If one does not count Danny Duffy, who has made six relief appearances this season, then the Royals have used six different left handed relievers. Some, such as Donnie Joseph and Justin Marks, have flamed out spectacularly, getting shelled in their only appearance before being relegated to the scrap heap. Francisley Bueno had an excellent first half to his season before falling off a cliff. It would seem that the Royals bullpen, as deep as it is, would have need for a lefty reliever.
As it turns out, they may actually have that lefty already on their roster. Presently on the disabled list and expected to return sometime in September, Scott Downs may actually be the best lefty reliever on the Royals roster. Statistically, he would appear to hold the advantage, posting a 3.48 ERA and a 1.065 WHiP, both of which are the best of any lefty reliever for the Royals.
Scott Downs has been particularly effective against left handed hitters this season, holding the opposition to a .211/.282/.338 batting line, striking out 16 batters against seven walks. While Downs has been hit fairly well by righties this season, the acquisition of Jason Frasor likely means that Downs would be able to return strictly as a lefty specialist down the stretch.
Plucked off the scrap heap after being released by the Chicago White Sox, Downs has been better than one would have expected. As yet another under the radar move by Dayton Moore that has struck gold, the presence of Scott Downs may be enough where the Royals do not need to spend the next three days scouring the waiver wire in search for that elusive lefty reliever.
Despite not having overpowering stuff, Downs has been effective with his sinker and curve. An extreme groundball pitcher, who has gotten a grounder on 60.6% of his opponents, Downs has benefited from pitching for a team with perhaps the best defense in baseball. As Downs had a FIP that was 2.36 lower than his ERA with the White Sox, it is no surprise that he has been much better with the Royals.
As it turns out, the Royals may be getting that lefty for the stretch run after all. It will just happen when Scott Downs comes back from being on the disabled list.