When Donnie Joseph and Danny Duffy were sent down to the minors the other day, it seemingly set the stage for Francisley Bueno to be the final piece of the bullpen. Bueno has performed well in Spring Training, allowing seven hits and two walks in his eight innings of work. He has struck out six while giving up two runs en route to a 2.25 ERA. Fairly solid numbers for Spring Training.
Yet, his spot in the bullpen does not appear to be set in stone. Ned Yost has not yet named him to the roster, which may just be a formality at this point. After all, Yost also has not officially said that Kelvin Herrera is a member of the bullpen either. No one is questioning whether or not Herrera will make the team, just like it seems obvious that Bueno will be a member of the Royals bullpen on Opening Day.
In a small sample size, Francisley Bueno has done well in the majors. In his 28 major league innings, Bueno has put together a 1.61 ERA and a 1.071 WHiP. Although Bueno has a limited track record, it does appear as though he may be able to be a viable option as the Royals second lefty out of the bullpen.
However, the biggest reason as to why Bueno may end up opening the season with the Royals is that he is out of minor league options. While the Royals seem to value Bueno, one does have to wonder how much of a market there would be for a 33 year old pitcher with only 28 innings of major league experience. It is doubtful that teams would be lining up to put Bueno on their roster, regardless of his performance.
Perhaps that is why Francisley Bueno has yet to actually be named to the Royals bullpen. For all the bullpen depth that the Royals seemingly have, it could be that Ned Yost and Dayton Moore do not trust the other options they had to fill out the bullpen. Bueno may, at this point, have the final spot, but that could be a case of being a member of the Royals by default.
While Bueno has been solid during Spring Training, he has performed that well against competition that is considered to be the equivalent of AAA talent, according to baseball-reference.com. More than half of Bueno’s career innings have come in September, once rosters have expanded. Perhaps the Royals just do not trust his success thus far, and consider him more of a depth pitcher than anything else.
In fact, that may be why Francisley Bueno has not officially been named to the roster. Maybe, just maybe, the Royals are looking for a reliever that they feel they can trust more than Bueno. Or, they just may not have gotten around to making the announcement that Bueno is officially on the team.
Right now, Francisley Bueno is not a member of the Royals bullpen. At least, he is not a member of the bullpen just yet.