Royals send Brady Singer to Triple-A in search of opportunities

Following the injury of starting shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, the Kansas City Royals made several roster changes Thursday ahead of their series finale in Chicago against the White Sox, including offering the former pick first-rounder Brady Singer to the Miners.

The Royals also recalled outfielder Kyle Isbel and infielder Emmanuel Rivera of Triple-A Omaha. Isbel had joined the Royals in Chicago as part of the taxi squad while awaiting diagnosis of Mondesi’s injury. Rivera arrived in Chicago Thursday morning.

Isbel started Thursday’s game in right field.

Singer, 25, was moved to the bullpen for the first time in his career early in the season. He has made three relief appearances this season and pitched a total of 5 2/3 innings, including a three inning outing in the club’s first homestand.

Singer had modified the grip of his sinking fastball, which he said had given him better control and movement over the past few weeks. His last appearance came on Tuesday, when he pitched two scoreless innings to complete a series-opening shutout against the White Sox.

“He throws the ball really, really well,” Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore said. “I think the shortened spring training probably didn’t do him any good. He didn’t have enough reps. We made the decision to go with other people in the rotation, and keeping him in the bullpen just doesn’t make sense. He is too talented, he is too much part of our future.

“He’s going to stretch. So that’s what we’re going to do. And as you know, the listings are shrinking here in a week or three or four days, in the next few days, so with the listings shrinking, you’d rather be a little more proactive. He has a chance to pitch Saturday in the rotation there in Omaha and stretch.

Last season, Singer made the second most starts (27) of any pitcher at the club. He went 5-10 with a 4.91 ERA, 131 strikeouts, 53 walks, a 1.55 WHIP and a .281 batting average in 128 1/3 innings.

This year, coming out of spring training, the Royals opted to use Singer classmates Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic – both left-handers – in the starting rotation alongside veterans Zack Greinke, Brad Keller and right-handed in reverse. Carlos Hernandez.

The Royals maintained that they viewed Singer’s future as a starting pitcher. Now he will go to Triple-A Omaha where he will stretch again and pitch regularly in the Storm Chasers rotation.

“We started this season not really knowing how this was all going to play out, not having pitchers completely stretched out,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said. “You never know how April is going to work out, wondering if we’re going to be able to get the guys the jobs they need.

“It just hasn’t turned into the reps that (Singer) needs. He has to go throw. So I know it’s not ideal. He wants to be on this team. We want him to be on this team. of this team, but the best thing for Brady right now is throwing, getting the reps.

The Royals’ first pick (18th overall) in the 2018 MLB Draft from the University of Florida, Singer quickly moved through the minors. He split his time at High-A Wilmington and Double-A Northwest Arkansas in 2019, his first professional season. Then, after being invited to major league spring training in 2020, he kicked the club out of Spring Training 2.0 when baseball resumed after the coronavirus outbreak.

He became the first of the Royals’ 2018 draft class, which included Bubic, Lynch, Jackson Kowar and Jonathan Heasley, to make their major league debut when he made his first start in 2020.

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Lynn Worthy covers the Kansas City Royals and Major League Baseball for The Star. Hailing from the Northeast, he has covered school, college and professional sports for The Lowell Sun, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, Allentown Morning Call and The Salt Lake Tribune. He has won awards for sports reporting and sports columns.

Brandon D. James