The Royals starting pitchers were averaging 14.82 outs per start going into Tuesday night’s game. With short outings coming frequently, the Royals felt the need for another long relief option to soak up some innings.
Mazzaro had made six starts in Omaha covering 35 innings. He’d had a few good outings recently with seven strikeouts and just one walk last Thursday and six innings of one run ball before that. Other than a four inning, eight run game at Albuquerque, he’d gone six innings in each start. He joins Nate Adcock and Luis Mendoza as the other long relief options in the bullpen.
Danny Duffy responded to the news by going 4.1 innings* on Tuesday. Ironically, none of those long relief options filled in for him. Instead, Kelvin Herrera and Jose Mijares kept the team in the game until Jonathan Broxton could close it out.
*This lowers the average Royals starter to 14.75 outs per start, or not quite five full innings.
Tommy Hottovy made five appearances in Kansas City, striking out five batters and walking one in that span and giving up two runs. When (if?) the rotation gets its legs under it, he could return to be a second left handed specialist out of the bullpen.
Mazzaro of course brings with him the specter of his epic meltdown against the Cleveland Indians almost exactly a year ago. On May 16, he gave up 14 earned runs in 2.1 innings in relief of Kyle Davies. It’s safe to say that everyone hopes he fares better this time around.