Mar 2, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Patrick Schuster (57) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the sixth inning at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Schuster Has Been Claimed by the Kansas City Royals

It appears as though we know why Francisley Bueno has not been given the final spot in the Kansas City Royals bullpen. The Royals still had another pitcher in mind to provide some competition before Opening Day.

Patrick Schuster, who was the first overall pick in the Rule V draft by the San Diego Padres, was claimed off waivers by the Royals. In order to clear a spot for Schuster on the 40 man roster, Carlos Peguero, who had been in the running for the Royals fifth outfield spot, was designated for assignment.

Feb 21, 2014; Peoria, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres relief pitcher Patrick Schuster (57) poses for a photo during photo day at Peoria Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 23 year old Schuster, despite not having pitched above A ball, is an interesting player. Last season, pitching for the Visalia Rawhide of the California Leauge, Schuster put together a 1.83 ERA and a 1.083 WHiP, striking out 45 batters in 44.1 innings of work. Although he did not work as a lefty specialist for Visalia, that may be his role in the major leagues. Last season, Schuster struck out 28.6% of lefties that he faced, while allowing 10.9% line drive rate and walking only 6.0% of those batters. Against righties, Schuster only struck out 22.7% of the hitters faced, while walking 14.8% of righties and allowing a 23.6% line drive rate. Although Schuster allowed a lower batting average against to righties, they hit him harder than lefties did last season.

Featuring a sinker and a slider while mixing in the occasional fastball and change, Patrick Schuster may not be a strikeout pitcher in the majors. Based on his extreme ground ball rates in the minors, he may be able to thrive by getting a key groundout against a tough lefty hitter. Even if his strikeout rates do not translate to the majors, Schuster could be an interesting piece in a bullpen.

If nothing else, Patrick Schuster would seemingly have more upside than Francisley Bueno. With less than a week left before the start of the regular season, the Royals will need to make that determination soon.

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  • jimfetterolf

    I might just send Collins to Omaha and keep Bueno and Schuster until one of them flops.

    • moretrouble

      Let me make sure I’m understanding you properly — you’d send down a bonafide major league lefty (Collins) to keep a kid who couldn’t even play AA ball after 5 years in the minor leagues?

      • alloutofbubblegum

        Let me make sure I’m understanding you properly — You’re defending what current post season victory or World Series title? Have you seen the kid play? Do you know WHY he has been languishing in the minors? Have you followed one single game of this “kid?” Did you see him go three up , three down on bonafide major league hitters a week ago? Give him a chance.

      • jimfetterolf

        Collins has issues and needs a tune up, so an idea would be to send him down for awhile and keep Bueno and Schuster as lefties ’til Collins forces his way back up. Collins has never been a big LOOGY and walks too many hitters.

        Many possibilities on Schuster, saw that it might just be book keeping in an effort to get Peguerro through waivers in nine days. Another possibility is that the Royals will try to work a trade with the ‘Backs so Schuster can go to Arkansas. Another is the Royals may think Bueno, DFA’ed next weekend, might get through waivers.

        • unclejesse40

          I love the idea of stashing a guy in the bullpen that might help you out later. This bullpen is stacked and the truth is you have three inning eating starters so the likelihood that we will need to burn through the bullpen is less with this group. Jim, I heard all the same stuff that you mentioned above about GMDM working the system. To be honest I love the fact that this year Royals fans are arguing over who the last person in the bullpen is going to be. I mean really!!!! does it truly matter as long as this kid doesn’t wet himself every time he goes out there.

          • jimfetterolf

            Is nice that most of the noise is about the 12th pitcher and the 13th position player.

  • LiltteMe

    What I think is that U DONT WANT BUENO IN THE BULLPEN. That kid couldnt even play AA and now u think that he can make the team? Unbelievable !!!!