The Royals added a catcher with major-league experience in a deal prior to Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
The Royals acquired catcher Andrew Susac from the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations. Susac has played in 113 major-league games, but has seen most of his time at Triple-A the last few years.
Susac made his big-league debut in May 2014 while with the San Francisco Giants — he went hitless in two World Series plate appearances against the Royals. Last season, he played 42 games for Triple-A Norfolk and nine games for the Orioles. For his career in the minors, he’s posted a slash line of .251/.354/.426 and thrown out 33 percent of base stealers.
Martin Maldonado has stepped into the starting catcher’s job and backup Cam Gallagher is currently the only other catcher on the Royals 25-man roster, while Frank Schwindel could serve as an emergency catcher. Meibrys Viloria, who’ll start the season at Double-A, is also on the 40-man roster.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said in March during spring training that the club had actively been searching for an experienced veteran backup catcher who’d ideally play at Triple-A while Viloria played at Double-A.
“We’re still in the market of trying to find a veteran major-league type up-and-down catcher,” Moore said. “... If we find that guy, we probably start Viloria in Double-A. It has nothing to do with him being major-league ready, it’s just stack the deck. Sometimes the only way to add depth is to create it, obviously. Part of that creation mechanism would’ve been putting Viloria in Double-A to lure a veteran-type catcher to go Omaha for a period of time.”
Royals manager Ned Yost brushed off any discussion of the move prior to Tuesday’s game by saying he’s concerned with the guys currently on his team.
Bailey on deck: The Royals have officially listed Homer Bailey as their probably starter for Wednesday’s game. He’ll be on six days rest since he last threw in extended spring training last week. They’ll need to make a roster move to add him to the 25-man roster prior to the game.
Duffy update: Yost said pitcher Danny Duffy threw one inning (16 pitches) Sunday in an extended spring training outing. He reported no issues physically and played catch on Monday with a “light side” set for Wednesday.
Waiting their turn: With two off days in the first week of the season, don’t look for Yost to make many changes with the lineup on the first day game after a night game on Wednesday. Outfielder Terrance Gore and catcher Cam Gallagher are the only two players who have not appeared in a game.
Giving players rest days likely won’t factor into the lineup until after the Royals’ series in Detroit, which also includes a scheduled off day.
1. Whit Merrifield, rf
2. Adalberto Mondesi, ss
3. Alex Gordon, lf
4. Jorge Soler, dh
5. Ryan O’Hearn, 1b
6. Chris Owings, 2b
7. Hunter Dozier, 3b
8. Martin Maldonado, c
9. Billy Hamilton, cf
Starting pitcher: Brad Keller (1-0, 0.00)