The Royals announced their first wave of call-ups to the majors for September. The players are:
The first four on this list should come as no surprise, but one name that was included and another that wasn’t may surprise some fans.
First, the one name that many of you may not have heard of is right-handed pitcher Andres Machado. A 24-year-old from Venezuela, Machado had Tommy John surgery in 2015 and has been rebuilding his way back since, pitching at Idaho Falls last season before starting this year in Wilmington. The total numbers don’t jump off the page in 2017 for Machado as the righty has a 4.54 ERA in 111 innings between Wilmington, NW Arkansas and Omaha. What those numbers may not tell you is what Machado has pitched like as of late as the righty has started to become more aggressive within the zone, striking out 65 in his last 62.2 innings while putting up a 3.45 ERA over twelve appearances. In that run, he’s struck out more than one per inning in seven of the eleven starts.
He does this with a fastball that can get as high as 98 mph and can sit in the 95-96 range while pairing that with a solid slider and a changeup that features some diving action. The control with Machado is better than average, but from what I’ve seen in my limited video looks, he is a pitcher who still needs to refine his command. That said, this is likely the most exciting young pitcher the Royals could call up at this time.
The noticeable omission of Jorge Soler from this list is pretty surprising to me as the Royals continue to struggle with the offense the fact that they don’t think Soler can help fix that may say quite a bit about what the organization views him as. After all, the Royals are coming off a 10-18 month in which their DH Brandon Moss put up a .173 batting average and their starting corner outfielders of Jorge Bonifacio (.638 OPS) and Alex Gordon (.418 OPS) didn’t perform up to snuff either. The outfielder was put on the inactive list yesterday so maybe that will answer the question, but until we know more, it will remain something to ponder that a player that continues to mash was given so few opportunities in Kansas City while others continue to struggle.