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Royals add Al Alburquerque, DFA Colon, O’Brien

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The Royals needed the bullpen arms.

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have added pitchers Al Alburquerque and Seth Maness to the active roster and have designated Christian Colón for assignment and optioned Jake Junis back to Omaha. They also designated Peter O’Brien for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster.

Alburquerque was signed as a minor league free agent this past winter after putting up a 3.21 ERA in 227 Major League innings, mostly with the Detroit Tigers. The 30 year-old right-hander had a 2.36 ERA in 13 23 innings for Omaha with 12 strikeouts and 1 walk.

Known for an outstanding slider, Alburquerque posted a 1.87 ERA in 43 innings and 1.2 WAR his rookie season, but has generally been a replacement level pitcher since then. The Dominican-born Alburquerque throws in the low 90s and has struck out nearly 11 per-nine-innings in his career, but has struggled with command.

Maness was reported to be joining the roster earlier today, after spending six innings with Omaha, where he gave up just one run. The groundball artist had a 3.19 ERA in four seasons as a reliever with the Cardinals before they non-tendered him after an elbow injury.

Both players had to be added to the 40-man roster, requiring the moves on Colón and O’Brien. Colón is a former first round pick by the Royals in 2010, who has hit .263/.323/.329 in 348 Major League plate appearances. He has been known for some big post-season moments, such as the game-tying hit in the 2014 Wild Card, and the game-winning hit in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series. However he has failed to hit much at all since his rookie season and the club has always seemed concerned about his defense.

O’Brien was acquired in a trade with the Diamondbacks last winter after he was designated for assignment. The slugger made news with seven home runs in spring training, but he has struggled mightily in Omaha, hitting .162/.235/.276 with just three home runs in 27 games.

Having been designated for assignment, both Colón and O’Brien must be either traded or placed on waivers within ten days. If the player clears waivers without being claimed by any other team, he may be assigned to the minor leagues.

Junis returns to Omaha after picking up his first Major League win in Tuesday’s extra-inning victory over Tampa Bay. He struck out two and walked four in two scoreless innings in his two separate short stints with the Royals. The Royals now carry eight relievers. They used six relievers in Tuesday’s win over the Rays.