The Royals announced a flurry of roster moves this afternoon, adding four players (outfielder Kyle Isbel, right-handers Arodys Vizcaino and Jose Cuas, and left-hander Foster Griffin) to the active roster, sending three (left-hander Gabe Speier and right-handers Matt Peacock and Zack Greinke) to the injured list, and returning one (outfielder Brewer Hicklen) to Triple-A Omaha. Of the four activated, Isbel was reinstated from the injured list, Griffin was recalled from Triple-A, and Vizcaino and Cuas were each selected from Triple-A, meaning that they were also added to the club’s 40-man roster.
Greinke is the only one of the three IL players who is going to the 15-day IL with a designated issue, implying that Peacock and Speier are on the COVID-related injury list. Isbel had also been on the COVID list due to virus symptoms, though it ended up being a non-COVID illness that sidelined the outfielder for four days.
Greinke is suffering from a right flexor strain, and the veteran righty recently told MLB.com’s Anne Rogers and other reporters that he has been dealing with related soreness for “a little bit.” While any injury in the forearm or elbow area is a red flag, Greinke added that he has been dealing with some degree of elbow problems for years, so it’s possible that a 15-day absence might be all it takes for Greinke to heal up.
The injury could explain Greinke’s lack of success in his last four starts, as the former Cy Young Award winner has a 9.50 ERA in his last 18 innings of work. His ERA now sits at 5.05 over 51 2/3 innings, with only a minuscule 11.2% strikeout rate. Between this lack of whiffs and a lot of hard contact allowed, there isn’t much to like about Greinke’s numbers apart from his typically excellent walk rate (4.5%).
Vizcaino is on the verge of his first MLB appearance since the 2019 season, when he tossed four innings for the Braves before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. The veteran didn’t return to the field at all until 2021, when he tossed 7 2/3 innings with the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate, and Vizcaino then inked a minor league with the Royals this past winter.
After essentially three full years off, it’s hard to know what to expect from Vizcaino in his return to the Show, though he was a very capable bullpen arm for Atlanta in his heyday. He has also looked quite good with Triple-A Omaha, posting a 1.76 ERA and 29.7% strikeout rate in 15 1/3 innings. Vizcaino’s 9.4% walk rate is a little on the high side, but actually an improvement over his career 10.8% walk rate at the big league level.
The 27-year-old Cuas has finally reached the majors after a pro career that has seen him bounce around the minors and independent leagues, and change his position entirely from infielder to pitcher. An 11th-round draft pick by the Brewers in 2015, Cuas wasn’t getting anywhere as a position player, but his fortunes changed after converting to relief pitching in 2018. Over 126 2/3 career innings in the minors, Cuas has a 2.63 ERA, with a sidearm delivery and a sinker-slider combo that induces a lot of grounders and a good amount (22.22%) of strikeouts.