I get nervous when Dayton Moore has roster moves that have to be made. That may be the cynic in me (or the realist from experience) talking. Whether the idea of Moore maneuvering the 25 and 40 man rosters gets you edgy or not, two moves are on the horizon.
The first deals with Jarrod Dyson's return from the disabled list. He began his rehab assignment on June 6th, which technically means the Royals have until June 25th to activate him. Dyson is out of options and will have to rejoin the major league club by then or be exposed to waivers, which is not going to happen.
Dyson hit .260/.328/.322 over 330 plate appearances in 2012 and was hitting .268/.286/.561 in 42 plate appearances this year. We all know that Jarrod is not going to continue to slug as he has thus far in 2013 (7 of his 11 hits were for extra bases), but he has value to this team. In his career against right handed pitching, the former 50th round pick, sports a .264/.332/.376 line and that makes him an attractive platoon option on a team that pays the Flailing Frenchman money to hit right-handers to the tune of .191/.225/.313 this year. Even Francoeur's career mark against right-handers (.255/.295/.402) does not stack up well against Dyson when things like, I don't know, RUNNING come into the equation.
Almost certainly, when healthy, Jarrod Dyson will be activated from the disabled list, David Lough will be sent back to Omaha and an unofficial platoon will be employed with Dyson and Francoeur. It is an easy roster move and painless. Let's face it, we all kind of like David Lough, but hitting .279/.302/.410 is not going to make the Royals' consider cutting Francoeur and, more specifically, his contract. That is not how they function and they are provided a convenient excuse in that Frenchy hits from the right side, while Lough is a lefty like Dyson. The Royals, by the way, have given David Lough exactly 13 plate appearances in the majors against a left-handed pitcher.
As an aside, I may underestimate the lefty-righty thing, but does it seem like the Royals are obsessed with it? I am pretty sure Ned Yost stays up at night worrying about having two lefties, then two righties in a row in his current batting order.
Anyway, Dyson will be activated and Lough will be sent down and any time a southpaw starts against the Royals, we will see the Frenchman amble to the plate.
Now, the more interesting roster question comes with Danny Duffy. Like Dyson, Duffy began his rehab on June 6th. Unlike Dyson, Danny has an option left and, if the Royals do not think he is ready, could be activated from the disabled list and assigned to Omaha. However, since Duffy was on the 60 day disabled list and hence did not count as part of the 40 man roster, someone will have to be removed from the roster to accommodate his return be it to Kansas City or Omaha.
Francisely Bueno is a name that you might see get the ax or maybe Justin Marks. I could see the likes of Edison Rincon or Quentin Berry, too, but it would be odd for the Royals to go out of their way to acquire these two and put them on the 40 man roster only to drop one just weeks later.
Of course, the truth is, the real move would be to put Wade Davis back in the bullpen and likely give J.C. Gutierrez his walking papers. The Royals will not do that, in my opinion, because Davis is so integral to the organization claiming success in the Wil Myers trade.
Another thought that crossed my mind was the idea of putting Duffy in the bullpen (in Gutierrez's spot) and have him work back into the majors pitching fresh innings for a month or so out of the pen. The concern is two-fold in this scenario: one, does that help Duffy's return or hinder it from an injury standpoint and two, if the Royals put him in the pen for a month will we ever get him back out?
Let's face it, most of us really like Duffy's potential, but he has yet to really prove anything at the major league level. While I am willing to be a fair amount of money that a healthy Duffy will outperform Davis over the rest of their careers, it may not happen this season. Right now, the Royals and their GM are certainly focused on THIS season and not the future.
My guess is that we see Duffy end his rehab stint and stay in Omaha, leaving the Royals with only a 40 man roster move to make at that time. Bueno seems like the obvious casualty, but I don't think that is certain.
A lot of the above likely depends on what the Royals do in the next 10 days. With three against Detroit and three with Cleveland sandwiched around a four game series in Tampa (where KC seldom seems to play well), Moore will either be unwilling to rock the boat (i.e. make major moves) if the Royals manage a winning record over that time.