The Royals announced they have called up pitcher Austin Cox and optioned pitcher Jose Cuas to Triple-A Omaha. To make room on the 40-man roster for Cox, the team transferred Kris Bubic to the 60-day Injured List. Bubic needs Tommy John surgery and is likely out for the year.
Cox is a 26-year old left-hander who was selected out of Mercer College in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. He had a 4.21 ERA in 147 1⁄3 innings last year for Omaha, but improved his low strikeout rate significantly over his first five outings with a 2.21 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 20 1⁄3 innings. In 2022, Fangraphs wrote that Cox had a low 90s fastball and “pared his repertoire down to three offerings, having all but eliminated his slider in favor of his curveball and changeup.” Cox had a very high groundball rate in Omaha so far this year, over 50 percent.
While he can start, it looks like he will be asked to pitch out of the bullpen for the Royals. Ryan Yarbrough would be the most likely starter to be pulled from the rotation, but he just started last night, and it would make little sense to call up Cox today if he is not starting until this weekend.
Jose Cuas appeared in 14 games with the Royals this year, sporting a 5.65 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 14 1⁄3 innings. He gave up two runs in 1 1⁄3 innings against the Orioles last night.