The Kansas City Royals claimed Pittsburgh 2nd baseman Jayson Nix off waivers on Thursday afternoon. Apparently, the Royals are somewhat concerned about infield depth after they announced that starter Omar Infante would miss some games with a sore shoulder.
The Royals recalled pitcher Mike Mariot, who had been on the DL in AAA, and put him on the MLB 60-day injury list in order to make room on the 40-man roster for the 32-year-old Nix.
Nix is only hitting .133/.188/.173 this year in 34 games for the Pirates. He is a .214/.284/.347 hitter over 7 big league seasons for the Pirates, Phillies, Yankees, Blue Jays, Indians, White Sox, and Rockies. He’s really nothing more than a utility infielder at the major-league level.
The move apparently intended to bolster infield depth with Omar Infante hurting. Right now, the Royals only have Christian Colon and Alcides Escobar without depth behind them at the keystone. The move is a little surprising, since the league is only days away from September roster expansion which would allow the team to call up multiple minor-leaguers as defensive fill-ins.
In another roster move, the Royals activated lefty reliever Scott Downs from the DL after his recovery from a stiff neck. The Royals could certainly use a reliable bullpen arm to eat up non-premium innings.
In a corresponding move, Kansas City sent Liam Hendriks back to AA Northwest Arkansas after a 1-game spot start in place of Yordano Ventura Wednesday night. By sending Hendriks to a minor league team who is not in playoff contention, he will be available for recall the moment their season ends in September.