To make room for the roster additions, outfielder Brett Eibner has been placed on the 15-day disabled list following his injury in yesterday’s game. Dillon Gee has also been optioned to AAA Omaha.
Eibner came up lame in the 5th inning while chasing down a ball, and tumbled to the ground in obvious pain. He was unable to leave the field under his own power and was carted off with what was described as an ankle sprain for now. Initially, the injury has been called an ankle sprain.
Eibner had been having a fantastic week since replacing the injured Alex Gordon, batting .462/.500/.692 in limited action. Half of his 6 hits had gone for extra bases and he had several clutch plays in the Royals come from behind victories over the White Sox. He was the first rookie in MLB history to record to hits in a ninth inning, with one as a walk-off and the first player to achieve the feat since 1997. He earned the callup but previously hitting .309/.411/.537 with 10 home runs for AAA Omaha.
The Royals had a few options for replacing Eibner, including Jorge Bonifacio and prospect and former first round pick Hunter Dozier is also making a push with his bat at AAA, though he plays primarily third base. They still have four guys on the roster capable of playing outfield in Dyson, Cain, Orlando and Merrifield, but with Merrifield playing primarily second base in place of the struggling Omar Infante, the Royals would be rather thin without an outfielder added to the roster.
Dillon Gee has struggled since being inserted into the Royals starting rotation following Chris Young and Kris Medlen both being placed on the disabled list. In 4 starts, he has compiled a 6.05 ERA and struck out 23 in 19 innings. He began the year in the Royal’s bullpen and had a 2.61 ERA in that role. Young, who STILL leads the AL in homers allowed (13), will return to the rotation, starting Sunday. Young struggled early on in the season, compiling a 6.68 ERA before hitting the DL. He will look to come back 100% and return to his 2015 form, when he threw 123 innings of 3.06 ERA ball.
Fuentes was one of the surprise players to make the cuts following spring training, but was demoted upon the return of Jarrod Dyson. The former first round pick of the Boston Red Sox and the cousin of Carlos Beltran, has hit .302/.384/.333 so far in 17 games for AAA Omaha, where he too has spent time on the DL after running into the wall in the outfield.
The Australian, Peter Moylan has appeared in 6 games for the Royals so far this year and has a 2.45 ERA and has 7 strikeouts in his 7.1 innings at the big league level.
The Royals will continue on with their next man up approach that has certainly worked just fine the last couple of weeks given that despite injuries, they have won six straight series now, have won 14 of their last 19, have their first 5-game winning streak of the season, are 7-games above .500 (29-22) for the first time all season and are just one game off last season’s 51-game pace.
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