The KC Royals activated closer Greg Holland from the disabled list on Tuesday after the team’s 5-3 win over Cleveland. To make room on the roster, the Kansas City Royals sent reliever Yohan Pino to AAA Omaha.
Wade Davis has racked up six consecutive saves as the KC Royals closer in Holland’s absence without allowing a run. This string follows Greg Holland opening the 2015 season with four saves without allowing a run.
Get that everyone? Kansas City Royals closers have notched 10 saves so far in 2015 without allowing a run.
Now that is what is called 9th inning dominance.
Wade Davis returns to his former role as eigth-inning set up man after demonstrating he is more than capable of holding down the “closer” role. Having two lights-out guys at the back end of the bullpen is a luxury that no other team in MLB baseball enjoys.
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To show just what an embarrassment of riches the KC Royals possess in the pen, Yohan Pino is getting sent to AAA despite pitching 10.2 innings in four games while not allowing an earned run. How many other teams would send out a guy that hasn’t given up a run?
It actually makes sense for the Kansas City Royals, whose bullpen ERA is a MLB-best 1.08.
I am, however, somewhat surprised general manager Dayton Moore chose to send down Pino, rather than return Brandon Finnegan to AA Northwest Arkansas to continue his development as a starting pitcher. Perhaps Kansas City Royals manager Ned Yost wanted to keep two lefty options in the pen (Finnegan, and Franklin Morales).
What’s scary is KC Royals have even more bullpen depth on the way. Luke Hochevar is close to being ready in AAA Omaha for his recall to Kansas City after Tommy John surgery last season.
I presume Finnegan will get sent out when Hochevar returns. That leaves Pino on the outside looking in. The only way he returns to Kansas City is in case of an injury. Look for the 31-year-old Pino to get dealt for a prospect before the trade deadline if the KC Royals pitching staff remains healthy through July.
Aside from Pino, the Royals boast plenty of bullpen depth at Omaha. Proven major-league arm Louis Coleman has a 0.00 ERA in AAA. Former top prospect lefty Chris Dwyer, who has now been moved to the pen, sports a 0.82 ERA. Meanwhile, trade acquisition Brian Broderick (for Johnny Giavotella) has a 2.92 ERA.
Hey, Dayton Moore’s off-season strategy of piling up so many arms that his bullpen can’t fail has worked better than he could have hoped. Not only is the big club stocked with killer relievers, but Moore has trade bait that he can use to replenish his prospect pipeline at the trade deadline.
Teams are ALWAYS looking for bullpen help at the deadline, and Moore will be able to extract maximum value from contenders.
Perhaps Dayton Moore and the KC Royals front office have discovered a new market inefficiency: the relative low cost of dominant bullpen arms.
Is it just me, or has the KC Royals front office seemed to have gotten a whole lot smarter since the beginning of 2014?