The Royals announced they have placed outfielder Kyle Isbel on the Injured List and recalled outfielder Nate Eaton from Triple-A Omaha. They also recalled pitcher Jonathan Heasley and optioned pitcher Austin Cox to Omaha. Cox made his MLB debut yesterday against Baltimore, pitching two shutout innings.
Isbel injured himself in Thursday’s game against the Orioles and had to be removed. He was hitting .209/.250/.352 with one home run in 26 games, but was hitting better lately with a .846 OPS over his last nine games.
Eaton made the Opening Day roster, but was sent to the minors after hitting just 1-for-25 with 13 strikeouts to start the year. Eaton was hitting .304/.385/.522 with a home run in six games for Omaha.
The injury leaves the Royals a bit short-handed in centerfield, and veteran Jackie Bradley Jr. will likely get most of the playing time there. Bradley and Isbel have combined to occupy centerfield for the Royals in all but one game this year, when Eaton started.
Heasley is up for the first time after a rough spring training. He did not pitch particularly well in Omaha in six starts with a 9.00 ERA, allowing 31 runs in 31 innings with 25 strikeouts and 10 walks. The 26-year-old right-hander has a 5.23 ERA in 24 career starts in the big leagues. It is not clear whether he’ll start or reliever - Ryan Yarbrough is still listed as the scheduled starting pitcher for Sunday’s game, but Heasley has not pitched since April 30.
Friday evening update: Isbel is out six weeks.
Kyle Isbel has a Grade 2 hamstring strain. He’ll be sidelined for six weeks. Matt Quatraro says Jackie Bradley Jr. and Nate Eaton will get the most reps in center field but Maikel Garcia could fill in there too.— Anne Rogers (@anne__rogers) May 5, 2023