The Kansas City Royals have been busy this afternoon. They announced a number of roster moves. In terms of additions, Kelvin Gutierrez has been reinstated to the active roster from the injured list, and Nick Heath has been recalled. To make room, Matt Reynolds has been designated for assignment and Ryan McBroom has been assigned to the team’s alternate training site.
Heath, 26, has 2 hits in 6 at-bats this season for the Royals, his first taste of big-league action. The speedy centerfielder split 2019 between Double-A and Triple-A, slashing .255/.345/.387. Heath is a burner who will get into games as a pinch-runner. He stole 60 bases last year in 73 attempts for an 82% success rate.
Gutierrez has been a top-20 prospect for the Royals, but an elbow strain sent him to the 60-day injured list in July. He debuted last season, appearing in 20 games and slashing .269/.304/.356 as their starting third baseman for much of May. Injuries slowed his progress before a toe fracture ended his season in September. Maikel Franco takes his licks as the Royals’ regular third baseman these days, but the 26-year-old Gutierrez will serve as his backup, per MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan (via Twitter). Franco has spent time DHing recently due to a leg injury, so Gutierrez may get some playing time right off the bat. He’ll be at the hot corner and batting sixth for the Royals today.
Gutierrez ostensibly takes Reynolds’ roster spot. The 29-year-old journeyman had taken on the backup third baseman role, but he went hitless in 11 at-bats while striking out 7 times. Reynolds was called up from the alternate training site earlier this week, but he’ll now be exposed to waivers before reassignment.
McBroom is probably the most recognizable name of the bunch. He’s appeared in 34 games for the Royals this season. Most of his time has come at first base or designated hitter, but he’s also frequently been brought off the bench as a pinch-hitter and occasionally sees time in the outfield corners. A triple slash of .253/.291/.493 contributed negative 0.1 rWAR, but positive 0.2 fWAR for the 28-year-old this season. With Franco taking at-bats at designated hitter because of his leg injury, the Royals have less need for McBroom’s power bat.