Kansas City Royals: Bullpen Battle, Spring Training Week 2

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Miguel Almonte
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 01: Pitcher Miguel Almonte /

Potential Call-Ups

Andres Machado

One pitcher that has gotten off to a hot start in camp is Andres Machado. The young righty had received high praise from the front office during the 2017 season and is showing why early on in Arizona. He started off with a two-inning appearance against the Oakland A’s in which he allowed just one hit and one walk while striking out four batters.

Later in the week, he picked up the win against the Cincinnati Reds with one hitless inning, logging one punchout. Machado has yet to give up a run and has a 5:1 K/BB ratio in his first three innings. If he keeps up that pace there is a real chance he cracks the Opening Day roster.

Tim Hill

The semi-submariner has been the most impressive lefty through the first week of Spring Training. Hill has made three appearances so far and went one inning in each of them. He wrapped up the spring opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a hitless, two-strikeout inning. Hill followed that up with clean innings against the Mariners and White Sox, allowing a hit, walk, and strikeout between the two appearances.

After being added to the 40-man roster in the offseason and carrying a 0.00 ERA through three appearances, Hill is setting himself up for a showdown with Brian Flynn to be the Royals’ primary lefty out of the pen. And performance wise, he has the edge right now.

Miguel Almonte

The promising prospect is off to a good start through two games this spring. His first appearance came against the Reds, where he went two scoreless innings while giving up one hit and striking out one batter. Almonte faced the Reds again later in the week, this time fanning two in one inning of work.

Much like the two pitchers above him on this list, Almonte has yet to allow a runner to cross the plate. Of all the long shots in camp with a reasonable chance at cracking the Opening Day roster, Almonte has by far the most potential. He has closer-type stuff, so if Almonte can do enough to earn a roster spot he could be another bullpen gem for the Royals.