Kansas City Royals: Hidden Gem Inside of the Blowout
By Eric Boston
The Kansas City Royals have a formula for winning. Use a lights-out bullpen to shorten the game for the starters. 2017’s bullpen has been good, but not great. Perhaps after Monday’s trade that is about to change.
Fans of the Kansas City Royals probably knew the name Trevor Cahill. The other two guys now sporting royal blue, maybe not so much. Brandon Maurer and Ryan Buchter are after all part of a breed of player that often gets overlooked. Especially by the casual fan.
Only the most elite of relief pitchers are able to make themselves a household name. Most of those are closers. The guy that comes in to shut down games and secure victories. That doesn’t mean that there are not really good middle inning guys.
If you are going to rely on your bullpen to shorten games by taking over in the sixth inning then you better have quality middle relievers. The Kansas City Royals now appear to once again have that.
The team is on an impressive winning streak. That familiar smell of playoff hope is in the air. And now Dayton Moore is putting his blueprint for winning into action. Maurer and Buchter look to have prime roles in that plan.
Lee Judge of the Kansas City Star did a nice little write up here of the two lesser known palyers the Kansas City Royals added this week. In his article Judge states:
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"“But what if a team had three shutdown relievers? What if they have four? What if they have five? A team that has a deep bullpen doesn’t need it’s starting pitchers to go so deep in games… This is why the Royals just went out and got two more relievers.”"
It’s not the H-D-H bullpen of the past. Perhaps this group is on its way to a new moniker from Kansas City Royals fans. It’s hard to get excited about a relief performance in the eighth inning of what would become a 16-2 blowout, but what Ryan Buchter did on Wednesday night was very impressive.
Buchter was called in by Ned Yost to make his Kansas City Royals debut. He promptly sat the side down on EIGHT pitches. His first pitch got James McCann to flyout to our bubble-blowing left fielder.
Next Buchter worked to a 1-2 count before getting Jose Iglesais to groundout to second. Finally, after getting “behind” 1-0, Dixon Machado grounded out to short. That is how Buchter’s first action for Kansas City played out. Short, sweet, and very impressive.
Buchter now owns a 2.97 ERA after last night’s performance. He looks to quickly become the left handed specialist out to the Kansas City Royals bullpen. For a group that is right handed heavy that makes him a key piece in Yost’s tool chest.
Next: Don't Get to Excited Just Yet
Will the Kansas City Royals be making any more moves before Sunday’s trade deadline? There’s a good chance. Even if they don’t the trade with San Diego appears to be much bigger than at first glance. As I said here the bullpen had the makings to once again be dominant. Now they may just have what they need.