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The Kansas City Royals will have their starting center fielder Michael A. Taylor, a leading candidate for the American League Gold Glove, back in their lineup for the season’s final homestand.
Taylor rejoined the team in Kansas City prior to Tuesday night’s series opener against the Cleveland Indians at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals placed Taylor on the bereavement list prior on Sept. 24. Earlier in the month, he’d been away from the team while on the family medical emergency list.
The Royals optioned outfielder Edward Olivares to Triple A Omaha to make room for Taylor on the active roster. Taylor will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday night.
Taylor, who signed a one-year deal as a free agent this past winter, entered the day tied with Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa for the major-league lead for defensive runs saved (20), per FanGraphs.com. Taylor’s 11 outfield assists led all center fielders in the majors and ranked fifth among AL outfielders.
The Royals also welcomed back pitching coach Cal Eldred for the final homestand. Eldred had been away from the team for what the club termed a “personal matter” since the club’s road trip that started on Sept. 5.
Bullpen coach Larry Carter filled in for Eldred while he was away from the club.
Hernández done starting
Royals manager Mike Matheny said on Tuesday that right-hander Carlos Hernández will not start during the final homestand of the season, though the Royals have not been ruled out using him in relief.
Hernández, 24, has enjoyed a breakout season as a starting pitcher. He made his major-league debut last season, having made the jump from Low-A to the majors during the pandemic-shortened season. He appeared in five games in September of last year.
This season, Hernández appeared in 24 games in the majors (11 starts) and went 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA, 74 strikeouts, 41 walks, a .223 batting average against and a 1.28 WHIP in 85 2/3 innings.
“He feels great,” Matheny said of Hernández. “We told him a few days ago. He keeps coming in here and asking me if I’m sure. He wants to keep pitching. You love that. That’s exactly where we want these guys, all leaving this season hungry and excited about where they could go from here.”