The Kansas City Royals’ 13-inning loss to the Texas Rangers on Thursday evening did not feature the club scoring a single run. As a result, the team now enters Friday evening’s matchup game as the American League’s second-worst hitting team while the Royals have since made some adjustments.
Hitting .211 as a team, 14th in the American League, the Royals sent two of their Opening Day starters – second baseman Raul Mondesi and right fielder Paulo Orlando – down to Triple-A Omaha. Kansas City recalled reliever Matt Strahm and outfielder Jorge Bonifacio to replace the struggling hitters.
For Mondesi, this is a setback after the 21-year-old made a surprise grab of the second base job out of spring training. The son of the former Los Angeles Dodgers’ outfielder of same name, Mondesi has not capitalized on this opportunity. However, the Royals’ top hitting prospect has only 14 Triple-A games to his credit and was not viewed as a major league-ready hitter coming into spring training. In 46 plate appearances thus far, Mondesi is hitting .103/.167/.179. The tools-heavy athlete will attempt to fine-tune his approach in Omaha.
Beginning with their 2015 World Series championship team, Orlando has been a regular for the Royals. Even so, the Brazilian product has not carried a strong 2016 season over into this year. Operating as Kansas City’s primary right fielder since Jorge Soler remains on the disabled list, Orlando is hitting just .149. In 484 plate appearances last season, he hit .302/.329/.405. He spent six full seasons in the Royals’ minor league system prior to his 2015 rise.
Christian Colon and Whit Merrifield could be replacement options at second and in right until Soler returns.
Straham was given a setup job as a call-up last season but was quickly demoted this year. The left-hander will likely return to middle-relief work. The younger brother of former big leaguer Emilio Bonifacio, the 23-year-old Jorge has been with the Royals since 2010 but has yet to make a major league appearance. He is hitting .314/.386/.608 in Triple-A thus far this season.