Whether he likes it or not, Kelvin Herrera will likely get a second crack at the closer’s role to begin 2018. He seems to be more comfortable in his familiar setup role. But with so few reliable options left on the team, Herrera should be the guy.
If he returns to his 2015 and 2016 form, expect him to receive a healthy payday in the near future. That will likely come at the expense of another team, though. A trade isn’t out of the question at all. Regardless, with so much to gain for both the Royals and himself, the pressure will be on to perform in 2018.
Maurer is fresh off of losing the Kansas City Royals’ first arbitration case since 2006. The last remaining piece from last summer’s trade with the Padres, Maurer has a lot to prove this season. He had an 8.10 ERA after joining Kansas City last year and looked extremely hittable.
He has closer-level stuff but needs to harness it before he can be truly effective. Although he struggled last season, Maurer should setup Kelvin Herrera in 2018. He’ll likely get the first crack at the closer job in the case of Herrera leaving KC via trade. Remember when this role belonged to Wade Davis?
This year’s reclamation project is Wily Peralta. He is a hard-throwing former starting pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers who was DFA’d last year after posting a 7.85 ERA in 19 games. However, as recently as 2014 he was the #1 starter for the Brewers and his stock was on the rise. There is a good chance the Royals will be able to harness his stuff and work their magic once again by turning another failed starter into a shutdown reliever. That’s the plan, anyway.
Here’s a look at the Kansas City Royals’ reliever power rankings ahead of Spring Training:
What do you think, Kansas City Royals fans? Are you looking forward to watching a specific bullpen pitcher this year? Let us know what you have to say!