The Royals have activated Adalberto Mondesi from the Injured List and called up pitcher Jackson Kowar as rosters expand to 28 for September. Mondesi, who had been out since June 20 with a left oblique injury, will be in the starting lineup tonight at designated hitter. Kowar will also start tonight at pitcher.
Mondesi, who also missed the first seven weeks of the season with a right oblique injury, has appeared in just ten games, in which he hit .361/.378/.833 with four home runs. His return raises questions on where he will play as the Royals integrate him in the lineup. He may be eased back into action at DH, to keep him from re-injuring himself. But long-term, he may not get his starting job back at shortstop after the emergence of Nicky Lopez. Dayton Moore recently said that the Royals cannot count on Mondesi as an everyday player due to his injury concerns, which could leave him in more of a utility role. Mondesi was seen working out at third base, according to Alec Lewis of The Athletic. Previously, Moore has also raised the possibility of Mondesi moving to the outfield, noting he has the athleticism to make the transition.
September could give Mondesi a chance to get his career back on track. Last year he went on a tear in the final month of the season, hitting .356/.408/.667 with six home runs and 16 steals in 24 games. The 26-year old will be eligible for arbitration this winter and has just two more seasons left before he becomes a free agent.
Kowar will make his fourth appearance with the Royals after some shaky outings back in June in which he gave up ten runs in five innings. The 2018 first-round pick posted a 3.46 ERA for Omaha and led all Triple-A pitchers with 115 strikeouts in 80 2⁄3 innings. The 24-year old is ranked the #68 prospect in the game by Baseball America. Kowar’s start bumps Mike Minor back another day, although with seven pitchers now in the rotation, he could get moved to the bullpen. He last pitched on Wednesday against Houston. The Royals have not announced a starter for tomorrow’s series finale against Cleveland.