Baseball Reflections

Weird Weekend in Toronto awaits the Royals

Alas, a true youth movement has arrived in Kansas City to sweep over the Royals roster as they head north of the border to play the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend.  Why is there a sudden rush to bringing up all the young talent in the Royals organization? Simply put, Covid-19 is creating a golden opportunity for the up-and-coming Royals talent to stake their roster claims in the big leagues.

The Kansas City Royals will be playing with a Covid-gutted roster in Toronto.

Due to player choices on the Royals roster about Covid-19 vaccinations which are required to enter Canada, the Royals were left with no choice to but call up no less than eight replacement players to help fill out the lineup against the Blue Jays.  Ok, these moves may not be permanent but what if these young replacement players end up playing better than the current Royals roster? When you are 36-53 and sitting dead last in the AL Central before the All-Star break, why not give these young guys the benefit of the doubt and see what they can do? 

The other night against the Blue Jays, manager Mike Matheny had seven players who are age 26 or younger.  While it’s true that many of these players had their callups hastened by the Royals veterans who have chosen not to be vaccinated from Covid-19, the reality also sets in that this is the Major Leagues and it’s the regular season, not some spring training split-squad session.

One of the callups who made the most of his introduction to the big leagues is Nate Eaton.  Eaton got his chance to blast out a 416-foot homer to introduce himself to the Blue Jays and to the rest of the big leagues.  Normally, a rookie firing off his first homer would be greeted by all the veteran ball players with congratulatory high fives and the like but for Eaton, this was different since just about everybody in the Royals dugout was a rookie including Bobby Witt Jr. and Vinnie Pasquantino, who are now looked upon as the team veterans for this weekend series. Eaton showed patience with his homer as it came off of the tenth pitch in his ninth inning at-bat and on a 3-2 count he landed in the MLB record books.  The weekend series in Toronto reminds us that in baseball, one player’s loss can easily be another player’s gain.  Let’s hope that these replacement Royals find ways to stay on the active big-league roster for as long as they can.  If anything, they may be more fun and exciting to watch because they want to be in the Show no matter the circumstances.  Keep swinging for the fences guys.

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