The Kansas City Royals moved a step closer to a full 40-man roster on Thursday, as the team signed former Dodgers prospect Scott Barlow to a split contract.
It’s been a busy week for the Kansas City Royals. Thursday proved to be no different. It continued to follow a clear pattern, too. On Tuesday, the team signed former Braves prospect Yefri Del Rosario. The next day came Wily Peralta, who landed with the team after an uneven stint in Milwaukee. Then finally, Scott Barlow — an ex-Dodgers prospect — inked with the franchise.
Despite their markedly different backgrounds, Del Rosario, Peralta and Barlow all come in as cheap right-handed pitchers. The latter two have taken the number of players on the 40-man roster to 39. At this point, it leaves one spot available for a possible Rule 5 draft selection.
Here’s how the Kansas City Royals announced the signing of Barlow on Twitter:
In general, it’s not a good sign when the team’s announcement doesn’t feature of a photo of the player. That being said, there aren’t many photos available of players who haven’t pitched in the majors. That distinction, though, makes it a strange leap for the Kansas City Royals to sign Barlow to his one-year split contract. MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan lays out the monetary breakdown here:
What should Royals fans expect?
The Dodgers drafted Barlow, who will turn 27 in a few days, in the sixth round of the 2011 draft. He has good size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, but he’s been unable to figure out how to pitch well at the Triple-A level. Only 36 of his 503 innings pitched have come at the level, but it’s clearly been his downfall. Over those 36 frames, Barlow has allowed 42 runs (32 earned) on 44 hits with 25 walks.
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Overall, Barlow has accumulated a 29-30 record across 109 appearances (103 starts) to go with a 4.16 ERA and 1.37 WHIP. He showed a lot of promise at Double-A Tulsa this past season. In 19 starts, Barlow posted a 6-3 record with a stellar 2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and .161 batting average against. However, the same Triple-A issues came up in his seven starts with Oklahoma City. Those struggles can be summed with the following stat: He allowed more runs in Triple-A than Double-A, despite throwing 75 fewer innings at the former level.
Needless to say, Barlow will need to improve greatly to get MLB hitters out at a consistent clip. Even still, the move would seem to be a low-risk one for the Kansas City Royals.
What do you think, fans? Will any of these cheap free agent signings pay dividends? Let us know your thoughts.