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Royals promote Whit Merrifield, demote Christian Colon

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Jose Martinez is designated for assignment

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

After the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader, the Royals announced they have selected the contract of Whit Merrifield from Omaha and have optioned infielder Christian Colon to AAA Omaha. To make room on the 40-man roster for Merrifield, they have designated outfielder Jose Martinez for assignment.

The Merrifield promotion was hinted at by his sister on Twitter this morning. The 27-year old Merrifield was hitting .278/.342/.458 with 5 HR 17 RBI in 36 games for Omaha. He had impressed Royals coaches with a strong spring and was one of the last players cut when the Royals finalized their Opening Night roster. The right-handed hitter is capable of playing all over the field, although he primarily plays second base and outfield.

The surprising move is the demotion of Christian Colon, who started the first game of the doubleheader and was 0-for-2 with a walk. Going into today, Colon was hitting .262/.311/.310 in 15 games. There have been rumors the Royals are not enamored with his defense however, and last year he was demoted to get more playing time.

Jose Martinez will have to clear waivers, as he was designated for assignment. Martinez burst on the scene last year, hitting .384 for Omaha in 98 games. But he has regressed this year, hitting .298/.356/.433 with 3 HR 18 RBI in 37 games, and at age 27 is not considered a prospect.

Alec Mills remains on the roster for the second game of the doubleheader, but will likely be returned to the minor leagues following the game as the Royals are forced to go back to 25 players tomorrow.