandez, C:
I think Fernandez is the top choice to be the Royals’ third catcher in the month of September when the rosters expand (should they choose to go that route). He’s a good defender behind the plate and is swinging the bat well, but injures have hampered him this year limiting him to just 37 games.
Ryan O’Hearn, 1B:
O’Hearn may not get called back up until September. Here’s my reasoning for that: I think O’Hearn won’t get called up until September because there’s not very many at-bats to go around with Dozier, Cuthbert and Soler currently on the major league roster. If O’Hearn stays at Omaha he’ll play everyday (which is probably both best for him and what the Royals want), while with Kansas City he probably wouldn’t play everyday.
Kelvin Gutierrez, IF:
Gutierrez has already made his major league debut this year with the Royals, and I’d expect him to be a September call up.
Brett Phillips, OF:
Brett Phillips has been on fire since June, and has gotten hotter in the month of July slashing .333/.456/.711 at Triple-A Omaha. Phillips could get called up if/when Billy Hamilton is traded, if not it may be September before we see him in Kansas City.
Jorge Bonifacio, OF:
Bonifacio has been hitting better of late for Triple-A Omaha. If/when Hamilton is traded there’s a chance Bonifacio could be the replacement, but Phillips may get the call before Bonifacio. At the very least Jorge will probably be a September call up.
Jake Diekman, P:
It’s pretty much a guarantee that Diekman is going to get traded sometime before the trade deadline.
Ian Kennedy, P:
Kennedy has been excellent lately out of the Royals’ bullpen. While Kennedy isn’t a guarantee to be traded given his hefty salary, there’s a good chance he is.
Billy Hamilton, CF:
Hamilton would be a perfect add for a contending team looking for a pinch-runner/defensive replacement. I would expect him to be moved to another team by the July 31st trade deadline.
Lucas Duda, 1B:
It’s extremely doubtful that the Royals will be able to trade Duda, but I believe sometime between now and September he’ll be designated for assignment.
Photo Credits: John Sleezer – KC Star