"WhiteFanposts Fanshots Sections Royals Trade Rumors & Hot StoveRoyals Minor Leagues & ProspectsRoyals Review ClassicRoyals Review Users GuideThe 100 Greatest Royals Of All Time2019 Royals Spring TrainingSpring training battles: The bullpenNew Jose Abreu Jersey ,25commentsDPB is the new HDH!EDTShareTweetShareShareSpring training battles: The bullpenRick Scuteri-USA TODAY SportsThe Royals’ bullpen was once a mighty strength, as opponents would tremble at the mere though of facing Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland - “HDH” - late in games. Those days are long gone. The bullpen was a big mess last year, finishing with the worst ERA in the American League. The terrible trio of Brandon Maurer, Blaine Boyer, and Justin Grimm alone gave up a total of 81 runs in just 65 2鈦? innings. With nowhere to go but up, you figure the Royals’ bullpen will improve simply by getting rid of their worst pitchers. Dayton Moore brought in some veterans at the outset of camp which could provide more stability. Ned Yost says he won’t necessarily adhere to strict roles as he has done in the past, but you can still expect to see either Brad Boxberger or Wily Peralta closing out most games. Veteran Jake Diekman should also be a lock to make the team, and lefty specialist Tim Hill seems like a good bet to make the team after leading the team in appearances last year. You may also see some of the pitchers vying for a starting job- Jorge Lopez, Heath Fillmyer, and Homer Bailey - to end up in the pen, although the shoulder issues for Danny Duffy may allow more room in the rotation.If we assume Boxberger, Peralta, Diekman, and Hill are locks, that the Royals will likely begin the first week with a four-man rotation, and that the Royals plan to keep 12 pitchers, that would leave four bullpen spots up for grabs. Here are the candidates:The Holdovers From Last YearHeath Fillmyer is still up for a rotation spot, but he could begin the year in the pen first, or even get bumped to a relief role by veteran Homer Bailey. The Royals should probably allow Fillmyer a chance to lose a starting job before sending him to the pen, but perhaps they see him unlocking some potential as a reliever. Jorge Lopez is in the same boat, although out of options, so if he doesn’t make the rotation, he will be sent to the bullpen. Homer Bailey is also working for a rotation spot, and the team has said so far they don’t consider him an option for the bullpen.Brian Flynn was a versatile, serviceable arm for the Royals last year, tossing 75 2鈦? innings for a 4.04 ERA and a 4.28 FIP. He was usually a long man to sop up innings Melky Cabrera Jersey , and he finished 12th among relievers last year in lowest Leverage Index, meaning the games he was being called upon were not very close ones. His peripherals were also quite poor, and he had the second-worst strikeout-to-walk ratio among all relievers. Flynn has been pounded this spring, giving up 11 runs in just three innings. The Royals though enough of him to sign him to an $800,000 deal last fall, but they could conceivably cut him this spring and owe just a quarter of that salary. Flynn is out of options, so he would have to clear waivers to be sent to Omaha, but the 28-year old lefty is not likely to be in highdemand. Kevin McCarthy seems most likely to have a spot on opening day, after he put up a 3.25 ERA in 72 innings last year serving as one of the more reliable arms to turn to. McCarthy doesn’t have a very good strikeout rate - it was eighth-worst among relivers last year, and he had a FIP of 4.06. McCarthy does a great job keeping the ball on the ground though - he was fourth in the league in groundball rate at 64.3%. McCarthy does have an option year left, but he seems like a good bet to be in Kansas City to start the year.The Veterans Fighting For a JobDrew Storen is the most experience out of any of these candidates, closing out 99 saves in eight seasons with the Nationals in Reds. When healthy, he had one of the best sliders in the game, but he missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He has tossed just 2 1鈦? innings so far this spring, and could begin the season in extended spring training, according to Jeffrey Flanagan.Michael Ynoa was once a hot enough prospect to get a $4 million bonus from the Athletics, but his pro career has failed to live up to that hype. He is also a Tommy John surgery survivor, and has pitched just 59 innings at the big league level. Ynoa seems like a long-shot to make this team, but he has impressed Yost with his slider. The 27-year old right-hander is not on the 40-man roster and seems more likely to begin the year in Omaha with a chance to move up if he impresses.The Rule 5 GuysChris Ellis came from the Cardinals organization where Royals pitching coach once tutored minor league pitchers. Eldred may have some insight on Ellis, but so far the spring training stats have been pretty ugly with nine runs allowed in seven innings. He seems to be a bit of a project that could be a good reliever with some instruction, but the Royals may not have the luxury to be able to carry him on the roster all season.Sam McWilliams has also struggled a bit this spring with four runs in 4 1鈦? innings, but some observers think he has looked better than the numbers suggest. McWilliams has a tall 6’7’’ frame that the Royals can work with and a low-90s fastball with a decent slider. The Royals carried two Rule 5 pitchers last year, but seem unlikely to do so this year. If they choose just one, McWilliams would be the most likely candidate, if they carry any at all this year.The Arms with UpsideKyle Zimmer has been the subject of a lot of buzz in camp. The former first-round pick seems to have benefited from his work with the Driveline Baseball facility. He hitting 96 on the radar gun, and most importantly, staying on the mound. He has thrown 7 2鈦? innings without allowing a run, striking out five Jeff Keppinger Jersey , and he has done it against top competition.Zimmer is on the 40-man roster, but has an option year, so he could begin the year in Omaha just to get his feet wet. But he has a lot of time to make up for, so the Royals may just throw him out in the big league bullpen to see what he can do. At age 27, Zimmer is not a young pup anymore, and this may be his last best opportunity to reach the big leagues. Richard Lovelady is quite possibly the best Royals reliever right now, at least according