Needing to make roster room for tonight’s starting pitcher, Liam Hendriks, the Royals have demoted reliever Aaron Crow to Double-A.
At first glance it looks like another case of a team demoting a player to the minors simply because they had a minor-league option remaining. Crow was an All-Star in 2011 and has a 3.35 ERA in 226 career innings through age 26, including a 3.86 ERA in 59 appearances this season.
However, his secondary numbers have slipped dramatically with a 29/20 K/BB ratio in 51 innings and since beginning the season by making 19 consecutive appearances with zero earned runs allowed he has a 5.77 ERA in 40 games.
Dan Otero of the A’s probably has a better case for being demoted solely due to having a minor-league option remaining and either way Crow will almost surely be back in September.