Omaha and Oklahoma City are examples how the parent team is faring can greatly influence a Triple-A playoff roster.
For the first time in years the Kansas City Royals are listed in the American League wild-card standings. To bolster their roster, the Royals on Tuesday called up four players from the minors.
In contrast, the Houston Astros are on pace for their third consecutive 100-loss season. The Astros have the luxury of allowing two of the top minor league prospects — center fielder George Springer and first baseman Jon Singleton — to add Triple-A playoffs to their resume.
The Royals on Tuesday obtained the contract of veteran first baseman Carlos Pena, who signed with Kansas City last week. The Royals also recalled veteran middle infielders Johnny Giavotella and Pedro Ciriaco.
The 10th overall selection in the 1998 draft by Texas, Pena started the season with Houston. The Astros released the 35-year-old slugger in midseason after he hit .209 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 277 at bats.
Pena said last week he'd like to play until he's 40, but his career is at a crossroads. Pena, who played five games with the Storm Chasers, slammed 285 homers in 13 major league seasons. His career included a stint at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark coming through the Rangers system.
Giavotella twice has been given the opportunity to win the Royals' second base job but in September will provide injury insurance and serve as a pinch-runner.
Ciriaco, who played in 158 major league games the past four years with the Red Sox shuttling between Pawtucket and Boston, was traded midseason to San Diego. After the Padres waived the 28-year-old veteran, Kansas City signed him to a Triple-A deal.
The other player the Royals recalled was Donnie Joseph, a valuable lefty out of the bullpen (84 strikeouts in 55 innings).
The RedHawks lost two players. Over the weekend the Astros recalled 29-year-old veteran outfielder Trevor Crowe and bullpen fireballer Jorge De Leon.