Every player in baseball has a nightmarish travel story, a day of airports, connecting flights and little sleep. Cheslor Cuthbert’s day of travel on Friday will be difficult to top.
Cuthbert, a 23-year-old third baseman, re-joined the Royals here after third baseman Mike Moustakas was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a left thumb fracture — but not before spending his Friday in five different airports across the country.
He began the day in Memphis, where his Class AAA Omaha Storm Chasers were set to fly home through Dallas. After returning home to Omaha in the afternoon, he got word that the Royals were in need of his services. He rushed back to the airport, where he caught a flight to Cleveland — with a layover in Atlanta.
“Memphis to Dallas to Omaha,” Cuthbert said, smiling. “Omaha to Atlanta to Cleveland.”
Cuthbert said he arrived in Cleveland just before midnight on Friday. One day later, he was in the starting lineup at third base as the Royals rolled over the Indians 7-0 at Progressive Field.
Cuthbert finished 1 for 4, recording the first road hit of his young career. He will likely get more opportunities over the next two-to-three weeks. Royals manager Ned Yost said he would likely lean on Cuthbert at third base as Moustakas recovers from his thumb injury.
With Moustakas expected to be out 15 to 20 days, Cuthbert could see extended playing time after a hot start at Omaha. Cuthbert was batting .333 with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 24 games for the Storm Chasers. In 2015, he made his major-league debut with the Royals, batting .217 with a .280 on-base percentage and four extra-base hits in 19 games.
“He’s ready to go,” Yost said.
Former first-round pick gets promotion
With Cuthbert joining the Royals on Saturday, the club elected to promote former first-round pick Hunter Dozier to Class AAA Omaha.
Dozier, the No. 8 overall pick in the 2013 draft, was batting .305 with eight homers and 21 RBIs while playing third base for Class AA Northwest Arkansas. He was tied for second in the Texas League in homers.
Zimmer debuts at Class A Wilmington
Kyle Zimmer, the Royals’ top pitching prospect, threw 1 2/3 scoreless innings for Class A Wilmington on Saturday, his first action since departing extended spring training.
Zimmer finished with five strikeouts and two walks in the brief outing against Myrtle Beach. He threw 51 pitches before departing in the second inning.
Zimmer was dispatched to Wilmington to build up his innings after a shoulder issue delayed the start to his 2016 season. His pitch counts will be monitored as he works his way back to 100 percent. He eventually could be slated for a rotation spot at Class AAA Omaha, barring any setbacks.