The Royals have designated first baseman Frank Schwindel for assignment to make room for infielder Nicky Lopez. Schwindel was hitting just .186/.237/.286 with one home run in 19 games for AAA Omaha and is currently on the seven-day injured list. Schwindel had made the Royals’ Opening Day roster but went just 1-for-15 in six games before being demoted.
The 26-year old Schwindel will be exposed to waivers, but with his age and injury, could be a decent bet to slip through and remain in the organization. Schwindel hit .286/.336/.506 with 24 home runs for Omaha last season.
Other candidates to be removed from the 40-man roster included pitchers Ben Lively, who the Royals claimed off waivers from the Phillies last year, pitcher Arnaldo Hernandez, who has struggled with a 10.58 ERA in Omaha before being demoted to AA last week, and pitcher Brian Flynn, who is currently on rehab assignment. But the Royals were probably wary of losing a pitcher with the team so short on arms, and Schwindel is a much better bet to slip through waivers unclaimed.
The team was unlikely to cut ties with struggling infielder Chris Owings after signing him to a $3 million deal last winter. Owings is hitting just .143/.209/.244 in 35 games, but the Royals analytics department and scouting department both pushed to sign the 27-year old utility player, and the team seems to like his positional versatility.
Nicky Lopez has joined the roster and is in the starting lineup hitting second tonight against the Texas Rangers.