The Kansas City Royals just announced that they are optioning outfielder Edward Olivares back to Triple-A Omaha on their off day today. A corresponding roster move will be announced tomorrow (and this article will be updated when they do so).
OF Edward Olivares has been optioned to Omaha (AAA). We will announce a corresponding move tomorrow. #Royals— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) June 17, 2021
Now, if you’ll allow for some editorializing here: That the Royals would be optioning someone who profiles as a backup outfielder back to Triple-A might make sense in a vacuum. However, this is the third time that the Royals have done so in the last two weeks. Every once in a while, the Royals will handle a player as confusingly as possible.
Olivares has what most of the rest of the Royals lineup does not have: upside. At just over 25 years of age, Olivares is the youngest member of the Royals lineup (when he’s not spending time on I-29, as it were). He has also crushed Triple-A pitching to the tune of a .370/.452/.610 triple slash over 100 plate appearances, so I’m not sure he has much else to prove.
Furthermore, Andrew Benintendi, the Royals’ starting left fielder, will probably be out for at least a few weeks with a rib injury. So, it’s weird timing.
We’ll see what the Royals do tomorrow, but in the short term we’ll probably see Whit Merrifield in left field more often, with Adalberto Mondesi at shortstop and Nicky Lopez at second base. Jorge Soler and Hunter Dozier will man right field. Regardless, it wouldn’t be a disappointing Royals season with bizarre roster moves.