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The First Big Move

Only once in the last 12 years have the Royals waited past May 1st to make their first true roster move of the season. Will 2013 be the second long wait?

The bell may soon toll for thee, J.C.
The bell may soon toll for thee, J.C.

Hey, it is an off-day and we are all riding fairly high on baseball life in these parts, so nothing too earth shattering this afternoon.

For reasons unknown, I recently became curious about how quickly into a season Dayton Moore has tweaked his Opening Day roster. In my mind, Moore has shuttled a player or two around within weeks of deciding on the original 25 men. The moves I am reviewing here, do not include those that involve a player going on the disabled list or coming off of it.

As it turns out, Dayton usually has a pretty quick trigger finger.


Lorenzo Cain went on the disabled list on April 12th last year, but we are not looking at transactions as a result of an injury. However, that move did cause the recall of Jarrod Dyson, who would last all the way until April 15th, when he was sent back to Omaha to make room for Louis Coleman.


Another early injury on April 14th sending Robinson Tejeda to the DL, but the first actual personnel change occurred just a week later when Kanekoa Texeira was sent down in exchange for Louis Coleman on April 21st.


Again, an early move on the 11th of April to activate Gil Meche from the DL (with Mike Aviles headed down to Omaha). However, April 16th was the first move when Josh Rupe came up and Roman Colon was designated for assignment.


Despite making four injury related roster moves in April (the first of which occurred on April 10th - Sidney Ponson up, Jose Guillen to the DL) and even more in May, the first 'real' move was not until June 6th when Luke Hochevar was recalled from Omaha and the legendary Horacio Ramirez sent packing.

This was, of course, the 18-11 year. Multiple injuries and Sidney Ponson AND Horacio Ramirez on the roster...go figure.


Technically, the first move came on April 5th when Hideo Nomo was called up and catcher Matt Tupman sent back to Omaha. However, that move was really the result of Miguel Olivo serving a suspension to start the year for a brawl the previous season. Tupman was on the Opening Day 25 (actually 24 as Olivo counted against that number) only in case of emergency. As such, I don't think this technically qualifies.

Still, Nomo was involved in the first roster change. He was designated for assignment on April 20th to make room for Luke Hochevar.


April 20th of 2007 will no doubt remain prominent in every fan's memory. That was the day Neal Musser was called up and Jason Standridge designated for assignment.

While my original interest was based on the Dayton Moore era, I decided to go back further if for no other reason than it dredges up some fun names.


The Royals made it through April without a move (Joe Nelson was DFA'd to make room for Runelvys Hernandez to come off the disabled list. Surprised they didn't have to DFA two guys to make room!). However, on May 1st, Luke Hudson was designated for assignment (he would end up coming back later in the year to have a moderate string of success as a starter) and Steve Andrade was called up from Omaha. Bonus points to those who rememberd Steve Andrade pitched for the Royals.


Here's a fun one. On April 22nd, the Royals recalled Matt Diaz and sent Calvin Pickering to Omaha. Diaz did not get much of a shot with Kansas City, but then neither did Pickering, who had won the first base/designated hitter job from Ken Harvey to start the year. They were both awful, didn't play much, and Matt Stairs and Mike Sweeney ended up handling the bulk of both duties.

It took me until 2010 or so before I got over Allard Baird giving up on Matt Diaz so quickly.


There were several injury related moves made by the Royals on April 24th, but also one personnel swap as well. Rich Thompson was designated for assignment and David DeJesus was called up. This was a devastatingly disappointing season and DeJesus ended up being one of the very few bright spots of that year.


May 1st, another epic day in Royals' history. Kyle Snyder was called up and Jeremy Hill was sent down.

I waited a long time for Kyle Snyder to be good. Still waiting.


If you have done your job in spring training, you should not feel compelled to make a non-injury move on April freaking 7th. Yet, that was the day that Jeff Austin was sent down and Nate Field called up. Field ended up making a little money in the majors. Austin made some by getting drafted.


The Royals made it all the way to April 30th before Chad Durbin was called up and Kris Wilson sent down. It seems like those guys should have been better, doesn't it? As it turned out, Durbin fashioned himself a nice little career, most of the best parts of it not as a Royal.

There is not a lot to any of this, just a fun little trip through the past. I do find it interesting that the two Royals' teams with the best starts in recent times (2009 and 2003) were the slowest to make a true personnel change. That makes sense when you think about it, but can hardly be considered anything to hang your hat on.

If you feel so inclined, make your call. What day will the Royals make the first non-injury related roster move and who will it be?

I am going to call May 6th, with J.C. Gutierrez being DFA'd and Donnie Joseph getting the call up from Omaha.