Starling signed a minor-league contract with the Royals on Saturday.
Starling will return to the Royals on a minor-league deal after being non-tendered by the team earlier in December. He slashed .204/.246/.298 over 91 major-league games during the past two seasons, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him get an invitation to big-league spring training in 2021.
Starling was non-tendered by Kansas City on Wednesday.
The 2011 first-round pick received his first taste of the majors over the past two seasons, but the Royals are now opting to go in a different direction. Starling enters free agency with a .204/.246/.298 slash line through his first 91 big-league contests.
Starling was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday with right lower-back spasms.
The 28-year-old started the past two games but apparently tweaked his back and will now miss the rest of the season with only five games remaining. Starling finishes the 2020 campaign with a .169/.219/.237 slash line with 27 strikeouts in 64 plate appearances.
Starling will sit for the second straight game Wednesday against Cleveland, Alec Lewis of The Athletic reports.
Starling had started three straight games before hitting the bench on consecutive days. Edward Olivares will be the center fielder again Wednesday.
Starling is not in Tuesday's lineup against Cleveland.
He has seen pretty steady work so far this month, hitting .313 with one home run, seven strikeouts and one walk in 16 at-bats through six games. Edward Olivares shifts from right field to center field while Nicky Lopez starts at second base and Whit Merrifield mans right field.
Starling went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk in Saturday's 5-3 loss to the White Sox.
Starling got the Royals on the scoreboard in the third inning with a big fly to left for his first home run of the campaign. The 28-year-old is hitting .250/.306/.375 with five RBI across 32 at-bats this season.
Starling came off the bench to deliver a pinch-hit RBI single in Monday's 2-1 win over the Indians.
Cleveland held a 1-0 lead through seven innings, but Kansas City broke through with two runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the series opener. After Maikel Franco came through with a one-out single to tie the game, Starling sent a James Karinchak offering up the middle to score the go-ahead run. Despite coming through in the clutch, Starling is unlikely to see any meaningful increase in playing time. Since coming off the injured list Aug. 14, Starling has started once in the Royals' 16 games.
Starling (undisclosed) returned from the injured list Friday.
Starling wound up missing the minimum 10 days with an unspecified injury and will resume his fourth outfielder role. Jeison Guzman was optioned in a corresponding move.
Starling (undisclosed) could return from the injured list for this weekend's series against the Twins, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Starling hit the injured list for undisclosed reasons in early August. He'd struggled to a .211/.273/.263 slash line in nine games prior to landing on the injured list. He'll likely be the fourth outfielder once he returns.
Starling (undisclosed) was placed on the 10-day injured list Wednesday.
The Royals didn't provide a reason for Starling's placement on the injured list. Prior to his placement on the shelf, Starling went 4-for-19 across nine appearances. Meibrys Viloria was summoned to the active roster in a corresponding move.
Starling is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the White Sox.
The Royals have used a committee of players to replace Hunter Dozier (illness) in the outfield, with Starling being one of the main beneficiaries. However, after starting in three of the past four games in center field, Starling will shift to the bench as Brett Phillips gets the nod in his place. Starling provides value defensively but has thus far struggled to get going at the dish this season, going 3-for-15 while striking out in 38.9 percent of his plate appearances.
Starling is starting in center field and batting ninth in Friday's season opener at Cleveland, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
The 27-year-old isn't expected to be an everyday starter this season, but the Royals are without Ryan O'Hearn (illness) and Hunter Dozier (illness) to begin the season. Starling made his big-league debut last season and had a .572 OPS in 197 plate appearances, but he could carve out some opportunities if he can take advantage of the early-season absences.
Starling had a .367/.441/.767 slash line with three doubles, three home runs and three stolen bases through 30 at-bats before spring training was suspended.
The 27-year-old isn't typically a significant power threat and had only 11 homers in 482 plate appearances between Triple-A and the majors in 2019, so the spring training pop is certainly surprising. Starling -- the fifth overall pick in the 2011 draft -- is likely to begin the season in the big leagues since he's out of minor-league options, and he seems likely to be in the mix with Brett Phillips to work as Kansas City's fourth outfielder.
Starling (side) is not in the lineup for Sunday's game against the Twins.
Starling exited Wednesday's contest with left side tightness and will end up missing the final three games, assuming he doesn't appear off the bench. The 26-year-old has a .215/.255/.317 slash line over 56 games in his first taste of MLB action. Erick Mejia will start in center field for the season finale.
Starling (side) is not in Saturday's lineup against the Twins.
Starling has been out since Sept. 25 with the side injury. Erick Mejia is starting in center field and hitting sixth.
Starling (side) will sit Friday against the Twins.
Starling left Wednesday's game with side tightness and will miss at least one start. It's possible his season is done, as there are just three games left on the schedule, though the Royals haven't announced that he's been shut down. Brett Phillips will start in center field Friday.
Starling was removed from Wednesday's loss to the Braves with left side tightness, Lynn Worthy of The Kansas City Star reports.
Starling was pulled for a pinch hitter during the sixth inning after the injury cropped up while making a throw to home plate. The specifics of the injury remains unclear, but the 27-year-old will have Thursday's scheduled off day to aid in his recovery before potentially missing the final weekend of the regular season.
Starling went 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored in Tuesday's 9-6 win over the Braves.
The multi-hit effort was an encouraging sign for Starling, who was just 8-for-38 (.211) with two extra-base hits (a double and a home run) through 15 games in September heading into Tuesday's series opener. The rookie is hitting just .217 with four home runs and two steals in his first taste of the majors (55 games) but will look to finish the campaign on a positive note.
Starling is not in Thursday's lineup against the Twins.
He is 7-for-34 (.206) with one home run and one steal in 13 games this month. Erick Mejia will start in center field and hit seventh.
Starling is not starting Wednesday against the Tigers.
Starling hasn't done much since making his big-league debut, hitting .205/.247/.295 in 40 games. Brett Phillips starts in center field Wednesday.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/22||vs STL||L 0-5||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/21||vs STL||W 4-1||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/20||@ MIL||L 3-5||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/18||@ MIL||L 5-9||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/16||@ DET||W 4-0||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/15||@ DET||L 0-6||3||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/13||vs PIT||W 11-0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2014||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||132||482||67||105||23||4||9||54||49||150||17||2||.218||.304||.338|
|2015||AA-Northwest Arkansas N||91||331||51||84||19||4||10||32||30||91||4||5||.254||.318||.426|
|2015||AFA-Wilmington Blue Rock||12||44||6||17||4||0||2||12||7||17||2||1||.386||.471||.614|
|2017||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||80||278||35||69||14||1||7||21||19||65||5||4||.248||.303||.381|
|2018||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||11||35||5||9||2||0||0||2||5||6||1||0||.257||.350||.314|
|2018||ROK-Idaho Falls Chukars||5||8||5||4||3||0||1||4||5||2||0||0||.500||.692||1.250|
|2019||AAA-Omaha Storm Chasers||72||261||34||81||11||2||7||38||21||59||9||3||.310||.358||.448|