Right-hander Jeremy Jeffress gets another chance to impress at the big-league level as the Royals recalled him from Class AAA Omaha before Wednesday’s game.
By JAYSON JENKS and BOB DUTTON
The Kansas City Star
Jeffress, 24, has made 26 appearances in the majors, including two this year for the Royals, but manager Ned Yost said the club needs to evaluate what they have in the hard-throwing but erratic reliever.
The move fills the vacancy created by the Jonathan Broxton trade and restores the Royals roster to 25 players.
“It’s time to take a look at Jeremy Jeffress,” Yost said. “He’s throwing the ball extremely well. He’s much more consistent with his fastball and his breaking ball. He’s throwing a lot more strikes.”
Jeffress is 5-4 with two saves and a 4.97 ERA in 37 relief appearances in Omaha. He pitched one inning with the Royals in April this year and has a career 3.76 ERA in his brief major-league career.
Yet his biggest problem has always been consistency. For example, he allowed two runs in 15 innings in eight of his last 10 outings at Omaha and four runs in each of his other two appearances.
Francoeur sits again
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur didn’t’ play for the third consecutive game on Wednesday. Yost said he wanted to give Francoeur time off in an attempt to get him going.
The Royals play Texas starting Friday, and Yost said Francoeur will likely return then.
“I imagine, when we play Texas, we’ll see some lefties,” Yost said. “He’ll definitely play those days. Look, right now I’m trying to get the most production I can.”
Francoeur is two for his last 26 (.077) with three RBIs. His average is down to .238.
The Royals flipped the starting days for lefty Bruce Chen and righty Jeremy Guthrie, allowing Chen to face the more lefty-heavy Indians.
Chen will start today while Guthrie will follow on Friday against Texas.
The Indians will counter with 26-year-old Corey Kluber, who will make his first start of the season. The Indians cleared roster space by designating struggling starter Derek Lowe for assignment. Lowe, 39, has a 5.52 ERA this season.
The Royals announced player- and pitcher-of-the-month awards for July for their eight affiliates:
Class AAA Omaha: Second baseman Johnny Giavotella (five homers, 28 RBIs, .368 average in 28 games) and left-hander Will Smith (2-0 and 1.80 ERA in three games prior to recall to big leagues).
Class AA Northwest Arkansas: Outfielder Brian Fletcher (seven homers, 16 RBIs, .293 in 28 games) and right-hander Michael Mariot (1-1, 2.52 in six games).
Class A Wilmington: First baseman Matt Fields (13 homers, 19 RBIs, .355 in 27 games) and right-hander Elisaul Pimentel (3-0, 1.91 in five games).
Class A Kane County: Outfielder Tim Ferguson (four homers, 13 RBIs, .352 in 22 games) and right-hander Aaron Brooks (5-0, 1.75 in five games).
Short-season Idaho Falls: Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (one homer, .288 in 16 games) and left-hander Sam Selman (3-0, 1.67 in five games).
Short-season Burlington: Outfielder Fred Ford (nine homers, 19 RBIs, .300 in 23 games) and left-hander Colin Rodgers (3-1, 1.82 in five games).
Rookie Surprise: Outfielder Alexis Rivera (15 RBIs, .417 in 19 games) and right-hander Aroni Nina (3-0, 2.95 in five games).
Academy Dominican: Outfielder Brawlun Gomez (two homers, 11 RBIs in 21 games) and right-hander Miguel Almonte (5-1, 1.44 in 10 starts prior to promotion to Surprise).
• Wednesday : 17,033
• 2012 season (through 49 games): 1,132,907
• 2011 season (through 49 games): 974,187
• Ahead: 158,720
• 2012 average: 23,121
• 2011 average: 19,881