KC Royals: Aaron Brooks Up And Yohan Pino Down
By John Viril
The KC Royals called up pitcher Aaron Brooks to get a fresh arm for a tired pen, and sent down reliever Yohan Pino on Tuesday.
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The move is a bit curious, in that the 25-year-old Brooks is something of an underwhelming prospect. For most of his minor-league career, Aaron Brooks has been a pitch-to-contact guy that doesn’t miss many bats, or walk many hitters, but keeps the ball on the ground.
Of course, that description sounds much like starters Jeremy Guthrie and Jason Vargas—who have both pitcher pretty well for the Kansas City Royals. Those kind of guys are very effective in Kansas City due to the team’s outstanding defense.
Perhaps, that is why KC Royals general manager seems to like Aaron Brooks. This isn’t the first time that Brooks has gotten an opportunity with the big club. Last year, Brooks got a spot start for the Kansas City Royals and one relief appearance.
Aaron Brooks did not impress. He gave up 13 runs in a total of 2.2 innings, for a ridiculous ERA of 43.88.
That’s a slow pitch softball pitcher.
Aaron Brooks also served as the 26th man in a double-header against the White Sox earlier this season, but did not pitch.
Yet, Aaron Brooks has become a little more interesting down in Omaha this season through 33.1 innings over his first five starts in 2015. His K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) has zoomed to 9.4, compared to a 6.3 K/9 last season.
Brooks is missing more bats this year. That makes me wonder if he has added a new pitch, which has intrigued the front office. His ERA is more of a solid rather than great 3.51, but remember that the Pacific Coast League is an offense-heavy circuit.
Even so, the move still surprise me. I would much rather have seen former top-prospect John Lamb who finally looks healthy after Tommy John surgery in 2011.
This spring, the 24-year-old Lamb’s fastball averaged 93.5 mph and touched 95 after hovering in the low 90’s in 2014. In Omaha, John Lamb has put up an impressive 2.01 ERA in four starts, and 22 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
Aside from Lamb, Louis Coleman has an 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings. Major-league veteran Joe Blanton has an opt out clause if the KC Royals do not call him up by May 15, and has pitched fairly well with a 3.89 ERA.
Obviously, the KC Royals like something about Aaron Brooks. This time, I hope he performs well enough in Kansas City to see what that might be.