The Royals had a number of moves on Wednesday, activating pitcher Mike Montgomery and outfielder Franchy Cordero from the Injured List and recalling pitcher Jakob Junis. To make room on the active roster, they optioned infielder Erick Mejia to the Alternate Site and placed pitcher Kyle Zimmer and outfielder Bubba Starling on the Injured List, effectively ending their seasons. According to Alec Lewis of The Athletic, Zimmer suffered right elbow ulnar neuritis and Starling had right lower back spasms.
Montgomery was expected to be part of the rotation this year, but suffered a lat strain after just one two-inning start in which he gave up five runs. The 31-year old left-hander is under club control next year, but may be a non-tender candidate. Cordero was acquired from the Padres before the season, and hit .154/.185/.231 in 11 games before he suffered a right wrist sprain. The 26-year old figures to be in the mix for the outfield next year, although he may face competition from fellow former Padre Edward Olivares, who was acquired in a mid-season deal for Trevor Rosenthal.
Junis was optioned out last week after a disappointing start, part of a frustrating season. The 28-year old right-hander had a positive COVID-19 test in Summer Camp, pushing back the start of his season. He was never able to get on track and posted a 6.94 ERA in six starts before he was sent to the Alternate Site.
Kyle Zimmer enjoyed a breakout season with a 1.57 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 23 innings. The 29-year old allowed just ten walks and opponents hit just .175/.275/.263 against him. He exited last night’s game in the sixth inning due to discomfort. Bubba Starling on the other hand, did not have a breakthrough this season, hitting .169/.219/.237 in 64 plate appearances.
Even with Montgomery and Junis back, the Royals already have a set rotation for the remainder of the season, although everything is subject to change.