KC Royals Roster News: Joe Blanton Assigned to Omaha


When the KC Royals signed Joe Blanton, it seemed like an interesting depth move. There was certainly no harm in bringing in the ten year veteran to see if he had anything left. If nothing else, Blanton would serve as a decent camp arm and a possible mentor for the young pitchers.

In an interesting turn, the Royals announced that they were looking to convert Blanton to the bullpen. In his career, Blanton had only pitched 17 times in relief, with, at best, mixed results. He had compiled a 7.24 ERA and a 1.608 WHiP in his 32.1 innings of work, hardly the production that one has come to expect from a member of the Royals bullpen. However, if anyone could get this transition to work, it may well be Dave Eiland.

During Spring Training, Joe Blanton has once again had mixed results. While his 2.79 ERA looks solid, he has a 1.655 WHiP. Yes, it is Spring Training, and it is a small sample size of 9.1 innings, sixteen baserunners in that time is not exactly going to inspire confidence. As such, Blanton has been assigned to the Omaha Storm Chasers.

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There, Blanton will likely be expected to continue his transition into the bullpen. He will also be able to serve as a solid mentor for the young pitchers in Omaha, teaching the prospects what it is like to be a major leaguer. His wealth of knowledge, both from having success and struggling in the majors, would be a great help in the development of these potential major league arms.

Likewise, having a veteran pitcher like Joe Blanton in Omaha is a nice security blanket for the Royals. While each of their starters had 25 or more starts last season, that is not typical in baseball these days. Likewise, the Royals will also be going into the season without Luke Hochevar as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and Tim Collins is set to undergo the procedure himself. Blanton, who could fill either role, is a decent option to have in case of injury.

Even if he is not starting the season with the Royals, Joe Blanton may have his presence felt by the end of the year. Even if he does not join the major league roster himself, his veteran presence may well help any pitchers the Royals call up when making that transition to the Major Leagues.

Next: KC Royals Lefty Bullpen Spot is Still Up In the Air