July 14, 2024

Typically at this point in the major league season, KC Royals general manager J.J. Picollo’s focus would be on the upcoming July 30 trade deadline. That’s especially true this year — instead of contemplating what prospects he can net from contending clubs looking to trade for stretch run help, Picollo finds himself pondering who the Royals can trade to snare playoff race aid of their own.J.J. Picollo Addresses the Royals' New Direction | FanGraphs Baseball

Of more immediate concern, however, is determining who Kansas City will trim from its 26-man roster to make room for three key players — starting pitcher Michael Wacha, second baseman Michael Massey, and outfielder Hunter Renfroe — when they each return from the Injured List. Rejoining the club doesn’t seem far off for any of them.

(What about Kris Bubic, you might ask? Don’t be surprised if the Royals, to be safe, seek another, and final, 10-day extension of his pos-Tommy John Surgery rehab assignment. Even if they don’t, it seems likely they’ll option him to Triple-A Omaha when his second extension expires next week, negating any big league roster move urgency).

Wacha, you’ll recall, has been out of action since fracturing a toe May 31, Massey is on his second trip to the IL after back problems struck him again a few days before Wacha went down, and a bone bruise (originally diagnosed as a broken toe) sidelined Renfroe June 10.

The good news is that Wacha was excellent Monday in his first rehab assignment in the Arizona Complex League, Massey is 3-for-8 three games into his rehab stint with Omaha, and MLB.com KC beat writer Anne Rogers suggested Tuesday that Renfroe could soon be back.

Making room for Michael Massey

This one could be easy. Nick Loftin, who the club recalled from Omaha to take Massey’s place, is the most logical choice. He hit his first big league home run Tuesday night against Oakland, is hitting .250 since being called back to KC, and has only a double and that homer to show for his last seven games. To Loftin’s credit, he’s batting .282 with a .408 OBP this month, but that he’s the player filling in for Massey doesn’t bode well for him when it’s time for Massey to return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *