Royals News: Lamb up, Vargas & Medlen coming, O’Hearn to High-A

The KC Royals made some announcements coming out of the MLB All-Star break, prior to their doubleheader today in Chicago.

Royals lefty John Lamb during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

Royals lefty John Lamb during spring training 2014 (Jen Nevius).

The first is that lefty John Lamb will be their 26th man for the DH and only be available today. That was the speculation after he did not pitch in Wednesday night’s Triple-A All-Star Game in his home park.

Lamb still could have pitched one inning, or even to one batter, in front of his family and hometown fans, and still have been called up today (he was actually AT the ASG).

As much as I would like the Royals to beat the White Sox today, I am hoping that they win or lose in a blowout, so Lamb can actually pitch. Finally getting a callup, he deserves it. Manager Ned Yost said Lamb was their best arm in Omaha and they wanted to reward his performance. The only reward would be for him to actually pitch in a big league game.

Fellow lefty Jason Vargas has been announced as Tuesday’s starter against Pittsburgh. The Royals will decide on who gets kicked out of the rotation then.

Vargas made one rehab start and that came for Double-A NW Arkansas on July 13th. He allowed two solo home runs (seven total hits) over 5.1 innings.

Kris Medlen, who has been rehabbing for about the last month in the upper levels of the Royals minor league system, probably will not be activated until Monday. He will pitch out of the bullpen for the Royals.

Medlen’s final rehab start (with the NWA) was his best. He threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and walking two, while striking out four.

So the Royals have two moves to make to make room on their roster for the veteran hurlers. One I expect to be lefty Brandon Finnegan.


Now to the minor league news…

First baseman Ryan O'Hearn during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

First baseman Ryan O’Hearn during spring training 2015 (Jen Nevius).

The Royals announced that South Atlantic League All-Star (and home run leader) Ryan O’Hearn has been promoted to High-A Wilmington. I was wondering something last night because he did not play in Lexington’s last two games.

While his 19 home runs are impressive, his 11 doubles are not. For a power hitter, I was expecting more hits for extra bases (he has not hit a double in the month of July). This makes me curious to see if his power will play out in Frawley Stadium.

No word yet on the Blue Rocks roster move, though it could be placing starter Alec Mills on the DL (he left yesterday’s start due to an apparent hand injury).

Or the move could be a promotion to someone like Cody Stubbs to Double-A. NWA outfielder Lane Adams was pulled on defense for the Naturals in Thursday night’s game. Stubbs did not play in Thursday afternoon’s game.

UPDATE: Thanks to Morgan Peterson for pointing it out to me, but Jeffrey Flangan tweeted that Stubbs is retiring. It’s a sad day at my house, as he is one of my mom’s favorite players. He is such a sweet guy and during spring training when we saw him break his hand on a hit by a pitch, he was so nice to talk to her and sign an autograph, despite the pain coming from his signing hand. Stubbs was always gracious in 2014, when the Blue Rocks were struggling so much offensively, to talk after the game.

Best of luck to Cody in whatever life has in store for him next!


About Jen Nevius

I first became a KC Royals fan way back in 1995 when I attended my first Wilmington Blue Rocks game. I fell in love with minor league baseball then and began following the Royals as former Blue Rocks clawed their way to the big leagues. 3+ years ago I started covering the Royals for Aerys Sports, but since the site has been shut down, I am going out on my own.
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