Kansas City Royals: Get to Know the New Guys

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Ryan Buchter
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Ryan Buchter /

The Kansas City Royals have made a move that firmly places themselves as buyers. After a year of indecision when it comes to whether they will be buyers or sellers, the trade for a trio of San Diego Padres’ pitchers helps answer those questions. 

The Kansas City Royals have helped solidify their bullpen with this recent trade. To get a better understanding as to why the trade was made let’s dig into each new pitcher a little.

Brandon Maurer
The 27 year old might be the most intriguing pitcher of the trio. One of the biggest benefits of Maurer is his contract. The Kansas City Royals have him signed through 2019. Even better, he is still in arbitration, meaning he will potentially be very inexpensive for the team.

Let’s dig deeper though.

He has just over a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio, but only has 38 strikeouts to nine walks over his 39.1 innings pitched. The Padres recently moved him to the closer spot, where he converted 20 of 23 chances. In 42 total appearances his ERA is 5.72 and opponents are hitting .257 against him. 

July has been a significantly better month, posting a 3.38 ERA. When breaking it down further May and June killed him. In those months he has a combined 8.14 ERA. When looking at April and July, however, he has a 2.98 ERA. Of the three pitchers Maurer has the best WHIP, posting a surprising 1.195.

He can throw five pitches: fastball, sinker, changeup, slider, and curveball. However, he primarily sticks with his fastball-slider-changeup combination. He tops out around 98 MPHand drops around 84 MPH. Can’t complain with that.

The Kansas City Royals seem to have another big arm for the bullpen. If Dave Eiland and Salvador Perez can help bring consistency to Maurer’s game he will be a great contributor to the bullpen.

Ryan Buchter

The 30 year old is another inexpensive, controllable bullpen arm. He will start arbitration next year and be under club control till 2022.

Buchter should be a great contributor to the bullpen. He is averaging nearly a 3:1 K:BB ratio and opponents are only hitting .199 against him. To put that in perspective, opponents are hitting .180 against Wade Davis.

He has posted a solid 3.05 ERA and a 1.2 WHIP. Buchter is stronger against lefties, allowing opponents to hit just .175 against him compared to righties who are hitting .212.

He has four pitches that he uses: fastball, cutter, slider, curve. He will max out at about 93 MPH and going as slow as 77 MPH.

Buchter seems like the perfect piece to add to the Kansas City Royals bullpen. His consistency is a perfect fit for the sixth or seventh inning.

Trevor Cahill

Cahill has a lot of controversy with how he fits with the team. He is a solid end of the rotation piece for the Kansas City Royals. However, rumors are still flying around with speculation that that Dayton Moore could be in the hunt for another starting pitcher. As of right now he is a starter, but that could change.

Unfortunately Cahill breaks the trend of controllable players. He will be a free agent at the end of the year. He does have a very nice 3.69 ERA over 11 starts and he has a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio. He also sports a 1.344 WHIP. He’s not a hard throwing pitcher, maxes out at 92 MPH and goes as slow as 80 MPH.

Through his 11 starts, he is averaging about six innings an outing. The downside though, and reason for only 11 starts this year, is he has been dealing with shoulder soreness. He was on the disabled list in May and was just reactivated on July 4th. 

The one thing that does make Cahill a very interesting pitcher is how he records his outs.

Cahill is a contact pitcher. To be more specific he is a ground ball pitcher. Nearly 57% of his outs come on the ground. With an infield of Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, Whit Merrifield, and Eric Hosmer, Cahill just might be the perfect fit for the Royals.

Next: Three Possible Trade Targets

At the end of the day the trade added three very good pitchers, while getting rid of a bad Travis Wood contract. This does seem like a win for the Kansas City Royals and a great step to no longer being pretenders, but contenders.