to ZIPS projections. The 23-year old lefty had a 2.47 ERA with 71 strikeouts in 73 innings for Omaha last year. He has added a change up to his repertoire, and the results have been impressive this spring with 10 strikeouts in eight innings. The numbers are working against Lovelady however. He’s not on the 40-man roster, and the Royals already have two lefties - Jake Diekman and Tim Hill - that are locks for the bullpen with a third lefty - Brian Flynn - also a possibility to make the team. Lovelady could be sent back to Omaha for now, but it likely won’t be long before we see him in Kansas City. The Long ShotsJason Adam came back to the Royals with a big bump in velocity, but ran into trouble with the long ball and put up a 6.12 ERA in 32 1鈦? innings. He did show the ability to miss bats with 37 strikeouts, but his walk rate was pretty high. He came back to the Royals as a non-roster invitee, so if he did make the team, they would have to clear a 40-man roster spot for him. He has pitched well this spring with 4 1鈦? shutout innings, but still seems like a long shot to make the club initially. Scott Barlow traveled with the MLB All-Stars to Japan, but his season seems likely to begin in the Omaha rotation. The 26-year old had a strong strikeout rate in the minors, but had trouble preventing runs, and will likely serve as starting depth if the rotation gets thin.Glenn Sparkman has looked pretty good this spring with seven strikeouts and no walks in eight innings, and has shown himself to be versatile enough to start or relieve. He seems likely to begin the year in Omaha but could be an option if the Royals suffer some injuries or ineffectiveness.Who do you think makes this bullpen? MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun thinks his luck may have changed at the plate.The Milwaukee Brewers will take all the help they can get in chasing the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.Braun hit two homers, including a go-ahead solo shot in the eighth inning that bounced off right fielder Nicholas Castellanos‘ glove and over the fence, and the Brewers beat the Detroit Tigers 6-5 on Friday night to stay one game back of Chicago.“Certainly we’ve had more than enough discussion of how unlucky I’ve been this year, so maybe my luck is turning on that,” Braun said. “Even if it doesn’t, just getting lucky on that single scenario is obviously huge for us based on where we’re at in the season.”Already assured a playoff spot, the second-place Brewers (93-67) are running out of time to catch the Cubs. Chicago beat St. Louis 8-4 on Friday afternoon.The Brewers, who have won five straight, need the Cubs to lose at least once over the next two days to have a chance to win the Central.Braun also hit a solo homer in the first and doubled in the fifth.His good luck in the eighth came at the expense of Castellanos, who was tracking the high fly to the wall.“If he doesn’t put a glove on it http://www.whitesoxfanproshop.com/authentic-paul-konerko-jersey , it doesn’t go over the fence,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “We caught a break.”The ball bounced off Castellanos’ glove raised over his head, then rolled over the top of the padded fence for a homer off Victor Alcantara (1-1).“Warning track, saw it, jumped up. Felt it in my glove. My glove hit the top of the fence,” Castellanos said. “When I came back down, it wasn’t in my glove.”Jeremy Jeffress hit leadoff batter Jacoby Jones with a pitch in the forearm to start the ninth before retiring the next three Tigers for his 14th save.STUNNING SWINGThe Brewers looked as if they had a crucial win locked up in the top of eighth with normally lights-out reliever Josh Hader on to pitch with a two-run lead.But pinch-hitter Dawel Lugo turned on a 96 mph inside fastball for a two-run homer to left that tied the game at 5 with nobody out. Lugo’s first major league homer came after leadoff hitter Jeimar Candelario was hit by a pitch in a call that stood after a replay review.“A kid like that in this atmosphere and bangs one like that. It’s just incredible. We did a lot of really, really good things tonight,” Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Unfortunately, we lost the game.”Until then, the night belonged to Christian Yelich, the Brewers’ MVP candidate who hit a two-run homer in the first after reuniting with his brother.With Milwaukee trailing 3-0, Yelich hit his 34th homer of the season on the first pitch from Jordan Zimmerman after leadoff hitter Lorenzo Cain singled. Three batters later, Braun hit a solo shot to left to tie the game.AFTER THE FIRSTThe Tigers couldn’t muster any offense for a while after scoring three runs off Zach Davies in the first on three straight RBI singles from Niko Goodrum, Jim Adduci and James McCann. The runs came on bloopers or soft bouncers that found holes in the infield.Davies and two relievers then combined to frustrate the Tigers for the next six innings, retiring 17 in a row during one stretch.Lugo’s homer off one of the toughest left-handed relievers in baseball gave the Tigers new life.Joakim Soria (2-1) got the win after getting the last two outs of the eighth in relief of Hader.YELICH BROTHERSThe 26-year-old Yelich caught a ceremonial first pitch from his 22-year-old brother, Cameron, who was recently discharged from the Marines. It was the first time Cameron had watched a big league game in at least a couple of years, and the first time he had seen his brother play at Miller Park for the Brewers. Christian Yelich was acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins in January.TRAINER’S ROOMTigers: OF Christin Stewart missed the game with what Gardenhire called “stomach issues.”Brewers: The team’s latest injury had nothing to do with a player. Brewers owner Mark Attanasio recently underwent successful surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon. Attanasio, who was in attendance on Friday, said he hurt himself running across the beach at Malibu to rescue his family dog after it got tangled up with a pit bull. Attanasio helped his wife, Debbie, separate the two dogs, but said he didn’t realize the extent of his injury. He cannot put any weight on his leg until mid-October.UP NEXTTigers: LHP Daniel Norris (0-5) makes his first career appearance against Milwaukee.Brewers: LHP Wade Miley (5-2) has no record with a 6.19 ERA in three career starts versus Detroit.
|Free forum by Nabble||Edit this page|