The Royals claimed left-handed pitcher Randy Rosario off release waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. The 25-year old pitched just 10 2⁄3 innings with the Cubs this year with a 5.91 ERA in his 13 appearances. He had a 3.66 ERA in 46 2⁄3 innings with 30 strikeouts and 22 walks in 44 appearances last year, his first full season in the big leagues. Rosario posted a 3.11 ERA in 37 2⁄3 innings for Triple-A Iowa, with a strikeout-per-nine innings rate of 7.4.
The Dominican-born Rosario has been tough on lefties in his brief MLB career, with opponents hitting just .172/.280/.333 from that side, compared to .342/.402/.477 for right-handed hitters. Rosario is a fastball-slider pitcher, with a heater that runs 93-94 mph. He was originally signed by the Twins, but was claimed off waivers by the Cubs in November of 2017. The Cubs designated him for assignment earlier this week to make room for infielder Nico Hoerner.
Rosario is pretty much the definition of “freely-available talent”, with the Royals selecting him off waivers hoping he can become a useful situational lefty. The club already has Tim Hill and Gabe Speier pitching from that side with some success, with Richard Lovelady presumably ready to return next spring. There were some reports of trade interest in Hill and Lovelady this summer, so this stockpiling could be made with the hopes of dealing from an area of depth this off-season.
To make room on the 40-man roster, Kelvin Gutierrez was placed on the 60-day disabled list. Gutierrez is out with a broken toe.