The Royals announced their moves for today’s roster expansion, including the previously-reported selection of utility player Nick Loftin. They also recalled right-hander James McArthur and outfielder Edward Olivares, with right-hander Brady Singer going on the paternity list. To open a spot on the 40-man for Loftin, right-hander Joe Barlow was designated for assignment.
Barlow, 27, was claimed off waivers from the Rangers less than a month ago and was immediately optioned to Triple-A Omaha. He’s tossed 12 1/2 innings for the Storm Chasers since then but allowed 13 earned runs in that time, which will seemingly prompt the Royals to quickly move on.
His major league career began with a strong 1.55 ERA in 2021, though that was at least partially fuelled by a tiny .143 batting average on balls in play. His ERA jumped to 3.86 last year and 4.66 this year, as his strikeout rate also dropped year over year from 24.3% to 19.2% to 13.6%.
The Royals will now put Barlow back on waivers in the coming days. His results haven’t been great lately, but he’s not too far removed from having the closer’s role in Texas. He racked up 13 saves for the Rangers last year and 11 the year before. He still has two more option seasons after this one and has yet to reach arbitration. It’s possible he could interest clubs around the league who have a roster spot available and an idea of how to get him back on track.