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Royals acquire Sam Gaviglio, make September callups

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Clubhouse confusion!

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals have begun the first wave of September callups, with infielder Raúl Mondesí, catcher Cam Gallagher, outfielders Paulo Orlando and Terrance Gore, and pitcher Andres Machado all joining the club. Major League clubs can expand active rosters to 40 beginning on September 1. The Royals also claimed pitcher Sam Gaviglio off waivers from the Seattle Mariners. To make room on the 40-man roster for Gavilgio and Machado, the Royals released pitcher Neftali Feliz and transferred pitcher Brian Flynn to the 60-day disabled list. The Royals also activated pitcher Trevor Cahill, who had been out since August 13.

The 27-year old Gaviglio was a longtime Cardinals farmhand, who the Mariners acquired for Ty Kelly in 2014. The right-hander made his MLB debut with the Mariners this year, going 3-5 with a 4.62 ERA in 62 13 innings, but poor peripherals with just 5.8 strikeouts-per-nine innings and 3.0 walks. He had a 3.48 ERA over his first ten outings, but had two bad outings to raise his ERA. He also has an ugly FIP of 6.08.

Gaviglio is a groundball pitcher with a fastball in the upper 80s. Since he was acquired after the August 31 deadline, Gaviglio would not be eligible for the post-season roster. Anyone else in the organization as of yesterday could be on the post-season roster for the Royals, should they make it.

Mondesí began the season with the Royals, but looked completely overmatched, hitting .095/.156/.167 in 49 plate appearances. He went on to have a fantastic season in Omaha once he was demoted in April, hitting .305/.340/.539 with 13 home runs and 21 steals in 85 games. He still shows little mastery of the strike zone, with just 18 walks to 86 strikeouts, but his power and speed makes him the highest upside prospect in the entire system. With Alcides Escobar at shortstop and the emergence of Whit Merrifield at second base, it is unclear how much playing time Mondesí will get at the Major League level.

Paulo Orlando was also on the Opening Day roster, but was demoted in April after hitting just .149 in his first 14 games. It has been a tough year for Orlando, who missed two months this summer with a fractured shin. The 31-year old outfielder hit .293/.357/.431 in 30 games for Omaha.

Terrance Gore was also briefly with the Royals back in April as a pinch-runner, appearing in just two games. He hit .247/.321/.319 with 13 steals in 16 tries in 65 games with Omaha. Cam Gallagher rejoins the club as a third catcher after spending five games with the Royals in August when Salvador Pérez was on the disabled list. Gallagher hit .292/.336/.400 with five home runs in 73 games for Omaha.

One new face up from the minors is right-handed pitcher Andres Machado, a 24-year old Venezuelan. Machado missed the entire 2015 season and was in short season rookie ball in Idaho Falls last year. He began this year in High A Wilmington in the bullpen and put up underwhelming numbers. They moved him to the rotation where he struggled giving up runs, although he put up great strikeout and walk numbers. Omaha has been short on starting pitchers this year with all the promotions to Kansas City, so Machado was moved up there, and finished his season strong, putting up a 3.63 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 34 2/3 innings over seven starts. According to Alex Duvall at Royals Farm Report, Machado recently hit 97 on the radar gun with a good slider and changeup.

Noticeably absent in the callups is Jorge Soler, although Ned Yost said there will be a second wave of callups, most likely after Omaha and Northwest Arkansas complete their seasons. Other possibilities for the second-wave of callups include infielders Ramon Torres and Hunter Dozier, outfielder Billy Burns, and pitchers Seth Maness and Richard Lovelady. Players that might have been considered had injuries not struck them include outfielder Bubba Starling, and pitchers Miguel Almonte and Kyle Zimmer.