The Royals have promoted outfielder Billy Burns and optioned pitcher Brooks Pounders to AAA Omaha. Burns was acquired last week from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for outfielder Brett Eibner. He had played just two games for Omaha, going 1-for-5 with four strikeouts. Burns, a switch-hitter, was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 0 HR 12 RBI and 14 steals in 17 attempts in 73 games for Oakland this year. He enjoyed a much better rookie season in 2015, hitting .294/.334/.392 with 26 steals and 2.8 rWAR.
The 26-year old Burns is a speedster and joins an outfield that already has Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain, Paulo Orlando, and Jarrod Dyson. He has been criticized for not being a good basestealer despite his speed, and the metrics have his defense in centerfield as merely average. Burns is in his last option year and his acquisition could signal that the Royals expect to move Jarrod Dyson this winter.
Pounders gave up seven runs in 4 2/3 innings with three home runs allowed and six strikeouts. The move does get the pitching staff back down to 12 pitchers.