Hunter Dozier has been reinstated to the Royals from the Injured List ahead of today’s baseball game. Franchy Cordero goes on the Injured List in his stead.
Dozier was the second-best and second-most-consistent hitter during his breakout campaign in 2019. The sometimes corner-infielder, sometimes corner outfielder walloped 26 home runs and carried an impression walk rate of 9.4% while striking out less than your average slugger at 25.3%. He figures to be immediately slotted into the middle of the order.
Franchy Cordero was acquired from the Padres in exchange for Tim Hill right before the season started and is a toolsy outfielder who has struggled with strikeouts and staying healthy. He hadn’t yet seen any results with Kansas City but the .167 BABIP - well below both his and MLB average - probably played a large part in that. He has been dealing with a wrist sprain for the past week and mostly sitting on the bench during that time.
Brett Phillips would appear to be the biggest loser in this transaction; he looked to finally be in line for some playing time thanks to injuries to all of the other starting outfielders but now that playing time will probably go to Dozier, instead. Phillips has been pretty productive in limited playing time, so far this year, with the only home run hit in the “Young, toolsy outfielders who haven’t put it together, yet” division. he also had three stolen bases to go with his .837 OPS and 134 wRC+.
However, if Manager Mike Matheny is as big on winning now as he’s said it seems possible that Alex Gordon could be the odd man out, instead. Alex’s OPS is a mere .573 with a 64 wRC+. Even his defensive skills appear to have fallen off a bit.
In any case, the suddenly hot Royals can only improve with the addition of Hunter Dozier into their lineup. With his return, the team’s projected starting lineup is now finally entirely healthy. Combine that with a rotation that’s on its second trip through with five healthy pitchers and perhaps the team can make a run at the post-season, after all.