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Royals option Olivares to Omaha in flurry of weekend roster moves

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The Kansas City Royals made several roster moves, including optioning outfielder Edward Olivares to Triple-A Omaha and reinstating outfielder Drew Waters from the bereavement list. These decisions were influenced by a desire to balance the roster and provide opportunities to various players.

The Royals had to choose between outfielders when Waters needed to be activated from the bereavement list. They decided to keep outfielder Nelson Velázquez on the roster to give him more playing time in the outfield, alongside Samad Taylor for infield depth and Dairon Blanco for his speed off the bench. This left Olivares as the odd man out, despite his hitting ability. Olivares had spent the entire season with the Royals, playing in 85 games and posting a .246/.299/.401 slash line.

Manager Matt Quatraro acknowledged that it was a difficult decision: “Not an easy decision… Right now, with the way our roster is constructed, we needed to keep some infield depth. Outfield is a little bit repetitive with right-handed bats with Velázquez coming up and Waters coming back.”

Additionally, the Royals claimed outfielder Bubba Thompson off waivers from the Texas Rangers and optioned him to Triple-A Omaha. Thompson, known for his center-field defense, had a .520 OPS in 37 games with Texas this season. He had a .740 OPS in Triple-A this season before joining the Royals’ affiliate.

Regarding Thompson’s addition, general manager J.J. Picollo said, “We’ve seen him a lot, since he signed… Just to add depth like that is really good, and we continue to look for some right-handed power somewhere along the way.”

On the injury front, right-handed pitcher Brad Keller is expected to return in September after dealing with a right shoulder impingement. He started his rehab assignment with the Royals’ Arizona Complex League on August 14. First baseman Nick Pratto, who has a left groin strain and left hip impingement syndrome, is expected to return in late August. He resumed baseball activities after a brief shut-down period on August 11.