The Royals have placed first baseman Carlos Santana on the Injured List retroactive to May 3 due to right ankle bursitis. To replace him on the roster, they have recalled third baseman Emmanuel Rivera. Santana was a late scratch from Tuesday’s lineup against the Cardinals.
Manager Mike Matheny said Santana hurt his ankle on Monday, rounding first base. Will take more than just a few days to heal and the Royals didn’t want to go short on their bench. Rivera was in KC this morning.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) May 4, 2022
The 36-year old Santana got off to a dreadful start, but was coming around a bit lately with hits in his last four games. Overall he was hitting .159/.312/.254 with just one home run in 19 games. He had an awful slump in the second half of last year that he attributed in part to a hip injury, and hit just 214/.319/.342, giving him the seventh-worst wRC+ among regulars last year. The Royals owe Santana $10.5 million this year, the final year of his two-year deal.
The Royals brought back the 26-year-old Rivera, who has appeared in three games with six plate appearances but has yet to get a hit. He appeared in 29 games last year and hit .256/.316/.333. The Royals could start him at third and move Bobby Witt Jr. to shortstop, his natural position, but it is unclear if they are comfortable moving their rookie around like that.
The Royals did not opt to call up either of their two first base prospects in Omaha - Nick Pratto and Vinnie Pasquantino. Pratto is starting to come on after a slow start and is hitting .253/.320/.483 with five home runs in 22 games, but with a 34 percent strikeout rate. Pasquantino homered yesterday for Omaha, his fifth of the year, and he is hitting .303/.427/.592 with a 16.7 percent walk rate and an 11 percent strikeout rate. Pratto is already on the 40-man roster, which his full, but Pasquantino would have to be added to get him on the active roster.