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Kyle Davies' Return To Royals' Roster Means Someone Has To Go, But Who?

The Royals are expected to activate starting pitcher Kyle Davies before tonight's game with the San Diego Padres. This begs the question: How will the roster dominos fall in making room for Davies? Care to venture a guess?

Kansas City Royals pitcher Kyle Davies
Kansas City Royals pitcher Kyle Davies

Royals' starting pitcher Kyle Davies is reported to be with the team in San Diego and is expected to be activated from the disabled list sometime today before Kansas City opens a three-game interleague series tonight at Petco Park against the San Diego Padres.

Sad to say, but this is not necessarily the best of news for the Royals, who head to Southern California on the heels of a far-from-impressive but nonetheless important winning three-game home series over the widely loveable but hapless Chicago Cubs. It's sad and it's bad because to return Davies to the active roster it means someone else has to go. In a few hours, we'll know the Royals' decision on this roster move, but until we do, it makes for a fun and not so rational guessing game and a social media network flooded with possibilities.

The reality of the situation is the right-hander Davies hasn't brought anything of value to the Royals this season. He had a 1-6 record and an ERA of 7.46, the worst in the starting rotation, in nine starts and 41 innings of work before he went on the 15-day disabled list on May 18. Two days earlier, Davies started the Kansas City home game against Cleveland in which the Boys in Blue suffered their worst loss of the season, a 19-1 shellacking from the tribe. Davies faced only four batters before departing with an injured shoulder.

His career numbers are equally disappointing. In seven seasons in the major leagues, the last four and a half of which have been with the Royals, Davies has compiled a combined mark of 43-62 with an ERA of 5.60. His best season was 2008, when he went 9-7 in 21 starts for Kansas City with a career-best ERA of 4.06. Why general manager Dayton Moore, who knew Davies when both he and Moore were in Atlanta, hasn't tried to move the Royals' No. 4 starter in a trade with another team is a mystery to me. It's probably because they can't get anything back of equal or greater value in return.

Back to the burning question of the day, however. Now that Davies is back with the team, who is on his way to Omaha or off the team as a natural consequence? You could argue that Jarrod Dyson, the Royals' speed demon who has successfully swiped nine bases out of nine attempts this year but hasn't offered a whole lot more to the team, other than added speed defensively in center field, is perhaps the most logical choice. But don't believe that the Royals' front office will go this way.

At the risk of being provocative, which is what editorial pieces like this are designed to do, and also upsetting more than a casual few Kansas City fans, it wouldn't be imprudent of the Royals to consider sending rookie third-baseman Mike Moustakas back down to Omaha. This would not be a popular move with the fans, but it might be what's best for both Moustakas and the team right now. Before you get all tangled up in your underwear, though, over this provocative possibility, don't fret, because this isn't what is going to happen.

The Royals are carrying 12 pitchers on their active roster. Adding Davies makes it 13. Personally, I'd look to move Davies, but be that as it may, I believe Moore and manager Ned Yost are more apt to stay with a dozen pitching arms, which leads me to believe that one of the current starters is destined to draw the short straw in this resulting roster decision expected later today. Playing out that logic further, it would be my educated guess that left-hander Danny Duffy will end up being the marked man on this occasion.

What upsets me most about this likely development is that the scrappy southpaw Duffy has had a couple of solid outings in two of his last three starts, including seven solid innings on Saturday night in Kansas City's 3-2 win over the Cubs. Two weeks ago, Duffy pitched through the sixth in a non-decision 7-4 win over the A's in Oakland. In eight starts with the Royals this season, Duffy is 1-2 with a 4.61 ERA.

If you ask me, Duffy's upside is considerably more brighter than any side that the erratic Davies has shown in nearly five years of rerun results wearing a Kansas City Royals' uniform. But then, that's why the Royals don't pay me the big bucks to offer them my sage advice.