The Royals have activated right-hander Jakob Junis and catcher Cam Gallagher from the injured list, as per the team’s official Twitter account. To create roster space, catcher Oscar Hernandez was designated for assignment and righty Ronald Bolanos was optioned to the club’s alternate training site.
Junis is slated to start Kansas City’s game against the White Sox this afternoon, while Gallagher is behind the plate. Both Junis and Gallagher are making their first appearances of the season after receiving positive COVID-19 diagnoses during Summer Camp, which set back their preseason preparations.
The 27-year-old Junis has been a reliable eater of innings since becoming a full-time member of the Royals’ rotation, though his overall performance has been inconsistent. Junis has a 4.80 ERA, 3.25 K/BB rate, and 8.4 K/9 over 352 1/3 innings since the start of the 2018 season, with a 4.37 ERA in 2018 and a 5.24 number last year. Despite that notable gap in ERA totals, there wasn’t much different in Junis’ peripheral stats between the two seasons.
Gallagher will assume his regular role as Salvador Perez’s backup. Gallagher has hit .230/.297/.352 over 238 plate appearances in his three seasons in Kansas City, with 142 of those PA coming in 2019 when Gallagher received more playing time due to an unusually unsettled catching situation — Perez missed the season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and interim starter Martin Maldonado was traded in July.
Hernandez appeared in four games for the Royals this season, which marked his first MLB action since he played in another four games for the Diamondbacks in 2016. All told, Hernandez has 26 big league games on his resume during an 11-year pro career that has seen him clock 549 games (and a .246/.323/.417 slash line in 2140 PA) in the minor leagues with the Rays, Diamondbacks, and Red Sox organizations.
Finally, a starter!
But Oscar is hitting. 500!