In the afternoon on Monday, the Kansas City Royals called up Cuban Dairon Blanco to the big leagues. Thus far at the AAA level, Blanco was slashing .347/.444/.451/.895 with three home runs, 19 RBIs, and most impressively, a minor league leading 47 stolen bases. In his cup of coffee at the big league level in 2022, Blanco didn’t get much playing time, but showed signs of being a very good big leaguer. Thus far in 2023, Blanco forced the call up and made an impact tonight despite the 5-4 loss against the Cincinnati Reds.
In his 2023 debut, Blanco went one for four with a single. Despite only having the single, Blanco still has a long leash and showed the ability to make quick plays and have quick reactions, so at least seeing him make contact and put the ball in play is encouraging since his speed will play a factor in the amount of times that he gets on base and can turn simple groundouts into infield singles.
The other Cuban who made a huge impact tonight was flamethrower Aroldis Chapman who had three strikeouts in one inning pitched. Topping out at 101.1 MPH and striking out Jonathan India, Spencer Steer, and the young rookie phenom Elly De La Cruz. Chapman is going to be the hottest name in the reliever market in the upcoming MLB trade deadline on August 1st.
Unfortunately, the Royals did drop the game after a home plate collision was overturned and TJ Friedl scored and gave the Reds a 5-4 lead which would be the final score of the game. Kansas City now has a record of 18-48 while the Reds improve to 32-35.