In years past, the Kansas City Royals have done a tremendous job in identifying reclamation projects that have contributed to the success of the ballclub. Do they need that this season?
In recent years, the Kansas City Royals have done a tremendous job in finding value in pitchers that were left on the scrap heap. Pitchers like Chris Young, Joe Blanton, Ryan Madson and Scott Downs were all key parts of the Royals success in the past couple of seasons, even if their signings did not exactly register as important at the time.
Naturally, given that success, one would look for those pitchers who could be next in line. On Wednesday, the Kansas City Star did just that, looking at non-roster invitees Dillon Gee, Chien Ming Wang, David Huff and John Lannan. If the Royals are to continue this trend of finding contributions from pitchers on the scrap heap, they would have to find something from this collection.
The question is, do the Royals really need to find production from one of these options? In years past, due to payroll constraints, the Royals have needed to sift through the bottom of the barrel in order to fill out their roster or to have depth at the minor league level. This year, while these players may be solid depth in Omaha, there really is not much of a need for them to produce.
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Currently, the Royals have three starters vying for the final two spots in the rotation. Kyle Zimmer and Miguel Almonte appear likely to get a look should they be effective at the start of the minor league season if injuries occur. In this case, the Royals may well bank on the upside of the young starters, especially since they are getting close to being major league ready, instead of the veteran depth at Omaha.
Likewise, the Royals bullpen has very few positions open. With whoever misses out on the rotation taking one of those spots, there is only one opening currently available. If Danny Duffy makes the rotation, that spot may well go to a second lefty. However, if Duffy is sent to the bullpen at the start of the year, other options, such as Almonte, may be far more intriguing.
In years past, the Kansas City Royals needed pitchers like Chris Young and Ryan Madson to pan out. This year, we have a much different Royals team, with very few openings available. These reclamation projects just may not be needed at the major league level.