The Royals have called up pitcher Steven Cruz from Triple-A and have optioned Taylor Hearn to Omaha.
Cruz was acquired last winter from the Twins in the Michael A. Taylor trade. The 24-year old right-hander had a 2.20 ERA with 42 strikeouts in 32 2⁄3 innings of relief for Double-A Northwest Arkansas, but struggled upon his promotion to Triple-A. For the Omaha Storm Chasers, he gave up 13 runs in 17 innings with 22 strikeouts and 10 walks.
Cruz was signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic. He stands an imposing 6’7’’ and throws in the mid-to-high 90s with a hard slider, but struggles with control. He went unselected in the Rule 5 draft last year, and would be eligible to be selected again this year if the Royals do not keep him on the 40-man roster.
Hearn was acquired by the Royals on July 30 from the Atlanta Braves for infielder Nicky Lopez. It was a curious trade considering he had been on waivers the previous week by the Rangers, and he pitched in just one game for the Braves (allowing four runs while recording just one out) before they flipped him to the Royals. Hearn pitched in eight games with the Royals, giving up seven runs in 7 2⁄3 innings for an 8.22 ERA with eight strikeouts and two walks. Meanwhile, Lopez is hitting .361/.385/.472 in 14 games with the Braves.