September call-ups must benefit team

Royals fans expecting a herd of September call-ups next week may be disappointed.

General manager Dayton Moore told that there may be a call-up here and there, but only if it helps the big-league club win games.

“We are having internal discussions about those matters,” Moore said. “And we will obviously talk with Ned (Yost) about what makes sense for him and what might help him through the month of September.

“We want to finish as strong as possible. We want to win as many games as possible and get as close to .500 as possible. If there are players at Triple-A that will help us accomplish that goal, then sure, we will add to the roster.”

The Royals, though, also have several decisions to make regarding the 40-man roster this off-season, decisions that could affect whom they might bring up in September. Several players, including Jake Odorizzi, John Lamb and Mike Montgomery, must be placed on the 40-man roster prior to mid-November or they could be lost through the Rule 5 draft.

Top hitting prospect Wil Myers does not have to be placed on the 40-man roster yet.

“You have to weigh all the possibilities and options,” Moore said. “In terms of a young pitcher, you ask yourself if it is really worth it to get a guy up here just for one or two starts. Is that really helping his development? Possibly. But maybe not.”

Odorizzi and Myers are the two prospects Royals fans are most anxious to see. Odorizzi, perhaps the key acquisition in last winter’s Zack Greinke trade, has had a superb season at Omaha, posting a 10-2 record with a sparkling 2.80 ERA in a hitter’s league.

But it’s no lock that Odorizzi will get a call-up.

“Again, that’s a situation we will evaluate as time goes on,” Moore said. “He’s had a full season between Double-A and Triple-A, and do you really need to push him up here just to get a start or two? Maybe. But does that help the big-league team? Does it really advance his development? Those are questions you ask.”

Myers has had a phenomenal season with a combined .312 average and 34 homers and 99 RBIs between Double-A and Triple-A. But because he does not have to go on the 40-man roster yet, the Royals may need to save that roster spot to protect someone else this off-season.

The other factor with both Odorizzi and Myers would be Yost’s ability to wedge in playing time for each at the big-league level.

Myers certainly could get some at bats in place of struggling outfielder Jeff Francoeur. But then again, the Royals are keenly interested in getting Lorenzo Cain and Jarrod Dyson as many plate appearances as possible for the rest of the season. That is why Cain and Dyson have been in the lineup together on occasion recently.

And though the Royals’ rotation has been patchwork for most of the season, Yost has settled in on a rotation of Luke Hochevar, Luis Mendoza, Bruce Chen, Will Smith and Jeremy Guthrie.

It would seem unlikely that Yost and the Royals would be in favor of bumping Hochevar, Mendoza, Smith or Guthrie from the rotation in September. But as with Francoeur, one could make the case that it wouldn’t hurt to skip struggling Bruce Chen once or twice to make room for Odorizzi.

“We honestly haven’t made any decisions yet on call-ups,” Moore said. “Could (Odorizzi) get a look up here? Sure. But we’re not there yet.

“The main thing we’re concerned about right now is winning as many games as possible. The rotation has been pretty good the last few weeks and has given us a great chance to win each night. And we want to continue to evaluate what we have up here at the big-league level.”

There’s still another factor to consider: The Omaha Storm Chasers recently clinched the Pacific Coast League division title and will be in the playoffs again starting Sept. 5.

The Royals are big believers that playoff experience, even at the minor-league level, is important to a player’s development.