The KC Royals expect oft-injured prospect Kyle Zimmer to be ready to go at the beginning of spring training after Throacic Outlet Surgery this season.
According to MLB.com reporter Jeffrey Flanagan, former no. 1 pick Kyle Zimmer is healed enough to withstand his typical off-season routine. Kansas City Royals assistant general manager J.J. Piccolo told MLB.com:
"“He’s back home in San Diego and getting ready for his normal offseason with training and conditioning,” Picollo told MLB.com. “So everything looks good on that end.”"
Certainly, this is good news. Kyle Zimmer might have the best stuff in the system—even better than Josh Staumont. The problem with Kyle Zimmer is that he hasn’t logged 100 innings pitched since 2013. Even though the KC Royals want to develop starters, I don’t see how they can reasonably expect Zimmer to hold down a rotation spot next season.
The most reasonable alternative is to move Zimmer to the pen in 2017. That will allow him to help the big club in this final year of their expected championship window. The Kansas City Royals very much need quality arms in the bullpen. Moving Zimmer to a relief role would help Dayton Moore achieve his primary goal of improving his relief pitching next season.
The fact is, if Zimmer and prospect Josh Staumont can take major league roles next season, Moore should have ample arms to rebuild the KC Royals pen. Staumont was just named Arizona Fall League pitcher of the week for his continued dominance in an instructional league filled with top prospects.
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If Kansas City’s scouting department believes that there’s enough internal solutions to solve the bullpen issues, then Moore’s off-season priorities will become another starter and replacing Kendrys Morales in the lineup.
The Kansas City Royals do have some intriguing internal arms. They just need to catch some luck for them to gel into a dominant pen next season.