Major League Baseball teams can expand their rosters on Friday, and that means the Royals likely will be adding some players that could give the offense a boost.
The pitching staff is a different story. The Royals don’t have a lot of room to maneuver on their 40-man roster should they need to add a pitcher.
Let’s crunch the numbers.
There are 19 pitchers on the Royals’ 40-man roster, but that doesn’t include two who are on the 60-day disabled list — Nathan Karns and Miguel Almonte.
Of those 19 pitchers, five are on the 10-day disabled list: Trevor Cahill, Danny Duffy, Neftali Feliz, Brian Flynn and Joakim Soria.
Thirteen pitchers are on the currently on the Royals’ 25-man roster, so that leaves one player on the 40-man roster who could pitch if needed.
There is one big problem. Zimmer hasn’t pitched since Aug. 16 when he left a game early because of what team officials have called “arm fatigue.” He’s not on the disabled list, and the Royals say this fatigue has happened previously and hope he can rebound to pitch again this season.
Now, if an emergency arrived, the Royals could open a spot on the 40-man roster by designating a player for assignment. Or, the team could move a player currently on the 10-day disabled list to the 60-man disabled list.
Make one of those moves and the Royals could sign a free agent or call up a player from the minor leagues. Again, this is only if an emergency arises.
But, clearly, the Royals don’t have pitching depth is clearly being stretched.
The Royals have used 26 pitchers this year, the most in more than a decade, according to Baseball-Reference. In 2006, the Royals had 31 players take the mound.
A year ago, the Royals used 21 pitchers and one of those hurlers was catcher Drew Butera.