The Kansas City Royals announced Wednesday that right handed pitcher Wily Peralta signed a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2020.
It is definitely too soon to predict exactly what is in the cards for the 2019 Kansas City Royals season. But, with Wily Peralta signing a contract extension, it appears that he will reprise his role as closer. It is a move that some have deemed questionable.
His previous contract details included a $3 million club option, according to the Kansas City Star. The entire contract details, worth $3.25 million, are located in this article by Sam McDowell of the Star.
Taking a look at his 2018 season, Wily Peralta filled a necessary void for the Royals. After Kelvin Herrera was traded to the Washington Nationals, it was unclear what the closing situation would look like for the Royals. A number of players were given a chance to audition for the closing role, including Peralta.
Even before the trade with the Nationals, Peralta had adapted well. He shifted from the starting rotation with the Milwaukee Brewers to a bullpen role with the Kansas City Royals. He ultimately secured the role for the end of the 2018 season, and he made great strides.
Looking back on 2018
The 2018 season was one of growth for Peralta. It was the first season where he did not make any starts in his appearances. He notched an ERA of 3.67, his lowest in the Major League since 2014. Hopefully, that is a good omen that he will continue to lower that number into the 2019 season.
He appeared in 37 games, and he was perfect in save opportunities, going 14 for 14. He let up 28 hits in 34.1 innings of work, only four of which found their way over the outfield wall. He tallied 23 walks and 35 strikeouts on the season, totaling a K/BB rate of 1.52.
His time as a closer in the 2018 season poses too small of a sample size to really judge. But, from the looks of it, he will see plenty of opportunities in the 2019 season.
What should we expect from Peralta?
Perhaps the biggest thing to expect out of Wily Peralta is more comfort in the closing role. Now that he had nearly half of a season to get accustomed to his changed role, he will show more poise and confidence in his pitches.
The offseason poses the potential for improvement. As he continues to work himself into the role, he is a good option for the Royals. He can be the one who helps them transition to a new, younger closer at the height of the rebuild.
In an article written by Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com in early August, he quoted Peralta saying “I hope this is my new role in the game, I don’t want to be a starter no more.”
It seems Wily Peralta has found his place as a closer, and there don’t seem to be any candidates to take his job for 2019. The question will be if he can be consistent enough to help the Kansas City Royals succeed in the 2019 season. Because of course, things can change with the drop of a hat, so he may ultimately be replaced.