With Mike Sweeney headed to his vacation home on the 15-day DL, the Royals will call up Justin Huber from Triple-A Omaha. From the Kansas City Star:
That overrides the possibility that Huber's development as a defensive first baseman might take a backseat in the process.
"He'll play some first and DH," general manager Allard Baird said. "He's a right-handed bat. That's something we need right now. When you look at our roster, we're pretty left-handed-oriented."
Huber, 23, is expected to be activated in time for tonight's series opener against Minnesota at the Metrodome. He was batting .301 at Class AAA Omaha with seven homers but just nine RBIs in 23 games.
The Royals plan to recall Huber, officially, once they place Sweeney on the disabled list. The move is a formality. Sweeney already is resting at home after being diagnosed Tuesday with a bulging cervical disk in his upper back.
Huber spent two brief tours last season with the Royals and batted .218 with no homers and six RBIs in 25 games.
It's true Huber couldn't hit big-league pitching last year, but the fact that he won last year's Texas League batting title with a .343 mark at Double-A Wichita should tell he knows how to hit. Mix in his hot start this year and you have yourself a potentially valuable cornerman. (Note: he's a converted catcher, but he shouldn't be eligible there in most leagues considering all of his appearances in the field with the Royals were at first base.)
Royals Notebook: Huber called up [Kansas City Star]