The Royals have called up catcher Nick Dini from Triple-A Omaha, according to both Clint Scoles and Jon Heyman. Presumably, Cam Gallagher will be placed on the injured list. Gallagher was a late scratch for Wednesday’s game in Boston with left-side tightness.
Dini is a New Jersey kid who was a standout at Wagner, a small college on Staten Island. He hit .392 his senior year for the Seahawks, striking out just seven times in 51 games, and the Royals selected him in the 14th round of the 2015 draft. Dini has done nothing but hit in the minors, hitting .288/.347/.437 in five season. He was hitting .296/.370/.565 with 13 home runs in 58 games for Omaha this season before his call up.
The 5’8’’ Dini doesn’t hit for much power, and the right-handed hitter has just a 6 percent walk rate in the minors, but he puts the ball in play and has hit for a high average. He can also run a bit for a catcher, swiping 29 bases in five years. I’ve heard varying reports on his defense with some saying he is average to above-average, while others knock him for his plate blocking.
Dini told Eric Boston at Kings of Kauffman that he just wants to work hard and prove himself.
“I just want to be known as somebody that does the right thing and works hard. I hope people find out more (about Dini) as I continue to move up and hopefully I one day get to Kauffman.”
Dini will join Meibrys Viloria as the only catchers on the roster. The Royals also acquired veteran catcher Adam Moore in a trade with the Rangers yesterday to give themselves some more depth in Omaha. Moore previously played nine games with the Royals in 2012-2013. Moore has played in 104 MLB games in nine seasons, but did not appear in the big leagues this year. The 35-year old was hitting .255/.363/.349 in 31 games for the top Rangers affiliate.
The Royals will not have to make a corresponding 40-man roster move since they have four open spots. Dini would become the 10th Royals player to make his MLB debut this year, joining Humberto Arteaga, Chris Elis, Kelvin Gutierrez, Nicky Lopez, Richard Lovelady, Frank Schwindel, Bubba Starling, Josh Staumont, and Kyle Zimmer.
2:51 p.m. update: It’s official.
The Royals did officially announce catcher Cam Gallagher to the 10-day IL and they've select Nick Dini from Triple-A Omaha.— Lynn Worthy (@LWorthySports) August 8, 2019