The Royals announced today they have optioned third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, and pitchers Kyle Zimmer and Gabe Speier to Triple-A Omaha. Despite spring training being halted over coronavirus concerns, teams are still allowed to make transactions for now.
The 25-year old Gutierrez originally came over to the Royals in 2018 in the Kelvin Herrera deal. He made his Major League debut last year and hit .260/.304/.356 with one home run in 20 games. Gutierrez has been praised for his defense, although it was inconsistent in his short stint with the Royals last year. With the signing of Maikel Franco, it seemed unlikely Gutierrez would make the club, especially considering he missed the end of last season with a foot injury.
Kyle Zimmer made last year’s Opening Day roster and was healthy for the first time in his career. But he struggled with his command, walking 19 hitters in 18 1⁄3 innings with a 10.80 ERA. He was awarded a fourth option year due to all the injuries he has suffered, and he will get to work out his command issues more in Omaha.
Gabe Speier was acquired in 2018 from the Diamondbacks in the Jon Jay trade. The 24-year old left-hander made his debut last year and gave up six runs with 10 strikeouts in 7 1⁄3 innings. He also posted a 4.78 ERA in 69 2⁄3 innings of relief for Triple-A Omaha last year, but opposing lefties hit just .173/.254/.282 against him.
By my count, the Royals have 47 players left in camp.
Catchers: Nick Dini*, Freddie Fermin*, Cam Gallagher, Salvador Perez
Infielders: Humberto Arteaga*, Hunter Dozier, Maikel Franco, Nicky Lopez, Ryan McBroom, Erick Mejia*, Adalberto Mondesi, Ryan O’Hearn, Matt Reynolds*
Outfielders: Kyle Isbel*, Alex Gordon, Khalil Lee*, Whit Merrifield, Brett Phillips, Jorge Soler, Bubba Starling
Pitchers: Chance Adams, Scott Barlow, Danny Duffy, Heath Fillmyer*, Jesse Hahn, Tim Hill, Greg Holland*, Jakob Junis, Brad Keller, Ian Kennedy, Jorge Lopez, Richard Lovelady, Andres Machado*, Yunior Marte*, Kevin McCarthy, Mike Montgomery, Jake Newberry, Randy Rosario, Trevor Rosenthal*, Braden Shipley*, Brady Singer, Eric Skoglund, Glenn Sparkman, Josh Staumont, Stephen Woods, Jr., Daniel Tillo*, Tyler Zuber*