Prior to July 31st, the Kansas City Royals had utilized just 32 players in major league action this season. They had lost catcher Salvador Perez for a week due to the death of his grandmother, Wade Davis for paternity leave (what a year he's having on a personal level, by the way) and used the disabled list exactly once all season (Jarrod Dyson).
In July, the Royals bid farewell to Jeff Francoeur and J.C. Gutierrez for the first 'real' roster moves of the year. Kelvin Herrera, Louis Coleman, Will Smith shuffled back and forth between Omaha and Kansas City, while Johnny Giavotella and Chris Getz swapped places for a while. Truthfully (maybe excepting Francoeur) pretty business as usual big league roster stuff.
Then whammo! August arrived and all roster hell broke loose.
While almost every move since the trade deadline has been either noted in a post or discussed in detail in some thread along the way, I thought a summary of the flurry of activity might be useful.
August 1 - Justin Maxwell activated, Chris Getz placed on the 15 day disabled list (retroactive to July 28th). We all are aware of the Maxwell trade - which looks pretty good now that Lorenzo Cain has gone down with an injury - and his deadline activation pushed Getz to the disabled list to open a spot on the 25 man roster.
August 4 - Wade Davis placed on family medical emergency list, Salvador Perez placed on the 7 day disabled (concussion) list. Will Smith and Brett Hayes recalled from Omaha. The Smith recall was temporary from the very beginning as the worst kept secret in the organization was that he would go back to Omaha when Danny Duffy was called up to start the August 7th game against Minnesota. The move made perfect sense at the time and even more when Smith ate up three innings of a blow-out loss to the Twins on Tuesday the 6th.
August 7 - Danny Duffy recalled from Omaha, Will Smith optioned to Omaha. Smith did his job and saved the bullpen in a game that was lost from the first inning on. That is especially important when Duffy did not make it out of the fourth inning of his start.
August 8 - Danny Duffy optioned to Omaha, Francisely Bueno selected from Omaha, Adam Moore placed on unconditional release waivers. With Wade Davis expected back for his next turn in the rotation, Duffy was sent back to Omaha. The move is temporary as it is almost certain that Danny will be recalled to start one of the games of the Friday doubleheader with Detroit when he can be added as the '26th man' - a spot that is not subject to the '10 day rule'. As Smith could not be recalled again for ten days from the date of his option back to Omaha, the Royals opted to purchase Bueno's contract from Omaha. Bueno who had been designated for assignment on June 25th to make room on the 40 man roster for Danny Duffy's return from the 60 day disabled list (remember, those on the 60 day DL do NOT take up space on the 40 man), went unclaimed and returned to work in Omaha. Obviously, to be recalled to the active roster, Bueno had to placed on the 40 man roster and Adam Moore, already out for the season with an injury, was the casualty. It was kind of a curious move in my mind, but given the Royals had Brett Hayes, losing Moore was not a major deal.
August 10 - Lorenzo Cain placed on the 15 day disabled list, Francisely Bueno designated for assignment. Will Smith and Donnie Joseph recalled. Bueno threw 2.1 innings on the 9th against Boston, didn't allow a run, got the win and was designated for assignment. Having made it through waivers once before, odds are decent he might well do so again, or that was the thought at the time (see the next paragraph for more on this). Anyway, contending teams agonize less about losing their 8th or 9th best reliever and 4th catcher and more about having a decent roster for the next day's game. It's kind of fun, isn't it? Smith was able to be recalled less than 10 days after being optioned due to the injury to Cain, while Joseph was recalled to be available for action immediately (something Bueno was not).
August 11 - Salvador Perez activated from the 7 day disabled list, Wade Davis activated from family emergency list, Irving Falu recalled from Omaha. Miguel Tejada placed on 15 day disabled list, Donnie Joseph optioned to Omaha, Brett Hayes designated for assignment. Like Smith and Bueno before him, Joseph performed a valuable service in eating up innings to save the pen and was rewarded with a scenic tour up I-29 to Omaha. With Perez back, the Royals opened up a 40 man roster spot by designating Hayes for assignment (which allowed them to option Bueno to Omaha instead of DFAing him - as of this morning, he still owns a 40 man roster spot). Falu was up as likely very temporary insurance for Tejada's injury because.....
August 12 - Jamey Carroll acquired from Minnesota for a player to be named later or cash. The acquisition of Carroll almost certainly spells doom for Falu's time on the major league roster. Yes, technically the Carroll trade went down on the 11th, but it was not official until this morning. In addition, Chris Getz is eligible to return from the disabled list today as well and all indications are that he will be activated and platoon with Carroll. To make room for Getz the likely casualty might be Elliot Johnson (zero for his last 27) or the 13th pitcher (Will Smith again or a Mendoza DFA?). My guess is Johnson given that the Royals have gone out of their way to have an extra arm in the bullpen this month.
Where this leaves the Royals is with a semi-non sensical platoon at second base. The left-handed hitting Getz is hitting almost 80 points higher against LEFT handed pitching this year and has better career numbers against lefties as well. Of course, who am I to question the management of a team that is 18-5 since the All-Star Break?
In case you are trying to score at home, the Royals' 40 man roster is full (that includes Bueno and Carroll as of right now - according to the official website), with Felipe Paulino still on the 60 day disabled list and not counting against that total. The 25 man roster has 13 pitchers and Irving Falu, but not Carroll and not Getz - all of that will change in some fashion in the next couple of hours.
Even after today's impending moves, the roster carousel is likely to continue turning. That is not unusual for an August in Kansas City. What is new, is that these moves are made with winning games this year instead of getting ready for next year. For better or worse, it sure is a nice change.
UPDATE: Getz was indeed called up this afternoon and, obviously, Jamey Carroll officially activated. Irving Falu and Will Smith head back to Omaha.