After trading Kelvin Herrera, the Royals didn’t seem to have a closer on the team. That seems to have changed as of recent. Which could lead to another move the Royals make.
The Kansas City Royals signed Wily Peralta during the offseason to see if he could be another reclamation project of Dayton Moore. Spring Training showed that the move wasn’t going to happen the way they had hoped. Over his six games, he was only able to go 8.0 innings with a 13.50 ERA.
Luckily, the Royals had only signed him to a $1.5 million deal for one-year. Which meant if they had to eat the contract it wouldn’t put a huge dent in their pockets.
When you look at what he was doing in Triple-A, the expectations weren’t very high either. Over his 18 appearances, he went 35.0 innings and posted a 4.37 ERA. Needless to say, it was becoming very obvious why Milwaukee moved on from Peralta.
Which after looking at this, it became an interesting move for the Royals when they brought him up to the big leagues. The Royals have a very underwhelming bullpen, which seems to be getting turned over to the youth of the franchise. So why bring Peralta up?
When the move first happened I figured it was going to be short-lived, and be similar to the results Blain Boyer has been giving the Royals.
But to my surprise, Peralta has come out dealing. During his first five appearances, Peralta has gone 4.2 innings while posting a 1.93 ERA. With those five appearances, Peralta has been two-for-two when it comes to saves as well. He has also struck out six batters he’s faced. He has walked four and allowed three hits, so of the 21 batters faced, nearly 30% have struck out.
Not half bad for the 29-year-old that we thought was going to make zero impact for the Royals this year.
One thing that has been impressive is his arm. He has four pitches he uses from the bullpen, a fastball, sinker, changeup, and slider. His fastball and sinker average 97mph while his changeup sits at about 86mph and slider at 84mph. The fact that he can come in and throw heat like that is impressive. Never as a starter has he been able to hit numbers like that.
While looking at his pitch selection, I was impressed to see how evenly he uses his pitches as well. He isn’t a pitcher that seems to depend on one pitch. According to fangraphs.com, Peralta uses his fastball and slider the same amount of time, 32.9% of the time. His sinker comes in at 17.7% and changeup sits at 16.5%. For the most part, his pitches are evenly distributed.
If I had to guess, I think it is safe to say the Royals are going to increase the usage of Peralta over the next couple weeks.
The reason why is simple. If he continues playing at the rate he is, he could be a trade piece for a contending team looking for a bullpen arm. Having a heater that can move as fast as he is throwing while having an offspeed pitch that is nearly 10mph slower is something every team wants from their bullpen arms.
Peralta is a pitcher that won’t break a teams bank either. Some teams have a “cap” on how much they are able to spend. Due to Peralta only making $1.5 million this year, and that number will be even lower after half the year has passed, he wouldn’t move the line much on a teams payroll.
He is also a rental. If he doesn’t pan out for the team that he is traded to they have no obligation to keep him around. But Peralta has shown the ability to come in during high-leverage situations and control the game. His last outing against Milwaukee showed that.
The big question now is, can the Royals quickly build his stock to prove to teams that his numbers this year aren’t a case of small sample size? If they can get his inning count up, and he can keep his numbers down, Peralta could be traded. Peralta could be that surprise veteran contract they sign that could be traded at the deadline. And while the return may be small, it is still a return.
What do you think Royals fans? Do the Royals have something they can trade away for prospects? Do you think the usage of Peralta will increase? Will teams bite? Let us know below!