The Royals announced that they’ve activated first baseman Ryan O’Hearn from the injured list. Left-hander Richard Lovelady was optioned to the team’s alternate training site to make room on the 30-man roster. O’Hearn, who turned 27 yesterday, tested positive for Covid-19 three weeks ago and had been absent from the club since.
O’Hearn has spent parts of the past two seasons in the big leagues, and it’s been a tale of two seasons for the slugger. His 2018 debut was outstanding, as he raked at a .262/.353/.597 clip (153 wRC+, 154 OPS+ ) and belted a dozen homers, 10 doubles and two triples in 170 plate appearances. In 2019, O’Hearn’s production plummeted to .195/.281/.369 in a larger sample of 370 plate appearances. As it stands, his left-handed bat is likely to pair with the right-handed-hitting Ryan McBroom to share time at first base, although it’s possible that either could produce enough to play his way into the lion’s share of playing time.
Even as one southpaw was sent down, another came down with a potentially worrisome injury. Former first-round pick Foster Griffin was cruising through his MLB debut on his birthday before feeling something in his pitching arm. He’ll undergo an MRI on his left forearm to diagnose the problems.
In other Kansas City roster news, the club has formally added catcher Cam Gallagher to its taxi squad, as Lynn Worthy of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter. He’s still on the injured list for a previous COVID-19 diagnosis but has obviously now registered the requisite negative tests. The 27-year-old saw 45 games of MLB action last year while helping the Royals fill in for the injured Salvador Perez.