KC Royals: What Does Miguel Almonte Bring To The Table?
A roster move occurred in the early afternoon of Friday for the KC Royals. Following an Ian Kennedy hamstring tweak against the Chicago White Sox Thursday, the KC Royals placed Kennedy on the DL, prompting a call-up of Miguel Almonte.
Miguel Almonte has had quite the start to his 2017 season. I mentioned him recently in a piece of mine, highlighting his masterful beginning. He’ll now get his second chance to contribute at the big league level for the KC Royals, with Ian Kennedy hitting the 10 Day DL.
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The question still remains in which role Almonte will fill up on KC Royals pitching staff. He has had bothe extended experience in the rotation and in the bullpen in his minor league career, pitching in 106 starts and 53 bullpen appearances across all levels. Almonte even pitched with the KC Royals in their championship year, appearing in nine games. He went 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA, allowing four home runs.
Quickly after that, many started to think that cup of coffee in the big leagues hampered Almonte’s development badly.
When Almonte was in the bigs, he threw his usual fastball, curveball, changeup. The fastball and curveball were completely crushed. So when Almonte started back down in AAA as a starter in 2016, many thought he may have been scared to go after hitters with his heater.
This possibly caused everything to fall apart in his pitch arsenal. This led to a career high BB/9 of 6.30. He could throw his blazing fastball in the zone with conviction.
Since that terrible stint at AAA, Almonte has pitched at the more pitcher friendly AA, mostly as a starter. The results have been fine.
Almonte has regained his confidence and out of nowhere has shown he can locate his pitches. He’s throwing strikes at a 62.9% clip this year, compared to 55.4% in his first four appearances last year.
So now that Almonte is up at the big league level, what’s his role?
Like I said, Almonte has both experience as both a starter and reliever. In four starts this year, he is 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA, posting a nice .182 opponents average.
The highest ceiling for Almonte could be in the bullpen though. He could come at you with a hard fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s, along with a complimentary changeup and curveball. Sort of a similar arsenal to a recent Francisco Rodriguez.
"KC Royals: Miguel Almonte Has Been Encouraging"
Whatever Almonte does though, whether he stats for an a couple of games, just makes a spot start, or is an extra arm in the bullpen, he could have some positive help. Then again, it could go terrible. See Aaron Brooks.