The Kansas City Royals are still rumored to be looking for starting pitching. Why not give Miguel Almonte an extended look in Spring Training?
Now that Alex Gordon is back in the fold, the Kansas City Royals can now look to address their need for starting pitching. As it stands, the expected rotation of Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Danny Duffy, Kris Medlen and Chris Young is solid enough, and could replicate last year’s production. However, it is understandable that the Royals would want to add to this rotation.
While they have been linked to various free agents, there has not been a lot of talk about internal options to fortify the starters Kyle Zimmer has been mentioned as a possibility for the rotation at some point, but he may well be on an innings limit, given his injury history. But what about the Royals other top pitching prospect, Miguel Almonte?
In an ideal world, Almonte would likely start off the 2016 season in AAA. He struggled last season in the minors, posting a 4.51 ERA and a 1.350 WHiP between Northwest Arkansas and Omaha. In his 103.2 innings, Almonte struck out 96 batters, but also issued 42 walks.
More from KC Royals News
- KC Royals Rumors: Is a monster move in the cards?
- KC Royals Free Agent Hunt: 3 Tampa Bay pitchers
- Grading the 2022 KC Royals: The $25 million man
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Expectations met
- KC Royals Winter Meetings Tracker: Day 3 update
Even with those issues, Almonte was still brought to the majors as one of the Royals September callups. With Kansas City locked in a battle for the top seed in the American League, Almonte made nine appearances, posting a 6.23 ERA and a 1.615 WHiP, striking out ten batters against seven walks in 8.2 innings. Despite that unimpressive performance, Ned Yost still threw Almonte into the fire of the pennant run, as he made three of those appearances in what would be a one run game, including twice in extra innings.
Could Almonte follow the same path that Ventura took in 2014? Ventura made three starts in 2013 before entering the rotation the following season as the fifth starter, eventually moving his way into the second spot of the Royals rotation in the World Series. That taste of the postseason chase helped Ventura the following year, and may do the same with Almonte.
Sometimes, it takes that taste of the majors for a pitcher to find the confidence needed to have success. The willingness that Yost had to put Almonte in those close games, even if he did not succeed, will only help his confidence level going forward. Yost trusted him, and for a young player, that can mean quite a lot as they attempt to establish themselves.
Aside from the potential reclamation project, there are not a lot of viable external options available for the Kansas City Royals. With that being the case, Miguel Almonte should get a long look as the Royals fifth starter during Spring Training.