It almost seemed like the Royals were done playing with the revolving door in the bullpen where they switch one pitcher for another. It’s been a big part of this season as the starting pitching struggled early and the bullpen needed to be stocked with fresh arms.
Today, they called up Vin Mazzaro from Omaha and sent Jeremy Jeffress to Northwest Arkansas in Double A. Joel Goldberg supposes that he’s going to Double A so he can be recalled earlier than the ten day rule. Since the Naturals season ends on September 3, he’ll be able to be recalled sooner when active rosters expand. Omaha is headed to the Pacific Coast League playoffs again, so their season continues.
Jeffress was called up August 1 and made six appearances and gave up only one hit up until yesterday’s game at Fenway Park. The two runs he surrendered were unearned, though, so he has the odd pitching line of a 0.00 ERA but a 2.100 WHIP in 2012. Jeffress made two appearances in late April as well.
Mazzaro has been working out of the bullpen exclusively since July, making 14 appearances and covering 20 innings of work. He’s struck out 23 batters and walked nine over that stretch, giving up only four earned runs, 18 hits, and no homers. He’s been said to hit the upper 90s out of the bullpen, so maybe short relief is the way to go with Mazzaro. He’s been tried in Kansas City as a spot starter and long relief man typically, but with a fastball/slider pitch selection, the next month could be an audition for a regular short relief role next season.
Both pitchers were acquired via trade with Mazzaro joining Justin Marks as the return for sending David DeJesus to the A’s after the 2010 season. Jeffress was, of course, one of the four players the Royals received for Zack Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt in December 2010.