The Royals made a flurry of roster moves on Friday, promoting pitchers Matt Peacock and Foster Griffin to the active roster and optioning pitcher Carlos Hernández to the minors. They also placed pitcher Ronald Bolaños on the Injured List. To make room on the 40-man roster for Griffin, they transferred shortstop Adalberto Mondesi to the 60-day Injured List.
The Royals acquired Peacock from the Diamondbacks for cash considerations back on April 24. He has pitched in parts of two seasons in the big leagues, with a 4.96 ERA and 5.3 strikeouts-per-nine innings in 89 innings. The 28-year old right-hander is a sinker-slider pitcher who relies on a lot of groundballs, but doesn’t rack up many strikeouts. He is versatile, with experience starting or relieving, and can give the Royals multiple innings as needed. He gave up 2 runs in 2 2⁄3 innings for Arizona this year, and gave up 5 runs (3 earned) in 8 1⁄3 innings for Triple-A Omaha as a reliever.
Griffin is a former first-round pick by the Royals who made one appearance for the team back in 2020, pitching 1 2⁄3 innings of shutout ball. The left-hander had Tommy John surgery that fall and returned to make 15 starts for Triple-A Omaha last year with a 3.81 ERA in 52 innings. This year he has pitched out of the bullpen and had a 1.83 ERA with 23 strikeouts and 4 walks in 19 2/3 innings.
Hernández continued to struggle with his command in a loss to Chicago on Thursday, bringing his ERA to 9.10 in seven starts this year. He leads the American League in walks (20) and earned runs allowed (30) with just 16 strikeouts in 29 2⁄3 innings. Matheny seemed to attribute his struggles to youth.
“He ended the season last year as our best starter. Then all of a sudden, you’re not able to repeat,” Matheny said. “You start searching, ‘What am I able to do?’ You go through 100 different things in your head. We’ve talked about it many times, young players just having really found who they need to be when they get on that rubber and how they think about their pace, their thought processes, their intensity level, all those things are trial and error. He’s still figuring it out.”
The Royals did not list an injury for Bolaños. He pitched three innings on Thursday, giving up one run. Adalberto Mondesi suffered an ACL tear in his knee back on April 27 and is almost certainly out for the season.
The demotion of Hernández was inevitable after another rough outing this week. The rotation now features Daniel Lynch, who starts Friday’s series opener against Minnesota, followed by Brad Keller on Saturday. Sunday’s starter has yet to be announced, but it would be Jonathan Heasley’s turn in the rotation. Brady Singer could return for Monday’s game in Arizona with Zack Greinke scheduled to start after that.