Right-handed reliever Victor Marte will be joining the Royals starting with this weekend’s series at Tampa Bay, according to Bob Holtzman on Twitter. To make room, John Parrish goes on the DL with rotator cuff inflammation in his pitching shoulder.
Marte pitched in eight games as a September call-up in 2009 for Kansas City, making his Major League debut on September 6 vs. Los Angeles. He finished 2009 with an 8.25 ERA and 2.083 WHIP in 12 innings pitched after compiling a 2.24 ERA over 64.1 IP between Omaha and Northwest Arkansas. In 10.1 innings in 2010 with Omaha, Marte had a 3.48 ERA and a 1.161 WHIP.
Marte features average stuff, with a fastball in the 94 mph range, a curveball and a changeup. At least through his time in the majors, his curveball was his most effective pitch.
The Royals continue to use an eight man bullpen as they have been doing for the majority of the season. Royals relievers have blown leads in 7 of the 13 losses in 2010, prompting Trey Hillman to throw as many options into the mix as he can.
So will Marte help? He’s pitched well enough in Omaha to contribute, but with career professional rates of 7.2 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9, he won’t set the world on fire. He may be an addition for the short-term with 2B Chris Getz near a return from the DL, or it could be a precursor to more changes and roster casualties in the bullpen. The Royals can’t carry 13 pitchers all season. Because of that eight man bullpen, the Royals weren’t able to pinch hit for Willie Bloomquist in the bottom of the 9th yesterday in their 6-5 loss to Seattle, having already pinch-ran the only other infield option when Alex Gordon came in for Alberto Callaspo.
Seems some of these roster issues could be fixed somehow…