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Its Whit Time! Merrifield called up from minors

He is in the starting lineup tonight.

Kansas City Royals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Royals have called up Whit Merrifield from AAA Omaha, after sending pitcher Jake Junis down on Sunday. Merrifield was hitting .412 with three home runs in nine games for the Storm Chasers. The move gives the Royals 13 position players and 12 pitchers.

It was a bit of a surprise when the 28-year old utility player did not make the club initially out of spring training. The team opted to go with Raul Mondesi as the Opening Day second baseman, and chose to carry pinch-runner Terrance Gore over Merrifield. But the club needed an extra relief arm last week, leading to the promotion of Junis to replace Gore on the roster. With the off day and the starting pitchers going deeper in games, an extra bullpen arm was no longer needed.

Instead, the Royals seek to inject some offense, as they are 14th in the league in runs scored. The Royals are dead last in the league in OPS from the second base position and right field position. Merrifield hit .283/.323/.392 in 81 games for the Royals last year, although he slumped after a hot start, leading to a demotion in late July.

Merrifield will join the Royals as they take on the San Francisco Giants tonight. He is already penciled in the starting lineup in right field.