The Kansas City Royals announced several more roster moves on Tuesday, optioning right-hander Scott Blewett and infielder Kelvin Gutierrez to the Storm Chasers' roster. Additionally, the club has sent left-handed pitcher Foster Griffin , catchers MJ Melendez and Sebastian Rivero and infielder Samir Dueñez minor league camp.
Blewett did not allow a run in three Cactus League outings with Kansas City this spring, compiling a 1-0 record while yielding four hits and one walk, striking out two. The right-hander spent the entire 2018 campaign with Double-A Northwest Arkansas, tallying an 8-6 markand 4.79 ERA (79 ER/148.1 IP) in 26 appearances (25 starts), adding 100 punchouts. He garnered Texas League Mid-Season All-Star honors last year prior to being invited to participate in the Arizona Fall League following the regular season. The 22-year-old was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft out of Baker High School in New York.
Gutierrez also played the while 2018 campaign at Double-A, albeit with two different squads after being acquired by the Royals from the Washington Nationals on June 18 along with outfielder Blake Perkins and right-hander Yohanse Morel in exchange for former Omaha Storm Chasers hurler Kelvin Herrera . The 24-year-old combined to bat .275 (130-472) in 123 contests between Double-A Harrisburg and Double-A Northwest Arkansas, adding 11 homers and 66 RBI while stealing 20 bases. Gutierrez was signed by the Nationals as a non-drafted free agent out of the Dominican Republic on April 10, 2013.
Griffin accumulated an 0-1 record and 5.06 ERA (3 ER/5.1 IP) in three appearances (one start) in 2019 Cactus League contests. The southpaw paced the Texas League in innings pitched, in addition to ranking tied for first in games started, tied for third in wins, fourth in strikeouts and ninth in earned-run average. His 117 punchouts were second-most among Royals minor leaguers behind 2017-18 Chasers lefty Jake Kalish (124). Overall, Griffin posted a 10-12 record and 5.13 ERA (87 ER/152.2 IP) with 117 strikeouts in 28 games (26 starts) with Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He was selected by the Royals in the first round (28th overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft out of The First Academy in Florida.
Melendez accrued a .125 average (1-9), adding one run, one home run and two RBI in six Spring Training games this year with Kansas City. The backstop played the whole 2018 season, his first full professional season, with Low-A Lexington, posting a .251 average (105-419) with 26 doubles, nine triples, 19 homers and 73 RBI in 111 games, helping lead the Legends to a South Atlantic League Championship title. He also earned South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star honors. Melendez was selected by the Royals in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of Westminster Christian High School in Florida.
Rivero split catching duties with Melendez at Low-A Lexington last year, tallying a .258 average (72-279) with 41 runs, 16 doubles, seven homers and 34 RBI in 77 contests en route to a South Atlantic League Championship title. He also joined Melendez in being named a South Atlantic League Mid-Season All-Star in 2018. In six games this spring, the 20-year-old hit .250 (2-8) along with one run scored and one double while drawing two walks. The Venezuela native was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on July 10, 2015.
Dueñez batted .400 (4-10) with four runs, one double and one RBI while drawing five walks in nine 2019 Cactus League contests. In 80 games with Double-A Northwest Arkansas last season, the Venezuela native compiled a .282 average (81-287) with 44 runs, 18 doubles, two triples, ten homers and 60 RBI along with a .357 on-base percentage. The 22-year-old was signed by the Royals as a non-drafted free agent on July 7, 2012.
Following these roster moves, the Royals now have 52 players in Major League Spring Training camp. That includes 19 non-roster invites and 33 on the Royals' Major League Reserve List.
Royals Spring Training camp ends at Werner Park with the Royals Exhibition Game presented by Cobalt Credit Union on Monday, March 25. Berm tickets are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.
The Storm Chasers begin their 2019 Pacific Coast League campaign on the road in Memphis on Thursday, April 3. Opening Night at Werner Park versus the Oklahoma City Dodgers is set for Tuesday, April 9 at 6:35pm. Single-game tickets for all 70 Storm Chasers home dates are now on sale.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.