Royals right-hander Chance Adams underwent Tommy John surgery last month, MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan reports (via Twitter). The organization never announced the surgery, but the procedure will wipe out Adams’ entire 2021 season. As Flanagan points out, that could be a key factor today as the Royals look to set their 40-man roster in advance of tonight’s deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 Draft. Adams could be outrighted off the 40-man roster to open an additional spot for the Royals, whose 40-man roster currently contains 39 players.
Adams, 26, is among the many cautionary tales for top pitching prospects. The 2015 fifth-rounder entered the 2018 season as a consensus Top 100 prospect in the game but struggled through a lackluster Triple-A showing and was hit hard in a brief MLB debut that year. It was a similar story in 2019, and last winter he was designated for assignment then traded to the Royals when the Yankees inked Gerrit Cole to his record-setting contract.
Adams made it to the big leagues with Kansas City in 2020 but was again hit hard in a limited showing. In all, he’s pitched 41 2/3 frames at the MLB level and logged a grisly 8.42 ERA with a 33-to-15 K/BB ratio and a woeful 11 home runs allowed. Even Adams’ last few turns through the Triple-A level haven’t been particularly impressive; in 2018-19 he worked to a combined 4.72 ERA in nearly 200 innings with the Yankees’ affiliate in Scranton.