September is finally here, and the Royals have tabbed outfielder Josh Fields, pitcher Gil Meche and catcher Lucas May to be up with the big league club for the month.
Meche hasn't pitched since May 25 due to shoulder problems which can be traced back to last season, when former Royals manager Trey Hillman overused him, leading to high pitch counts and fatigue. Originally advised to have season-ending surgery, Meche opted to rehab his shoulder without going under the knife with the goal of returning as a reliever.
That isn't going to impress cost-conscious Royals fans, as pitching out of the bullpen wasn't what the Royals had in mind in the offseason following the 2006 campaign, when Meche was signed to a contract that pays him $12 million in both 2010 and 2011.
May, who was acquired in July from the Dodgers for outfielder Scott Podsednik, has hit well this season, posting a line of .283/.349/.483 with 16 home runs, five of which have come for the Omaha Royals. The Royals could use him as competition with Brayan Pena for the role of backup catcher, but with Jason Kendall under contract for next season, it's unlikely May becomes a starter without Kendall being moved.
Missing of note from the list of September callups is third baseman Mike Moustakas, who has hit .297 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI since being promoted to AAA Omaha. General Manager Dayton Moore wants to be careful with Moustakas, who is slated to continue his year in the Dominican Republic this winter.
Also playing a factor is Moustakas' role for Team USA in the upcoming Pan-Am games. The Royals feel international play is important for Moustakas' development, but in order to be eligible to compete, Team USA hopefuls can't be on a major league 40-man roster.
The addition of more players hasn't been ruled out, and after postseason play wraps up in the minors, there's a possibility for further movement.