Royals call on Hammel to help snap losing streak
Manager Jeff Banister faces a juggling act with getting all his infielders sufficient playing time with Andrus off the disabled list as the Rangers continue a three-game series with the Royals Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Royals manager Ned Yost faces a problem of who will close games with Herrera dealt to the Washington Nationals for three minor league prospects — third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, outfielder Blake Perkins and 17-year-old Dominican right-hander Yohanse Morel.
Andrus was activated Monday after missing 59 games with a fractured right elbow after being hit by a pitch April 11.
Banister said Andrus will start all three games against the Royals. He went 0-for-3, walked twice and scored a run in his first game back as Texas opened the series with a 6-3 victory.
Jurickson Profar, who started 56 games at shortstop while Andrus was on the disabled list, started at second in the series opener. He will play third base Tuesday and DH Wednesday.
“It’s going to be really hard,” Banister said of rearranging the playing time to keep all four sharp and healthy. “Profar has made a case to be one of the everyday players. And everything we’ve challenged (Odor) to do, he’s progressively gotten better. He’s been a significant player on this team and will continue to be one.”
Beltre, who belted a three-run homer Monday, will probably be the designated hitter more than he has in the past.
Andrus had never been on the disabled list before this season.
“A guy that has played 10 consecutive years, you don’t replace,” Banister said. “You miss everything he does and what he was able to do. He was our three-hole hitter and one of the better centerpieces of the offense. He did a lot of things for us offensively. Obviously, he was one of the leaders with Beltre on defense.”
Herrera was 14 for 16 in save situations this season. Herrera, Greg Holland and Wade Davis were part of feared Royals bullpens that helped them win the 2015 World Series and the 2014 American League championship. Herrera can be a free agent after the season and the Nationals needed bullpen help.
“Without him, there is no way we can ever make it to the World Series, win a World Series,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. “He’s simply family. He knows he has relationships here that are special.”
General manager Dayton Moore has nothing but praise for Kelvin Herrera: "Without him there's no way we could ever make it to a World Series, and win a World Series. He's simply family." #Royals pic.twitter.com/WBQM1Ocsyh
— FOX Sports Kansas City (@FSKansasCity) June 19, 2018
Hamels is 3-6 with a 3.69 ERA in 14 starts this season. The Rangers are 4-10 in his starts this season. He is 3-2 with a 3.51 ERA in six career starts against Kansas City.
Hammel is 0-4 with a 4.26 ERA in six home starts this season and winless in his past eight home starts.
Hammel is 2-3 with a 4.07 ERA in nine career outings against the Rangers. He tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings on May 27 to win at Texas. The losing pitcher was Hamels.