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Royals call up infield prospect Guzman

Cordero to 45-day IL; Lacy, Hernández to 60-man player pool
@FlannyMLB
August 11, 2020

The Royals made a somewhat surprise promotion on Tuesday prior to their 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Reds in Cincinnati: They called up 21-year-old shortstop/infielder Jeison Guzman, who has yet to play above Class A Lexington. After right-hander Chance Adams was optioned to the team’s alternate training site at T-Bones

The Royals made a somewhat surprise promotion on Tuesday prior to their 6-5, 10-inning loss to the Reds in Cincinnati: They called up 21-year-old shortstop/infielder Jeison Guzman, who has yet to play above Class A Lexington.

After right-hander Chance Adams was optioned to the team’s alternate training site at T-Bones Stadium following Sunday’s game, the Royals’ roster was at 27.

Guzman, the team’s No. 21 prospect per MLB Pipeline, got the nod as the replacement as manager Mike Matheny indicated he needed an additional position player.

Outfielder Bubba Starling is still on the injured list. He is working out at the alternate site, and he could be activated this week.

“Once again, making a statement about how important it is to be on the 40-man roster,” Matheny said of Guzman. “And typically, this [move] would have been [Erick] Mejia, but he hasn’t had his 10 days [after being optioned] yet. We need a little bit more on our bench than we had.

“And with the two off-days this week, we feel a little better about our pitching. We could re-evaluate [Wednesday] and add to that pitching, and that’s the value of the taxi squad.”

But the taxi squad the Royals took to Cincinnati -- catcher Meibrys Viloria, Mejia, right-hander Scott Blewett and right-hander Braden Shipley -- has some curious precursors to it as well. Viloria and Blewett, like Mejia, were optioned on Aug. 6, and they will have to wait five more days to be called back up, unless there is an injury.

The Royals have been extremely high on Guzman, and they invested $1.5 million in him during the 2015-16 international signing period. He is 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, and he is better known for his defense.

But as MLB Pipeline points out, Guzman’s offense is coming around. After April 2019, Guzman slashed at .273/.313/.404 in his first full season in pro ball at Lexington.

Guzman also was impressive at Summer Camp, turning heads with his range, arm and occasional pop.

Cordero to 45-day IL
Outfielder Franchy Cordero, part of the Tim Hill trade with San Diego last month, likely will miss the rest of the 2020 season after undergoing surgery Monday on a broken hamate bone in his right hand.

Cordero, 25, was hitting .154 in 11 games for the Royals this season. But his hard-hit rate was 50 percent and his xBA was .403. Kansas City views him as a potential starter down the road.

Lacy, Hernández to 60-man player pool
The Royals announced on Tuesday that left-hander Asa Lacy and right-hander Carlos Hernández have been added to their 60-man player pool, and both will report to the team’s alternate site.

Lacy, 21, is the Royals’ No. 2 prospect, per MLB Pipeline. Out of Texas A&M, Lacy isn’t on the 40-man roster, but he will be able to continue his development at the alternate site.

Hernández, 23, was signed out of Venezuela in 2016. He has been a fast riser, as he's now the team’s No. 12 prospect. He was added to the 40-man roster last fall.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @FlannyMLB.