Even during a lost season, the Kansas City Royals continue playing games with outfielder Edward Olivares. What is keeping Olivares out of Kansas City?
Outside of late-season call-ups and if Cal Eldred should be in Kansas City in 2022, the Edward Olivares situation draws the ire of many fans. Olivares, the 25-year-old outfielder from Caracas, Venezuela, is the player who has earned a long stint playing at Kauffman.
He is hitting .321 with a .958 OPS and 13 home runs for the Omaha Storm Chasers. This is a guy who has done everything within his power to join the Kansas City Royals.
And he has joined the club! Multiple times.
- May 30: Royals recall Olivares from Omaha
- June 3: Royals option Olivares
- June 6: Royals recall Olivares
- June 9: Royals option Olivares
- June 14: Royals recall Olivares
- June 17: Royals option Olivares
- June 30: Royals recall Olivares
- July 4: Royals option Olivares
- July 31: Royals recall Olivares
- Aug. 10: Royals option Olivares
For perspective, if Olivares drove to Kansas City from Omaha, and vice versa, for each promotion and demotion, it is nearly 2,000 miles on the road. I hope that he gets some mileage from the front office at least.
Olivares has appeared in 20 games for the Royals in 2021. This is only slightly above the 18 games he appeared in 2020 after he was traded from the San Diego Padres. He may not surpass his 31 game appearances in 2020, but has a case for a more prolonged stay in 2022.
Olivares has not had a perfect stat line by any means. Batting .246 with a .740 OPS and 4 home runs in 57 at-bats is far from terrible though. The stats are better considering the longest time-stretch Olivares has spent with the Royals was nine games. Hardly seems like a long enough stretch to really evaluate how a player is progressing.
Yet, manager Mike Matheny still cannot find a spot for him. Olivares has flashed potential all over the outfield and has not accounted for an error in 2021. He is pretty good in the center field too, a spot that few Royals prospects could fill in 2022.
In a losing season, fans need a reason to care or buy a ticket. Sure, promoting Bobby Witt Jr. or Nicky Pratto will move the needle, but the current lineup offers little interest for fans. Salvador Perez is still establishing his case as an all-time franchise great. Whit Merrifield is still the late-bloomer darling he always has been. Nicky Lopez is flashing the leather and surprising everyone.
Outside of that, what players are there to care about?
No offense meant to other players, but the rebuilding seasons are always easier to swallow when there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Jarrod Dyson is a last-ditch effort to hold onto that World Series nostalgia. Carlos Santana is far from exciting and has not been good following the trade deadline. Sure, a case can be made that the young pitchers are enticing, but home runs sell tickets. A six-inning, three-run quality start does not draw people in. To Daniel Lynch’s credit, his shutout performance certainly had the fanbase talking.
Sure, Olivares may not be the guy to suddenly turn this team into a contender. Sure, he may not have the perfect stat line.
But, he was exciting, new, and showed promise in the process. It does not hurt the club to let older players rest more or give younger players more chances. The season is already lost, so what is there to lose?