There’s a good chance Royals fans will see a new face during this weekend’s series against the Angels.
On Friday, the Royals placed first baseman Lucas Duda on the 10-day injured list and recalled third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez from Class AAA Omaha. Gutierrez joined the Royals during Friday night’s game at Kauffman Stadium.
Duda is dealing with a lumbar strain, and his time on the injured list is retroactive to Wednesday. He’ll be eligible to be reinstated on May 4.
“This just snuck up on us,” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “(Duda) came in and walked through the training room, and he was on the table. I didn’t think anything of it. But after early work, (trainer) Nick (Kenney) came in and said that Lucas’ back was bothering him and we needed to get an MRI and maybe an epidermal. And that’s exactly what we ended up doing.”
Duda preferred to rest a day and go from there, but with third baseman Hunter Dozier also playing through a back issue, Yost said the Royals couldn’t afford the roster spot. Duda will be eligible to return in just eight days.
Gutierrez, 24, was batting .333 (22 for 66) with a double, two home runs and 12 walks in 18 games with the Storm Chasers. He was acquired last June as part of the trade that sent closer Kelvin Herrera to the Washington Nationals. The Royals also received outfielder Blake Perkins and pitcher Yohanse Morel in the deal.
After joining the Royals organization, Gutierrez hit .242 with six homers and 40 RBIs in 65 games last year for Class AA Northwest Arkansas.
Here is video of Gutierrez last year from YouTube user The Texas Leaguers: