If you want an example of the fickle nature of life as a professional athlete, look no further than first baseman Frank Schwindel.
After two years as the best hitter at Triple-A Omaha, Schwindel finally made the Royals out of spring training in March. He was added to the 40-man roster and was in the opening-day lineup.
But after hitting .067 (1 for 15) in six of the Royals’ first 11 games, Schwindel was sent back to Omaha. He struggled with the Storm Chasers, batting .186 with one home run in 19 games before an injury sidelined him last week.
On Tuesday, the Royals designated Schwindel for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for infielder Nicky Lopez.
So, less than seven weeks after finally getting the call to the major leagues, Schwindel is no longer a part of the Royals organization.
Within seven days of being designated for assignment, Schwindel must be traded, placed on outright waivers or sign a minor-league contract with the Royals. General manager Dayton Moore said Tuesday he is hoping for option No. 3.
“I don’t like that when you just put a player on the 40-man roster and the 25-man roster six weeks ago or whatever it is, and then you release him,” Moore said. “I don’t like that. But we are where we are, and (first baseman) Lucas Duda is progressing much better than we anticipated, so putting him on the 60-day (injured) list wasn’t an option.
“(Left-hander) Brian Flynn pitched good today. (Assistant general manager) Scott Sharp was there watching him, and we sent Scott there for that sole purpose to see how he plays. We were on this (roster move) right up until the last second when we had to make a decision. But no, I don’t like that. But we’ll try to sign him.”
Flynn started for Omaha on Tuesday and allowed one run on two hits in five innings as the Storm Chasers beat the Iowa Cubs 8-1. That was his longest outing since the 2017 season. Flynn opened the season on the injured list because of an elbow injury.
In April, Duda was put on the 10-day injured list because of a lumbar strain.