The Royals announced several roster moves, reinstating infielder Adalberto Mondesi, as well as lefties Jake Brentz and Angel Zerpa from the 60-day injured list. They also selected southpaw Richard Lovelady and infielder/outfielder Samad Taylor to the 40-man roster. Catcher Sebastian Rivero was designated for assignment.
Lovelady, 27, seemed to be having a nice breakout in 2021, posting a 3.48 ERA over 20 2/3 innings that year. Unfortunately, he required Tommy John surgery in September of that year and was non-tendered by Kansas City. The club re-signed him on a minor league deal, with Lovelady returning to the mound late in the year, making four appearances in the minor leagues in September. He would have qualified for minor league free agency today but the club has instead adding him back onto the 40-man roster.
Taylor, 24, was drafted by Cleveland but went to the Blue Jays as part of the Joe Smith trade. The Jays then flipped him to the Royals this summer as part of the Whit Merrifield deal. He got into 70 games for Triple-A Buffalo before the deal but didn’t play after it. In those 70 contests, he hit .258/.337/.426 for a wRC+ of 101 along with 23 steals. He’ll provide some versatility, spending most of 2022 at second base and left field, with a brief showing at shortstop as well. Like Lovelady, he would have qualified for minor league free agency if not selected to the roster today.
Rivero, 24 next week, has been on the 40-man roster for two years now, serving as an optionable depth catcher in that time. He got into 34 MLB games over the past two years but 84 games in the minors. Though he hasn’t hit much, this still creates a bit of a hole on the club’s depth chart. Salvador Perez and MJ Melendez are now the only two backstops on the roster. Since they are both likely to get regular playing time, either by the designated hitter spot or Melendez spending time in the outfield, the club will likely look to add a backup catcher at some point this offseason.
The moves for Mondesi, Brentz and Zerpa are formalities since the injured list ends today and doesn’t return until Spring Training. That means all players currently on the IL will need to be reinstated or else cut from the roster in some way.