The KC Royals made a pair of minor-league pitching moves on Friday, as action resumes across major-league baseball following the All-Star break. Kansas City signed reliever Edward Mujica to a minor league deal with AAA Omaha, while dropping reliever Joe Beimel.
Neither move is really earth-shattering. Both Beimel and Mujica are nothing more than veteran depth that could help out the Kansas City Royals bullpen in case of emergency. Given the way that the KC Royals have burned through reliever innings this season, it’s not impossible that Mujica could end up in Kansas City at some point in the second half. Mujica’s deal includes an August 7 opt out clause according to SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo.
The right-handed Edward Mujica is a one time All-Star (2012 with the Cardinals), with a career 3.85 ERA mostly as a reliever (he made four starts with the Padres at age 25 in 2009). However, the 32-year-old Mujica’s career has gone south since his 2012 season with a 4.28 ERA since the beginning of the 2014 season in 107.1 IP.
At this point, Mujica is a guy whose primary asset is that he throws strikes. He used to pair that ability with a sinker that caused a lot of ground outs, but has lost that ability the last two seasons. Right now, Mujica is a guy that needs a good defense behind him to be somewhat effective.
This season, Mujica has been pitching for AAA Lehigh Valley in the Phillies system. He hasn’t been particularly impressive with a 3.69 ERA in 39.0 innings pitched, but has maintained his outstanding control limiting opponents to a mere three free passes.
Mujica replaces 39-year-old lefty Joe Beimel on the KC Royals 40-man roster. Beimel is a career 4.02 ERA reliever, who enjoyed an outstanding age 37 season with Seattle in 2014 holding opponents to 2.20 ERA in 45.0 innings. He wasn’t the same in 2015 falling to a 3.99 ERA and having to sign minor-league deals this season.
The Kansas City Royals signed Beimel on June 6, and he has pitched 14.2 innings with AAA Omaha with a 4.30 ERA.
Like I said, neither move is likely to prove significant. Yet, it does show how stressed the KC Royals bullpen has been due to the inability of the starters to provide quality innings.