We had to see this coming. With Ned Yost stating that he was leaning away from having an eight man bullpen, the writing was on the wall for Jandel Gustave. With five of the spots in the bullpen already spoken for, and Gustave not being a lefty, he was fighting an uphill battle to stay with the Kansas City Royals this season.
Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals officially put an end to the speculation as to whether or not Gustave would make the team. According to Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle, the former Astros minor leaguer was placed on waivers, allowing the team to take him back for $25,000.
This decision does not seem to be a matter of Jandel Gustave not performing. He has posted a solid 3.68 ERA and a 1.227 WHiP in his 7.1 innings of work. Despite struggling with his control throughout his minor league career, Gustave has only walked three batters during Cactus League play, while striking out six. Yes, it is a small sample size, but Dave Eiland and the coaching staff may have been able to tap into something there.
More from KC Royals News
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 2 update
- Winter Meetings: Any blockbusters for the KC Royals?
In an ideal world, the Kansas City Royals will be able to keep Gustave, slotting him into their minor league system and allowing him to transition into a reliever. Armed with that fastball that can touch 100 MPH, Gustave would seem perfect for a role in the bullpen. If this improved control proves to be more than a flash in the proverbial pan, then Gustave could develop into a solid piece.
The only problem is, unless the Royals send something over to the Astros if another team does not claim him, it will not be in the Kansas City system. Pitchers that throw that hard are a rare commodity, even in an age where seemingly every bullpen has a high octane arm or two. Also, given the state of some of the bullpens out there, a team may be willing to take a chance on Gustave to see if he can help out this season.
It certainly speaks volumes to the bullpen put together by the Kansas City Royals where a pitcher like Jandel Gustave would not have a role. Just looking at some of the pitchers who may be sent to the minors, pitchers that in years past the Royals would be counting on, is impressive.
Jandel Gustave’s time with the Kansas City Royals may be coming to a close. However, if his control is truly improved, that time may make a profound impact upon his career.