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Royals' Raul Mondesi has chance to make MLB debut in World Series

The Kansas City Royals' Raul Mondesi splashes water

The Kansas City Royals' Raul Mondesi splashes water on this face while in the dugout during the fifth inning of a spring training game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, March 11, 2015, in Goodyear, Ariz. Credit: AP / Ross D. Franklin

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Raul Mondesi has yet to appear in a major-league game, but that could change in the World Series.

In a bit of a surprise, the Royals announced Tuesday morning that they had added the 20-year-old shortstop prospect to their 25-man Series roster.

"Flexibility for the National League series,'' manager Ned Yost said in explaining the move before Tuesday night's Game 1.

The switch-hitting Mondesi, who has not played above Double-A, gives Yost another pinch-hitting option for the games at Citi Field. He also provides depth in the middle of the infield should second baseman Ben Zobrist, whose wife is pregnant, suddenly depart on paternity leave.

Mondesi had a .246/.293/.365 slash line with six homers and 33 RBIs in 81 games this season with the Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals of the Texas League. He would be the first player to make his big-league debut in the World Series, according to STATS LC.

"I say I'm ready because I saw my dad playing all the years,'' said Mondesi, whose father, Raul, played 13 seasons in the majors, including time with the Yankees in 2002 and 2003. "I'm ready to help the team.''

Centerfielder Lorenzo Cain said he was impressed with the leap Mondesi is making.

"Definitely a big jump going from Double-A to World Series,'' Cain said. "When I was that age, I think I was in rookie ball somewhere, I think. But I'm definitely happy for him that he's a part of the team. Definitely help us out tremendously.''

Mondesi's inclusion on the roster meant there was no spot for speedy but one-dimensional Terrance Gore, who stole a base in each of Kansas City's first three postseason games last year.

"Gore is a tremendous base stealer, but he's kind of a specialist at that,'' Yost said. "Mondesi can do a lot of things. He can play the field really, really well, shortstop, second base. He's a switch hitter. He can hit a fastball, he can bunt, and he can run. All these situations come into play. It's just more flexibility for us.''

To make room on the 40-man roster, former Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain was designated for assignment.

Speaking of Mondesi's promotion, Yost said: "The coaches were on the idea before I was. We had to sit and we had to discuss it for a long time. And finally, when I told Raul yesterday that he was going to be on the roster, he just looked at me and said, 'I'm ready.' That turned the page for me.''


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