The third doubleheader of the Royals’ season will spur the first addition to the starting rotation.
Right-hander Trevor Oaks will be summoned from Class AAA Omaha to make his major-league debut Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader with the White Sox at 1:15 p.m. The game is a makeup from a postponement on April 1.
Oaks, 25, was the primary piece of the return package in a trade that saw the Royals ship Scott Alexander to Los Angeles and Joakim Soria to Chicago.
“We liked a lot about him in spring training. We liked that he had a tremendous sinker,” Royals manager Ned Yost said of Oaks. “I mean a lot of movement on that pitch to the point where (pitching coach) Cal (Eldred) was like, man, you don’t need to be working corners on this. Just attack down in the zone and let that great natural action take care of the result for you.”
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Oaks is 1-2 with a 3.09 ERA across four starts in Omaha this year. He struck out 11 and walked six in 23 1/3 innings.
The sinker makes Oaks a pitcher who generates a healthy amount of ground balls, though not one who is likely to rack up strikeouts.
In five seasons of minor-league ball — the initial four in the Dodgers’ organization — Oaks is 32-15 with a 3.26 ERA. The Dodgers drafted Oaks out of California Baptist University in the seventh round in 2014. His 2017 season was cut short by an oblique injury.
Oaks is ranked as the 13th-best prospect in the Royals organization, per MLB.com.
“He’s gotten off to a good start down in Omaha, throwing the ball good from the reports we get,” Yost said. “And the scouts that have watched him recommended him. It’s gonna be interesting. I’m excited to see him pitch.”
Oaks will be the 26th man for the doubleheader. Eric Skoglund will start the 7:15 game, returning the rotation to its normal sequence.