The Royals announced a flurry of roster moves (Twitter links) this morning, including outfielder Jorge Soler’s official placement on the 10-day DL with a left toe fracture. Left-hander Eric Skoglund was transferred to the 60-day DL, while infielder Ramon Torres and right-hander Scott Barlow were optioned to Triple-A. Joining the 25-man roster are infielder Adalberto Mondesi, outfielder Rosell Herrera, and righty Wily Peralta, as the Royals selected Peralta’s contract from Triple-A Omaha.
[Updated Royals depth chart at Roster Resource]
Soler is expected to miss at least six weeks of action with the injury, which was seemingly originally caused by a foul ball off his foot and then exacerbated when Soler was running on Friday night. Soler’s production has cooled off following a huge opening six weeks, though he still had a .265/.354/.466 slash line and nine homers through 257 total plate appearances this season. It seemed as though Soler was finally enjoying the breakout campaign long expected of him since his (not long ago) days as one of the game’s best prospects coming up in the Cubs farm system, though this DL stint is an unfortunate interruption to Soler’s season.
Speaking of top prospects, the most noteworthy of Kansas City’s corresponding moves is the promotion of Mondesi, who is back in the majors for the first time in 2018. Mondesi was a consensus top-40 prospect prior to the 2016 season, with Baseball Prospectus rating him as high as 16th on their list of baseball’s top 100 minor leaguers, though he has shown next to nothing at the plate in two brief stints in the Show. Mondesi has just a .181/.226/.271 slash line over 209 career PA in the majors, though he has shown more composure as a hitter at the Triple-A level. With the usual caveat that the Pacific Coast League is very hitter-friendly, Mondesi has hit .292/.328/.527 with 19 homers over 551 Triple-A plate appearances.
Mondesi has already displayed excellent speed and strong defensive ability, so his prospect ceiling would only be further elevated if he can add value as a hitter. He has mostly played shortstop in the minors with some time at second base, and with the Royals in rebuild mode, Mondesi could get an extended look at either position now that he’s back on the 25-man roster. Whit Merrifield is certainly staying in the everyday lineup but can play other positions than second base, so Mondesi could displace Ryan Goins for regular time at the keystone, or potentially displace starting shortstop Alcides Escobar. Manager Ned Yost told reporters (including The Athletic’s Rustin Dodd) that Mondesi will play four games a week for the time being, to keep Mondesi fresh after some injuries earlier in the season.
Peralta signed a one-year, $1.5MM contract (with a $3MM club option for 2019) last winter, though he has yet to appear in a big league game for the Royals after being outrighted off the 40-man roster at the end of Spring Training. Peralta has a 4.37 ERA over 35 innings at Triple-A, posting a strong 10.0 K/9 but a troubling 5.4 BB/9. The hard-throwing veteran is looking to rebound after a very rough 2017 season that led his being outrighted off Milwaukee’s roster last summer.