After the Omaha Storm Chasers lost three of four games to the Reno Aces in the PCL Championship series, the Kansas City Royals called up starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, relievers Tommy Hottovy and Nate Adcock, catcher Adam Moore and infielder Irving Falu this week. Besides Odorizzi, the other players were on the 40-man roster. The Royals added Odorizzi to the roster to protect him from this winter’s Rule 5 draft.
Of the five, Odorizzi is the only one without Major League experience. Odorizzi, 22, the Royals top pitching prospect, is a leading contender for the Royals 2013 starting rotation. Between AA Northwest Arkansas and AAA Omaha, he pitched a combined 26 games, 25 of them starts. Odorizzi compiled a 15-5 record with a 3.03 ERA, 145.1 innings pitched with 8.4 SO/9 and 3.1 BB/9.
The Royals plan to have Odorizzi start this Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. He could make a bullpen appearance, since he has over five day’s rest. The Royals want to give Odorizzi a taste of the Majors before his chance to join the rotation in 2013.
Hottovy, 31, spent the 2012 season in the bullpen between Omaha and Kansas City. In 41 games with Omaha, Hottovy compiled a 2-2 record with a 2.52 ERA, 50 innings pitched with a 11 SO/9 and 2.9 BB/9. In a couple of brief stints with the Royals, Hottovy had a 4.05 ERA, 6.2 innings pitched with 8.1 SO/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in six games. He provides lefty bullpen depth.
Adcock, 24, shuttled between Omaha and Kansas City as a starter and reliever. In Omaha, Adcock appeared in 26 games, 25 as a starter. His record was 8-6 with a 5.53 ERA, 99.1 innings pitched and 5.4 SO/9 and 2.7 BB/9. In Kansas City, Adcock pitched eight games out of the bullpen and made two starts with a 0-3 record with a 2.67 ERA, 30.1 innings pitched with a 4.7 SO/9 and 3.6 BB/9. Adcock had pedestrian 2012 numbers and his call-up provides bullpen depth and a chance to make the club as a starter or reliever in 2013.
Moore, 28, makes his 2012 debut with the Royals after being acquired off waivers from the Seattle Mariners July 12. Moore’s last time in the Majors was from 2009-2011, where he played in 68 games with the Mariners. Moore split his 2012 Minor League season between AAA Tacoma and Omaha, appearing in 59 games with a .259/.326/.413 average, 33 RBI and 38 strikeouts and 19 walks. As a backup catcher providing the Royals with depth, Moore could make a start or two by the end of the season.
Longtime Royals farmhand Falu, 29, spent most of the 2012 season with Omaha and is back with Royals for the rest of the season. Falu appeared in 88 games with Omaha with a .329/.375/.463 average, 50 RBI and 41 strikeouts and 28 walks. In his previous time with the Royals, Falu played 15 games with a .321/.333/.434 average, five RBI with nine strikeouts and a walk. If Yost remembers Falu is on the team, he could play a few games this season.
With 14 games remaining and the Royals heading towards another losing season, Yost will give these players limited playing time in games against the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, A.L. Central contenders. Yost wants his “best” players in those games. The five are likely to see playing time against the Cleveland Indians, fourth place in the A.L. Central.
Of the five, Odorizzi shows the most promise for 2013. The other four players will get opportunities as role players with the Royals, provide Minor League depth or continue their career with another team.