Blue Jays, Royals both look to future

Field Level Media

July 30, 2019 at 6:26 am.

The Toronto Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals are making changes as they prepare for what they hope are better times in the future.

The Blue Jays hope one thing stays the same Tuesday night on the eve of the trade deadline: their ability to beat the Royals.

Toronto hammered three home runs Monday night in defeating the Royals 7-3 in the opener of a three-game series. The Blue Jays have won four of five games between the teams this season.

With infielder Eric Sogard and pitcher Marcus Stroman traded away Sunday, the Blue Jays are making adjustments. Shortstop prospect Bo Bichette was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on Monday and went 1-for-4 in his major league debut with a second-inning single.

He will play regularly at shortstop with Freddy Galvis moving to second base. Galvis was scratched Monday, however, due to a sore back. Closer Ken Giles, a subject of trade rumors, was not available Monday for the second game in a row because of elbow inflammation.

The arrival of Bichette — joining fellow prospects Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio, who made their debuts earlier in the season — might rejuvenate the Blue Jays during a poor season.

“It feels that way, now that Bo’s here,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Monday. “That’s what I love about the job — the kids, the player development side of seeing guys get better. … It’s fun to watch the kids. It’s a good day for the Blue Jays.”

The Royals also have been busy, trading away right-hander Homer Bailey, left-hander Jake Diekman, catcher Martin Maldonado and outfielder Terrance Gore this month. Right-hander Wily Peralta and first baseman Lucas Duda also were designated for assignment.

Royals manager Ned Yost said Monday that outfielder/infielder Whit Merrifield, who had an RBI single in the series opener, will play considerably more second base while shortstop Adalberto Mondesi (left shoulder subluxation) is on the injured list. Mondesi apparently is not close to returning.

“It gives me the best offensive lineup to have Whit at second right now,” Yost said. “Would I rather have Whit play some outfield? Yeah. When Mondy gets back, it will be even more of a juggling act. … You definitely want (Mondesi) back before the year’s out. You want to make sure he’s all right going into next year.”

Toronto is scheduled to recall right-hander Sean Reid-Foley (0-1, 3.55 ERA) from Triple-A Buffalo for the Tuesday start that originally was to be taken by Stroman before he was traded Sunday to the New York Mets.

Reid-Foley started June 28 against the Royals and took a no-decision, allowing two runs, five hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings. He made his major league debut at Kansas City on Aug. 13, 2018, when he allowed three runs over five innings in a 3-1 loss. He will be making his fifth appearance and third start this season on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old was 3-4 with a 6.26 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) for Buffalo.

The Royals will start left-hander Mike Montgomery (1-3, 6.09). It will be his third start for the Royals since being obtained from the Chicago Cubs. Both his past two outings were against the Cleveland Indians, and he went 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA.

Montgomery did not factor into the decision during Kansas City’s 5-4, 14-inning loss to Cleveland on Thursday. He matched his season high with five innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk before leaving with a 2-1 lead. He has never pitched against the Blue Jays.